10 TOP Half Day Hikes in 10 HOT Australian Holiday Spots

Mt Sonder from the Larapinta Trail, via Ormiston Gorge, Central Australia

Mt Sonder from the Larapinta Trail, via Ormiston Gorge, Central Australia

I’m SO not a hard-core hiker for lots of reasons. Wrong temperament. Wrong size. Wrong fitness level. And my holidays are NEVER just about the hike. Or hikes.

But although I’m the world’s slowest hiker, I like my holidays served up with a bit of hiking on the side. So my holiday destinations have to give me a hiking workout without feeling wrecked at the other end AND some different activities for when I’m over the hiking.

So my Top Ten half day hikes come packaged with their very own holiday destination. Hike to your heart’s content – but when you’re done, you’ll find plenty of different things to do.

PS Half day hikes often take me longer – so being the world’s slowest hiker will probably explain why you’re more likely to trek these trails faster than me!

1.  Kims Lookout Circuit, Lord Howe Island, New South Wales

  • Where is it: Lord Howe Island is 600 km east of Sydney.
  • How to get there: Flights leave from Sydney and Port Macquarie.
  • When to go: Any time; September to June are most popular; July and August can be cold.
  • The Hike: 7 km Loop Trail; Moderate to Difficult
Looking South from Kims Lookout, Lord Howe Island

Looking South from Kims Lookout, Lord Howe Island

Going places on Lord Howe Island generally means walking or cycling – so depending on where you’re staying, just getting to the trailhead near Ned’s Beachwill add some extra mileage (why isn’t ‘kilometerage’ a word?) to the distance.

Start climbing Malabar Hill straight away and soon you’ll have sweeping views down to Neds Beach on one side and Old Settlement and northern part of the island on the other. A little higher and you’ll see Mounts Gower and Lidgbird, Balls Pyramid, highest volcanic rock stack in the world, and the Admiralty Islands. That’s if you can bear to look over the sheer cliffs plunging down, STRAIGHT down into the ocean.

North Beach and Mt Eliza from Kims Lookout, Lord Howe Island

North Beach and Mt Eliza from Kims Lookout, Lord Howe Island

The track continues along the cliff tops (don’t look down!) to Kims Lookout with magnificent views over most of the island. Then it’s just a matter of heading down to the Max Nicholls track and back via Old Settlement Beach. Luckily, you’ll pass a cafe on the way!

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  • While you’re on Lord Howe Island: Highlights include Cruises around the Island, to the Reef, North Bay and Balls Pyramid; Hiking, Water Sports, Birding, Historic Museum. MORE about Lord Howe Island

2.  Bararranna Gorge, Arkaroola, South Australia

  • Where is it: Arkaroola Wilderness Sanctuary, 730 km north of Adelaide, Outback South Australia.
  • How to get there: Self-Drive on fully sealed roads to Copley, 600 km north of Adelaide. Arkaroola is 130 km north-east of Copley on an all weather dirt road.
  • When to go:  Anytime, but please note temperatures from November to March can be well above 30° C.  Contact Arkaroola if planning to travel during this time to avoid closures.
  • The Hike: Bararranna Gorge Loop Trail, 6.8 km, Moderate
Barraranna Riverbed Rock

Barraranna Riverbed ROCK! Arkaroola, South Australia

Actually, the hike can be a bit more than 6.8 km.

How much?

How far up the dramatic Bararranna Gorge you can get depends how much water is in Bararranna Waterhole.

Detour from the main trail to explore the gorge – an added extra to an already varied walk through a remote outback landscape scattered with waterholes, intriguing geological features (aka ‘rocks’) and wildlife.

Time passes quickly when you’re rock-hopping, admiring the dramatic cliffs, fossil-hunting and resting stopping for (endless) photos. Hunger and fatigue finally drove us back to the main track, where we finished the loop.

Only to find we’d doubled the suggested 3 hour walk time. But hey! We ARE the world’s slowest hikers!

