Outdoor Adventures: Best Hiking Trails for Families in Australia

Handy hints, tips and recommended trails for taking the kids on family hikes in Australia.

family of four hiking in green wilderness

5min read

Published 27 November 2023


Handy hints, tips and recommended trails for taking the kids on family hikes in Australia.

Stunning landscapes, adventure, quality time in the great outdoors, resilience building – a family hike almost has it all.

Like with any family activity, planning is key – hence this handy blog of the best family hikes Australia has to offer. As any parent that has attempted this "fun" family activity will tell you, kids are not natural born hikers. The first few hikes will probably be unpleasant (beware the human shaped whinge machine!).

But if you start with short walks, go prepared, choose the right season and the best track for your family, you could be the hiking family of your dreams!

Walk right this way...our golden shores and precious national parks harbour so many amazing hikes whether you've got a little one strapped to you, or a loud and small-legged little human trailing along behind.

General Family Hiking Tips

Seasons And Weather

Hot tip: most kids are fair weather hikers. Slogging it out in the rain and mud or intense heat with kids is no fun so pick your time wisely. Seasons matter too; some hikes are only open during certain seasons or certain routes become less accessible according to weather.

What To Take

It depends on which type of walk you’re on, but food (kids are snack lords), water, hat and sunscreen are essentials on any hike. A First aid kit is a must-have for everything from minor ouchies to insect bites.

Environmental Impact

Keep our wild spaces beautiful by packing reusables and leaving no trace. Check out these seven handy principles to make sure your impact is positive.

Grade Guide

Most hikes and bush walks in Australia are graded according to the Australian Walking Track Grading System (AWTGS). They run from Grade 1 (no hiking experience needed) to Grade 5 (very experienced with specialised skills, navigation and emergency First Aid). Walks of Grade 2 and 3 could generally be considered family friendly.


There are plenty that are free, but a lot of hikes in Australia need a permit (and some have occupancy limits) so make sure to check before you go to avoid fines.

Hikes Around Australia To Explore

  1. National Pass via Wentworth Falls Circuit
  2. Six Foot Track
  3. Sea Acres Rainforest Boardwalk
  4. Scenic Rim Walk
  5. Fraser Island Great Walk
  6. Jatbula Track
  7. Larapinta Trail
  8. Overland Track
  9. Three Falls Circuit
  10. Cape to Cape Track
  11. Bibbulmun Track
  12. Heysen Trail
  13. Sherbrooke Falls Walk
  14. Cape Woolamai Circuit

New South Wales

National Pass via Wentworth Falls Circuit

Length: 6.6km loop | Average time: 2 hrs 30 mins

Difficulty: Intermediate

Best for: All ages

This popular track in Blue Mountains National Park is touted as one of the most beautiful half-day hikes in the country. Winding past magical waterfalls like Empress Falls and with lush views over Blue Mountains’ famed hues, the trail is easy walking for little legs and with just enough elevation to not be a completely flat bush walk.

Six Foot Track

Length: 47km point-to-point trail | Average time: 14 hrs 29 mins

Difficulty: Intermediate

Best for: All ages

Want more of a challenge for you and your experienced hiking teenage kids? Check out the Six Foot Track in Katoomba area, a three-day one-way hike that follows an 1884 heritage horse track with wild river crossings and falls, ending at the Jenolan Caves.

At the opposite end of the spectrum near Katoomba, there's the Three Sisters accessible walk, a short loop of paved paths and viewing platforms that's pram and wheelchair-friendly.

Sea Acres National Park

Length: 1.3km loop | Average time: 27min – 1hr 15min

Difficulty: Easy

Best for: All ages and those with accessibility needs

Nestled behind the beautiful beaches of Port Macquarie, this easy hike cuts a leisurely path through the lush rainforest canopy of Sea Acres National Park along a purpose-built wooden boardwalk. Open every day (except Christmas Day) between 9.30am and 4pm, the walk is filled with rainforest creatures and critters.

Empress Falls cascade down rocks in the Blue Mountains
Empress Falls cascade down rocks in the Blue Mountains
Empress Falls cascade down rocks in the Blue Mountains

Empress Falls in Blue Mountains, New South Wales


Scenic Rim Trail

Length: 44.4km point-to-point trail | Average time: 4 days

Difficulty: Advanced

Best for: Families with older children

Characterised by steep sections and lots of elevation, Scenic Rim Trail is not for the faint-hearted family of hikers. While the challenge is offset by the sheer prehistoric beauty of the highlands of Main Range National Park, tackling this epic bush walk and camping adventure as a family will take some serious preparation (and dedication).

For a taste of the wilderness and wildlife with far less effort, the moderate Queen Mary Falls Circuit delivers in spades. The 2.1km (40 mins) bush track takes all ages of hikers along the top of the misty falls before looping back down to the bottom where lizards laze in the sun. Pack a picnic to fill grumbling tums in the well set up day-use area.

K'gari (Fraser Island) Great Walk

Length: 75km point-to-point walk | Average time: 5–7 days

Difficulty: Hard

Best for: Families with older children and moderate fitness levels

Set out either north to south or south to north, stopping at one of 40 perched lakes and marvelling at the pristine rainforests in the interior of the world's largest sand island as you go.

