6 best coastal hikes and walking trails in Australia for all fitness levels

From single-day to multi-day adventures, discover Australia’s best coastal walks

Australia's vast landmass, diverse landscape, and varied climatic conditions offer many opportunities to immerse yourself in nature, spot native wildlife, and conquer incredible nature trails on foot. Add in breathtaking ocean views and you have some of the best coastal walking trails to discover. From scenic day walks to multi-day adventures, these are some of the most beautiful hiking trails in Australia. So, get ready to lace your boots and set off on an amazing journey. 

Best single-day hikes in Australia

1) Fluted Cape Walk, Bruny Island

Fluted Cape Walk, Bruny Island
Incredible views along the Fluted Cape Walk on Bruny Island

Listed as one of the best walks on Bruny Island, on the Fluted Cape Walk you will surround yourself with tall blue gums, white peppermint, and sheoaks as you walk along the coastline of Adventure Bay. The start of the walk is a 40-minute drive south of the SeaLink Ferry terminal on the island. Located within the South Bruny National Park, this 4km circuit is a popular area for birding and offers incredible views of the Tasman Peninsula Cliff-lines. 

Tip: Make sure to wear sturdy walking shoes as it can be steep and slippery along the cliff edge, especially after rain.

2) Cape Queen Elizabeth Track, Bruny Island

Bruny Island arch
The iconic arch on Queen Elizabeth Track on Bruny Island

This 12.6km trail offers magnificent views of the cape on Bruny Island, including the famous arch on the beach. It is home to many birds such as common starlings, blackbirds, house sparrows, and yellow wattlebirds, and of course the unique beauty of The Neck. Read more about Bruny Island's amazing walking trails that take you up close to the best views on the island. 

Tip: Some parts of the tracks are overgrown so be sure to wear long pants or gaiters to avoid irritation.

3) North Gorge Walk, North Stradbroke Island

This trail leads you to North Gorge, a naturally formed rocky inlet
This trail leads you to North Gorge, a naturally formed rocky inlet

This walk on North Stradbroke Island offers uninterrupted panoramic views of the Pacific Ocean, rugged coastline, dramatic cliffs, and opportunities to spot marine life such as dolphins, turtles and even migrating whales. The trail leads you to North Gorge, a naturally formed rocky inlet, and also allows you to discover a unique rock formation called the ‘Blow Hole’. As this is a shorter walk, it’s the perfect trail to enjoy with your little ones.

Tip: As there are steep cliffs and rocky outcrops, make sure children are supervised at all times.

4) K’gari Great Walk, K’gari (formerly Fraser Island)

Lake McKenzie
On the K'gari Great Walk, you will visit iconic sites such as Lake McKenzie

UNESCO World-Heritage Listed K’gari (formerly Fraser Island) is home to many incredible landmarks and one of them is the K’gari Great Walk. Exploring the stunning island on foot, this 90km walk takes about 6-8 days to complete. However, these range from short and easy strolls to half-day to full-day adventures. You will visit iconic sites such as Lake McKenzie, Wanggoolba Creek, Lake Wabby, and Central Station. Stay on K’gari at Kingfisher Bay Resort and explore some of the most beautiful natural landmarks on the island.

Tip: On K’gari (formerly Fraser Island) it’s important to be dingo safe. If you encounter a dingo, stand up to your full height, fold your arms, keep eye contact, and calmly back away.

5) Nelly Bay to Arcadia, Magnetic Island

Magnetic Island
This is one of the best walks on Magnetic Island promising unmatched views

This walking trail starts at the end of Mandalay Avenue and passes through patches of rainforest alongside Gustav Creek before a steady climb all the way to the saddle of the ridge. You will see Nelly Bay on one side and Horseshoe Bay on the other – an unmatched view that just can’t be missed. Once on the bitumen road, a short distance up to the left you can see the Alma Bay Lookout. This is one of the best walks on Magnetic Island that promises some of the best views to admire.  Plan a weekend trip to this incredible destination with SeaLink. Read more about Magnetic Island's best walking trails because the best way to explore the island is on foot. 

Tip: Bring a picnic basket or lunch and enjoy a slow day admiring the views.

A multi-day hike in South Australia

6) Kangaroo Island Wilderness Trail, Kangaroo Island

Remarkable Rocks
On this walk, you can take in the beauty of the iconic Remarkable Rocks

Named as one of Australia’s great walks, this five-day hike weaves through iconic landmarks of Kangaroo Island, rugged coastline, and some of the most remote parts of the island. After being shut for several months following the devastating bushfires of 2020, the walk is finally open to independent walkers. Starting at Rocky River the walk takes you through Snake Lagoon, Cape du Couedic, Hanson Bay, and Kelly Hill Caves.

You will also take in the beauty of the iconic Remarkable Rocks and the Southern Ocean. Book your trip to Kangaroo Island with SeaLink and enjoy one of the most incredible adventures. 

Tip: If you are not an experienced hiker, opt to travel with a licensed tour operator and witness the untamed beauty of Kangaroo Island. 

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