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3.  Dales Gorge Circuit, Karijini National Park, Western Australia

  • Where is it: Karijini is 75 km East of closest town Tom Price; 1422 km north-east of Perth and 962 km south-west of Broome.
  • How to get there: Self Drive. Bitumen roads all the way on main routes; dirt roads throughout the Park.
  • When to go:  During dry season cooler months May to August; May and June are best
  • The Hike: Dales Gorge Loop combines all walks from Dales campground; ~4.5 km, moderate – Class 3 and 4, some steep sections with ladders
Dales Gorge and Fortescue Falls, Karijini National Park, Western Australia

Dales Gorge and Fortescue Falls, Karijini National Park, Western Australia

Could a track possibly lead safely down the sheer cliffs under the Three Ways Lookout to Circular Pool – 100 metres below? Of course! The REALLY steep bits have ladders! But the first part is the worst part as the track follows the winding river through groves of trees with steep RED rocky walls towering above. Actually, make that BEYOND red.

Circular Pool from Above, Karijini National Park

Circular Pool from Above, Karijini National Park

The river cascades down across treacherously slippery rock shelves as the trail winds steadily uphill towards Fortescue Falls.  Then it’s up even further to popular swimming hole, the Fern Pool. Take a break there, because it’s a steep climb out of the gorge and another 2 km back along the Gorge Rim trail to the Lookout trail head.

Just as well this remarkably scenic walk gives weary walkers plenty of reasons to stop – photos, bird watching, admiring the view – that don’t sound like ‘resting’!

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4.  Nelly Bay to Arcadia, Magnetic Island, Far North Queensland

  • Where is it: Magnetic Island is 8 km and a 20 minute ferry ride east of Townsville. The hike starts near the ferry terminal at Nelly Bay.
  • How to get there: Townsville is 1336 km north-west of Brisbane, and 347 km south-east of Cairns on fully sealed roads.
  • When to go: Anytime, but the wet season between November and April can be hot and humid.  Most popular time is during the Australian winter months June to August.
  • The Hike: Nelly Bay to Arcadia, 6 km + 2-3 km extra to walk from Arcadia back to Nelly Bay (local bus available), moderate
The mainland from the Nelly Bay to Arcadia walking trail, Magnetic Island, Queensland

The mainland from the Nelly Bay to Arcadia walking trail, Magnetic Island, Queensland

Experience life on a tropical island! AND see killer scenery from several vantage points overlooking island scenic hot spots and the mainland as the trail heads upwards through thick rainforest. It probably wouldn’t be anywhere near as tough a climb without the ever-present tropical humidity, but who cares with wildlife like Koalas and Black cockatoos on the trail?

Bottom view of Koala, Magnetic Island

Bottom view of Koala, Magnetic Island

After a detour to the Sphinx lookout, the walk ends at Arcadia aka Magnetic Island ‘suburbia’. Unless you extend the hike by taking the Junction Track to the Forts, Arthur Bay, and even Horseshoe Bay if you’ve still got the energy! Walk back to Nelly Bay – or take the regular bus service!

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5.  Jarnem Loop, Keep River National Park, Northern Territory

  • Where: The Park is 3 km east of the WA/NT border; 203 km west of Timber Creek; 68 km east of Kununurra
  • How to get there: Self Drive on fully sealed roads from Timber Creek or Kununurra. Dirt roads throughout the park.
  • When to go:  Cooler months from May to August.  Seasonal closures due to flooding from November to April
  • The Hike: Jarnem Loop Trail, 7 km, Moderate
Keep River National Park, Northern Territory

Keep River National Park, Northern Territory

The weirdly striped sandstone domes lining the Jarnem Loop trail and filling much of the landscape beyond are often described as a ‘Lite’ version of the more well known Bungle Bungles. But whether or not that’s true, the view from the fantastic 360° lookout over ranges and plains is anything but Lite!

The trail winds back down to a palm-lined valley getting much closer to the wind-scoured layers and shapes of the rounded domes. Along the creek line are caverns with Aboriginal rock art, then the trail returns to the picnic area.  And although it was peak tourist season, we had it all to ourselves!

