Looking for an energetic day out with an inspiring view? Explore, hike or run these gorgeous trailheads from around Australia. These 8 running trails with amazing vistas will have you eager to pull on your joggers and get out in nature.
Cairns Botanic Garden Trail, Queensland
A vibrant paradise of exotic flora, Cairns Botanic Gardens boasts a 5.5km route of open, wooden plateaus and shady walkways. The route shifts underfoot from earth to decking and back again, with some passages in the sunshine and others under the shade of trees. It’s a cool and short run that’s full of beauty. Though a popular tourist attraction, the dense foliage and the sound of nearby lakes and ponds will have you forgetting those ahead and those behind, lost in the scents of nature and meditative tranquility of your run.
Bushrangers Bay Track, Victoria
If you like coastal runs, Bushrangers Bay is not to be missed. With stunning views across aquamarine skies and turquoise waters, this 6.3 km trail is so fresh, your lungs feel like they’re floating. If you want to test your speed, the breeze from the bay is usually enough to keep you cool and the path is generally steady going with lazy inclines and descents following the natural lay of the land. The routes around the bay are also versatile. Whether you enjoy running on sand, stone or dirt track, there’s something for you.
Mermaids Pool, New South Wales
This little trail run is short but requires a little effort in places. Only 2km long, this hiking trail can be run if you like challenging yourself on harsher terrain. If you really want to go for it, there’s also an 8.7km track up to Tahmoor Canyon. The Mermaids Pool itself is a beautiful lagoon at Tahmoor Gorge and you can run your preferred route in the nearby areas or along the Bargo River. As this area has no phone reception, the route is not for the faint of heart. Be sure to take proper precautions so that you can enjoy the majesty of the pool and the surrounding natural landscape safely.
Wilpena Pound, South Australia
Ready to take things up a notch? At 13.5km, the Heysen Trail is a moderately difficult hiking trek but with plenty of open pathways on which you can stretch your legs and let loose your running mojo. At Wilpena Pound, you’ll be rewarded with one of the most awe-inspiring views in Australia. For that alone, we think the tougher track is entirely worth it.
The Grampians, Victoria
The Halls Gap to Pinnacle Lookout trail in the Grampians is a run of spectacular scenery and panoramic vistas. This 8.5km route is more trail than track so make sure to bring your heavy-duty running shoes. You’ll be jogging through scaling cliffsides, jutting rock-faces and under an open sky that, in places, seems to stretch on for eternity. A good time is always an aim for runners but, for this particular trail, we highly recommend stopping the clock midway round and checking out the view at the Pinnacle (shouting “I’m king of the world!” is entirely acceptable).
Wineglass Bay, Tasmania
If ever there was a perfect beach list, Wineglass Bay must be on it. In Freycinet National Park, this looping beach is a fantastic out and back run of 9.2km. Take in the view across the bay, feel the sand beneath your feet and make sure to drink plenty of water! If you want to run by the water’s edge, there’s no tree shade which means hydrate, hydrate, hydrate!
Maribyrnong River Run, Victoria
If wilderness trails and sandy beaches aren’t your thing but you still want to enjoy the beauty of Melbourne, we recommend the Maribyrnong River Trail. It’s versatile, depending on how far you wish to go, and most of the 6.3km riverside route is solid path or road running. Easier on the thighs, this trail will still give you plenty of gorgeous scenery and fresh air along the popular waterway, that offers a new perspective on the nearby city.
Ku-ring-gai Chase National Park, New South Wales
This national park is lush with nature and flush with choice! Whether you want to run on sandy beaches, beach-adjacent trails or woodland paths, Ku-ring-gai offers it all. We recommend the Resolute Beach Loop for those who want to take in the sunshine and ocean air. At only 4.3km round trip, the loop isn’t a huge undertaking but will still work you hard in the heat of summertime. Don’t forget your camera!
Looking for beautiful surroundings at a slower pace? Check out our recommended list of hikes and buck walks.