[Photo – The Larapinta Trail, NT. Courtesy Tourism NT.]
Scattered across our continent are diverse wild areas ranging from picturesque, pocket-sized parks to whole regions, vast swathes of land encompassing islands, deserts, plateaus and ranges.
Some are refuges of wilderness, seeming unchanged from the days of Dreamtime, while others are closer to our urban habitat. No matter the shade of wild, the Australian bush has a common trait; it’s still a place you can feel as if you’re discovering for the first time, even when following a well-worn track.
A ‘best of’ list is always subjective, leaving out as much as it includes. Add to this the fact that completing the walks on this list alone would take almost four months, and it gets a lot more complicated! To whittle down the choices, we enlisted the help of the Australian bushwalking knowledge base, a gang of five guidebook authors; John Chapman, John and Lyn Daly, Glenn Tempest and John Siseman, and outback bard Quentin Chester.
1. Larapinta Trail, NT
- Location: West MacDonnell Range, Northern Territory
- Length: 16–20 days (including rest days)
- Distance: 223 km
- Difficulty: Hard
- Access: One-way walk; good road access along track, including at ends
- Info: Walking during the cooler months, from April–September, is recommended. Food drops required.
2. Thorsborne Trail, QLD
- Location: Hinchinbrook Island, Far North Queensland
- Length: 4–5 days
- Distance: 32 km
- Difficulty: Moderate
- Access: One-way; boat transport required at both ends
- Info: Walking during the cooler months, from April–September, recommended Permits required; need to be booked well in advance.