Let’s be real. Sometimes a single day hike is just not enough time in nature. Explorer Kate Donald has dug up the best multi-day hikes in NSW (and tested out plenty of them herself as well) so you can have your fill of nature adventures. Check ’em out!

Home to the highest mountains in Australia, endless pure white-sand beaches and rocky plateaus carved by deep gorges, it’s hard to look past NSW as the hiker’s dream. A multi-day hike is the ideal way to truly explore all that the NSW National Parks have to offer. Whether it’s a weekend, a week, or even a month-long escape you’re after, this is your ultimate bucket-list of hikes in NSW.

 

Heads up! A pretty rough fire season has lead to parts of these tracks being closed. Always check local alerts for the most up to date information on track status and conditions.

Overnight Hikes

The Coast Track – Royal National Park

Traditional Land Owners: Northern Illawarra & Botany Bay Dharawal Groups
Duration: 2 days
Distance: 30km one way

The Royal National Park is the second oldest national park in the world, and The Coast Track is the highlights reel. Instafamous locations including Figure 8 Pools, Wedding Cake Rock and Eagle Rock can be spotted on this overnight hike, but it’s the footsteps between these iconic areas that capture your heart. 

 

 

Cascading waterfalls plummeting over cliffs extending to the ocean, historic beach shacks tucked into the coastline dating back to the 1940s and a campsite with personal beach access, bordering a forest to explore by torchlight at night. Camping has to be booked in advance so be prepared for this one.

Light to Light Track – Ben Boyd National Park

Traditional Land Owners: The Yuin People
Duration: 2 days
Distance: 30km one way

The little brother of ‘The Coast Track’, The Light to Light walk is equally as beautiful but a little more underdeveloped. The name comes from its beginning and ending location, from Green Cape Light station to Boyd’s Tower. 

 

Saltwater Creek in Ben Boyd National Park, Green Cape. | Photo courtesy of Destination NSW

 

It’s more than just a coastal hike and the landscape is constantly changing; from pebble beaches to red rock cliffs, farmland to forest, and plenty of pristine beaches to cool off between. Best walked during early spring to fall asleep to the sound of splashing whales just 50m away from your bed. 

Mt Solitary – Blue Mountains National Park

Traditional Land Owners: Darug, Gundungurra, Wanaruah, Wiradjuri, Darkinjung, Tharawal people
Duration: 2-3 days
Distance: 34km loop

With so many hikes on offer in the Blue Mountains, it’s hard to know just where to start exploring; look no further, the Mt Solitary loop has it all.

Descending down the old tramway path of Federal Pass, escape the summer heat into the cool forest on the valley floor. Camp amongst the old mining ruins, being sure to scramble up the ‘Ruined Castle’ rock feature to get the best view of the climb ahead.

 

Mt Solitary, overnight hikes, multi day hikes, photo by Tim ashelford, blue mountains, nsw, sunset, cliffs

Photo by Tim Ashelford

 

The second day is a tough slog up to the summit, but worth each minute for the campsite views on top of the peak, be mindful to carry enough water for the next morning. Back down into the forest, the third and final day will take you past a number of waterfalls and a pleasant stroll along the cliff-line for one last view of the mountain you have conquered!

Multi-day Hikes

The Green Gully – Oxley Wild Rivers National Park

Traditional Land Owners: Dunghutti Aboriginal People & Anaiwain Tribal Group
Duration: 4 days
Distance: 65km loop

Whilst wet feet can be expected as the creek beds become the trail, don’t let that steer you away from one of the most unique trails in Australia. The Green Gully Track follows the Apsley-Macleay Gorges, with a number of cozy huts waiting for you at the end of each day. 

 

Photo courtesy of Destination NSW

 

Hikers stay in restored stockman huts, decked out with beds, rainwater, solar-lighting, (non-flush) toilets and cooking equipment (bookings essential). Not only does this mean warm feet, but a lighter pack can be carried as tents, sleeping mats, and camp kitchens can be left at home.

Wog Wog to Long Gully – Budawangs National Park

Traditional Land Owners: Wandandian & Walbanja People
Duration: 3 days
Distance: 30km one way or optional loop

Standing in the Budawangs, it feels like you’re the only person on earth. From Wog Wog Campground the untamed wilderness closes in, winding through the forest, sneaking views of the sand-stone giants in the distance. Emerging up onto the plateau your breath will be taken away (and not just from the climb in) by the sheer rock faces, and wind-carved formations, like Corang Arch. 

 

Bushwhacked in the Budawangs (NSW) daniel bos cliff path hike

Photo by Daniel Bos

 

Take the time to explore the huge boulders towering up as you arrive at the Monolith Valley, being sure to save some energy for your third and final day. The biggest climb ahead, not for the faint-hearted, the Castle requires hanging onto fixed ropes and chains in order to gain the best views of all.

If the time permits, turn this thru-hike into a loop, avoiding the hassle of a car shuffle by wandering back to Wog Wog Campground along the Yadboro River.

Nadgee Wilderness Walk – Nadgee Nature Reserve

Traditional Land Owners: Bidawal, Dtarwa & Monaroo People
Duration: 3-4 days
Distance: 55km one way

Possibly the wildest coastline of all the NSW hikes, only 30 hikers may be on the Nadgee Wilderness Walk at a time, which means bookings are essential. Every serene lagoon, secluded beach and untracked sand dune is completely yours, as it’s uncommon to run into another person out here.

