Australia Bushwalking


This small state is packed with diverse and exciting bushwalking areas, from mountains and outback regions, to windswept coastlines.

Bogong National Park, in the state's north-eastern Victorian Alps, contain Victoria's highest mountains, a sweep of alpine meadows and surrounding plains. One of the region's most popular walks culminates in an ascent of Mount Bogong, the state's tallest peak.

The circuit can be accomplished in five to six days, although some prefer to end their walk early at the alpine village of Falls Creek. Huts are available along the track but walkers should not rely upon them. The walk is most pleasant during late spring, summer, and early autumn (October-April). Over winter the area can experience very severe weather conditions including heavy snowfalls and strong winds.

The ascent of Mount Feathertop, Victoria's second highest summit, is another popular walk. Towering above the tree line, it has wonderful views of the alps including the magnificent Razorback Ridge, which provides a link with the popular ski area of Mount Hotham. Mount Feathertop can be dangerous during winter and even in summer is prone to violent weather change. All approaches to the Mount Feathertop summit are on well-used walking tracks and the circuit takes some two days. The walk is recommended between December and February, but hikers should be prepared for snowfalls at any time of the year.

Gariwerd (the Grampians) is a spectacular island of sandstone ranges located in the west of the state, 260 km (161 mi) west of Melbourne. A jumble of towering cliff faces, saw-tooth ridges, forests, deep valleys and heathlands, the region is famous for its spring display of wildflowers (August to November) and more than 800 species of plants. The two-day circuit walk to the Major Mitchell Plateau and Mt William is very popular with walkers who will encounter plentiful wildlife including koalas and kangaroos. A wide range of accommodation including guesthouses, camping sites and youth hostels are available in the picturesque town of Halls Gap in the heart of Gariwerd. The best time to visit is in the spring; summer water shortages can cause problems, and the winter circuit is suitable only for experienced hikers.

Wilsons Promontory is located on the southern tip of the Australian mainland 250 km (155 mi) southeast of Melbourne. The "Prom" is widely regarded as one of the wildest and most beautiful stretches of Australia's coastline. Characterized by looming granite outcrops, heavily forested slopes, fern glades, sand dunes, and some of the best beaches in Australia, the Prom is a popular year-round walking retreat. The circuit takes between two and three days to complete and camping permits are required. A large campground is attached to the Park's headquarters and during the very popular Christmas and Easter holiday periods, advance bookings are essential.

Published: 29 Apr 2002 | Last Updated: 15 Sep 2010
Details mentioned in this article were accurate at the time of publication


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