A recent stamp issue from Australia Post showcases a number of famed bushwalking trails in Australia, displaying locations from New South Wales, Western Australia, the Northern Territory, and Tasmania. Australia Post Philatelic Manager Michael Zsolt said the stamps were designed to appeal especially to “bushwalkers and avid hikers who like to get out and about”, but that Australians in general “have a love of the great outdoors. Here’s a rundown of all the featured walks, along with some information about each one.
National Pass, NSW
Located in Blue Mountains National Park, the National Pass is a six-kilometer walking trail that affords views of wild scenery and waterfalls, along with some truly impressive viewpoints. Built entirely by hand (and by dynamite) between 1906 and 1907, a significant portion of the trail is cut from a cliff face, which affords incredible views of the surrounding landscape. The trail’s most impressive feature is the historic Grand Stairway, a long winding staircase cut into the side of a cliff. Decades of use eroded several parts of the track to the point where they became dangerous to navigate, however several years of restoration have seen the walk become easier, safer, and more enjoyable.
Length – 5.4km
Suggested time – 3h and 30min
Walk difficulty – Hard
Cape to Cape Track, WA
As the name implies, this gargantuan walk stretches between Cape Naturaliste and Cape Leeuwin on the Australian west coast, along a stretch known as the Leeuwin-Naturaliste Ridge. Opened in 2001, the walk is comprised of a number of different terrains, varying from sandy beaches, to rocky paths, to forest walks, and then back again to sandy beaches. The section between Cape Naturaliste and Sugarloaf was constructed to be friendly to disabled users and those of limited mobility, being suitable for wheelchair users, the elderly, and people in mobility scooters. The track is broken up into many small sections, each of which have their own entry points, allowing casual walkers to sample small sections of the route without having to undertake the entire walk.
Length – 135km
Suggested time – 6-7 days
Walk difficulty – Moderate in regard to terrain, however the length of the trail should also be considered when calculating difficulty
Larapinta Trail, NT
If you thought the Cape to Cape was long, wait till you read about the Larapinta Trail. A 223km walking track partially located in the West MacDonnell National Park, this trail stretches from Alice Springs to Mount Sonder, one of the territory’s highest mountains. The trail follows along with the West MacDonnell Ranges, but varies in altitude; parts of the track follow the ridge line, but much of the walk is on the plain below. The walk is comprised of 12 different sections, each of which takes 1-2 days to complete. The parts of the track that go through the West MacDonnell National Park link up with a number of other walking paths, making it ideal for those who truly love hiking and exploring.
Length – 223km
Suggested time – 12-24 days
Difficulty – Moderate to very hard
Overland Track, TAS
Completed by more than 8000 walkers every year, the Overland Track in Tasmania is renowned for its pristine environment and beauty, entirely located within the Tasmanian Wilderness World Heritage Area. The track offers a number of different terrains, including mountain ranges, rainforest, rivers, and alpine plans, and offers a number of alternative side tracks including climbs to the summits of Cradle Mountain and Mount Ossa, the latter of which is the tallest mountain in Australia. The track affords views of several lakes (Lake St Clair and Lake Will among others), mountains (Cradle Mountain and Mount Ossa just to name two), and waterfalls (Hartnett Falls and Ferguson Falls are just two of them).
Length – 65km, 82 if you choose to add the hike along Lake St Clair (as many do)
Suggested time – 5-6 days
Difficulty – Moderate