Uluru tour

Walking across Australia’s vast wilderness is a ritual woven into the rich fabric of the country’s past. Thousands of years ago, the country’s first inhabitants embarked on a ‘walkabout,’ a spiritual journey on foot that traced their ancestors’ ancient footprints or ‘songlines.’ Today, you can follow in their footsteps.

The most popular hikes in Australia range from independent half-day walks Uluru tour from Alice Springs through bird-rich bushlands and along sapphire sea beaches to guided multi-day treks through the red hot heart of the country, where rugged gorges and reddish deserts challenge even the hardcore hiker, You can slice the long hikes, called “Great Walks of Australia,” into smaller segments depending on your available time and level of suitability.

Many of the best hikes in Australia are intertwined with World Heritage-listed wilderness areas where you can see the country’s extraordinary wildlife, from wallabies and wombats to dingoes, kangaroos, and echidnas. Nearby climbers can even reach the summit of Australia’s highest peak in less than a day. Wherever your walk takes you in this wild and sun-drenched land, the stunning scenery will stir your heart just as it did for the Aboriginal people thousands of years ago.

Cost of excursions in Australia

Uluru tour from Alice Springs
Uluru tour from Alice Springs

The cost of Uluru tours depends on the season. In summer and spring, tours are more expensive than in winter and fall. Some major tour operators periodically give large discounts to individual tourists and groups.

1. Kings Canyon Rim Walk, Northern Territory

One of the most famous day hikes in the country, the six-kilometer Kings Canyon Rim Walk in Watarrka National Park, covers the lips of an impressive 150-meter-long canyon in Australia’s Red Center. Because of the scorching heat, it’s best to start this three- to four-hour walk before dawn. The rising sun colors the landscape in rich shades of rose gold, and it’s also the best time to spot wildlife, including kangaroos, zebras, and white-wattled honeycreepers. The first part of the hike requires you to climb 500 steps to the canyon’s edge, but it’s worth it for the stunning views. Once at the shelter, follow the u-shaped trail about the sandstone cliffs and turn off below into a wonderland of marvelous weathered domed rock formations, ancient cicadas, and the Garden of Eden, an unlikely oasis of lush vegetation and perennial drainage.

2. Mount Gower, Lord Howe Island, New South Wales

Climbing Mount Gower at 875 meters on a Howe Island boat from the north coast of New South Wales is considered one of the best hikes in the world. This 14-kilometer round-trip hike ascends to the misty forests at the top of the mountain. Along the way, you can explore this unspoiled island’s botanical and wild animal wonders, where visitor numbers are restricted to protect the environment. As you ascend this lush peak at the island’s southern lot, fern-filled forests, occasional orchids, and moss-covered trees flood the landscape with a sense of narrative.

3. Cape to Cape Track, Margaret River, Western Australia

In the southwest intersection of Western Australia, 260 kilometers south of Perth, this rewarding multi-day walk vipers 135 kilometers along coastal cliffs, surf beaches, and forests of giant curry. Named after its route between Cape Naturaliste and Cape Leeuwin lighthouses along the Margaret River coast, the entire walk is in a national park. It takes five to seven days, but you can opt for easier sections for half-day or day walks. Highlights include coastal rock formations such as jagged Sugarloaf Rock protruding from the sea, cool cascades, clean sun-drenched beaches, and sea cliffs overlooking the bustling surf. Between June and December, hold an eye out for whales.