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6.  Mt Abrupt, Grampians, Victoria

  • Where: Mt Abrupt is in the Southern Grampians near Dunkeld, 280 km west of Melbourne
  • Getting there: Self-Drive to Gariwerd (Grampians National Park) and the Grampians Region on fully sealed roads. Dunkeld is 64 km south of the more central Halls Gap.
  • When to go:  Anytime. Spring (Sept – Nov) best for wildflowers.
  • The Hike: 6.5 km return, Moderate to Difficult.

Signal Peak and the Serra Range from Mt Abrupt Summit Trail

It’s got one of the most spectacular views of the wilder parts of the Grampians, but the view of Mt Abrupt’s forbidding sheer cliffs from Dunkeld make it look a LOT more difficult to climb than it really is. The trailhead starts just north of Dunkeld and climbs steadily through the bushland. After passing Signal Peak, the views unfold all the way to the summit over the Victoria Range and Valley, Serra Range, Southern plains and Dunkeld.

Returning via the same route means a chance to catch up on the photos you were too knackered to take on the way up!

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7.  Boodjamulla (Lawn Hill) National Park, Queensland

  • Where is it: 220 km (136 miles) north-west of the Burke and Wills Roadhouse, between Cloncurry and Normanton;
  • How to get there: Self-Drive. Take National Route 83 from Cloncurry. At the Burke and Wills Roadhouse, take State Route 84 – the Wills Development Road – to Gregory Downs. Boodjamulla is 100 km from Gregory Downs on a dirt road.
  • When to go:  Dry season from May to October.  Roads can be impassable during the wet.
  • The Hike: Several Hikes from 2-7 km, varying degrees of difficulty. The combined hike suggestion below is about 8 km, moderate to difficult.
Lawn Hill Upper and Middle Gorges, Boodjamulla National Park, Queensland

Lawn Hill Upper and Middle Gorges, Boodjamulla National Park, Queensland

It takes more than one walk to do Lawn Hill justice and discover everything this stunning blend of towering red cliffs, crystal clear water, palms, bushland, crocodiles, spa-like cascades, lookouts, giant carp and magnificent vistas has to offer. Chances are it’ll be HOT whatever time of year you’re there – and if you’ve come all this way you’d be mad to leave without seeing it all. So combine some of the shorter walks into a longer hike – or avoid heatstroke, stay a few days and do them one by one!

Lawn Hill Gorge Rim

Lawn Hill Gorge Rim

That way you’ll have time for the other activities!

But for the full experience in just one day, start early and take the Middle Gorge track to Duwadarri and Indarri Lookouts. Return the same way, or take the loop down the cliffs and back to the campground. Then do the Island Stack loop, and finish up by taking the Cascades detour – may as well have a natural spa before returning to the campground.

And don’t say I didn’t tell you to stay an extra day!

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8.  Mt Kosciuszko Summit, via Jindabyne, New South Wales

 

View over Lake Cootapatamba, Australia's highest lake, Kosciuszko Track

View over Lake Cootapatamba, Australia’s highest lake, Kosciuszko Track

  • Where is it: The Mt Kosciuszko summit can be reached either from Thredbo, 212 km south-west of Canberra; or Jindabyne, about 34 km from Thredbo.
  • Getting There: A number of routes access Thredbo, Jindabyne and the Kosciuszko National Park. The best route will depend from which direction you’re heading.
  • When to go:  Anytime, but the track is generally snowbound from June to October – you can reach the summit on cross-country skis or snowshoes, but the track had no snow poles.
  • The Hike: 13 km return, Class 3 Moderate (from Thredbo); or alternatively18.6 km return, Class 3 Moderate (from Charlotte Pass).

En route from Thredbo to Mt Kosciuszko’s summit (Australia’s highest mountain), you’ll see Charlotte Pass (Australia’s highest permanent settlement) where Australia’s lowest temperature (-23° C) was recorded, Australia’s highest lake (Lake Cootapatamba) and Australia’s highest Public Loo (Rawsons Pass).

