Great Ocean Walk, Great Ocean Road, Victoria © Mark Watson
Australia's most beautiful coastal walks
Traverse the Australian coast with these spectacular walking adventures.
By Amy Bryant
The Australian coast is a unique natural landscape encompassing white sandy beaches, rolling oceans, lush rainforest and striking clifftop views. What better way to immerse yourself in such coastal beauty than exploring it on foot. These epic walks range from easy to challenging, and combine the experience of shoreline serenity with outdoor adventure.
Bondi to Coogee, Sydney
The Bondi to Coogee walk is one of Sydney’s most quintessential experiences. The coastal walk between two of Australia’s popular beaches is a 6km (3.7mi) track that takes you through stunning beaches such as Tamarama, Bronte and Clovelly, and offers panoramic views over the east coast shore. You’ll also come across ocean baths, the tranquil Gordon’s Bay and many brilliant beachside cafes. Plus, don’t miss the world’s biggest outdoor sculpture exhibition, Sculpture by the Sea, that returns to the coastal track each spring.
Cape Byron Lighthouse, Byron Bay
The Cape Byron lighthouse track in Byron Bay will take you on a coastal journey through rainforest, grasslands and beaches, as you slowly make your way up to the lighthouse. The loop track runs 3.7km (2.3mi), with a combination of boardwalk and bush tracks. Keep your eye out for dolphins, turtles, and whales. Be sure to take an Instagram worthy picture standing at the most easterly point of the Australian mainland. Tip – the view from Byron Bay lighthouse over the ocean is pure magic during the golden hours of sunrise or sunset.
Noosa National Park, Noosa
The Noosa Heads coastal track in Noosa National Park is a scenic shoreline walk that crosses 6.8km (4mi) of bayside beauty, woodlands and rugged shoreline cliffs. Catch the views over pristine beaches from lookouts at Boiling Pot, Dolphin Point and Hell’s Gate. Start from Noosa and finish in Sunshine Beach, where you can cool off with a swim, have lunch and catch the bus back to Noosa centre.
Seal Bay Conservation Park, Kangaroo Island
The beautiful sandy beach at Seal Bay is home to a protected colony of sea lions, making this coastal walk a must-do when visiting Kangaroo Island. As you cruise along the 800m (half-mile) boardwalk, soak in the views of sea lions paddling in the water, lounging on the beach and nursing their young. You can join a guided tour and wander amongst the sea lions on the beach or follow the boardwalk to the lookout for great views over the bay.
Great Ocean Walk, Apollo Bay
This incredible walk spans across 100km (62mi) of dramatic coastline between Apollo Bay and the iconic 12 Apostles. There are shorter walks dotted along the coastal strip, including Crayfish Bay, perfect for snorkelling, and The Gables, offering one of the most spectacular clifftop lookouts across the Great Ocean. There are three easy tracks to the beautiful Loch Ard Gorge and the nearby 12 Apostles, with information about the location’s history provided along the track. This guide offers some great track options, ranging from short walks to seven-day adventures. Alternatively, deepen your experience of the shipwreck coastline on the Twelve Apostles Lodge Walk, a guided four-day walk that takes in nature, wildlife and an immersive coastal experience.
Cape to Cape Track, Margaret River
Spanning 135km (84mi) along the Leeuwin-Naturaliste Ridge, the Cape to Cape Track takes you from the lighthouses of Cape Naturaliste to Cape Leeuwin in the south west of Western Australia. As you embark on the coastal bush walk you’ll encounter incredible rock formations, forests, caves and spectacular beaches. This five to eight-day walk starts from Cape Naturaliste in the Margaret River region, about a three-hour drive south east of Perth. A small group guided journey over four days, the Cape to Cape Walk by Walk into Luxury features the highlights of this trail.
Seven Peaks Walk, Lord Howe Island
Lord Howe Island is a UNESCO World Heritage-listed destination, and is home to the spectacular Seven Peaks Walk. Based out of Pinetrees Lodge, the 45km (27mi) guided walk spans over five days, and is for the more avid hiker with a grade of moderate to challenging. The experience offers various walking options and showcases Lord Howe Island’s expansive natural landscapes with volcanic peaks, coastal cliffs and tropical forests.
Squeaky Beach, Whisky Beach and Picnic Beach track, Wilsons Promontory National Park
In the beautiful Wilsons Promontory National Park, located about 200km (124mi) south-east of Melbourne, is the scenic walk from Tidal River visitor centre to Picnic Bay via Squeaky Beach. On the walk along the Tidal River banks, you’ll encounter pristine sand – so fine that it literally squeaks – and incredible views of Mt Oberon. To Squeaky Beach it’s an easy 50-minute walk over 2.1km (1.2mi) of rugged coastal beauty.
South Coast Track, Tasmania
The South Coast Track spans across 85km (53mi) of remote coastal beauty, between Melaleuca and Cockle Creek. It’s a short plane ride to Melaleuca from Hobart, where the challenging track begins, and takes between six and eight days to complete. Perfect for the avid hiker, the South Coast Track will take you across sparkling lagoons, mountain ranges, untouched beaches and vast heathland. Check out this day to day walking guide.