- Blue Mountains (NSW): Many bushwalks in the Blue Mountains National Park offer awesome views of valleys, waterfalls, cliffs, and forest. All are easy to reach from Sydney.
- Whitsunday Islands (QLD): Most people think of snorkeling and watersports when they come to these subtropical national-park islands clad in dense rainforest and bush, but every resort island in this chain that we recommend has hiking trails. Some are flat, some hilly. Wallabies and butterflies are common sights. South Molle has the best network of trails and 360-degree island views from its peak. The new Ngaro Sea Trail also allows active travelers to combine kayaking sea routes with walks on Hook, Whitsunday, and South Molle islands.
- Lamington National Park (QLD): Few other national parks in Australia have such a well-marked network of trails (160km/99 miles in all) as this one, just 90 minutes from the Gold Coast. Revel in dense subtropical rainforest, marvel at mossy 2,000-year-old Antarctic beech trees, delight in the prolific wallabies and birds, and soak up the cool mountain air.
- Larapinta Trail (NT): You can start from Alice Springs in the Red Centre and walk the entire 250km (155-mile) semidesert trail, which winds through the stark crimson McDonnell Ranges. You don't have to walk the entire length -- plenty of day-length and multiday sections are possible. This one's for the cooler months only (Apr-Oct).
- Kakadu National Park (NT): Whether a wetlands stroll or an overnight hike in virgin bushland, you can find it in this World Heritage-listed park. You'll see red cliffs, cycads, waterfalls, lily-filled lagoons hiding man-eating crocodiles, what sometimes looks like Australia's entire bird population, and Aboriginal rock art.
- The Bibbulmun Track (WA): Australia's answer to the great Appalachian Trail, the Bibbulmun weaves its way through almost 1,000km (625 miles) of some of WA's finest scenery. It starts in the hills outside Perth and then swirls through granite mountains and jarrah forests, south to the great karri forests of the southwest, and then along the dramatic south coast before reaching WA's oldest town, Albany. The walk can be done in bits, connecting where it crosses major roads, or in much longer stretches, utilizing the many timber shelters built 1 day's walking apart. There are also "Walking Break" packages, based on the towns through which the track passes.
- Cape-to-Cape (WA): Rugged sea cliffs, a china-blue sea, eucalyptus forest, white beaches, and coastal heath are what you will find as you hike between Cape Naturaliste and Cape Leeuwin, in the southwest corner of Western Australia. In season, you'll see whales and wildflowers.
- The Great Ocean Walk (VIC): This 91km (56-mile) trail from Apollo Bay to Glenample Homestead (near the Twelve Apostles) on Victoria's Great Ocean Road is designed so walkers can step on and step off at a number of places, completing short walks of around 2 hours, or day or overnight hikes. And the views are to die for.
- Freycinet National Park (TAS): The trek to Wine Glass Bay passes pink-granite outcrops, with views over an ocean sliced by a crescent of icy sand. It's prehistorically beautiful.
- Cradle Mountain & Lake St. Clair National Park (TAS): The 80km (50-mile) Overland Track is the best hike in Australia. The trek, from Cradle Mountain to Lake St. Clair, takes 5 to 10 days, depending on your fitness level. Shorter walks, some lasting just half an hour, are also accessible.
- Maria Island (TAS): Whether you take a 4-day guided walk or a day trip by ferry, Maria Island National Park has it all: abundant wildlife, convict ruins, untouched sandy beaches, mountains, and fossil cliffs. The park covers 11,550 hectares (28,541 acres), including 1,878 hectares (4,641 acres) of marine reserve and the 7.4-hectare (18-acre) Ile des Phoques.
Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.