Kosciuszko National Park from Mt Kosciuszko Summit

Kosciuszko National Park from Mt Kosciuszko Summit

A long ride up the Kosciuszko Express chair lift from Thredbo quickly knocks off 600 metres of altitude.  Then it’s a 6.5 km undulating walk to the summit on a specially constructed raised walkway protecting the fragile alpine vegetation beneath. Congratulations! You’ve climbed a Seven Summits peak!!

Hard to believe that back in the good old days you could drive nearly to the top – so the trickiest part of your climb will be to convince everyone how difficult it was!

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9.  Ormiston Gorge and Pound, Central Australia, Northern Territory

  • Where is it: Ormiston Gorge is in the West MacDonnell Ranges National Park, 135 km west of Alice Springs.
  • How to get there: Self-Drive on fully sealed roads from Alice Springs.
  • When to go:  Anytime, but April to October is best for hiking.
  • The Hike: Ormiston Gorge and Pound Loop, 7 km, Moderate
Ormiston Gorge and Pound walk, West MacDonnell Ranges

Ormiston Gorge and Pound walk, West MacDonnell Ranges

Every kilometre the scenery changed. A steep gorge gave way to a hillside dotted with wildflowers and stunning views of Mount Sonder before descending into a spinfex-strewn valley leading up onto a scree-strewn saddle to a lookout over the Pound, ringed with rugged ranges. Down into the pound, across two creeks, then rock-hopping the gorge, red walls towering above us.

At the end of the gorge – only a kilometre to go – recent rain meant the final creek was running higher than usual. Sadly, I hadn’t yet mastered the art of levitation, so I chose to wade through the frigid water – a kilometre in wet underwear WAY better than a 6 km back-track! If you get lucky and don’t need to choose, I say you’ll be missing a super-COOL experience!

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10.  Deep Creek Cove, Fleurieu Peninsula, South Australia

  • Where is it: Deep Creek Conservation Park is on the Fleurieu Peninsula, 108 km south of Adelaide
  • How to get there: Self Drive along Main South Road from Adelaide, about 1.5 hours.
  • When to go:  March – May and September – November.  Summer (Dec – Feb) is dry and hot with temperatures from 30-35.  Winter (Jun – Aug) is wet, so tracks can be slippery.
  • The Hike: Deep Creek Cove from Trig Picnic Area, 6.4 km return, Moderate
Deep Creek Conservation Park Coastline, Fleurieu Peninsula, South Australia

Deep Creek Conservation Park Coastline, Fleurieu Peninsula, South Australia

Deep Creek Cove is accessible from two points: a moderate, but longer hike from Trig Picnic Area, and a shorter, more difficult hike from Tappanappa Lookout. But for us, two attempts = two FAILS and I’ve NEVER reached the Cove!

On our first attempt (via Trig) I was off work after an eye operation so we’d decided to explore. That was wrong. VERY wrong. And you’ll be glad to know I was punished for breaking the sick leave rule by actual illness when my eye turned to the dark side and I couldn’t finish the hike. My bad.

‘Where are those explosions coming from?,’ I wondered aloud to Pilchard on our 2nd attempt from Tappanappa as we started down the hill. ‘I didn’t know there was a quarry in the area’. Turns out there wasn’t and the explosions we heard were actually thunderclaps heading our way. So we abandoned the hike, scuttled back to the car and leftf the park before the rains hit the dirt roads.

The Deep Creek Cove hikes and several others (including the Deep Creek waterfall hike which I actually HAVE done), combine to make up the 10.9 (and much more difficult) Deep Creek Circuit. And at this rate it’ll only take me another 10 years to finish it all.

In the meantime, if YOU get to Deep Creek Cove before I do, let me know what it’s like!

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Mt Abrupt from Dunkeld Arboretum

Mt Abrupt in the Morning, from Dunkeld Arboretum

There are lots more hikes in Australia and I know I’ve probably missed some good ones.  What’s YOUR favourite half day hike holiday hot spot?

