Best Day Hikes in New Zealand and Australia?

Old Jul 30th, 2010, 12:22 PM
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Best Day Hikes in New Zealand and Australia?

What are your favorite day hikes in New Zealand or Australia?

We are thinking of another trip to either New Zealand or Australia and we love to hike. Our fondest memories of prior trips always include our day hikes. When I searched on the Fodor's thread on Best Day Hikes very few in New Zealand or Australia were mentioned and yet I seen some hikes in trip reports (Rob Roy glacier?). We're looking for 7-15 mile day hikes since we're not into backpacking though we have done multi-day guided hikes in New Zealand (Milford and Routeburn).

Last trip we did the Tongariro Alpine Crossing day hike which we loved. We also thoroughly enjoyed day hiking in the Blue Mts and in Lamington National Park in Australia. What else would you recommend for long day hikes in either country?
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Old Jul 30th, 2010, 02:50 PM
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In Australia, I'd recommend the hike from Charlotte's Pass to the top of Mt. Kosciusko (and you can say you were on the highest peak in Australia). Also, there's good hiking in Namadgi National Park outside of Canberra. I've mainly done shorter hikes there, but they have over 100 miles of trails, so there should be some longer hikes.
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Old Jul 30th, 2010, 02:57 PM
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I'd say some of the Abel Tasman Coast (you can book it as a drop off and pickup day hike). Hooker Valley in Mt Cook.

Also what about the Hump Ridge, you can book it as a helihike so you don't have to carry anything except daypacks.
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Old Jul 30th, 2010, 09:09 PM
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I don't even know where to start!

First off, which part of Australia? It's a huge place. I could rattle off dozens of great hikes in WA alone, but if I were to narrow it down to a good hiking region, I'd suggest the SW of WA. The 965 km Bilbbulman track runs from near Perth all the way to Albany, and it can be accessed for day walks at dozens of places.

On the SI of NZ:

The Queen Charlotte Track can be walked in sections as day hikes, as can the Abel Tasman. The beauty of these tracks is that you can walk a section and then be collected by water taxi, so you don't have to backtrack.

I've walked the Rob Roy Glacier track (10 km), but it certainly wasn't a favorite - too busy.

I loved the Mt Crichton/Sam Summers Trail near Glenorchy (6.8 km) and Saw Pit Gully near Arrowtown (8 km loop).

We love to hike too...I have several trip reports posted here on Fodors with lots of info on specific hikes for SI NZ, Tasmania, South Australia and Western Australia and a very long report on hikes just around the Perth area.
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Old Jul 30th, 2010, 09:49 PM
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Here's just a few of my favourite Australian full day bushwalks. Tasmania is one of the best states for walks and wildlife. Tasmanian National Parks has a good list of top half day walks.

1) Cradle Mountain, Tasmania: climb to the summit (takes about 6 hours)

2) Wine Glass Bay, Tasmania: (climb to view and then return along coast. 3-4 hours

3) Blue Gum Forest walk, Blue Mountains (NSW): 6-7 hours return leaving from near to Blackheath. There are loads of good walks in the Blue Mountains, to avoid crowds the walks in the upper part of the mountains are better.

4) Pigeon House Mountain walk, NSW South Coast: 4-5 hours return. On a clear day there are excellent views across the ranges and down the coast.
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Old Jul 30th, 2010, 10:58 PM
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How could I forget the Rakaia Gorge Walking Track...

It's located just upstream of the Rakaia Gorge Bridge on SH 72, about 75 km from Christchurch - 11 kilometers undulating track and stunning gorge views.
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Old Jul 31st, 2010, 07:13 AM
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Thank you. For Australia, we were thinking of the North End, and then southern Australia around Adelaide and Melbourne and Tasmania but the thought of returning to Northern Queensland is also appealing. For New Zealand, we were thinking of north of Auckland and the South Island again. I am looking for day hikes since it gives us the option of not hiking if the bodies are objecting or the weather is miserable.
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Old Jul 31st, 2010, 10:41 AM
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I've done loads of day hikes in various places around Australia. The possibilities are endless!

Some of my favorites among the ones I've done:

Southeast Queensland:

Lamington National Park has Australia's largest system of trails. Rainforests, waterfalls, viewpoints. Day hikes and multi-day hikes possible.

Mt Barney: a long and fairly challenging day hike up one of Queensland's highest mountains. A spectacular view.

Mt Warning: a half-day hike up one of the most prominent and interesting mountains on the East coast. I believe the walk is about 2.5 miles to the top. A panoramic view of the Tweed Valley and the coast, as well as the mountains of the Scenic Rim.

