Below are just a few of the many web sites that represent some of the the “best hikes” around the world – as well as my personal recommendations of “must do” hikes. If you want more ideas or need some more information on undertaking these walks, check out the Top Hiking Books page where I recommend the hiking books and guides I’ve found most useful and/or inspiring! For other blogs promoting hiking in Australia, have a look at Top 10 Australian Hiking Blogs And Websites on Feedspot.


My Favourite Hikes

I’ve been fortunate to do many overseas hikes “off-season”, as that’s when I’ve been traveling for work or to attend a conference. It’s meant some trails have been impassable due to snow, but also that I’ve avoided peak times. Some of my favourite hikes, when I’ve walked all day and barely seen another soul, would be a very different experience in the height of summer.

  • Freycinet Peninsula, Tasmania (Jan 2017). A varied multi-day walk, from bays and beaches with crystal-clear water to mountain peaks with great views.
  • Dragon’s Back, Hong Kong (Oct 2016). A popular and scenic walk 45min from Kowloon (HK), that takes you up into the hills with views over the coast
  • Trolltunga, Lofoten Islands in Norway (Oct 2016). A long but interesting walk, ending up at a rock jutting out 600m above the valley below. 
  • Reinebringen, Norway (Oct 2016). Every walk in the Lofoten Islands was great – but the view from Reinebringen after a short & steep climb was just breath-taking.
  • Havasu Falls, Arizona (Feb 2016). An amazing walk along Havasu Creek, with turquoise water and a series of spectacular waterfalls.
  • Half Dome in Yosemite, California (Feb 2015)
  • Mulu Pinnacles, Malaysia. A gruelling climb rewarded by a view of the unique Pinnacles (which is combined with a tour of the spectacular Mulu Caves).

I’d love to hear your recommendations or favourite hikes in the comments 🙂 Especially those hikes which are not so well-known!

My recommended hikes around Sydney

There are many walks (including overnight hikes in the Blue Mountains and other areas around Sydney) that are within a few hours of Sydney, by car or public transport.

  • The Spit to Manly (Sydney). A sometimes busy but almost iconic Sydney walk past bays, beaches and some expensive Sydney real estate…
  • Bouddi coastal walk (90min north of Sydney). Beautiful central coast walk, with the pristine Maitland Bay being the star attraction
  • Coast Track (Otford to Bundeena, 1.5hrs south of Sydney and best done by train and ferry). A long day-walk that takes in multiple beaches, coastal cliffs and swimming holes.
  • Ruined Castle, Blue Mountains (Katoomba, 2hrs west of Sydney. Accessible by train). A great view from a relatively short and varied walk.
  • West Head (an hour north of Sydney). There are lot of walks to choose from, with many taking you to secluded and shaded beaches. 
  • Wollangambe Canyon, Blue Mountains (Mt Wilson, 2hrs west of Sydney). It’s half walking and half-swimming, making it a good option on hot summer day.

For a comprehensive list of walks, try Wildwalks (focussed on walks in the greater Sydney area with detailed track notes), Trail Hiking Australia (largest collection of walks across Australia) and Aussie Bushwalking (user-contributed walks across Australia as well as some overseas).

Best Hikes in Australia – what do others say!

I’ve compiled the list below over time, as I discover hiking recommendations. Some I’ve done, many end up as ideas that are added to my wish-list!

So, what are the “Best Walks in the World”?

What are the “world’s greatest walks” according to others? These lists have often provided me with the ideas or inspiration I need to find a challenging hike when I have the opportunity to travel overseas. It’s by no means exhaustive, but should give you at least a few ideas to inspire you!

My Wish List

I seem to discover more hikes each year than I have time to complete… here’s my (current) Top 10 I’d like to get to over the next few years.