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86 comments

  • Oh, I knew I was going to be wowed the second I started reading this article. Can Australia get any prettier? Seriously. These are such great hikes. I want to go on them all, if only for the scenery and views!

  • Wow there are some amazing trips here! I’d love to see crocodiles and Aboriginal art, that’s so col!

  • I’m like you – I enjoy hiking but I’m a slow hiker. 🙂 I’d LOVE to return to Australia and do some of these hikes, though! Gorgeous views!!

    • I’ve been a bit surprised how many slow hiker confessions I’ve had in the comments for this post, Cate! I reckon there’s enough to start an international slow hiking movement, haha!

  • I say this to myself all the time….I”m not cut out for hiking. And now I read what you say about wrong temperament, wrong size and wrong fitness level. Seeing posts like these, makes me question everything and say…why not? Maybe I will give it a shot, one day.

    • Haha – if I can hike then pretty much anyone can, Punita! Even though it’s not my natural thing, it’s sometimes the only way to see a place properly!! Go for it 😀

  • This is the kind of hiking I like doing. Great suggestions as the country is so big with so many different options. Thanks for posting

  • We were just in the Grampians a month ago! We didn’t know about this Mt. Abrupt hike!

  • I always believe that it’s not how fast you go. What’s important is you don’t let things stop you from having a great adventure. Also, taking things slow is a good thing, too. You breathe in the vibes of the place more. You are inspiring people who have the same sentiments as you, girl. Keep saying yes to adventure!!! <3

    • It’s amazing how many people seem to embrace the ‘slow hiker’ thing, Trisha! The longer I’m there, the more I feel as if I’ve immersed myself in my surroundings – and the hike is just a vehicle to embrace the natural world!

  • Interesting list. I always try and add some bit of adventure in my itineraries. Adding a couple of these hikes should be good. Thanks for the elaborate details on them.

    • Yes, it’s good to mix it up a bit, Indrani! We like variety too – a bit of exploring, a scenic drive, a hike, a museum. It’s the best way to see a place. IMHO, of course!

  • You may be the world’s slowest hiker, but you are the most thorough hike reporter! I loved hiking in the Blue Mountains, down by Katoomba…

  • This list is gold! I always try to hike on each country I’m visiting but I’m not a hard core so I just try 2-3 hours trail. Will keep this guide saved for my trip in Australia.

    • These are perfect if you don’t want to spend every minute of your holiday on the hiking trail, Christine!! I hope you get to try some of them out – although then you’ll probably see how slow a hiker I really am 😀

  • Unlike you I am a fan of hiking and whenever I travel I will add hiking to my plan. I have bookmarked this piece for when I am going to visit Australia. I needed this 🙂 Thanks.

    • Glad it’s useful, Mansoureh! Don’t get me wrong – I DO like hiking, but I’m just slow!! I guess that means I spend longer out in the natural attractions though, doesn’t it?!

  • Thank you so much for this amazing list of hikes in Australia. Many of these I hadn’t heard of before! Good to know these can be done in half a day too. I love all of your pictures and really appreciate the info you provided. Definitely pinning this to reference when we plan our trip to Australia!

    • They’re mostly half a day if you’re hiking at normal speed – but if you’re a slow hiker like me it’ll take a bit longer, Jen! Hope you get to do some of them for real one day!

  • What an amazing list! It is so useful and comprehensive. For a slow hiker like me, this is gold! 🙂 The views from North Beach and Mt Eliza from Kims Lookout, Lord Howe Island are just so magnificent. would love to do a couple of these some day! 🙂

    • Haha, I’m thinking of starting a world-wide ‘slow hiker’ movement Divyakshi! I think there are more of us around than I first thought!! Hope you get to do some of these hikes one day – I bet you won’t regret it 😀

  • Ok, I need to go to Lord Howe Island! It’s the second time I’ve heard about it and seen pictures of it this week and it looks amazing! 7kms sounds doable too, and with views like that, it’s worth it! I’m just starting to get into hiking and I love this list! Dales Gorge Circuit at Karijini National Park looks breathtaking and unlike anything I’ve ever seen before. I would love to do that one day (but maybe get my fitness a bit up beforehand). Jindabyne is close enough to us, but the hikes in Queensland have caught my attention! I’m bookmarking this for when I have some more annual leave and can explore our backyard a bit more!