The Glasshouse Mts: a small group of steep volcanic cones just inland from the Sunshine coast. Mt Beerwah is doable if it is sunny and dry, otherwise it's too steep and slippery.

Fraser Island, the big sand island just off Hervey Bay has a fairly large system of trails - rainforest, sand dunes, pristine freshwater lakes.

The Granite Belt (Stanthorpe area): spectacular, but relatively short hikes up Bald Rock, the Pyramid and Castle Rock. Longer hikes into Mt Norman and other prominent peaks (can't remember the names). A great area for wildlife.

Central Queensland:

Carnarvon Gorge: the walk up and back to Cathedral cave is a wonderful full day hike, with short side trails into waterfalls, Aboriginal rock art and other cool spots. Other good days hikes to Boolimba Bluff and Devil's Signpost lookouts. Plus the long and challenging day hike up Battleship Spur. Carnarvon is excellent for wildlife, including platypus in the stream through the gorge.

Next post: North Queensland and New South Wales.....
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Old Aug 1st, 2010, 07:00 AM
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New South Wales and ACT:

Mt Gudgenby (Namadgi, ACT): this was a really cool hike Quite challenging with no trail (well, that was in the 80's). Loved the granite rock faces, the maze of massive boulders at the top, and of course, the view.

Pigeon House Mt (NSW South Coast), as mentioned by Susan above.

Warrumbungle Ranges (Central Northern NSW): a rugged range of peaks, volcanic in origin. Beautiful hikes - the walk up High Grand Tops is the most popular and can be extended to a full day hike adding on Bluff Mountain. A really good place for wildlife - saw koalas on both occasions I visited.

Some nice hikes at Tidbinbilla Nature Reserve (ACT) including Gibraltar Rock (fairly short) and Tidbinbilla Mt (half to full day)

North Queensland:

I've only scratched the surface there, unfortunately.

Mt Sorrow (Cape Tribulation): hike up through rainforest for a great view over the coast, and out to the Barrier Reef off shore.

Undara Nat'l Park (Gulf Savannah, inland from Cairns) has a system of trails through ancient lava fields to prominent rock outcroppings with views over the savannah. Heaps of wildlife about. Loved it!

Next post: South Australia, the Northern Territory and the Kimberley (Western Australia)
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Old Aug 1st, 2010, 05:53 PM
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New Zealand - go to the DOC in Queenstown to get great input on hikes suitable to the way you feel that day and the current conditions. This goes for most main DOCs.

Mt. Crighton/Sam Summers trail

Milford Track

Routeburn - We've only done the day loop out of Glenorchy

Tongariro Crossing and shorter hikes in the park

Several hikes out of Wanaka

Harwood's Hole - loved the hike, hated the drive in

Hooker Glacier walk
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Old Aug 3rd, 2010, 04:51 AM
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South Australia:

The Flinders Ranges are fantastic for bushwalking. We stayed at the Wilpena Resort and I did the long 15 mile day hike climbing St Mary's Peak from the outside of Wilpena Pound (a huge circular formation of peaks and cliffs, similar to a crater), and returning to the resort via the inside of the Pound. Awesome!
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Old Aug 6th, 2010, 02:48 AM
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Has anyone mentioned Wilson's Promontory in Victoria a few hours east of Melbourne? The walk to the Lighthouse is about 18km each way but you can stay at the lighthouse. So you don't need a tent etc. You might need food.
the North section has few good walksand is totally different to the southern section.

Blue Tier in Tasmania is where we will be for Christmas.

Pick a National Park. Any NationalPark.
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Old Aug 6th, 2010, 04:28 AM
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Wilson's Promontory has long been on my list. So are the Grampians, also in Victoria. One of these years....
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Old Aug 6th, 2010, 01:28 PM
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Thank you. Our hiking list has grown substantially and we might just have to quit our jobs to get them all hiked...
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Old Aug 9th, 2010, 04:16 PM
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Well, let's not leave out the Northern Territory!

I've only scratched the surface. For example, I haven't hiked on the famous Larapinta Trail in the beautiful West MacDonnell Ranges. But I sure would like to:

But I have done the amazing walk up and around the rim of Kings Canyon. And I have done the superb Valley of the Winds walk at the Olgas, as well as the Base Walk around the base of Uluru.

Didn't do much significant hiking in the Top End (Litchfield and Kakadu National Parks), but that's not because there was no shortage of oppotunities.
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Old Aug 9th, 2010, 04:18 PM
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ooops....should have ended with "but that's not because there was A shortage of opportunities."
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