Australia. The land of the young and free. Where natural beauty stretches from the sandy deserts to the coral glistening oceans. Not only is Australia full of great, exercise-happy people, it’s home to some of the most amazing, scenic running trails in the world. We spent some time researching and finding out about some of the best, most accessible running trails in the country.
One of the most challenging trails in South-East QLD sits a mere five-kilometres from the CBD. The Mount Coot-tha is the famed summit adjacent to Brisbane City, and boasts over 20-kilometres of trails. Stimulating for both its terrain and altitude, the spectacular views from the Summit Café are a joyous reward.
Noosa National Park is home to dazzling sand dunes matched with wonderful white capped ocean. Heading from the Noosa hub of Hastings Street, multiple trails of approximately 15-kilometres can take you to Hell’s Gate, the stunning blowhole that appears to be the edge of the earth. Popular with the locals on a weekend morning, the trails are a mixture of serenity and purity, where nature remains uninterrupted by man.
For those residing in North Queensland, the bucket list trail for many sits in Wooroonooran National Park, near Cairns, called the Goldfield Trail. A trail of over 10-kilometres, it provides scenery of crystal clear creeks, moss covered boulders, and emerald green ferns.
The Blue Mountains are on Sydney’s backdrop, and provide ample opportunity for trail lovers to go on the hunt. A must-do trail is the Oaks Fire Trail, which is a 25-kilometre one-way track that takes in the Euroka Camping Ground. As you run, you watch the terrain transform from open heath to lush forest. Especially popular in Spring, the wildflowers and eucalypt trees combine to provide an aromatic experience.
Potentially the jewel in the crown for central NSW is the Coast track, in the heart of the NSW Royal National Park. The 26-kilometre trail extends from Bundeena to Otford, and is extremely challenging as it involves several steep climbs. If beaches, combined with sheer cliff faces is your thing, the Coast Track is for you.
If you like landmarks, then the Wilson’s Promontory Mount Oberon Summit Track is for you. A 6.8-kilometre return track heads to the southernmost point of Australia’s mainland, and provides a scintillating view of the bays below. Engaging enough for the beginner right up to the well-traversed, the Summit Track is a definite addition to your bucket list.
One of the few areas of rainforest in Victoria, Tarra Bulga National Park hosts numerous trails available to runners and walkers alike. Take in the natural waterfalls, or the fern gully walk across the suspension bridge, and you’ll surely wipe away your troubles.
The short trip from Adelaide’s CBD to the beaches of Glenelg are a must for any runner, who can take in some of the best open beaches South Australia has to offer. There’s an eight-kilometre loop that extends from Glenelg Pier to Brighton Beach, where you’ll take in all the breathtaking views added with culinary delights.
A little more inland, the Mount Brown hike takes in 970-metres of altitude, the highest peak of the Flinders Ranges, and is a breathtaking 15-kilometre hike. The summit provides breathtaking views of the ranges and gulf, and is definitely a long, but enjoyable trail.
For Perth locals, Kings Park is a rite of passage for many runners, who take in the mountain views of the nearby CBD, before challenging themselves on the very steep Jacob’s Ladder- a 250-step monster that tests all levels of fitness. After finishing up with a run through the Park, have a seat on one of the many vistas, overlooking the beautiful cityscape of Perth. Especially a favourite during the twilight hours.
For those looking for an extended adventure, why not try the multi-week trail of the Bibbulmun Track, listed in National Geographic’s Top 20 Epic Trails. The 1000-kilometre trail stretches from Kalamunda in the Perth hills, southward to the historic city of Albany. Divided into 58 sections with 49 campsites, there is an amazing range of terrain from sandy hills, to red dirt plains, to lush rainforest. The long trail offers something for everyone.
By Liam Bromilow.