15 epic hikes in Australia and New Zealand amongst volcanoes, rainforests and extra

Mesmerizing waterfalls, lively volcanoes, gorgeous coasts: Australia and New Zealand are an adventurer’s playground. 

Lonely Planet’s new e-book, Epic Hikes of Australia and New Zealand, celebrates the area as one of many world’s finest climbing locations. The brand new guidebook options the huge number of terrain, local weather and panorama that may be present in each nations. Listed below are some highlights that can encourage you to go the space down underneath.

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Mount Taranaki is New Zealand’s most summited peak © jon alkain / Shutterstock

Mt Taranaki: North Island, New Zealand

Begin/End: Taranaki/Egmont Nationwide Park Customer Centre
Distance: 12.6km (8 miles)
Length: 8-10hr

The westernmost of the volcanoes that run like a studded belt throughout the North Island, Mt Taranaki is ribbed with trails, nevertheless it’s the summit (or very close to to it – the summit space is sacred to Māori and hikers are requested to not stand proper on its prime) that’s the 2518m (8261ft) mountain’s true siren, with Taranaki mentioned to be New Zealand’s most climbed peak. This easy reality masks the problem of this lengthy day within the boots. From the park customer heart, it’s a climb of virtually 1600m (5249ft) to the highest of the volcano, which hasn’t erupted since 1854. The going is steep – there’s a bit referred to as ‘The Puffer’ for a motive – and there’ll be snow (and presumably ice) within the crater, however the view out throughout the Tasman Sea and inland to the Tongariro volcanoes is phenomenal.

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Maunga Kakaramea/Rainbow Mountain: North Island, New Zealand

Begin/End: Rainbow Mountain Scenic Reserve automobile park
Distance: 7km (4 miles)
Length: 3hr

Rotorua is not any stranger to geothermal exercise and, because the title attests, Maunga Kakaramea/Rainbow Mountain is likely one of the most colourful shows of its volcanic underbelly. The 743m-high (2437ft) mountain sits beside State Hwy 5, 26km (16 miles) south of Rotorua, and the easy path ascends previous the Crater Lakes, a pair of bright-blue lakes pooled on the foot of colourful cliffs. The stroll climbs on previous the cliffs to the summit, which appears over a few of Rotorua’s different nice moments in geothermal historical past: Mt Tarawera, which erupted violently in 1886; the deep incision of Waimangu Volcanic Valley; and the furiously steaming Wai-o-tapu Thermal Wonderland. Must soak away some muscle soreness at stroll’s finish? The Waikite Valley Thermal Swimming pools are simply 9km (5.5 miles) down the highway.

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Mt Tibrogargan: Queensland, Australia

Begin/End: Tibrogargan trailhead, Barrs Rd
Distance: 3km (2 miles)
Length: 2-3hr

One hour’s drive north of Brisbane, 11 craggy peaks rise out of the macadamia and pineapple crops to type one in all Queensland’s most surreal landscapes: the Glass Home Mountains. These peaks are remnants of volcanic plugs – solidified magma from contained in the necks of volcanoes – and a lot of the summits may be reached on foot. Maybe probably the most imposing of the accessible peaks is Mt Tibrogargan, aka the Gorilla, which can be some of the troublesome however spectacular to climb. The 364m (1194ft) ball of rock may be lapped on a delicate 4km (2.5 mile) circuit path, or there’s a extra intrepid path to the highest. This entails loads of steep scrambling – a gorilla grip really wanted – however results in an unlimited view out to the Sunshine Coast and Pacific Ocean. Mt Beerburrum and Mt Ngungun – fellow Glass Home Mountains – present simpler summit moments.

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Previous Ghost Street: South Island, New Zealand

Begin: Lyell Campground
End: Tough & Tumble Lodge Distance
Distance: 85km (53 miles) Length
Length: 5 days

Additional up the West Coast from the Paparoa Monitor, close to Westport, is the winding, weaving Previous Ghost Street. The title would point out that path can be a long-established route nevertheless it solely opened in 2015, after a course of that may solely be described as persistent. The creation story is advised in a skinny e-book referred to as Spirit to the Stone, copies of that are scattered within the 5 spectacularly positioned huts alongside the route. Required studying for anybody fascinated with trails and path constructing, it covers the story of landslides, proposed hydro dams doubtlessly flooding its route, funding challenges and mountains and gorges that might have despatched lesser women and men away with their fingers within the air, surrendering to the steeps and deeps of the New Zealand wilderness. The graded path flows over mountaintops and clings to sheer gorge partitions. It was constructed very a lot with mountain bikers in thoughts, however it’s a murals to be a lot loved by hikers too.

