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7 rewarding one-day Australian mountain climbs

There’s something special about climbing a mountain, and the breathtaking views from atop make the experience even more rewarding.

Fortunately, Australia has peaks aplenty to conquer.

Even better, there are a bunch of tracks that can be tackled on a daytrip adventure from your BIG4 accommodation.

Check out these enriching single-day treks.

Hiking within Cradle Mountain-Lake St Clair National Park is incredibly rewarding. Credit: Cultivate Productions.

1. Mt William, Grampians National Park, VIC

Grampians National Park is bursting with natural treasure and the best spot to witness it all is atop its highest peak, 1167m-tall Mt William. A medium-grade climb leads its summit and from this vantage point you can take in expansive views of the eucalypt-cloaked surrounds, bewitching mountain ranges, and more.

Requiring just one to 1.5 hours to complete (3.6km return), it’s a 'walk in the park' compared to other trails on this list. However, the opportunity to climb to this famous park’s highest point makes it worth adding to your itinerary. And if you’re after bigger challenges, these surrounds are loaded with trails that will accommodate your footprints.

Stay at: NRMA Halls Gap Holiday ParkBreeze Holiday Parks - Halls Gap or Breeze Holiday Parks - Grampians.

Soak up gobsmacking views from the top of Mt William.

2. Mt Ngungun, Glass House Mountains National Park, QLD

While many great climbs abound within Glass House Mountains National Park, we’ve opted to highlight the Mt Ngungun summit walk. It fits the bill of being challenging but not too taxing. You’ll be rewarded mid-climb with a fantastic peek at neighbouring Mt Tibrogargan, but it’s when you reach the top that you really cash in. Admire funky looking Mt Coonowrin and Mt Beerwah and then stretch the gaze further to lap up majestic hinterland and coastal views.

If climbing with children, please note that the track strays close to cliff edges. Allow two hours to complete this 2.8km return hike.

Stay at: Ingenia Landsborough, BIG4 Caloundra or BIG4 Maroochy River, Ingenia Rivershore in Maroochydore, or Ingenia NoosaIngenia Noosa North & Noosa North Shore Retreat in Noosa.

The outlook from Mt Ngungun is sublime.

3. Pigeon House Mountain, Morton National Park, NSW

This is one of the best mountains to climb in NSW and is a distinctive, eye-catching formation that rewards photographers from base to summit. Trek through changing landscapes of the South Coast region, including forest and sandstone, before tackling a sequence of ladders that guide you to the mountain’s summit.

From here the views are spectacular – witness rugged cliffs and sprawling greenery that stretches for miles. If the weather is behaving, you can even spot Jervis Bay from this point. Give yourself about four hours to complete this 5km return walk, as there are tough, steep sections.

Daytrip from: BIG4 parks in the South Coast NSW region.

Pigeon House Mountain (Didthul) rewards visitors from various vantage points. Credit: Destination NSW.

4. Walshs Pyramid, QLD

When it comes to climbing Australian mountains, Walshs Pyramid warrants plenty of attention. Spotted in Wooroonooran National Park, part of the World Heritage Wet Tropics of Queensland area, this striking, well-named feature reveals treasured views for those prepared for a tough slog.

From the top, enjoy 360-degree outlooks that blend neighbouring mountains with glorious patchwork-style surrounds. Allow five to six hours to complete this 6km return walk.

Daytrip from: BIG4 Ingenia Holidays Cairns Coconut Resort or Tasman Holiday Parks - Cairns Cool Waters.

The views atop Walshs Pyramid are breathtaking. Credit: Tourism and Events Queensland.

5. Cradle Mountain, Cradle Mountain-Lake St Clair National Park, TAS

The Apple Isle is loaded with incredible mountains, many of which attract the attention of hardcore climbers. We've opted to highlight a climb that's more sedate by those standards, but still presents an almighty challenge. The main path to the summit of Tasmania’s most iconic peak, Cradle Mountain, begins from Dove Lake and passes Lake Lilla. However, there are several trails to choose from, meaning you can take a different route for the return journey.

This walk reveals a bounty of spectacular scenery but it’s from the summit that you’ll be truly overwhelmed by Cradle Mountain-Lake St Clair National Park’s immense beauty. You should also be able to spot Tasmania’s highest mountain, Mount Ossa. The walk requires six to eight hours to complete and measures 6.4km one way.

Daytrip from: BIG4 Ulverstone Holiday Park

Tackling Cradle Mountain has its rewards. Credit: Matthew Donovan.

6. Mt Kosciuszko, Kosciuszko National Park, NSW

You can’t have a list of climbs without including the biggest mountain in mainland Australia, 2228m-high Mt Kosciuszko. If you have plenty of time, take on the Mt Kosciuszko Summit walk (9km/six hours one way). You’ll encounter breathtaking natural attractions – including the iconic Snowy River and dazzling wildflower displays – as well as information about Aboriginal heritage significant to the area. From the summit, the views stretch over the famous Australian Alps and the Bogong Peaks.

If time is less restrictive, take the Thredbo to Mt Kosciuszko path. This looping track begins at the top of the Kosciuszko Express chairlift at Thredbo and is ‘only’ 14.3km long with an estimated completion time of 4.5 hours. 

Climbing Australia's highest peak is a must. Credit: Tourism Snowy Mountains.

7. Mt Feathertop, Alpine National Park, VIC

Looking for an even tougher challenge? Then climb Victoria’s second-highest mountain. Two main tracks lead to Mt Feathertop’s summit: the Bungalow Spur and the Razorback Trail. Both are demanding climbs that pass varying landscapes, but insanely good views of the Alps and beyond make it well worth your while.

Each option is a 22km return walk, and you’ll be feeling it afterwards! It’s a reasonable guide to set aside about eight hours to tackle the Razorback Trail, but completion time for the Bungalow Spur varies quite considerably based on hiking experience.

Stay at: BIG4 Tasman Holiday Parks - BrightNRMA Bright Holiday Park or BIG4 Porepunkah Holiday Park.

Victoria's second-highest mountain offers a testing but satisfying climb.

Isn’t it time you enjoyed the highs of a BIG4 break? Find a park here.

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