    • Yes, EVERYONE should be so lucky to go to Lord Howe Island, Kim! It must be a sign if you’ve seen it twice this week – it’ll make a nice spring break!! I’m basically a lazy hiker, so if I can do these hikes, then most people should be able to. Just take it easy – my best trick is to take a lot of photos because then no one knows you’re having a rest break!!!

  • Wow! I haven’t heard of any of these locations before, they look amazing! It’s nice to see a different side of Australia

  • Wow! These all look like great hikes. It is great that they are all in holiday spots so they will be easy to find

  • You’ve got me itching to hike in Australia now! Looks absolutely incredible! Mt. Abrupt would be my top choice for sure! Although Kim’s Lookout looks very nice as well!

  • We haven’t been to Australia but it’s definitely on our list. The first hike, Kim’s Lookout Circuit at Lord Howe looks so beautiful and seems an easy enough place to get to from Sydney. I’d love to one day hike there and catch a snack at the cafe to enjoy those gorgeous views.

    • It’s just a short flight from Sydney to Lord Howe Island, Brenda – but a long way to go to sit at a cafe, haha! Only kidding – the hike is great too, but it’s also fun just to hang out there!

  • Wow, what a collection of hikes! Love the diversity in landscape and skill levels. Hiking is one of our favorite things to do on holiday, and we always try to seek them out on our travels. I would love to do the coastal Deep Creek walk. The scenery looks amazing!

    • I agree, Drew – hiking is one of the best ways to really get to see the local landscape. And I’d love to actually finish the Deep Creek walk one day – see you there, haha!

  • These look amazing. I’ll have to keep them in mind for when I finally make it to Oz. I really need to get there!

  • Half day hikes sound good to me. Especially ones with a cafe en route, like Kims Lookout Circuit. Nice idea!

  • I should really see more of my home country, there are some truly beautiful places that you’ve captured. Thank you for sharing some lovely hikes through Australia.

  • Super post! Like you, I like to include some hikes when I visit a new country. In Australia, I had to cancel the Grampians hike but I did the blue mountains (perfect for independent travelers), a bit of Larapinta Trail and the day hikes around the red centre. If you want to be close to perfection, I suggest you to add the best months to do these hikes (may be obvious for Australians, less for foreigners). For my part I have pinned, bookmarked and flipped your post. Thanks!!!

    • Thank you Elisa – that’s a great suggestion and I’ll add it in. You’re right – it’s often obvious to us Aussies, but we also forget our seasons are opposite to the Northern Hemisphere and that adds another layer of confusion!

  • All these 10 hikes look really the stuff of exhilarating experiences. The one thing I really love about hikes is the opportunity to get close to nature which is such a high. Australia seems a haven for outdoors and nature lovers and all these treks bring out the best of the spirit of the outdoors.

    • It’s a lot easier to get away from it all down here, Sandy N Vyjay – such a big geographic area with a relatively small population means you can generally find somewhere close to nature, away from the crowds! On many of these hikes, if we saw anyone at all, it was only 2 or 3 other people! That’s the way I like it!

  • This is such useful information. Thank you for the share. I have always wanted to go to Australia and would love to hike the region. But finding manageable half day hikes is a challenge. I will keep your list in mind when I finally go. Thank you!

