Victoria

Australia's smallest mainland state covers just 3 of the country but it is the proverbial good thing in a small package. Whatever your walking mood, Victoria will almost certainly cater to it alpine experiences, razorback ridges, peachy-postcard beaches, moody cliffs and forests both thick and thin. You can camp alone on alpine summits or you can snuggle into the freshly pressed bed sheets of a B& B at the end of a day. About the only thing you can't do is suggest that Victoria lacks a...

Heart Of The Budawangs

Start Finish Wog Wog picnic area Nearest Towns Ulladulla (opposte) Transport private Summary An extremely varied walk among some of Austral ia's most spectacu lar sandstone escarpment country. Monolith Valley, The Castle and Mt Owen are highlights, but there is much else to see besides. (the first to the right, the second on the left). Continue along the top of the next rise and descend to cross a saddle, before climbing again, heading in a southerly direction. Continue to follow the track...

Lerderderg Gorge

Across the highway from Werribee Gorge (pl30), Lerderderg is deeper and longer and offers a more committing gorge walk. Beginning at O'Briens Crossing camping ground, the way is obvious (follow the bed of the Lerderderg River) even if the going is not at times over the three days you will be bush-bashing through the vegetated river bed. There are no designated camp sites but there are some beautiful small beaches on which to roll out your mat. Ending at Mac-kenzies Flat picnic ground, you will...

Hours km

From the day-visitor car park (as popular with emus as people), begin east along the 4WD track. You can stay with the track as it makes a series of fords along Mambray Creek, or you can avoid the fords by following a couple of alternative walking trails. The route is through a wooded floodplain where euros are plentiful and kookaburras and galahs provide the entertainment. After 45 minutes you reach a water tank at the junction of Mambray and Alligator Creeks. Turn left off the 4WD track, cross...

Dutchmans Stern

A prominent bluff 10km west of Quorn, named for its resemblance to an early Dutch sailing ship, the Dutchmans Stern's most striking feature is its quartzite escarpments. A half-day, 10.5km walk heads through she-oaks and sugar gums, and past the escarpments, to views that include Wilpena Pound and Mt Remarkable. You can rent out the old homestead (Sun-Thu 70, Fri & Sat 80) at the foot of the bluff it sleeps up to 15 people. Landsmap's 1 50,000 topographic map Port Augusta covers the walk....

The Walk

Day 1 Thurra River Camping Ground to Gale Hill Camp Site Follow the dirt road from the camping ground east, take a right turn at the fork and head out to the beach via several other camp sites. Head east along the beach and you will soon come to the outflow of the Thurra River. This crossing is usually a fairly straightforward wade, though heavy rains can increase the flow considerably. Occasionally, the flow will be blocked altogether by a sandbar. Continue east along the beach for 1.5km to...

Day Aroona Valley to Yanyanna

Head east from the camping ground on a 4WD track, climbing into the ABC Range. It is a gentle ascent mostly, though there is a steep pinch after about 800m. The track descends east from here to reach a junction with a walking trail. Take this path southeast (the 4WD track continues straight on for 1.8km to Red Hill Lookout, which has carbon-copy views to that ahead at Brachina Lookout). Cross a wide creek, then begin a sustained climb into the Brachina Formation. After 10 minutes you reach...

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Start at the stairs to the right (west) of the kiosk. Descend to the first junction (of three tracks) and go right, following the Katoomba Falls Track. Follow to the Round Walk junction and go left, following signs to the Furber Steps these wind past several lookouts (from the Queen Victoria lookout there are great views of Mt Solitary and the tourist-magnet sandstone pillars, Three Sisters) and sidetracks, under sandstone shelves and through damp forest to the Federal Pass Track. Turn right...

