With seemingly endless opportunities for adventurers, Australia is a country of extremes. From towering mountain ranges and expansive desert plains of the ruggedly unforgiving outback, to the inviting green bushland that nudges up against the coastline of rolling ocean waves endlessly crashing on golden sandy beaches. If you’re ready to experience the diverse beauty of the most inviting peaks of the land down under, here’s 5 of the most epic mountain hiking trails in Australia.
Mount Kosciuszko, Snowy Mountains, NSW
Located in Kosciuszko National Park and standing at an impressive height of 2228m, Mt Kosciuszko is Australia’s highest peak. Combining the Summit Walk and the Main Range Trail, the 21.5km Main Range Circuit features pretty wildflowers, rocky granite outcroppings, and views of the glacial Lake Cootapatamba. Starting at Charlotte Pass, the Main Range Circuit climbs 919m to Carruthers Peak before passing by the beginnings of that legendary waterway made famous by “The Man from Snowy River” by Banjo Paterson. Then with you can expect to have 360-degree views at the summit of Kosciuszko, as there’s nothing else higher in the whole of Australia. Enjoy the highlights provided by the Snowy Mountains before making your descent via Rawson Pass, and then the historic Seaman’s Hut, before making your way back to the trailhead.
Overland Track, Tasmania
Covering 65 kilometres over six days, The Overland Track is a superb trail some great mountain scenery that makes its way from Cradle Mountain all the way to Lake St. Clair through Tasmania’s World Heritage National Parks. While the panoramic views of mountains surrounding the area is particularly good from Mount Oakleigh, challenging side trips to Mount Ossa and Cradle Mountain can provide additional vantage points, and there are many other places you can also admire the sights. There are many different accommodation huts to choose from along the trail but booking in advance is always suggested.
St Mary Peak, South Australia
At a commanding height of 1171m, St Mary Peak is the highest point of South Australia’s sublimely sun-drenched Flinders Ranges which offers a 360-degree panoramic view of salty lakes, saw-toothed ranges, and plains surrounding it. Starting at the Visitor Information Centre for Wilpena Pound, the taking 18km climb provides stunning views from 1.5km shy of the summit as well as the ridge of the peak at Tanderra Saddle.
Mount Feathertop, Victoria
With a nickname like “Queen of the Alps”, you know this will be something special. The most alpine and incredibly striking of all the High Country peaks in Victoria, Mount Feathertop in the Alpine National Park is 1922 metres high which makes it the second-highest mountain in the state. Standing indifferent to the surrounding peaks, Feathertop is connected by a thread-thin ridge called Razorback to Mount Hotham, famous for its excellent ski runs. While the peak is visible from most of your journey, you’ll also enjoy looking out at the high rolling plains to the east and the low valleys to the west.
Mount Sonder, Northern Territory
Known as the “sleeping woman” to the local Aborigines because of its shape, Mount Sonder, is most westerly peak of the West MacDonnell Ranges, marking the end of the long-distance Larapinta Trail. If you want to enjoy the view of sunrise at the peak of Mount Sonder, you’ll need to make your way up the mountain through the darkness in the hours before the dawn. When the sun finally does arrive, it will reveal the shadowy entrance to the Glen Helen Gorge, with Gosses Bluff in the distance, and just to the north-west Mount Zeil standing 1531 metres, the Northern Territory’s highest peak.
Happy Australia Day!