Bushwalking is something that is only done in Australia. But the same activity, called hiking, tramping, rambling, trekking or fell walking, takes place all over the world. Hiking may also take different forms to the way it is done here. For example, in many European countries, there is very little wilderness as we know it. So walking there is often on farmland, on tracks that have been used for hundreds or thousands of years. This section of the site will give you some ideas of what can be done interstate and overseas. It is not comprehensive, but will give you some ideas and starting points.In most Australian states, national parks are the most common place for bushwalking. Government departments maintain these parks and are the best source of information about the parks and walks available. Bushwalking clubs are also a good source of local information, and will often welcome visitors to join their walks. The state bushwalking bodies can provide contact details for all clubs in the state.
- Johnny Boy’s Walkabout Blog. Walk descriptions and resources for bushwalking in the ACT and nearby NSW
- Department of Environment and Science
- Some of Queensland’s best walks have been nominated as Great Walks.
- One thing to note about Queensland national parks is that all camp sites must be booked in advance on their website.
- Bushwalking Queensland
- Parks & Wildlife Service
- Tasmanian clubs
- Topographic maps for Tasmania are available online.
- The Overland Track is one of Australia’s most iconic walks.
The most common overseas destination for Australian bushwalkers is New Zealand. New Zealand has really embraced the concept of walking, and national parks and other government areas are set up with the expectation that people will be walking in them. Tracks are generally well signposted, there are huts in many places, and transport is readily available to and from the track ends.
There are nine Great Walks taking in the North, the South and Stewart Islands. These are typically 3 to 5 day trips through some of the most spectacular and interesting country in New Zealand. Huts are available for each evening stay, with mattresses provided and running water and benches for cooking. It is also possible to camp in most locations.
Apart from the Great Walks, there are a huge number of other tracks of various grades and lengths.
Not all of these have huts available, but often there is accommodation of one sort or another, and camping is always a possibility.
Topographic maps can be downloaded for free or more interactive systems can be used. Map sheets can also be purchased. Many of the famous walks have dedicated maps and guidebooks of various kinds describing the walk and what is to be seen.
Many Australians make Great Britain the first port of call for a European trip. The British refer to walking as rambling. Britain has a large selection of long distance walking tracks through diverse landscapes including mountains, rugged coastlines, moorland, ancient forests and rivers. The best known are the Pennine Way and Wainwright’s Coast to Coast, but there are many other National Trails.
The Ramblers Association is the peak body for walking in Britain, and the site has a wealth of practical advice on walking as well.
There are many long distance tracks throughout Europe. Here are some starting points for your research.
- Hiking in France
- The Grandes Randonnees long distance hiking routes of France
- About France
- Hiking Trails in Europe
- National Geographic’s 10 Best Hikes in the National Parks
- National Geographic Trails maps
- American Trails
- Long-distance trails in the United States
- Hiking in Canada
- 37 Long Distance & Backpacking Trails in Canada
- Parks Canada