9 Thru-hikes to Explore in Australia and New Zealand

1. Bibbulmun Track

The Bibbulmun Track is one the best hikes to explore in Australia. The Bibbulmun Track showcases ancient old growth karri forests, tingle trees, wildflowers, and stunning coastal scenery. A long distance hike that passes through small country towns and peaceful forests, there are well placed shelters with water tanks each night, and tiny birds that sound like bells will wake you up each morning. A journey for the soul not to be missed; just keep watch for snakes!

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2. Cape to Cape Track

A wild, uninhabited coast line with majestic forests, cliffs, caves, headlands and rocky formations awaits the Cape to Cape hiker. The white sandy beaches, beautiful spring wildflowers, Karri forests, rocky beach side ledges, and thundering surf mean this walk is always fun and interesting! The route meanders along the whole length of the Leeuwin-Naturaliste Ridge, which forms the backbone of the Leeuwin-Naturaliste National Park between the lighthouses of Cape Naturaliste and Cape Leeuwin in the far south west of Western Australia.

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3. George Bass Coastal Walk

Named after the renowned maritime explorer, George Bass (a man hardly known for walking), this is a wonderful walk along clifftops and sandy beaches. Popular among locals, the expansive views of the cliffs, headlands, and the wild Bass Straight oceans are well worth it.

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View of canyon walls along the Larapinta trail. One of the great places to explore in Australia.

4. Larapinta Trail

The Larapinta Trail travels 223 km (140 mi) through the heart of Central Australia. This is a very popular trail to explore in Australia. This trail covers some of the most spectacular ranges and gorges within the vast Australian outback desert. The deep red gorges and cool waterholes offer an oasis in a very hot and arid land. On the rugged rocky ridges, you can see all the way to far off ranges without any sign of human development.

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5. Overland Track

The Overland Track is Tasmania’s iconic hike, located in a World Heritage Area. Hikers will start at beautiful Dove Lake and travel through towering mountains, spectacular views, alpine lakes and plains, magnificent forests, and clear rivers. The rugged and remote Mersey River Gorge and Pine Forest Moor will provide you with a wonderful sense of being in the wilderness. A side trip to Tasmania’s highest peak, Mount Ossa (1617m), will provide 360 degree views across to Frenchman’s Cap and beyond.

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6. Te Araroa

Te Araroa is New Zealand’s premier long-distance hiking trail, stretching 3000 km (1860 mi) across the country’s two main islands. The trail travels from Cape Reinga on the North Island to Bluff on the South Island, passing through 9 distinct regions on its way. The trail offers spectacular views of all the amazing landscapes that New Zealand has to offer, from bustling cities to towering volcanoes. Te Araroa is truly an experience of all aspects of New Zealand – historic, cultural, and natural. From ocean beaches to deep forests, the trail is perfect for thru-hiking, backpacking, section-hiking, and day-hiking.

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Spectacular ocean views along the Three Capes Track

7. Three Capes Track

The Three Capes Track is a cliff hugging hike in the wilds of Tasmania. The amazing, ancient dolerite cliffs of Cape Pillar, Cape Hauy, and Cape Raoul drop 300 meters directly to the ocean, making them the tallest sea cliffs in the southern hemisphere. This is a hut hike and allows only 48 hikers each day. Hikers start and finish their journey at the World Heritage-listed Port Arthur Historic Site. Hikers might even see migratory whales, dolphins, and resident fur seal populations. The hike takes you through woodlands, ferny forests, and coastal areas.

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8. Walk the Yorke

Get away from it all. Walk long stretches of coast with no one else in sight; walk on tracks and quiet country roads next to spectacular coastlines and cliffs. Walk the Yorke starts in the historic copper mining town of Moonta and ends in Port Wakefield. The hike hugs the coast for almost all of the journey around the Peninsula. The remote trail showcases views of the St. Vincent Gulf, the saltbush plains beside the Yorke Highway, quiet country roads, and spectacular coastlines. Expect fabulous scenery, not many people, and delicious fish and chips. This walk suits the hiker who enjoys peace and the sound of the sea.

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9. Wilson’s Promontory Grand Circuit

Hike the Prom, one of the best loved hikes in Australia. Follow the coast, with its turquoise blue beaches, ferny glades, and huge granite boulders covered in orange lichens, to the southernmost point of the Australian Mainland. With 53 km of good track hiking, this walk has a lot to offer. The campsites are shady, and most are set close to beautiful sandy beaches. For a unique overnight accommodation, spoil yourself at the historic lighthouse which can only be reached by foot. Enjoy seeing wildlife such as wombats, wallabies, possums and a mix of interesting reptiles.

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