Hiking in Australia isn’t as simple as putting one foot in front of the other. From creepy crawlies to dried up waterfalls, these are some of the uniquely Aussie things you have to look forward to when hiking in Australia.


Australia has a wealth of well maintained national parks with outstanding natural beauty, making it an awesome place to hike. It goes without saying, really. But, hiking in Australia is not always so hunky-dory.

We’ve all been there – the countless cobwebs to the face or the stomach-turning experience of hiking among bushfire ravaged lands. C’mon, you’ve got to admit it, hiking in Australia can be a bit of a bastard. 

We’re sure you’ll sympathise with this list of unique struggles hikers face when taking on Aussie trails. Whether you’re a seasoned veteran or a beginner, there’ll be common challenges to overcome and conquer, paving the way for your glorious hiking experience in Australia.


1. The Unattainable Trail

We all know that Australia is a huge land of unpaved dirt roads, many leading to beautiful landscapes with epic hiking trails. But, for those without a 4WD or high-clearance vehicle, reaching the trailheads for these hikes is the first hurdle. 

Isn’t it annoying when you’ve found out about a brilliant hike, but can’t even access it? Worse yet, you haven’t realised the trailhead is only 4WD accessible until you’ve rocked up to the dodgiest looking road in history. If you’ve arrived in a 2WD and are sensible, you would’ve turned around; the more adventurous or idiotic, may take on the 4WD track and fail with a flat tyre or damage to the undercarriage of their car.

Expert tip: make sure to befriend at least one 4WDer to avoid this problem. Or, maybe it’s time you pulled your finger out and learnt how to 4WD.


Should’ve taken the fourby!

2. Snakes, spiders, ticks, leeches, need I say more?

So, you’ve found yourself an easily accessible hiking trail and you’re raring to go! Wherever you are in Australia, there’s a chance you won’t be hiking alone. Even if you’re smashing out a solo hike without another person in sight, there’ll likely be a critter nearby. 

It could be a highly venomous snake that’ll join you on the trail. Maybe a bloodthirsty tick or a leech will stop on by to say hello. There’ll definitely be spiders to see along the way too. So, there’s no shame if you’re feeling a bit on edge – hiking in Australia isn’t for the fainthearted. 

But as they say, knowledge is power! Learning how to deal with snakes, spiders and other creepy crawlies is possible and important, so hiking in Australia isn’t so intimidating.


Can you spot the snake in these bushes?

3. Cobwebs to the Face

Whilst we’re on the topic, we have spiders to thank for the phenomenon that is cobbies to the face. First-on-the-trail hikers and those doing sunrise hikes will know all about this one. There’s nothing quite like walking into a spiderweb and having to peel it off your face.



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The best prevention tactic I’ve come up with is the wafting stick method. Grab a stick or tree branch, wave it around like a wand in front of you, and hope for the best. Ah, the joys of hiking in Australia!


Spider webs be errywhere on early morning hikes

4. Navigating Bushfire Season

Similar to the unattainable trail, bushfires may also stop you from hitting the trail. Unfortunately, when bushfires have their way, the path of destruction often leaves hiking trails damaged and unsafe to walk long after the flames are gone. The inevitable closure of national parks due to bushfires means there are many hikes you can’t get to and won’t be able to for some time. 

A uniquely Australian problem is to figure out what hikes are possible to do on any given day due to bushfire damage.

Read more: How To Explore Safely During Bushfire Season


If it isn’t bushfires, it’s floods

5.  Armpit Soup for Days

To hike in Australia means being a sweaty mess for about 99% of the time. Sure, the southern areas of Australia can throw off cooler weather from time to time. But, let’s not escape the fact sweating profusely is essentially a non-negotiable when hitting the wonderful trails of Australia. 

Other than being uncomfortable with the inevitable armpit soup, hot weather can make hiking in Australia challenging and difficult. Even with a hydration bladder, there’s no backpack in the world large enough to store enough water to keep you hydrated on a long day’s hike during the Australian summer. When you eventually run out of water, you just have to hope all of the water sources haven’t dried up on the trail! Kudos to the Australian climate!

Read more: How To Hike in Hot Weather


Even the backpack doesn’t cover up the sweat!

6. Waterfall Hikes Without the Waterfall

Chasing waterfalls in Australia can be harder than it sounds. Sure, there are plenty of great waterfall hikes in Australia. But, we have drought and dry seasons to thank for waterfalls drying up. There’s really nothing worse than hiking a long distance to find that waterfall you’ve heard all about, and seen in photos powerfully gushing, succumb to a mere dribble


That’s Protestor Falls behind us…apparently!

7. Can you please turn off the music?

Basically, a national park situated close to a busy city like Sydney or Melbourne can be a recipe for disaster. Particularly during the weekend, on popular hiking trails, there’ll be the annoying few who like to hike with music blaring.

If there’s one way to ruin someone else’s hiking experience, it’s by blasting music to kill the ambience and natural vibes. Well, we’re sure this problem isn’t unique to Australia. But, it’s certainly a problem for hiking in the popular Royal National Park in Sydney.


8. Hiking in a Nanny State

For those of you who’ve hiked overseas, the problem of hiking in a nanny state (i.e. Australia) can become really apparent. It’s not until you’ve experienced the liberty of fewer rules on a hiking trail abroad, that you realise how over-the-top Australia can be when it comes to safety. 

Yes, of course, rules and regulations are in place to keep everyone safe when hiking. But, you’ll be hard pressed to find another country where hikers are mollycoddled so much. To the many natural attractions that are banned or discouraged to visit due to unreasonable safety precautions, signs, gates and fences, we’re sorry we can’t explore you!


Ok you should definitely follow this sign, but still

9. Google Can’t Save You

Let’s set the scene – you’ve done the right thing by buying all the necessary gear and equipment for hiking in the Aussie bush. You’ve got gaiters on to prevent snake bites, and have applied DEET to detract those leeches and ticks.

But then you realise if something goes wrong and you need to use either your first aid kit, compass or PLB, you won’t have a scooby doo. You whip out your phone and try to Google some answers, but there’s no phone reception out in the bush, and you won’t be heading back to civilisation for days.

Better do your Googling at home next time!


If our GPS-guided directions don’t load we’re screwed!

10. Hiking Bucket Lists are Forever Growing

Even if you quit your job, and hiked all day erryday, your hiking to-do list will never shorten. The crazy size of Australia means there are just too many amazing hiking trails to walk. Damn you Australia, you beautiful bastard!

Don’t get us wrong, hiking in Australia is bloody brilliant. With some of the most fascinating, picturesque and diverse landscapes in the world, Australia is a phenomenal hiking destination. But, there are many reasons why hiking in Australia will keep you on your toes! We’ve only scratched the surface when it comes to things that make hiking in Australia unique. We’re sure, there are many other unbelievable, frightening and exhilarating things waiting for you on Aussie trails.


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