Hinchinbrook Island

Hinchinbrook is a huge 35km-long island wilderness in the state's tropical north. It's Australia's largest (and by far Queensland's most rugged) island national park. Crossing Hinchinbrook Channel's sea-grass beds you're confronted by huge granite mountains. These hulking sentinels of the wilderness watch over the island -from fragile mangrove forests on its western shores, to sandy palm-lined beaches, sweeping bays and rugged headlands on its east coast. After completing the Thors-borne Trail,...

Grampians National Park

The Grampians are a series of mountain ranges clustered together to form one of Victoria's most outstanding natural features, with sandstone escarpments that rise above the Wimmera Plain like petrified waves. Cradled inside is a host of wildlife, rock art, waterfalls, fantastic rock formations, wildflowers and myriad bushwalking opportunities along more than 150km of tracks. In January 2006 a lightning strike on Mt Lubra, 15km south of Halls Gap, started a bushfire that burned around 130,000...

More Walks

HOBART REGION & THE SOUTHEAST Labillardiere Peninsula Quiet and rural Bruny Island is just one hour's drive and 20 minutes by ferry from Hobart. As well as having some beautiful white-sand beaches, penguin colonies and bush-clad hills, the southern coastline of the island has been incorporated into South Bruny National Park. The best walking in the park follows good tracks round the Labillardiere Peninsula, giving fine coastal views. This easy-to-medium circuit starts at the Jetty Beach...

Coolamine Homestead

The isolated mountain property of Coolamine Homestead dates from 1839 when a Canberra pioneer, Sir Terence Murray, stumbled upon the lush grasslands of Cooleman Plain and wasted no time in staking his claim. He built a slab hut and named the property Coolalamine Station, although it was soon known by its present name, Coolamine. Over time a collection of buildings were added using building practices of the time, including horse hair for roof insulation and newspaper as lining for the internal...

Wragges Observatory

Something always close to a walker's heart is the weather. It's interesting, then, to ponder that many years ago Australia's highest building was a weather observatory on the summit of Mt Kosciuszko. When Clement Wragge, a government meteorologist, began recording weather data here, little did he know what he was letting himself in for. Initially a collection of tents, 'Wragge's Observatory' suffered from buffeting by incessant winds. One tent and much of the measuring equipment it housed ended...

West Macdonnell National Park

Encompassing an unbroken section of the MacDonnell Ranges from the Stuart Hwy just north of Alice Springs to Mt Zeil, 170km to the west, this outstanding park protects 1333 sq km of varied arid habitats. Jagged, sparsely vegetated ridges, deep gorges, spinifex plains, dry creeks and permanent, tree-lined waterholes afford a ruggedly beautiful setting. Tourism is concentrated at 10 small 'sights', where it is easy to lose the crowds on short trails or launch onto the superb Larapinta Trail (see...

Nearest Town Porongurup

Surrounded by both wilderness and wineries, there is a lot to like about tiny Porongurup, even if there isn't much here. The Porongurup Range Tourist Park ( 9853 1057 Porongurup Rd unpowered powered sites for 2 18 20, abins 55 6)) is large, attractive and grassy, with new owners planning to add a few motel-style units. Porongurup Village Inn ( 9853 1110 www .porongurupinn.com.au Porongurup Rd s d with shared bathroom 25 50, unit 80 (B)) is attached to the general store and was refurbished in...

Melbourne Region

The High Country, Grampians and Wilsons Promontory may be Victoria's walking diamonds, but you don't need to go far from Melbourne to find a few fantastic walking options. Within 100km of the city you will find a beach that can only be accessed by walkers, a deep, rugged gorge and a knifepoint range more akin to something in the Victorian Alps. Public transport links to walking destinations around the city are not great so you had best plan on driving. If you are driving west from Melbourne...

Queensland

It's sunny, warm and the only state where more people want to come than want to leave It's the 'Sunshine State' - Australia's great escape and a powerful magnet for southerners creeping northward for less complicated lifestyles and sun-drenched holidays. Five regions in Queensland are World Heritage-listed and three of them can be explored through walks that are featured in this chapter. Australia's Great Dividing Range begins amid the Wet Tropics region in the far north and here lies...