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Gentle to Gentle Stroll: New South Wales, Australia

Begin: Boyds Tower
End: Inexperienced Cape Lighthouse Distance
Distance: 30km (18 miles)
Length: 2-3 days

A fantastic thing about a coastal stroll that can impress anybody who likes to train with a aspect of clifftops and glowing seaside. The path is bookended with celebrations of the maritime historical past of this far South Coast gem of New South Wales. Sea kayakers, too, typically get pleasure from this part of the coast however, with Bass Strait simply across the nook, it may be a fearsome place. Paddlers typically take refuge within the sheltered bays of Mowarry or Bittangabee. Like a lot of the South Coast, the stroll was impacted by the Black Summer season bushfires of 2019/20. However, regardless of the torching, life is returning to blackened limbs, exhibiting the resilience of the Australian bush. And, as a part of the restoration, the Gentle to Gentle Stroll is being redeveloped to supply each tenting and hut experiences.

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Wangetti Path: Queensland, Australia

Begin: Palm Cove
End: Port Douglas
Distance: 94km (58 miles)
Length: 5-6 days

Epic, purpose-built trails are showing in all factors of the Australian panorama, and the far northern reaches of Queensland aren’t any exception. The Wangetti Path takes a route exploring the coast and hinterland of the tropical panorama between Palm Cove and Port Douglas. Hikers and riders can discover the Moist Tropics World Heritage Space and Macalister Vary Nationwide Park, amongst others, and needs to be looking out for every thing from crocodiles to cassowaries. Being inbuilt phases, the 33km (20-mile) part from Palm Cove to Wangetti was first to open, and the total path with tenting areas is due for completion in 2023.

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Hiking Binna Burra, on the Dave's Creek Circuit walking track, Queensland, Australia
A hike by way of Binna Burra rainforest in Queensland, Australia © Enrique Díaz / 7cero / Getty

Twin Falls Circuit: Springbrook, Australia

Begin/End: Tallanbana Trailhead
Distance: 4km (2.5 miles)
Length: 2hr

When time is brief, this attractive hike within the Gold Coast hinterland gives a terrific style of the Gondwana Rainforests. One of the simplest ways to expertise the stroll is by following the path in an anti-clockwise route, ranging from both the Tallanbana Trailhead or the Canyon Lookout. Signposted alongside the way in which, it’s a reasonably straightforward route that passes behind two gorgeous waterfalls and amongst historical brush field bushes. Need extra? This path kinds a part of the Warrie Circuit, a 14km (8.7-mile) trek that takes 5 to 6 hours to finish. Sturdy footwear is beneficial for each trails, which may get slippery behind the falls, even when it appears dry.

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Coomera Circuit: Lamington, Australia

Begin/End: Binna Burra higher day-use space
Distance: 17.4km (10.8 miles)
Length: 7hr

The Coomera Circuit is a blockbuster day-hike providing some knockout surroundings: rainforest-covered cliffs, verdant forest and a few ravishing cascades, together with the Coomera and Yarrabilgong waterfalls, which plunge right into a 160m-deep (525ft) gorge. It’s some of the breathtaking walks within the Binna Burra part of southeast Queensland’s Lamington Nationwide Park. Kicking off from the Binna Burra higher day-use space, it’s beneficial to comply with the path in an anti-clockwise route. You’ll depart the Border Monitor after 1.9km (1.2 miles) to ascend alongside the sting of the Coomera Gorge. As you comply with the trail of the Coomera River, preserve your eyes peeled for the possibility to see the brilliant blue-and-white Lamington spiny crayfish. There are a couple of river crossings earlier than rejoining the Border Monitor and returning to the trailhead.

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Brindle Creek Strolling Monitor: Border Ranges Nationwide Park, Australia

Begin: Brindle Creek picnic space
End: Antarctic Beech picnic space
Distance: 6km (3.7 miles)
Length: 3-4hr

Don’t neglect to pack your swimwear for this stunning stroll within the excessive nation of northern NSW – there are many locations to take a dip alongside the way in which, together with Evan Falls. The Brindle Creek Strolling Monitor follows a creek line by way of misty rainforest and is a highlights reel of probably the most spectacular surroundings of the Border Ranges Nationwide Park: you’ll cross historical, looming Antarctic beech bushes and large hoop pines, and have the possibility to identify the beautiful helmholtzia lillies that thrive within the damp, moist air. Pack a picnic to get pleasure from on the Antarctic Beech Picnic Space, the place bandicoots and pademelons could be your lunch friends. Go away loads of time to return, retracing your steps to the Brindle Creek Picnic Space.

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Crystal Shower Falls in the Gondwana Rainforest at Dorrigo National Park, New South Wales
A little bit of fresh-water reduction from Crystal Bathe Falls within the Gondwana Rainforest at Dorrigo Nationwide Park, New South Wales © Posnov / Getty Photos

O’Shannassy Aqueduct Path: Yarra Ranges Nationwide Park, Australia 

Begin: East Warburton
End: Don Valley
Distance: 35km (22 miles)
Length: 2 days

In case you don’t fancy climbing Mt Donna Buang, the best level in Victoria’s Yarra Ranges Nationwide Park and all of the extra so due to a lookout tower at its prime, then this path is nearly as epic another. It runs for round 35km (22 miles) by way of a lot of this forested nationwide park from East Warburton to Don Valley, a brief drive northeast of Melbourne. The path follows the route of the aqueduct that was inbuilt 1914 to funnel recent water to the town, an incredible feat of engineering. Being an aqueduct, it’s a largely stage route, with a couple of steep pitches. If you want you may additionally run or trip it. Both method, it offers a taste of the temperate rainforest of the Ranges, with ferns unfurling far above your head and above them the dense cover of mountain ash bushes. It’s a stroll amongst giants.

