1. Overland Track in Lake St Clair-Cradle Mountain National Park, Tasmania
This long-distance hike is one of Australia’s epic bush walks. It connects the national park’s two major attractions: Lake St Clair and Cradle Mountain. The trail is about forty miles long (65 km) and takes five to six days to complete. It is a hike for true adventurers, as there are no facilities – except for basic campgrounds – on the trail. It is up to you to carry enough food, water and other supplies to get you to the end.
2. St Mary Peak Hike in Flinders Ranges National Park, South Australia
A quite challenging, but very rewarding hike is the St Mary Peak Hike. This loop takes you up the slopes of the red-colored mountain ranges, over saddles and all the way to the summit of the national park’s tallest mountain peak. Some sections of the hike are quite difficult and involve rock hopping and scrambling, but once you see the views from the top you will forget about all of that.
The loop trail begins at the visitor center in Wilpena Pound – there’s a great campground as well – and takes little more than nine hours to complete. It is suggested to leave before 10am at the latest, preferably even before 9am. Also do not forget to take sufficient amounts of water and food.
3. Wilsons Promontory Circuit Trail in Wilsons Promontory National Park, Victoria
This three-day hike starts in Tidal River, the national park’s only town and base for all kinds of activities. It will take you past swamps, green fields, forests and hidden coves. Refuge Cove is where you should camp on your first night; its waters are fantastic for swimming and snorkeling. Continue towards Waterloo Bay, where you can camp in the dunes and hike to the Wilsons Promontory lighthouse. This remote place is only accessible by boat or on foot. The loop then turns back towards Tidal River and across sandy dunes and past Mt Oberon – if you can, climb to the summit for some great views.
4. Hazards Beach Circuit in Freycinet National Park, Tasmania
Wineglass Bay is arguably one of the most beautiful beaches and bays in the entire world. The Hazards Beach Circuit starts at the car park in Freycinet National Park. The first challenge of this hike is the Hazards, which are a bunch of granite outcrops. From the saddle between Mt Mayson and Mt Amos you have an amazing view Wineglass Bay down below.
When you have descended down the Hazards and have arrived at Wineglass Bay’s beach, you continue your hike across the isthmus towards Hazards Beach. This part of the trail is narrow, but flat and comfortable. You will continue on the beach for a bit, after which a superb three-mile walk alongside the coastline and the base of Mt Mayson takes you back to your car. Definitely count on at least five hour to finish this gorgeous hike.
5. Mount Stapylton in Grampians National Park, Victoria
This three-mile return walk to the summit of Mt Stapylton starts at the picnic area at Mt Zero and can be quite strenuous at times. Some sections are quite steep. There are also a few water crossings and the slopes get slippery in rainy weather. It takes about three hours to complete this hike; this includes some time at the summit. Highlights of this hike are Taipan Wall, Flat Rock and a natural amphitheater.