New South Wales offers Australia’s most diverse walking tours, covering leisurely coastal treks to challenging mountainous alpine climbs, and everything in between. With so many options, and a variety of National Parks and world class walks to choose from, it’s difficult to know where to start. Try to get a taste of everything on offer with these favourites.
Kosciuszko National Park – Kosciuszko Summit Tour
The Snowy Mountains, Australia’s most expansive alpine region, are equidistant to both Melbourne and Sydney, with the closest major city being Canberra. To ensure you can get off the beaten track at your own pace, hire a car from your landing destination and enjoy the drive south to the largest National Park in New South Wales.
Mount Kosciuszko is Australia’s highest peak, and you’ll want to find the perfect viewing platform on foot. Start your walking journey in the quaint township of Thredbo and join a guided tour that will take you up into the rocky terrain. The Kosciuszko Summit tour takes you on a 13 kilometre round trip to the apex of the Snowies. It’s a moderate to difficult walk at a reasonable pace, and guides allow you time to take in the vast scenery and local flora and fauna. The walks are seasonal, so check the schedule well in advance.
Royal National Park – Bundeena to Little Marley Beach (Coast Walk)
The Royal National Park fits snugly along the NSW central coast between Sydney and Woolongong, making it an easy day trip from the city or even straight from the airport. Drive beyond Sutherland and head towards the beautiful little coastal town of Bundeena. From here, you will embark on a 15 kilometre trek along the cliffs and sandy outcrops of the Coast Walk. The terrain is mostly easy travelling, with some small challenges as the wide tracks give way to creeks and grassland. Indulge in a swim at the tranquil Little Marley Beach, and take a detour on your return trip to Wilkins Viewpoint. The views to Cowan Creek are worth the additional time.
The Great North Walk – Yuelarbah track
Despite its colossal 250 kilometre span, there is ample opportunity to traverse the Great North Walk without breaking records or pitching a tent. Because we’re starting out at the northern end of the track, near Newcastle, you’ll want to bring your car into Teralba. This section covers 25 kilometres, so you’ll need to be well prepared with food, water, and maps. You’ll venture into coastal rainforest, through canopied gullies, and past waterfalls before looking over the stunning Glenrock Lagoon. Have your lunch on Glenrock Beach, or take advantage of the picnic area at Flaggy Creek.
Blue Mountains National Park – Grand Canyon Walk
You’re a long way from Arizona, but you won’t be disappointed by this Grand Canyon. Venture into the sandstone and eucalypt valleys of the Blue Mountains via Blackheath, about an hour and forty minutes from Sydney by car. Your walk begins at Evans Lookout, where you’ll take in the sweeping views across the valley before descending into dense forest, pristine creeks, and past gentle waterfalls. The circuit walk will take about 4 hours all up, though there are opportunities to extend it, and is considered moderate despite several steep inclines. The valleys are cool even in the height of summer, which makes this the perfect place to escape the blazing sun.
Dorrigo National Park – Rosewood Creek Track and Red Cedar Falls
Dorrigo is situated on the northern coast towards Coffs Harbour, making road travel from Sydney a necessity. With the addition of the strenuous, but highly rewarding Red Cedar Falls track, this walk is a difficult three and a half hours through warm-temperate rainforest. You’ll have the opportunity to view stunning flora unique to the region, and to view the park’s highest waterfall from its base among towering cedars. Take some time out by Coachwood Falls before completing the return trip back to Never Never Picnic Ground.
These walks were selected in part because of the multiple walking options on offer from the same locale. If any particular track is deemed too difficult, or not challenging enough, you can raise or lower the bar as you see fit. And if the going gets tough – well, just look around you! Sit back and enjoy the outlook.
Guest post by Marie Gale
Have you done any walks in New South Wales? Let us know your thoughts below…