Sublime Point Track & Forest Walk, Northern Illawarra, NSW

A walk from Austinmer to Coal Cliff along the Illawarra Escarpment, with excellent coastal views and a variety of attractive forest types.

This walk from the pretty suburb of Austinmer to Coal Cliff first climbs steeply up the Illawarra Escarpment to Sublime Point, where there are excellent views down the coast towards Wollongong (although a bit hazy on the day we did it). There’s a restaurant/cafe here in case you’re already hungry and/or thirsty. You then take the Forest Walk north, with more coastal views along the way. There’s attractive forest scenery throughout, including rainforest and open forest. Continue reading “Sublime Point Track & Forest Walk, Northern Illawarra, NSW”

Mount Bushwalker Track, Morton National Park, NSW

A relatively straightforward walk to extensive views of the Budawangs Mountain Range in Morton National Park.

The Mount Bushwalker Track provides really wide open views of many significant features in the Budawangs Mountain Range, and all for relatively modest effort. There’s also a short side trip worth taking into an atmospheric place called The Gaolhouse, a pocket of rainforest in the crack created by a section of rock falling away from the main cliff face. Continue reading “Mount Bushwalker Track, Morton National Park, NSW”

Pretty Beach to Pebbly Beach Circuit, Murramurang NP, NSW

This longish circuit in Murramarang National Park takes in an attractive stretch of the NSW South Coast, and also climbs to the top of the forested Durras Mountain.

This longish circuit walk in Murramarang National Park near Ulladulla  takes in a very pleasant section of the NSW South Coast, and also rises up about 525m to the top of Durras Mountain. The mountain is forested and doesn’t provide much in the way of views, but it’s a nice enough section and contains lots of cycads, which I don’t see much of. On the coastal stretch there are lots of sandy beaches, rock platforms, bays and headlands.  Continue reading “Pretty Beach to Pebbly Beach Circuit, Murramurang NP, NSW”

Pipeline Track from the Wolgan Valley, NSW

The Pipeline Track runs between two of the most spectacular valleys in NSW: Wolgan Valley to the east, and the more remote Capertee Valley to the west. In between, the excellent Pagoda Lookout provides views over the Wolgan Valley, and this was our turnaround point for the walk depicted here.

This walk on the Pipeline Track climbs out of the spectacular Wolgan Valley to a high point at Pagoda Lookout. It starts in Newnes Campground surrounded by high cliffs, and at first passes through mining relics from the early twentieth century. The track then climbs up through an attractive gully to excellent views back down into the valley.  Continue reading “Pipeline Track from the Wolgan Valley, NSW”

Cairnmuir Hill Track, Central Otago NZ

This walk starts in New Zealand’s driest area, and climbs onto Cairnmuir Hill at 1114m of elevation. There are extensive views of the moody Dunstan Mountains, and over the flatlands further south.

This walk is one half of a complete traverse of Cairnmuir Hill (1114m) in Central Otago, which would take you from near Bannockburn over to Clyde. It starts in New Zealand’s driest and most arid area, with just introduced thyme eking out an existence. As you steadily climb the country becomes more hospitable, with familiar tussock grass dominating the scenery, along with a few rocky outcrops. There are good views over the moody Dunstan Mountains, with their large tors and wrinkled dark slopes, and also glimpses of the aqua coloured Lake Dunstan in the valley below. Continue reading “Cairnmuir Hill Track, Central Otago NZ”

Byangee Walls Track, Morton National Park, NSW

Climbing through Byangee Walls to the summit plateau of Byangee Mountain in the Budawangs makes for an excellent day walk, and is a bit easier than the nearby ascent of the Castle, which looms overhead for part of the walk. Lots of cliffs along the route and great views from the top.

The Budawangs Range in Morton National Park offers some of the NSW’s best hiking, and Byangee Walls is one of the classic day walks. There are spectacular sections as you walk along the base of the walls, and also under the most significant landmark in the area, the Castle. (Climbing the Castle is an even more spectacular walk, partially because of the views of Byangee Mountain itself, which is very attractive from above).  The views from the top are extensive, and include nearby Pigeon House Mountain, the Clyde Valley, and looking up at the 840m high Castle.  Continue reading “Byangee Walls Track, Morton National Park, NSW”

Rennix Walking Track, Kosciuszko National Park NSW

A pleasant walk near Jindabyne in Kosciuszko National Park. It passes through sub-alpine woodland and heath/grassland at around 1650m of elevation.

The Rennix Walking Track in Kosciuszko National Park near Jindabyne is at a lower elevation than some of the more famous walks, but offers a bit of variety if you’ve had your fill of alpine scenery. It is a 13km return walk on mostly flat terrain at roughly 1650m of elevation, and passes through subalpine woodland, heath and grasslands. There are views back up towards Australia’s highest ground from a few vantage points. Continue reading “Rennix Walking Track, Kosciuszko National Park NSW”

Main Range Walk & Mt Townsend, Kosciuszko National Park NSW

The Main Range Track is Australia’s highest walk, passing through rare alpine vegetation, and taking in a number of glacial lakes and Australia’s most extensive views. A side trip to Mt Townsend (2210m) is well worth it.

One of NSW and Australia’s classic day walks, the Main Range Walk in Kosciuszko National Park is also Australia’s highest walking track, maintaining an elevation between roughly 1800m and 2200m. It’s a 22km loop through alpine vegetation, taking in glacial lakes and Australia’s most extensive views along the way. The side trip to Australia’s second highest peak, Mt Townsend (2210m), is well worth it, and offers a more interesting experience than the shorter side trip to our highest peak, Mt Kosciuszko (2228m). If you were keen you could do both, but we by passed Kosciuszko as we’d been there before. The walk as depicted here was about 25km with 750m change in elevation. Continue reading “Main Range Walk & Mt Townsend, Kosciuszko National Park NSW”

Earnslaw Burn Track, near Glenorchy NZ

A truly spectacular walk to a tussock basin below the Earnslaw Glacier. Highly recommended for fit walkers or those willing to spend a night there.

You get up close and personal with Mt Earnslaw and its glacier on this mammoth walk, which took my wife and me almost 10 hours. The Earnslaw Burn Track follows the true left bank of the Earnslaw Burn through beech forest up to a tussock basin below the Earnslaw Glacier. Once out of the forest the views will be enough to knock your hiking socks off, and are amongst the best we’ve seen on any day hike. They include the Earnslaw Glacier and numerous waterfalls, big fallen rocks, and we caught sight of an avalanche too. Continue reading “Earnslaw Burn Track, near Glenorchy NZ”

Sawpit Gully Circuit, Arrowtown NZ

The Sawpit Gully Circuit is a pleasant enough walk in the hills behind Arrowtown, which is itself a very pleasant historic town.

The Sawpit Gully Circuit starts in Arrowtown’s historic Chinese gold mining settlement next to the Arrow River. If you walk it clockwise the track climbs into the surrounding hills and returns through the Arrow River Gorge. It’s a nice walk through open country, but with some really spectacular walks in the area it has some steep competition. We’ve done it twice so far and it’s been a good choice for a not too strenuous walk close to Queenstown, and you can hang out in the picturesque village of Arrowtown afterwards. Probably shouldn’t be first on your list if you are new to the area. Continue reading “Sawpit Gully Circuit, Arrowtown NZ”