Hunting down the best trail runs in Australia and New Zealand ain’t an easy task. Luckily The North Face put us in touch with 3 of their runners who’ve thrown many a mile under their battered and blistered feet, and know where to look.
The Great Ocean Walk, Victoria, Australia // Up to 100km
As a local of Geelong, I’m fortunate enough to have some of the best coastline in the world on my doorstep. Having run on trails all over the globe in places such as France, Italy, Spain, New Zealand, the US and Hong Kong, I can still happily say that it always gives me immense enjoyment to come back home. I don’t know whether it’s the fact that it’s ‘home’ for me, or just the nature of the flowing trails on the rugged coastline, that keeps me forever wanting more.
The trails around the Anglesea and Aireys Inlet area are beautiful, and being so close it works really well for me to do a large volume of my running there. However, my absolute favourite place to get out on the trails is the 100km stretch of incredible trail called the Great Ocean Walk.
This trail spans from Apollo Bay to the 12 Apostles and encompasses some of the most varied and stunningly beautiful trails any trail runner or outdoor enthusiast could ask for. For me it’s equally as nice to run there at any time of year, from the heat of summer to the cold and windy depths of winter. I just never tire of the sights, sounds and smells that make up the incredibly tranquil wilderness of the south-west coast.
In all of the times I’ve run the trail (except during races) the only company present has been a few koalas, some kangaroos, snakes and echidnas — it’s one of the things I love about it most!
The Skyline Hills Overlooking Dunedin, New Zealand // 22km loop
Although I live in North Queensland at the moment, I’m from Dunedin, New Zealand and the running in the hills around there is definitely my happy place!
Mt Solitary, Blue Mountains, Australia // 40km loop
Living in the middle of Sydney is both a blessing and a burden. It’s one of the most stunning cities on the planet but, as a trail ultra runner with a passion for nature I’m often left longing for the hills and the feeling of isolation that you only get in wild places.
Thankfully, it’s only a couple of hours drive west to the Blue Mountains. It’s a place where you’re spoilt for choice when it comes to trails that combine spectacular scenery with challenging terrain. While the steep inclines and sometimes muddy paths can be both mentally and physically taxing, the rewards greatly outweigh the demands of the trail. By rewards I don’t only mean the views. It’s the sense of accomplishment of reaching a mountaintop or completing a difficult route that means the most.
Hit The Trails