When on holidays, following a walking path easily acquaints you with your new surrounds.
And fortunately, there are options galore right across the country.
For inspiration, we’ve rounded up a collection of terrific trails, from casual meanders to more challenging climbs. All paths are reasonably central to their respective destinations and are a single-day activity.
It’s time to strap on your walking shoes and check out this line-up of picturesque paths.
Where: Mt Gambier.
Loop around this Mt Gambier landmark, which fills a crater of the extinct volcano that the city takes its name from. The circuit allows ample glimpses of the glorious lake, renowned for its variable shades of blue depending on the time of year.
Nearby accommodation: BIG4 Blue Lake Holiday Park.
Where: Sharpes Beach to Pat Morton Lookout.
Distance: 3km one way.
Admire a succession of outstanding coastal vistas from an elevated positioning along this popular path, which leads to Pat Morton Lookout. During whale-watching season, point your gaze towards the water for the chance to marvel at these mesmerising marine creatures.
Nearby accommodation: Tasman Holiday Parks - Ballina.
Where: Cathedral Range State Park, near Taggerty.
Spy variable scenery and glimpse wildlife on a rewarding but moderately challenging walk, best suited to those with at least a medium fitness level. The steady climb gifts stunning views of the ranges and merges with other tracks for those wishing to reach higher peaks within these star-studded surrounds.
Nearby accommodation: BIG4 Taggerty Holiday Park.
Where: Innisfail CBD.
Innisfail has a significant collection of art deco architecture that is best admired on a stroll. While there is no particular route, interpretive maps act as a great guide by detailing the many points of interest and the stories behind them. These maps are available online or at the Innisfail Information Centre.
Nearby accommodation: BIG4 Innisfail Mango Tree Tourist Park.
Wandering along this shared cycle-walkway is an absolute must when in Albany. Take in stunning coastline, beaches, and bays along a mix of bitumen path and wooden boardwalk. The trail includes memorials and interpretive signage alongside designated lookouts. Even better, this is a prime spot for seasonal whale watching.
Where: Cataract Gorge, Launceston
Nature and history combine on this moderately challenging track, which incorporates wondrous scenery of Cataract Gorge among other visual delights. The walk begins at Kings Bridge and accompanies the South Esk River along the way, culminating in a stop at historical Duck Reach power station. This is notable, as it was one of the world’s first hydro-electric power stations.
Nearby accommodation: BIG4 Launceston Holiday Park.
This popular reserve has plenty of highlights, many of which are included on this semi-looping trail. Pass mangroves and regrowing rainforest, soak up beautiful water views, and spot various wildlife and bird species on an educational and thoroughly enjoyable walk.
Where: Port Fairy.
This casual stroll is one of many inviting walks in the Great Ocean Road region. Easily accessed from the town centre, the path loops around the small island and is highlighted by a stop at historical Port Fairy Lighthouse and a mutton bird viewing platform. Expect ample sea views, too.
Where: Golden Beach to Mooloolaba.
Distance: 25km one way.
A stroll along this path ranks as one of the Sunshine Coast’s best free attractions, delivering frame after frame of glorious waterfront vistas. And while tackling the entire length of this path is a challenge, it’s easy to hop on and off at your leisure. In fact, beaches, cafés, and other attractions encourage diversions.
Nearby accommodation: BIG4 Caloundra Holiday Park.
Where: Port Elliot.
This looping path is among dozens of enticing Fleurieu Peninsula walks. The start-end point is the site of ruins of a former harbour master’s cottage at Horseshoe Bay. From here, it follows a headland that passes various beautiful beaches before returning via the Esplanade and a popular lookout where more commanding coastal outlooks are served up.
Distance: 350m one way.
This popular South Coast NSW walk is super simple but massively satisfying, revealing the boundless beauty of Wagonga Inlet. The path is renowned for its opportunities to glimpse various marine life, including stingrays and seals, and offers wheelchair access.
Nearby accommodation: BIG4 Narooma East's Holiday Park.
Where: Evercreech Forest Reserve, near St Helens.
This is another walk that rewards rather effortlessly. The straightforward stroll passes through glorious forest to towering white gums, some reaching upwards of 90m high. On this loop track, neck-craning views of the trees contrast with outlooks from elevated positions.
Where: Kings Parks and Botanic Garden, Perth.
This track is one of Kings Park’s best walks, mixing a bushland setting with epic Swan River views and the chance to spot all manner of interesting sights. It loops back along the elevated Federation Walkway where more pretty vistas are revealed. With some steep sections, this walk is moderately challenging.
Nearby accommodation: BIG4 Perth Midland Tourist Park.