Whilst Australia may be considered the world’s flatest continent there are still several panoramic, famous mountains worth conquering. The thrill, the beautiful scenery and the physical challenge make them stand out above the rest.
1. Mt Kosciuszko, NSW
Height: 2,228 m
The easiest way to reach Australia’s highest peak is to take the chairlift from Thredbo before beginning a relatively easy 6 km walk. There’s also the Main Range Circuit, a full day walk to the summit which crosses the famous Snowy River and has wonderful views of the Blue and Albina Lakes along the way.
2. Cradle Mountain, TAS
Height: 1,545 m
The jagged contours of Cradle Mountain are tucked away amid ancient rainforest and glacial lakes. The Cradle Mountain Summit Bush Walk (five and a half hours return) takes you past Dove Lake and Marions Lookout. There are several tracks to choose from on your return. (Photo Credit: Tasmania 2013 ©Adrian Cook).
3. Mt Ngungun, QLD
Height: 253 m
Mt Ngungun’s summit walk begins in open forest and offers panoramic views of the Sunshine Coast hinterland and the dramatic volcanic peaks of the surrounding Glass House mountains. Although the walk takes one to two hours, hikers must be fit.
4. Bluff Knoll, WA
Height: 1,099 m
The Stirling Range’s highest peak and most popular trail takes about three to four hours to complete. Hike between September and October for an abundance of beautiful wildflowers. You’ll also find more flowers at higher altitudes between November and January.
5. Mt Gower, NSW
Height: 875 m
The Mouth Gower Trek on Lord Howe Island takes around five hours to reach the summit. Encounter blissful views of Mt Lidgbird and the lagoon along the way. At the top you’ll experience the magical ‘mist forest’ and enchanting 360 degree views of the island and its crystal blue waters.
6. Frenchmans Cap, WA
Height: 1,446 m
Located in the Franklin-Gordon Wild Rivers National Park, this track is challenging and more suited to experienced hikers. The 25 km (one way) walk to the stunning white quartzite peak traverses unique rainforest and glacial valleys, usually taking three to five days.
7. Mt Warning, NSW
Height: 1,156 m
Mt Warning offers 360 degree views of some of the world’s oldest subtropical rainforests and pretty coastal views from The Gold Coast all the way to Byron Bay. Reaching the summit is an 8.8 km, five hour return walk.
8. Mt Bogong, VIC
Height: 1,986 m
The steep but moderate trail to the summit of Victoria’s highest mountain begins at the Mountain Creek picnic area. Start your ascent through a forest of peppermint gums, known as the Staircase Spur. The track is 8km, 4 hours one way.
9. St Mary Peak, SA
Height: 1,168 m
The 9 hour hike to St Mary Peak is difficult but the views of the vast plains and salt lakes are well worth the physical challenge! Start at Wilpena Pount visitor centre, continuing through native pine forest and rocky sections. If you wish to respect the wishes of the area’s traditional owners, stop on the ridge of the peak at Tanderra Saddle.
10. Federation Peak, TAS
Height: 1,224 m
Often regarded as one of Australia’s classic and most challenging bushwalks, Federation Peak isn’t for the faint-hearted. There are many routes taking several days to reach the top. Most hikers without climbing gear take the exposed Direct Ascent which begins at the southern traverse of the peak.