When it’s time to get some fresh air and energise yourself in the outdoors, New South Wales has no shortage of options.
From dramatic coastal walks to rugged bush tracks, we are certainly spoiled for choice when it comes to hiking around NSW. There is one track, however, that rises above them all as an absolute must-do. It’s our country’s highest peak and one of the most gorgeous day hikes on offer in Australia – the Mount Kosciuszko summit walk.
Now, if you’re immediately comparing it to the likes of Everest and Kilimanjaro, don’t fret – it’s a molehill compared to those mighty mountains, but it’s still worth making the climb to the top as the views are spectacular.
Taking on the Mount Kosciuszko summit walk
Mount Kosciuszko is located in Kosciuszko National Park on the southeast side of NSW. From Charlotte Pass, you can choose to hike or bike up to the summit of Mount Kosciuszko. This is an all day event, as it takes around 6-8 hours.
At 4.5 kilometres into your hike from Charlotte Pass, make a picnic stop at the spectacular Snowy River. When you continue across the river, you will reach Seaman’s Hut and then Rawson Pass. From there, it’s 1.4 kilometers to the top of the mountain.
We love this hike because while it’s ambitious, there’s nothing like reaching the summit and feeling on top of the world. Plus, you get the added bonus of seeing wildflowers, snow gums and rock formations all along the way!
You’ll be ready for a good night’s sleep after this day trip, so check out these hotels, motels and holiday parks in the Snowy Mountain region.
The vibrant state of NSW has quite an expanse of national parks and reserves – nearly 5 million hectares! Read on to find even more of our top NSW hike recommendations.
Endless options in the Blue Mountains
The Blue Mountains are ideal for any level of hiking expertise, with some walks suitable for the family and others for skilled hiking experts.
On a trip with the family, try the Three Sisters Walk, where you’ll wind around the easy walking trail at a kilometre above sea level. The ever-shifting views of the Three Sisters rock formations are a constant beauty that will not disappoint. To get to Honeymoon Bridge and reach the first sister, take the short, but steep stairs atop Giant Stairway.
For a more challenging hike, visit the Mount Solitary walking track. This trek will lead you through heath, woodlands and rainforest in exchange for a slightly more demanding exertion of energy. You will hike through Federal Pass, Koorowall Knife Edge, along the ridge of Mount Solitary and then out to Chinamans Gully for rewarding views.
Blue Mountains National Park is home to many other hiking trails, and we encourage you to pay it a visit.
Looking for a place to stay nearby? Check out these great accommodation options.
Cape Byron Walking Track – an easy NSW hike
As the easternmost point of Australia, Cape Byron attracts travellers because of its famous lighthouse, successful surf and whale watching opportunities. While you’re there, one of the most worthwhile activities to add to your itinerary is the Cape Byron walking track.
It will take two hours to complete but has multiple stopping points so you can cut it short whenever you want. Along the way you will encounter rainforest, beach, grassland and clifftops. The grand finish is at the lighthouse, where you’ll find another amazing view and can even take a tour to learn about shipwrecks on this NSW hike.
There are loads of places to stay in nearby Byron Bay – but you’ll need to get in early. Byron is one of the most popular holiday spots on the East Coast. Check out prices and availability here.
The Bathers Bay walk
Try for a trip to Newcastle – a metropolitan, coastal town that’s the second most populated area in NSW. The harbour is full of opportunities to learn about Newcastle’s wartime history, and a fantastic way to accomplish this is by taking the 6-kilometre Bathers Bay walk that connects Nobbys Beach and Merewether Beach. The lighthouse and vista views are top-notch, and there are beach access points throughout the walk.
The Bathers Bay walk merges with the Newcastle Memorial walk, which presents artwork dedicated to WW2 soldiers. With so much history to be discovered in Newcastle, the Bathers Bay walk is a great introduction to all there is to be learned.
Newcastle has some absolute gems when it comes to accommodation. Have a browse here.
In Australian Aboriginal mythology of the Bundjalung Nation, Dirawong is an invisible spiritual creature also known as the Goanna. This creator is said to protect, guard, teach people about the Aboriginal culture and – a power we all wish we had – battle the rainbow snake! The Goanna Headland is known to be the body of the mythical creature, and it also has a gorgeous walking trail where you can become enchanted by your mythological surroundings. On the trail, you’ll walk across the headland, along the coastline and through the heaths.
The Yarrangobilly River walk – a refreshing NSW hike
In just under three hours from Canberra, you will arrive at the Yarrangobilly Caves and Thermal Pool. By beginning your hike at Glory Hole carpark, you can make the popular loop that hooks up with the thermal pool walk. When you reach the thermal pool, you’re going to want to take a swim in the natural spring water that’s permanently heated to 27℃. As if the thermal pool wasn’t serene enough, it gently overflows into a smaller wading pool. After your swim, continue on the loop, and shortly you will return to Glory Arch and can exit back to Glory Hole carpark where you started.
NSW hikes are an active, refreshing way to experience the destination around you. We hope this guide inspires a hike or two soon.
How to get to your NSW destination
Rex Airlines flies into 17 different regional cities throughout New South Wales from both Sydney and Melbourne. See the map below for details on how to travel to your destination in NSW and book your flight here.
Want more NSW inspiration? Check out these articles:
Green spaces and sustainable hotels in Sydney
Our favourite dog beaches in New South Wales