 

nadgee Wilderness Walk Nadgee Nature Reserve VIC NSW Lachie Thomas, hero, dunes, water, walker, hiker, ocean

Photo by Lachie Thomas

 

Walking from Merrica River to Mallacoota a highlight is crossing the border of NSW and VIC at Cape Howe, with the perfect photo opportunity on the trig point to commemorate the occasion. With an extensive beach walking section, keep an eye on the horizon for dolphins, seals and whales. 

Kanangra to Katoomba (K2K) – Kanangra-Boyd National Park

Traditional Land Owners: Gandangarra People & Dharuk Tribe
Duration: 3 days
Distance: 45km one way

This may well be the best multi-day hike in the Greater Blue Mountains World Heritage Area. Whilst some like to tackle the ‘K2K in a Day,’ I’m more a ‘stop and smell the roses’ kind-of-girl.

 

Rob Mulally - ON THE EDGE OF KANANGRA WALLS, NSW

Photo by Rob Mulally

 

Enjoy the endless views as you traverse the high cliffs of Kanangra Walls, and take the time to splash around in Cox’s River. Best for expert hikers, strong navigational skills are required as some sections of the trail are a little indistinct. 

Gibraltar-Washpool World Heritage Walk – Gibraltar Range National Park

Traditional Land Owners: Bundjalung, Gumbaingirr and Ngarrabul People
Duration: 3-4 days
Distance: 45km loop

Classed as a Gondwana World Heritage area, vegetation and wildflowers galore will make the nature-lovers heart soar. Linking Gibraltar Range and Washpool National Park, the trail meanders through varying terrain of rainforests, sub-alpine swamps, and dry sclerophyll forests.

 

The Best Of The New England Highlands // Road Trip (Northern NSW) Dan Parkes valley, Sunset from the Dandahra Crags // photo by @danno29.JPG

Photo by Dan Parkes

 

Unleash your inner child and climb around at Dandahra Crags and Haystack, one of the many granite tors along the way. With 100km of optional side-trips, and varying starting points, you can make a different adventure out of this track every time you walk it. 

Yuraygir Coastal Walk – Yuraygir National Park

Traditional Land Owners: Gumbaynggirr & Yaegl Nations
Duration: 4-5 days
Distance: 65km one way

The only trail in the world that follows the wandering patterns of Australia’s coastal emus. Starting from the relaxed surf town of Yamba, the Yuraygir Coastal Walk traverses the coastline through rolling plains, rocky headlands and of course, a solid dose of beach hiking.

 

Hiking The Yuraygir Coastal Walk With A Boat On My Back (NSW), photo by Jospeh Faggion, hiking, coastal, packrafting, beach, nsw

The view from Dirragan Headland | Photo by Jospeh Faggion

 

Pack the snorkel to explore what’s under the water as you’ll camp on a marine park in a pristine coastal lagoon on the very first night! The trail ends at Red Rock, but if you’re not ready to return to reality continue straight onto the ‘Solitary Island Coastal Walk’ a 60km 3-4 day hike that begins at Red Rock.

Kosciuszko to Kiandra (the other K2K) – Kosciuszko National Park

Traditional Land Owners: Walgal & Ngarigo People
Duration: 10 days
Distance: 130km approx. one way

Unofficially known as Australia’s only long-distance ski tour, the (other) K2K is a section of the legendary ‘Australian Alps Walking Track’. The hike starts in the historic town of Kiandra and runs all the way through to our country’s highest mountain, Mount Kosciuszko, but be prepared for the further 6km trek required to get to the Alpine-Way (the nearest pick-up location). 

 

 

During this time you’ll walk past dozens of backcountry huts, including the sweet, fire-engine-red Valentine Hut and a personal favourite, ‘Grey Mare Hut’. Did I mention this hike also takes you past Australia’s 10 highest mountains? There’s no doubt, this is one of the best hikes in NSW, and a bucket-list trip for all hikers.

Long-distance Hikes

The Great North Walk – Sydney to Newcastle

Duration: 12-18 days
Distance: 250km

The Great North Walk contrasts the urban and natural world. Starting from Macquarie Place in Central Sydney, relish the stares of intrigued city-slickers as you wander the city with your hiking boots and overnight pack.


 

Leaving the suburbs behind, the ferry will take you from concrete jungle into your first woodland at Lane Cove River National Park. Through a number of parks, including Ku-ring-gai Chase, and Brisbane Water National Park, the trail takes you all the way up the coast, right to the centre of Newcastle at Queen’s Wharf, for a celebratory beer (or two).

Hume and Hovell Track – Yass to Albury

Duration: 20 – 30 days
Distance: 426km

Roughly following the route explorers Hume and Hovell took in 1824, this hike is for the historians among us. The trail begins at Cooma Cottage, Hume’s main residence during his lifetime, and ends at the Hovell Tree in Albury meandering through national parks, state forests, and even connecting through private property. 

 

Cathedral Rock near Lake Burrinjuck, Wee Jasper | Photo courtesy of Destination NSW

 

Retrace their steps, and their thoughts as you read Hovell’s descriptive journal of the wild territory these pioneers walked. Relish in the now changed landscape, be it by human input or mother nature’s way.