Access Town Albany

Set on large King George Sound, Albany is WA's oldest settlement. When the sun comes out, the action moves east to the suburb of Middleton Beach. Within 120km of the Stirling and Porongurup Ranges and Walpole, it is a feasible base for all south-coast walks. Albany Map Centre 9841 1179 126 York St A small collection of walking maps. Albany visitor information centre 1800 644 088 www.albanytourist.com.au Proud love Pde Beside a If a day of walking out and about around Albany has you tired,...

Kakadu National Park

Auslig 000 Hillock Point

Kakadu National Park is one of Australia's greatest national assets. At almost 20,000 sq km it is the largest park in Australia, protecting a spectacular tropical ecosystem as well as an important concentration of Aboriginal rock art. Kakadu is more than a nature reserve it is an acknowledgement of the traditional Aboriginal custodians and a leading example of the approach that combines the cultural interests of traditional owners with nature conservation. In 1992 the entire park attained World...

Nitmiluk National Park

Originally called Katherine Gorge National Park, the area was renamed Nitmiluk meaning 'Cicada Place' in 1989 when the Jawoyn Aboriginal people gained title to the land. They now jointly manage the park with the PWS. Nitmiluk is a popular park, with the 13 sandstone sections of Katherine Gorge and the beautiful Leliyn Edith Falls its main attractions. A series of walks, some overnight, lead to various points along Katherine Gorge - which is perfect for exploring by canoe - and there is also a...

Bungonia Gorge

Start Finish David Reid car park Nearest Town Goulburn right Transport private Summary A fascinating walkthrough spectacular limestone gorge country, with some pretty camp sites along the banks of the Shoalhaven River. There are numerous opportunities for swimming in the heat of summer, in Bungonia Creek and the Shoalhaven River. 13 22 51 and Fearnes 1800 029 918 stop in Goulburn. Trains between Sydney and Melbourne also stop here daily. The oneway fare from Canberra is 9 and from Sydney 23...

Lincoln National Park Investigator Trail

A place of quiet coves, sheltered beaches and sheer cliffs, Lincoln National Park, 20km south of Port Lincoln, is also the location of one of South Australia's few viable longdistance trails. The Investigator Trail, named after Matthew Flinders' boat, winds 93km through the park, making a figure-eight loop that includes Pillie Lake, Cape Don-ington and Taylors Landing. Allow about five days. Information can be obtained at the Port Lincoln DEH office 8688 3111 or visitor information centre 1300...

Day Wilpena Pound Resort to Cooinda Camp via Edeowie Gorge

Saint Mary Peak Australia

From the bushwalkers' register beside the store begin along the bank of Wilpena Creek. Cross the creek at the second bridge look out for a giant, hollowed river red gum on your right , then turn left, walk 100m and turn right. Follow the 'St Mary Peak Outside Trail' posts through open woodland to a junction where the Heysen Trail peels away right into the camping ground. Continue straight ahead as the path undulates northwest, crisscrossed by dry gullies and kangaroo trails. You get your first...

Snakes

Australian snakes have a fearful reputation that is justified in terms of the potency of their venom, but unjustified in terms of the actual risk to walkers. Snakes are usually quite timid and, in most instances, will move away if disturbed. They have only small fangs, making it easy to prevent bites to the lower limbs where 80 of bites occur by wearing protective clothing such as gaiters when walking. In all cases of confirmed or suspected bites, preventing the spread of toxic venom can be...

Hours km m descent

Go east from Kanangra Walls car park, past the locked gate and continue along the track. About 300m along is the first of two junctions about 50m apart for the plateau walk leading to Kanangra Walls. Before taking the turn, go on 150m to Echo Head and Kanangra Walls lookout for an inspiring view of the soaring cliffs and plunging gorge that define the area. Return to the first track junction and set off left downhill, past some sedimentary cliffs and, just before the track rises, the turn to...