  • I’m with you – I used to be big into long hikes and treks, though now I’m happy with shorter half day adventures. Lord Howe Island is on my bucketlist, so Kims Lookout Circuit is noted. We went to Jindabyne last year around now and went to hike the Sentinel trail, which is supposed to be spectacular, but when we got to the top to start hiking across the rim, 120 kph winds and fog so thick we had to turn back – crazy, but made for a memorable day! Will have to get back and do the Kozi hike too 🙂

    • ‘Adventure’ sounds SO much more appealing than ‘trek’, doesn’t it? But lets face it Meg – maybe it means these days we’re just more into instant gratification??!! Our biggest fail was on a track on Mt Bartle Frere – it was actually a long, several day hike, but we planned to walk it for a couple of hours to a waterfall then return. We actually made it about 50 metres down the track but it was a) VERY muddy and b) raining VERY heavily! I guess that’s what you get from one of the wettest places in OZ, haha!

  • I love hiking too, even though I’m not in the best shape for it, but it’s all about those spectacular views and the memories you make along the way. Love love the view of Lord Howe Island, it’s worth all the panting and tired feet 😉

    • Haha, I’m not in the best shape either, Vlad – why do you think I chose the half day hikes??!! But you’re right – getting to the high point makes it all worthwhile!

  • I haven’t done any hikes in years (since I got ill) but this write up is the first that’s gotten me a bit jealous. Maybe on day I can give it a bash

    • Jealousy can sometimes be a good motivator, Suvarna! Sorry to hear you are ill, but hope that won’t stop you from getting outdoors – maybe on some more gentle hikes. Good luck!

  • I did a lot of hikes in Australia but I haven’t done half of this. Now more reason to go back. These are just half days ? I feel like it will take a full day for me. But the views are lovely.

    • Most of them are actually full day for me too, Karla – it’s just that I’m a VERY slow hiker, so it takes me a lot longer!! I hope you get to do some more travel – and hiking – downunder someday!

  • I done half of the Magnetic Island trek and the heat completely wiped me out. Thankfully I’m not a keen hiker so i own’t put myself true that again. Loved the pictures though, I’ll pretend i took part ha.

  • Good to know I am not the worlds slowest hiker! 😉 Great post, you have some amazing pics here! Not sure when we will make it to Oz but Mount Abrupt has just gone to the top of the list!

    • Haha, maybe I need to set up a ‘slow hiker’ movement – or at least a support group, Sarah! Are you in?? Seriously, hope you make it down here one day and get to see them all for real!

  • Lord Howe Island looks so beautiful!!! I’d definitely try the hike even if for me it’s probably a bit difficult! We really need to plan a trip over there!

  • Gorgeous photos! These hikes look amazing – we’re not big hikers (mostly because we have a three year old) but this has made me want to try some out!

    • HAha, a 3 year old might just cramp your hiking style a bit, Jodie! But you can always leave her in the mini-club, right??!! Hiking really is a great way to see the view 😀

  • I love the photo from Deep Creek Cove. I’m an avid hiker and I’d love to someday explore the trails in Australia. On my first trip, I visited for just five days (such a shame I know for a country that size) after a trip to New Zealand where there was plenty of hiking, so I was a bit exhausted and only visited cities. Next time maybe.

    • Deep Creek has an amazing coastline – although it was very hazy the day we visited, it’s still spectacular and dramatic – we also saw hang gliders there! Hope you make it back one day, Natasha – those hikes will still be waiting for you down here:D

  • Oh to be young enough to do some to do those hikes now. I have been to some of those places when younger. I loved Lord Howe Island, the Grampians, Fleurieu Peninsula, Magnetic Is and Lawn Hill. My dream is to climb Mt Koscuiszko before I pop my clogs. Two of my favourite walks are Wine Glass bay in Tasmania and Bald Rock near Tenterfield.

    • I’m glad these have brought back some happy memories for you, Diane! But you’re one ahead of me – I didn’t do any hiking in Tassie, so I’m looking forward to doing Wine Glass Bay myself one day! I LOVE Bald Rock, but I only hiked via the cowardly route through the bush, not the straight up and down one! Mt Kosciuszko is long, rather than difficult – but I do remember ‘climbing’ it when I was a child! In those days you could drive nearly to the top, haha!!