  • Mt Anne (Tasmania). Either as an overnight hike travelling relatively light, or a long day-walk.
  • Overland Track (Tasmania). A “classic” Tasmanian hike: I’ve hiked up to Cradle Mountain many times as well as Barn Bluff, but have never found time to do the entire track. Being such a popular walk, I’m going to hope for a few days of good/stable weather in the off-season.
  • Maria Island (Tasmania). A combination of peaks and coastal walking on Maria Island National Park. Did this with the kids over four days in the summer school holidays – a great trip!
  • Mt Feathertop (VIC). Victoria’s second-highest peak, 1922m, with three access tracks (the most popular being the the 22km return trail from Harrietville).
  • Tabletop Track (NT). A 39km, 3-day circuit that should be possible in one long day, next time I happen to be in Darwin! Managed to get here in July 2018!
  • Routeburn Track (NZ). A classic NZ walk, which seems another ideal track to undertake in one long day. Transport (some form of car shuffle of public transport) makes this a bit of a logistical challenge. Got this one in 2019!
  • Tongariro Circuit (NZ). Amazing scenery (not that you can really go wrong on any NZ walk) – can be done as a 1-day return walk or 2/3 day circuit. Managed to fit this is as a 2-day walk during the Australian summer holidays.
  • Mount Kilimanjaro (Kenya). The highest peak in Africa. Although the nearby and less-busy Mt Kenya (4,985m) is be an equally attractive alternative!
  • Patagonia – any walks, really. I’ve yet to make it to South America.


carolinehelbig · August 20, 2018 at 8:18 pm

Great post! I’m earmarking this for future reference and hope I’ll get to your part of the world one of these days. I see Patagonia is on your list. We went this past April and it was just amazing. Using El Chalten, Argentina as a base for a number of day hikes is a great way to go:

    oliverd :-) · August 20, 2018 at 10:53 pm

    Thanks Caroline – I’ll check out your Patagonia blog. Waiting until the kids are a bot older so we can do a multi-day hike together!

Tina Wintour · November 16, 2018 at 2:26 am

Great read, will put on hiking list. Still my favourite hiking destination Zion National Park 3 hrs drive from Las Vegas. We didn’t quite manage to complete the nerve tingling Angel’s Landing, got as far as Scout’s Landing before it snowed & day 2 a fabulous ascent up to Observation Point which overlooks Angel’s Landing. Check out this spine tingling hike: the thrill of negotiating a narrow spine with massive drop offs on both sides, chain assisted & a crazy number of tourists all on it together. Zion is also famous for hiking the Narrows, we went in November it was already too cold to be in the water, warning from the ranger, we were soooo disappointed.

    oliverd :-) · November 17, 2018 at 11:04 am

    Thanks… I haven’t found the time to add Angels Landing, which I did in July 2013 and again this year (but only went just past Scout’s Landing the second time) as part of the longer West Rim walk… would agree with you that Zion NP is one of the best places I’ve visited in the US. Amazing and varied scenery. Was lucky that I went very late in the day in July, so was not too busy – I think Angels Landing is much harder/scarier when you need to constantly overtake and pass other hikers. Did Narrows the following day and it was pretty busy, buty also a very memorable hike. Thanks for your comments 🙂

CoffsTrails · December 24, 2020 at 2:11 am

My favourite day walk is Table Mountain (Cape Town) – up India Venster, across the top and down to Kirstenbosch, circle back on the contour path or get a cab. The route offers wildflowers, wildlife, views in all directions, a heart pumping climb with some scrambling, and an ice cream on top! The Drakensberg (Kwazulu-Natal) are stunning (we wrote up our very wet walk up on the SydneySoleSisters website). GR20 Corsica was an outstanding longer distance walk that I totally loved. And you can’t go wrong with just about any walk in NZ. Closer to home, Jatbula in the NT and Three Capes in TAS are good choices for families with kids. Aren’t we lucky there are so many great walks? We’ll never get to the end of our walking wish list, it just keeps growing!

    oliverd :-) · December 24, 2020 at 7:47 am

    Completely agree – both GR20 and Table Mountain are on my ever-increasing list! Pretty sure I read the Drakensberg report on the SydneySoleSisters web site a while ago. Jatbula is the only one I’m not sure of.. don’t like being told where I need to camp each night!

Lucy · January 28, 2023 at 10:46 pm

Hi, what do you think about this short hike in Patagonia?

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