Sleeping Eating

Abel Tasman Caravan Park 6427 8794 6 Wright St unpowered powered sites 17 23, on-site vans cabins 45 95 offers very clean amenities and a good beachfront location in East Devonport, just five minutes' walk from the ferry terminal. Tasman House 6423 2335 www.tasmanhouse .com 114 Tasman St dm 15, d without with bathroom 35 40 is a large hostel with good facilities, 20 minutes' walk from town or you can arrange transport when booking . The building was once part of Devonport hospital and looks it....

Ksciuszk National Park Kit Jagungal Circuit

A popular and scenic southern route to Mt Jagungal, over five to six days, starts at Guthega Power Station - about 37km from Jindabyne along the Kosciuszko and Island Bend Rds . The route heads north up the Munyang River valley and heads past Schlink Pass and Valentines Hut to climb the prominent summit of Mt Jagungal 2061m . The return route crosses the heads of the Geehi and Valentine Rivers to Mawsons Hut, then traverses the Kerries -some of the most picturesque walking in the Australian...

Mutawintji National Park Homestead Gorge Trail

People visit Mutawintji, in far western NSW near Broken Hill, and come away changed. The park covers much of the Byngango Range and the lands around Mt Wright Creek. Custodians of these lands are the Malyankapa and Pandjikali Aboriginal people. The park was returned to its traditional owners in 1998. The land, waterways and resident plants and animals are associated with Dreaming stories and a cultural heritage that survives to the present day. Mutawintji visitors usually go with Aboriginal...

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Popes Glen And Braeside Tracks

In warm weather, an early start to climb the Docker Buttress - one of the steepest ways out of the Grose Valley - is recommended. From Blue Gum Forest, take the left-hand route up the hill, which starts climbing sharply almost immediately. The track straight ahead eventually leads to Victoria Falls, 12km northwest - an alternative way out of the valley, if you've arranged transport to meet you at Victoria Falls Rd. There are a few short flat sections between the uphill slogs, which get steeper...

Great Ocean Road

French Narrows Coastal Reserve

The aptly named Great Ocean Road, stretching between Torquay and Warrnambool, is the popular choice as Australia's most scenic drive. With two very different stretches of coast divided by the death throes of the Otway Ranges, it attracts motorists in herds, but there are a number of walking trails delightfully removed from the heavy tread of this holiday migration. We have chosen the two prime coastal walks in the region - the Surf Coast Walk and the Great Ocean Walk. For a taste of the damp...

Adelaide Region

Completed in 2003, the Yurrebilla Trail provides Adelaide with an asset possessed by few other major cities a multiday walking track on its very doorstep. As you wander through Waite Conservation Reserve on Day 2 of this walk you will be just 10km from the city, yet you are more likely to see kangaroos than people. The trail traces the line of the Mt Lofty Ranges - the bump in the ironed shirt of Adelaide - linking seven national and conservation parks, including arguably Adelaide's greatest...

Lamingtn National Park

Chiminya Falls Binna Burra

Lamington's rainforest-clad slopes form part of the Scenic Rim, a chain of mountains encircling Queensland's most populated and accessible areas - Brisbane and the Gold Coast. Lamington, like most of the rim, is World Heritage-listed and protects one of the world's largest stands of subtropical rainforest. With most of these forests falling to the logger's axe, it's quite the privilege to be able to explore this ancient landscape. Lamington is all about walking, smelling, seeing, hearing and...

Yurrebillas Accommodation Curse

When the Yurrebilla Trail opened in September 2003, it seemed a masterly piece of accommodation planning. On the first day you walked 17.5km to Eagle on the Hill Hotel for a bed with a view. Day 2 was an easy 16km into any one of three B amp Bs in ever-so-cute Norton Summit, leaving a neat 20.5km to conclude the trail on Day 3. Within two years, Eagle on the Hill Hotel and all three Norton Summit B amp Bs had closed. Suddenly, the user-friendly Yurrebilla Trail was as much an exercise in...