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Djagany (Goanna) Stroll: Girringun Nationwide Park, Australia

Begin: Wallaman Falls tenting space
End: Henrietta gate pick-up level
Distance: 56.8km (35.3 miles)
Length: 3 days

A part of the Moist Tropics Nice Stroll, a 110km (68.4-mile) epic path linking two of the Townsville area’s most spectacular waterfalls (Wallaman Falls and Blencoe Falls), the Djagany (Goanna) Stroll gives a terrific style of the total tramp, which takes round 10 days. Admire Wallaman Falls – Australia’s highest single-drop waterfall – earlier than setting out on an previous forestry observe by way of a lot of forest sorts that type a part of the Unesco-listed Moist Tropics World Heritage Space. Look out for good blue Ulysses butterflies fluttering by way of the rainforest, with tranquil creek crossings offering a welcome respite from the noon warmth. The primary two days on the path finish at distant walkers’ camps, the place you’ll nod off to the sounds of the Aussie bush.

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New England Wilderness Stroll: New England Nationwide Park, Australia

Begin: Robinsons Knob Path automobile park
End: Darkwood Rd
Distance: 33km (20.5 miles)
Length: 2-3 days

Descending over 1000m (3281ft) from the sting of New England Tableland, east of Armidale, to the headwaters of the Bellinger River, this multi-day hike invitations skilled bushwalkers on a journey by way of one in all NSW’s most various wilderness areas. The primary 1.7km (1 mile) of the path takes you thru lush, cool temperate forest to Wrights Lookout, the place you possibly can get pleasure from spectacular panoramic views over New England Nationwide Park, a part of the Unesco-listed Gondwana Rainforests. From right here the path continues alongside Snowy Vary, then down in the direction of the valley ground – admire the altering surroundings as you descend. When you attain the valley ground, you’ll wander alongside an previous farm path over grassy river flats, passing historic farmhouses and stockyards on the way in which.

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Liffey Falls, Great Western Tiers, Midlands, Tasmania, Australia
The cascades of Liffey Falls, Nice Western Tiers, Midlands, Tasmania, Australia © artherng / Getty

Meander Falls: Nice Western Tiers Dialog Space, Tasmania

Begin/End: Meander Falls Rd automobile park
Distance: 10km (6.2 miles)
Length: 6hr

One other memorable Tassie waterfall hike may be loved an hour’s drive southwest of Launceston, within the coronary heart of the dramatic Nice Western Tiers Conservation Space. Climbing uphill by way of stunning moist forest, the out-and-back path results in the bottom of one of many state’s most spectacular waterfalls, which plunges 130m (427ft) over two foremost tiers. With some steep, rocky and muddy sections to navigate, the path is usually a little difficult for some. Snow and ice may be skilled in winter months, though this is usually a plus if you happen to’re handled to the spectacle of enormous icicles forming on the falls. Sturdy footwear and heat layers are a should year-round.

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Warrie Circuit: Springbrook Nationwide Park, Australia

Begin/End: Canyon Lookout or Tallanbana Trailhead
Distance: 14km (8.9 miles)
Length: 5-6hr

Warrie is an area Aboriginal language phrase for ‘dashing water’, which gives the primary clue that there’s loads of waterfall motion to be loved on this gorgeous rainforest path on the luxurious Springbrook plateau, a simple day journey from the Gold Coast. The reasonably difficult, well-marked circuit follows the bottom of The Canyon cliffs to Goomoolahra Falls (look out for the enormous spear lilies that develop right here) earlier than descending into the mossy inexperienced depths of the forest. Crossing a number of creeks and gullies alongside the way in which, the observe reaches the ‘Assembly of the Waters’, the place all watercourses draining The Canyon meet, earlier than climbing up the western aspect of the gorge. Climbing boots are a should, significantly after rain when the path can get fairly muddy.

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Wheel of Fireplace Monitor: Eungella Nationwide Park, Australia

Begin/End: Finch Hatton Gorge automobile park
Distance: 4.2km (2.6 miles)
Length: 1.5-2hr

Named for the distinctive orange flowers that bloom within the surrounding rainforest bushes, the Wheel of Fireplace Monitor is an ultra- scenic hike within the magnificent Finch Hatton Gorge part of Eungella Nationwide Park, west of Mackay, with a number of spectacular waterfall swimming spots. Round a kilometer alongside the well-maintained rainforest path, which is shaded by the cover for many of the method, the trail forks. Right here you possibly can cheat and take a brief stroll to the attractive Araluen Cascades, nevertheless it’s price pushing on uphill between enormous granite boulders to benefit from the very good views of Finch Hatton Creek cascading down by way of the gorge as you go. On the prime there’s one other waterfall pool, which tends to be a number of levels cooler than the swimming space on the Araluen Cascades – excellent for an invigorating dip on a sizzling summer time’s day earlier than heading again down the way in which you got here.

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