Relaxing and unwinding used to be the reason for taking a holiday, however it seems Aussies have a new reason to travel – Walking. Walking is the single most popular physical activity for adults (43 per cent)* so it makes sense that Aussies are now going on ‘fitcations’ instead of holidays. Whether you love the idea of a fully navigated walk (much more like a hike), or prefer a leisurely stroll by the beach, there’s no denying that walking is the new must-do activity when it comes to exploring a new city. Below is a list of Australia’s most famous walks, along with some lesser known, suiting all ranges of fitness levels.
MANLY TO SPIT BRIDGE, SYDNEY
With a mix of bushland and spectacular harbourside trails, the Manly to Spit Bridge Coastal Walk holds some of the best scenery Sydney has to offer. The 10km walk takes around 3-4 hours depending on your desired pace and fitness level, and can start with a scenic ferry ride from the CBD to Manly Beach. There are plenty of vantage points to stop at, including historic sites such as the Grotto Point Lighthouse.
BUNDEENA TO OTFORD
The Coast track between Bundeena and Otford is an ambitious two-day hike offering stunning coastal lookouts, whale watching and secluded swimming spots. Located south of Sydney in the Royal National Park, the hike stretches 26km one way, with several campsites along the way. Suited to the more experienced hiker, this trek holds the best of New South Wales’ natural beauty.
BONDI TO BRONTE, SYDNEY
Arguably Sydney’s favourite walk, Bondi to Bronte is a famous trek loved by Sydneysiders and travellers alike. Winding past Tamarama and Mackenzies Bay, the Bondi to Bronte stretches for four kilometres and offers breathtaking coastal views with plenty of opportunity to swim, eat or simply take in the views. For those wanting more, the route can be extended along another 3km of coastline down to Coogee.
WHERE TO STAY: QT BONDI
Just a stone’s throw from one of the most famous beaches in the world, Bondi Beach, QT Bondi offers gorgeous views of Bondi and beyond. Take in the picturesque stunning Australian coastline with a walk from Bondi to Bronte or find your balance with a sunrise yoga class at Bondi Icebergs Yoga by the Sea. Relax with sunset drinks gazing across Bondi Beach at The Bucket List and on Sundays, check out the Bondi Markets from 10am to 4pm, for clothing, jewellery and retro homewares.
*Bondi Beach image via @herwanderingeyes
MORIALTA CONSERVATION PARK, ADELAIDE
The Morialta Conservation Park has long been a haven for hikers, with its long, cool gorges and tumbling waterfalls. The park is also a haven for rockclimbers, with steel rings left dangling from many of the rock faces making the task easily accessible. Green thumbs and bird watchers also flock to Morialta, due to its hundreds of species of flowers and birds. Situated only 10 kilometres north-east of Adelaide, Morialta Conservation Park is a must-do when in Adelaide.
WATERFALL GULLY, MOUNT LOFTY
Beginning just southeast of the Adelaide CBD, the 4km Waterfall Gully to Mt Lofty hike is a favourite amongst locals and tourists. At 3 hours return, through lush bushland with cafes at either end, the trail is steep and best suited for more experienced hikers.
HORSNELL GULLY VALLEY WALK
Less than an hour east of the Adelaide CBD, the Horsnell Gully and Giles Conservation Park Hike winds through 8.7km of beautiful, green bushland, containing the Giles ruins, and most notably, lots of elusive koalas up in the trees.
WHERE TO STAY: ADINA APARTMENT HOTEL ADELAIDE TREASURY
The beautifully restored Adina Apartment Hotel Adelaide Treasury is centrally located in Adelaide’s vibrant CBD. The serviced apartment style hotel holds a prominent position on Victoria Square and is one of Australia’s most historically important buildings.
CIRCUIT WALK WERRIBEE GORGE, MELBOURNE
The Werribee Gorge Circuit is a 9km hike northwest of the Melbourne CBD. With a duration of around four hours, the hike is better suited to people with higher fitness levels. A challenging trek, the Werribee Gorge Circuit boasts stunning scenery and a sense of adventure for the experienced hiker.
POUND BEND RIVER WALK
Located north-east of Melbourne’s CBD, the Pound Bend River Walk is a 3km circuit suitable for all fitness levels. Beginning at the Pound Bend Tunnel, created back in 1870 by the Evelyn Tunnel Gold Mining Company, the trail winds along the river, providing beautiful scenery and plentiful birdlife.
STEAVENSON FALLS TRAIL MARYSVILLE
Steavenson Falls Trail is situated in Marysville, about 2 hours outside of Melbourne CBD. Tucked away in the forested foothills of Victoria’s Great Dividing Range, Marysville has long been a favourite getaway destination thanks to its tranquil riverside location, culinary delights, wonderful scenery and outdoor adventures. An easy stroll to one of Victoria’s highest waterfalls, the Steavenson trail has been open to tourists since 1866. The gravelled path and falls are floodlit between dusk and midnight, offering walkers the opportunity to take in the trail for more hours of the day.
WHERE TO STAY: VIBE MARYSVILLE
Vibe Marysville opened its doors in February 2016, encouraging guests to connect with the local area. Vibe Hotel Marysville is a pet friendly hotel, offering Woodland rooms on the ground floor that are decked out with dog beds, food and drink bowls, as well as chewable toys. What’s more, the hotel is also surrounded by scenic dog walking tracks and wide-open spaces so you and your pet can enjoy the great outdoors.
*Image via Hiking Fiasco.
LITCHFIELD NATIONAL PARK, DARWIN
Just over an hour outside of Darwin lies Litchfield National Park, a truly beautiful destination that’s sprinkled with tropical waterfalls and fresh swimming holes. Litchfield National Park is approximately 130kms southwest of Darwin, near the town of Batchelor. It’s known for its intriguing magnetic termite mounds and historical sites.
WHERE TO STAY: ADINA APARTMENT HOTEL WATERFRONT DARWIN
Experience waterfront living at its best in a fully-equipped and serviced Darwin apartment hotel; whether you are staying in a premier studio or a one bedroom apartment, you’ll find yourself immersed in stylish surroundings with all the comforts of home. Your stay here will see you enjoying your own private apartment while still being close to the Esplanade, Bicentennial Park, Larrakeyah, Stuart Park and Darwin’s CBD. The Darwin Waterfront Precinct is the newest and most trendy part of Darwin, and a great place for a short or long term stay in a hotel, or simply to shop, eat, and have fun.
*Image via Booking.com