Stretching from sun-scorched desert peaks and tropical hinterland to the rugged and remote South Coast, Australia’s contrasting landscapes are woven with ambitious hikes and well-crafted paths designed to take you deeper into nature.
While one-day walks may scratch the surface of Australia’s beauty, it’s the multi-day trails that peel back the layers — leaving you feeling better connected to the country and yourself.
Whether it’s a two-day traipse through an uninhabited island or two weeks traversing the unforgiving outback; lace up your boots, take a big inhale and dive into one of Australia’s best hikes.
Afterwards, retreat with a sense of achievement to your ultra-luxe accommodation and catch your breath with a cocktail while you slip weary feet into a dreamy lagoon pool. From steamy hot showers to signature plush beds, infinity pools, indulgent spas and all the comforts (without the creatures) – we take you from camping to pampering with our top hotel picks for a post-hike luxury stay.
1. Tasmania: Three Capes Track
Watch nature’s wilds unfold along Tasmania’s most iconic coastal trail, the Three Capes Track — an ambitious four-day circuit that carves through the island’s remote south-east wilderness.
Beginning at the World Heritage-listed Port Arthur site, take a 75-minute cruise to Denmans Cove, past migrating whales (when the season’s right) and dramatic cliffs, before tackling a breathtaking 48-kilometre stretch of challenging terrain. With the roaring Tasman waves in your peripheral, scamper through fragrant eucalypt forest and rocky, wind-whipped headlands, and scale mosaic steps into vast heath blooming with wildflowers. For three evenings, tuck yourself under a blanket of stars at eco-cabins that frame nature’s most favourable angles, and take in the staggering views across plunging escarpments and sparkling bays.
Please note: Reduced access to the Three Capes Track means more stunning landscape to yourself! It also means booking ahead is essential. A valid park pass is required for entry into Tasmania’s National Parks.
Duration: 4 days
Distance: 48 kilometres
Grade: Easy to moderate
Luxe post-walk stay: Moss Hotel, Hobart
Head into Hobart, just a 1.5-hour drive from Port Arthur, and reward your efforts with a luxurious stay at the historic Moss Hotel. Tucked away in a Georgian Warehouse in the heart of Salamanca Place, this boutique hideaway offers myriad post-hike luxuries: think piping hot showers with designer toiletries and a fluffy king bed, all just steps from top restaurants.
Read more: 9 of the Most Romantic Stays in Tasmania
2. Victoria: The Great Ocean Walk
Winding around an epic stretch of Victoria’s iconic Great Ocean Road coastline, The Great Ocean Walk is a salt-licked eight-day trail layered with diverse scenes and iconic landmarks, making it one of Australia’s best hikes.
Beginning in Apollo Bay, divide and conquer juxtaposing sections ranging from easy 3km beach strolls to challenging 16km hikes. Tackle honeycombed rock shelves, swampy lowlands and fern-filled forest across two National Parks — Great Otway and Port Campbell. Inhale the salty breeze alongside rusty shipwrecks, climb the clifftops for sweeping Bass Strait views and keep your eyes peeled for cute fur seal colonies and cuddly koalas tucked in the gum trees. Conclude your hike at the world-famous Twelve Apostles — how many can you count?
Duration: 8 days
Distance: 110 kilometres
Grade: Easy to difficult
Luxe post-walk stay: RACV Torquay Resort
Walk into award-winning comforts with a rewarding stay at RACV Torquay Resort. Voted as one of the top hotels in Australia, this Great Ocean Road escape invites you to explore more of this iconic region in style; wine and dine across three restaurants, soothe sore legs at One Spa or simply enjoy a peaceful nights’ sleep in your plush bed with pillow menu.
3. South Australia: Kangaroo Island Wilderness Trail
Experience Australia’s answer to the Galapagos on the breathtaking Kangaroo Island Wilderness Trail, one of Australia’s best hikes. Swept with unique botanical wonders and striking natural formations, from Admirals Arch to Remarkable Rocks, each step of this five-day trek weaves deeper into unforgiving coastlines and untouched National Park.
From Rocky River to Kelly Hill Caves, explore 61 kilometres of cinematic landscape framed by staggering limestone cliffs, blossoming woodland and shipwrecks stranded on vast arcs of bone-white beach. Encounter nature at every turn; stroll along to the soundscape of elusive birds, spot sunbathing goannas on storm-blasted rocks and keep an eye out for playful seals and bounding kangaroos.
Please note: Walking access to this island paradise is limited, so be sure to book with a licensed tour provider. As well as guaranteeing your chance to experience this breathtaking terrain, your expert guide will provide behind-the-scenes insights into the island’s attractions.
Duration: 5 days
Distance: 61 kilometres
Season: March to November
Luxe post-walk stay: Seafront Kangaroo Island
The striking views don’t need to end when your hike does; flop into one of Seafront Kangaroo Island’s Eco Luxury Tents and enjoy safari-style glamping just 100 metres from the Penneshaw beachfront. Decked out with an ensuite bathroom, cosy queen bed and a private patio, this relaxing retreat promises rewarding vistas with minimal effort.
4. Western Australia: Cape to Cape Track
More than a landscape of cellar doors, gourmet providores and award-winning vineyards, the Margaret River region is home to Western Australia’s impressive Cape to Cape Track — one of Australia’s best hikes.
This breathtaking eight-day trail — set against a backdrop of postcard-perfect shores — takes you along the picturesque clifftops from Cape Naturaliste to Cape Leeuwin. Hike through towering karri forests and billowing rivers to breathtaking coastline met by a collision of expansive beaches and explosive waves. Whether you stay in luxury lodgings or pitch a tent, don’t let the pretty terrain fool you — this 123km trail can prove quite an endurancechallenge,particularly along the long, soft stretches of (gorgeous) sand!
