From red desert to white sand beaches, Australia's dramatic landscapes and extraordinary biodiversity make it a regular feature on must-see destination lists.
Across the country, from the cities to the remote national parks, Australia's great outdoors offer endless opportunity to get outside and explore. With multi-day hikes and city beach walks to choose from, Australia's nature trails are a great way to explore the wonders in our own backyard.
Whether you're looking for a family-friendly school holiday activity or a long trek in a remote destination, there's a walk for all occasions. Discover well-known trails and those off the beaten track in the Library's collection of images, posters, travel brochures and maps.
Bondi to Coogee Walk
Sydney, New South Wales
This iconic urban walk follows the coastline through the suburbs of Bondi, Tamarama, Bronte, Clovelly and Coogee. A popular track loved by walkers, joggers, locals and tourists alike, the Bondi to Coogee Walk isn't for those seeking peaceful isolation – but visitors will be rewarded with dramatic oceanside scenery, imposing cliffs, and, in winter, a chance to spot humpback whales making their annual migration.
The track takes in plenty of interesting sights, including cliff-top Aboriginal rock carvings near McKenzies Point, Waverley Cemetery (poet Henry Lawson's resting place), and, for three weeks in spring, the Sculpture by the Sea outdoor art installation.
Canberra Centenary Trail
Canberra, Australian Capital Territory
The Canberra Centenary Trail, a 145km loop trail that traverses urban and rural Canberra, was established to celebrate the capital's 100th birthday. Comprising a seven day walk in total, the trail can be divided into manageable daily sections with many different starting locations dotted around Canberra.
The first section of the trail starts in our very own backyard, Canberra's Parliamentary Triangle, and leads visitors through Mount Ainslie and Mount Majura nature reserves to the northern suburb of Watson. Other highlights of the trail include views of the Molonglo Valley from One Tree Hill, a walk through the National Arboretum, and an opportunity to cool off in the Murrumbidgee River at Kambah Pool.
Low on time? Short and easily accessible summit walks to Mount Ainslie and Mount Majura provide gorgeous panoramic views over Canberra.
Lamb's Head / Kahlpahlim Rock Hike
North Queensland is famous for its tropical rainforests, temperate waters and palm-lined beaches, but its national parks and mountain ranges also provide endless opportunities for hikers and bushwalkers.
At 1300m above sea level, the steep hike to Lamb's Head / Kahlpahlim Rock is a challenging and rewarding trek. Located near Davies Creek in Dinden National Park, about an hour's drive from Cairns, the highest point of the Lamb's Range offers expansive views over the Atherton Tablelands.
Nearby you'll also find Davies Creek Falls – one of the tallest waterfalls in the Cairns region, and complete with its own naturally occurring infinity pool.
- Explore a 1945 map of the Atherton Tablelands
- Discover more nature trails with the Queensland National Parks journey guide
Cradle Mountain, Tasmania
Arguably Australia's most famous hike, the Overland Track in Tasmania's Cradle Mountain-Lake St Clair National Park is visited by thousands of people every year. The Overland is a six-day, one-way track that showcases the pristine environment of the Tasmanian Wilderness World Heritage Area.
Whilst the Overland is well-known locally and internationally, this walk is not for the faint-hearted – from peaks to lakes to rainforests, the trail is subject to unpredictable and inclement weather, and hikers should be prepared for all conditions. You'll be rewarded for your bravery, however, with incredible natural scenery including alpine meadows, moorlands, eucalyptus forests and picturesque waterfalls.
- Discover the Overland through a 1948 map of the Cradle Mountain-Lake St Clair National Park
- Find short walk throughout Tasmania with this National Parks and Reserves Visitor Guide
- Check out Ian Boss-Walker's Peaks and High Places for an early hiker's guide to the Cradle Mountain region
Pioneer Women's Trail
Mt George Conservation Park, South Australia
Each year, hundreds of walkers retrace the footsteps of South Australia's German pioneer women on the Pioneer Women's Trail, a track made as they carried their fresh produce from the settlement of Hahndorf to market in Adelaide 180 years ago.
The trail begins in Hahndorf, Australia's oldest surviving German settlement and home to The Cedars – the historic residence, studio and garden of artist Hans Heysen. It then winds through the picturesque Adelaide Hills, through the suburbs of Bridgewater, Crafers and Stirling which feature colonial-era buildings, abundant wildlife and tranquility in no small measure.
The walk concludes at historic Beaumont House, the home of the first Anglican Bishop of Adelaide, built in 1849.
- Explore issues of Tandanya / Adelaide Bush Walkers from 2016 to now in Trove
Ormiston Pound Walk
Tjoritja / West MacDonnell National Park, Northern Territory
Located 135km west of Alice Springs, Ormiston Gorge features red cliffs, a pristine waterhole and convenient camping and kiosk facilities. It's also the starting point for the Ormiston Pound Walk, a three-hour circuit that showcases one of the remarkable land formations of the West MacDonnell Ranges.
The Ormiston Gorge area enjoys protected conservation status. The area near Ormiston Gorge is also the only known habitat of the critically endangered central rock rat, which was rediscovered in 1997 after being presumed extinct for almost forty years prior.
For keen bushwalkers looking to discover more of the Northern Territory, the Ormiston Pound Walk is a small add-on to the whopping 223km of the Larapinta Trail, an extended trek that takes around fourteen days.
Cape to Cape Track
Margaret River, Western Australia
This long-distance bushwalk runs between the lighthouses of Cape Naturaliste and Cape Leeuwin on Western Australia's southwest coast. The track runs for 123km along the Leeuwin-Naturaliste Ridge and offers an incredibly diverse landscape, with immaculate coastline views giving way to forests and caves as the walk continues.
Western Australia's southwestern region is home to thousands of endemic plant species that aren't found anywhere else in the world. Between August and November, walkers can observe hundreds of species of native orchids in bloom along certain sections of the track.
For those looking for something a little lighter, a 7km return boardwalk between Cape Naturaliste Lighthouse and Sugarloaf Rock is a great choice for walkers of all abilities.
- Check out this Guidebook to walking Western Australia's Cape to Cape track