  • Wow, spectacular. I’ve done the two Western Macdonnell hikes and Mt William (not Mt Abrupt) in the Grampians. Next year I’m hoping to get to Lord Howe Island.
    Thanks for compiling this list and sharing it. I’ll try and do them all one day. Cheers

    • I hope you enjoy Lord Howe Island as much as I did, Katherine! The main hike is beyond my capabilities – Mt Gower is a 14 km all day guided hike up ~900 metres of exposed ridges and cliffs. If you can do it, it’d be marvellous! But if not, Kim’s Lookout is awesome too! Good luck!!

  • THis is something I have to bookmark for my next hiking adventures in Australia. I love hiking but haven’t done much in Australia. Firstly because I travel solo and while I like hiking on my own I don’t do long ones. Last year I visited the Binna Burra in Queensland and did the Daves Creek Circuit. It’s one of the 24 hiking trails in the Binna Burra Section. Amazing place. I hope to do more hikes in Australia either on my own or in a small group.

    • Most of these will be perfect for you then, Michela! If I can do them, you know they will be not too dangerous or difficult! I have only been to Binna Burra once on a day trip and loved it – we keep planning to go back and stay there, but haven’t yet. If you are looking for group hikes, have you tried the ‘meetup’ platform? There may be a group doing hikes in the area you’re interested in – I haven’t used it myself, but it’s a non-threatening way to meet people and do group activities based on specific interests – like hiking!

  • Nice information about beautiful hiking trails across Australia. What I like the most is that they can all be done in small amount of time like half a day. I will try some of these out when I go to Australia

    • A half day hike like these ones will give you the chance to get out and see some extraordinary sights without committing to a lengthy time or a higher level of fitness. I’m looking forward to seeing which ones you decide on, Neha!

  • Haha. I’m also a slow hiker. My friends get frustrated when they go hiking with me. But, it does not really matter. So long we get to enjoy the beauty of the island and bike at our paces.

  • I haven’t done any of these walks sadly. I must remedy this somehow. I have completed hikes at Kilbarri National Park, The Bungle Bungles and Natmiluk National Park and these were pretty warm. I was just looking at one in the Blue Mountains, west of Sydney. But I would also love to do the Three Capes Walk in Tassie. There are so many, but probably not as “hot” as the ones you have so eloquently highlighted.

    • It was so hard narrowing it down to just 10 ‘hot’ hikes, Kathy – like you, I’ve also hiked at Kalbarri and Natmiluk, but I’ve never been to the Bungle Bungles, and I haven’t done any hikes in Tassie. I could have done the whole post about hikes in the NT – it seems to have more than its fair share of great hikes of this length!

  • Christine McCann

    I’m not a big hiker, so I love that you share your photos of your hikes with us. Here in New England (USA, not Aussie), I think anywhere along the Appalachian Trail or Long Trail in Vermont will be good for views. Christie

    • I’ve seen some stunning photos of the Appalachians Christie – it’d be great to do some hiking there! Although I’m really NOT a hard core hiker, I like a good hiking workout 😀

  • I don’t know why I haven’t been seeing your posts for ages but it’s really good to see your wonderful photos again. You really are the ultimate tourist guide! I can no longer hike (or sit very long at a computer to read blogs) thanks to the (insert nasty word) that is osteo but I have no objection to living vicariously. Thank you.

  • I’m not a hard core hiker either Red. But I am glad to say that I have been on 3 of these hikes – Dales Gorge, which I must say is my favourite gorge walk at Karijini, Keep River in NT, on a stinking hot day even though we arrived early in the morning, and part at least of Ormiston Gorge. Wonderful post as always Red. But, where are the loos with views? LOL Happy travels!

    • Haha, I was going to include some loos, Jill – but hey! It’s a blog post about hiking!! Although now you mention it there is a connection, haha! I suspect it’s always pretty hot at Keep River, and Dales Gorge was my fave too! Let’s talk again when you’ve done all the others 😀

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