Duration: 8 days
Season: March to May & September to November
Luxe post-walk stay: Pullman Bunker Bay Resort
Kick off your boots and step into award-winning beachfront luxury at Margaret River’s Pullman Bunker Bay Resort. Located moments from Cape Naturaliste’s majestic coastline, this five-star haven invites you to float away the aches and pains in the heated infinity-edge swimming pool or stretch it out with a Saturday yoga class.
5. New South Wales: Solitary Islands Coastal Walk
Linking a string of golden shores and lush rainforest along the Coffs Harbour Coast, the Solitary Islands Coastal Walk is a spectacular trail sandwiched between birdlife-filled reserves and vast sandy beaches.
Stretching south from Red Rock hamlet to the quaint village of Sawtell, this 60-kilometre trail offers an abundance of nature; bring your binoculars and spot white-bellied eagles flocking to the isles and dolphins playing in the surf. Trundle up rocky peaks and draw your eyes to the horizon, keeping an eye out for migrating whales as they breach the waves (May to November). For three evenings, pitch a tent and take in nature from a relaxing campground; paddle feet in a creek, refuel with a BBQ feast and listen to birdsong bounce through swaying gum trees.
Duration: 4 days
Distance: 60 kilometres
Luxe post-walk stay: Charlesworth Bay Beach Resort
Pamper yourself with a post-walk stay at Charlesworth Bay Beach Resort, home to a beautiful collection of studios and villas just minutes from the heart of Coffs Harbour. Located on the impressive Pacific Bay Resort grounds, this laid-back oasis features three swimming pools, multiple tennis courts, a challenging golf course and an indulgent spa.
6. Queensland: Gold Coast Hinterland Great Walk
Exchange the glitz and glam of Cavill Avenue for the Gondwana Rainforests and heritage-listed plateaus on the Gold Coast Hinterland Walk, an immersive three-day trail just two hours south of Brisbane.
Winding through the subtropical canopies of Lamington National Park and Springbrook National Park, this 54-kilometre trail navigates a World heritage-listed landscape shaped by millennia of billowing rivers and rain-fed cascades.
Trace the fern-cloaked rim of an ancient volcano, exploring uplifted sea
Duration: 3 days
Distance: 54 kilometres
Grade: Moderate to difficult Season: March – October
Luxe post-walk stay: The Star Grand Gold Coast
Book in for some well-deserved playtime at The Star Grand on the Gold Coast, a five-star Broadbeach sanctuary that luxuriously juxtaposes your wilderness adventure. Ditch the trail mix and dine in one of the hotel’s high-end restaurants, and kick back with a refreshing cocktail poolside. There’s also a fabulous spa waiting to stretch and soothe those aching legs.
7. Northern Territory: Larapinta Trail
Feeling ambitious? Get set for one of Australia’s best hikes — the Larapinta Trail — a soul-stirring 16-day journey along the rocky spine of Central Australia’s West MacDonnell Ranges.
Beginning in Alice Springs, take the 223-kilometre trek across dusty stretches of sun-blasted granite and over-exposed earth before finding welcome reprieve in refreshing waterholes and shady woodland. Spot rock wallabies and shy echidnas as you traverse craggy ridges and towering ochre escarpments contrasted by graceful ghost gums, then conclude with an unforgettable sunrise summit up Mt Sonder.
With limited road access and a handful of beautifully remote camps, this once-in-a-lifetime trail provides ample opportunity to disconnect from the outside world and engage with Australia’s spiritual heart.
Please note: A once-in-a-lifetime hike, the Larapinta Trail is for experienced walkers. It is best completed with a professional tour provider, who will be able to take the hassle out of organising permits, campsites and equipment essentials, including satellite phones and extensive food supplies.
Distance: 223 kilometres
Season: April — September
Luxe post-walk stay: Sails in the Desert
The three-hour drive back to Alice Springs is worthwhile when you’re welcomed by a mirage of iconic white sail-shaped awnings at Sails in the Desert. Beyond the soothing air-con, gum-fringed swimming pool and signature ‘ahh’ beds offering an idyllic recovery, this five-star oasis provides a wealth of outback experiences to enhance your connection with NT culture.
8. Tropical North Queensland: Thorsborne Trail
Tucked away in the Great Barrier Reef, off the coast of Townsville and Cairns, Hinchinbrook Island is an uninhabited eco-paradise with a modern-day Jurassic landscape – minus the dinosaurs!
Set against a backdrop of cloud-covered mountains, swampy eucalypt forest and secluded bays, the Thorsborne Trail, one of Australia’s best hikes, carves through 32 kilometres of the island’s pristine east coast.
Hop on a ferry from Lucinda or Cardwell and cruise through waters home to green turtles and cute dugongs before scrambling along the adventurous two-day trail. Navigate challenging paths, plunge into secret waterfalls and encounter dreamy views at every turn. Camp on a beach and wake to lapping waves; with limited permits available – you’ll barely see another soul.
Please note: To ensure the rugged beauty of Hinchinbrook Island, a limited number of permits are available. Be sure to book well in advance or choose to get more out of your experience by travelling with a licensed tour group.
Duration: 2 days
Season: April — September
Luxe post-walk stay: Castaways Resort & Spa Mission Beach
Wash away the trail in a powerful shower, recover with a relaxing massage or slip into the sun-drenched pool with a cocktail; it’s all possible at Castaways Resort & Spa. Book yourself in for a few days of tropical bliss at this beachfront haven or keep the adrenaline flowing with myriad extreme sports at your fingertips, from skydiving to white-water rafting.