Small kids in tow? Experience sections of the walk with the following:

  • Lake Wabby: Commit to only 3.1km round trip to be rewarded with a swim at the deepest freshwater lake on the island. For views of the lake, take the track from Lake Wabby Road car park to the lookout point.
  • Wanggoolba Creek boardwalk: Sacred to K'gari's Butchulla women, the creek's boardwalk is less than a kilometre of flat, easy walking from Central Station through subtropical rainforest filled with wildlife.
  • Kingfisher Beerillbee Circuit: From Kingfisher Bay Resort, the 4km circuit follows the ridge of a huge sand dune, dipping down Dundonga Creek with the option to walk back along the beach (look out for turtles!) at low tide.

More family Favourite QLD Hikes:

  • Natural Bridge Circuit in Springbrook National Park – Easy – 1.1km (19minutes)
  • Cougal Cascades Track in Springbrook National Park – Easy – 3.7km (1hr 5mins)
  • Mt Ngungun Summit Trail in Glasshouse Mountains National Park – Moderate – 2.4km
  • Baral Marrjanga, Rex Creek, Rainforest Circuit and Lower River Track in Daintree National Park – Easy – 3.5km (56 mins)
Lake Wabby on K'gari, Queensland
Lake Wabby on K'gari, Queensland
Lake Wabby on K'gari, Queensland

Lake Wabby on K'gari, Queensland

Northern Territory

Jatbula Trail

Length: 61km point-to-point trail | Average time: up to six days

Difficulty: Hard

Elevation gain: 948m

Best for: Experienced hiking families. Only a Grade 2 hike but heat and distance add to the challenge, particularly for little bodies.

Stretching through the rock art and wildflower-filled lands of the Jawoyn people in Nitmiluk National Park, this trail could be considered a starter hike for wannabe multi-day hikers. You'll have to carry all your gear and water, making camp as you go, but a plethora of rock pools and waterholes hold freshwater for refilling bottles and cooling off at day's end.

Larapinta Trail

Length: 223km point to point | Average time: 63hrs+

Difficulty: Hard

Best for: Experienced hikers, break into sections for hiking with your family. Not suited for young kids.

"The Larapinta" is one of those bush walks that's akin to a spiritual experience. Rugged, steep ancient landscape stretches along the rocky spine of the West MacDonnell Ranges/Tjoritja from Alice Springs to Sonder Mountain, but the complete track isn't recommended for family hikes. Keen to give your kids a taste of the Larapinta Trail? Try a guided adventure walk (including Ormiston Gorge) where you can walk short sections with just a day pack staying in luxury accommodation each night.

The red, rocky spine of Tjoritja
The red, rocky spine of Tjoritja
The red, rocky spine of Tjoritja

The red, rocky spine of Tjoritja, Northern Territory


Overland Track

Length: 65km from Cradle Mountain to Lake St Clair | Average time: 6 days

Difficulty: Hard

Best for: Parks Tasmania recommends kids aged 8 years+ only

One of the best walking tracks in Australia, the Overland Track is well-known for its pristine alpine beauty. Stretching through glacial valleys, ancient rainforests and buttongrass meadows in the Tasmanian Wilderness World Heritage Area (part of the Cradle Mountain-Lake St Clair National Park), this is no walk in the park. If your kids are experienced and have grit though, it could be the stuff of family legend.

FYI: You'll need a permit and can only walk in one direction during high season (November to May).

Three Falls Circuit

Length: 6.1km loop | Average time: 2hrs

Difficulty: Moderate

Best for: All ages, but there are lots of stairs so not suited to prams or wheelchairs (and really little legs).

A partially paved, kid-friendly trail running along Lady Baron Creek, this popular walking track brims with Tasmanian wildlife like cute pademelons and glimpses of the elusive platypus frolicking among the many waterfalls, eucalypts and rainforest landscape. Start your walk at the visitor centre (home to the trailhead and a carpark) and opt to go anti-clockwise to avoid climbing the many stairs.

Lady Barron Creek waterfall, Tasmania
Lady Barron Creek waterfall, Tasmania
Lady Barron Creek waterfall, Tasmania

Lady Barron Creek waterfall, Tasmania

Western Australia

Cape to Cape Track

Length: 125km | Average time: 6–8 days

Difficulty: Moderate

Best for: All ages, if broken into sections

Bookended by lighthouses at Cape Naturaliste (north) and Cape Leeuwin (south) this epic coastal walk traverses some of Western Australia's most stunning scenery (wildflowers! whale watching!), taking anywhere between 6–8 days. Choose to tackle it in small circuits like the paved Cape Naturaliste to Sugarloaf Rock trail. Or go slow and explore the Margaret River region your way, staying at park-managed campsites and private caravan parks.

Bibbulmun Track

Length: 958.5km end to end | Average time: 6–8 weeks

Difficulty: Mixed

Best for: All ages if broken into sections

Stretching close to 1000 kilometres from Perth to Albany, this walk is considered one of the world's greatest long walks, full of stunning landscapes, Nyoongar history and amazing wildlife. The length and elevation of the complete track suggest a daunting task, but with options like day walks and multi-day camp trips there's a section for everyone. Check out the Bibbulmun Track Foundation for more detail.

Blue seas surround a rocky island at Cape Naturaliste, Western Australia
Blue seas surround a rocky island at Cape Naturaliste, Western Australia
Blue seas surround a rocky island at Cape Naturaliste, Western Australia

A rocky island off Cape Naturaliste, Western Australia

South Australia

Heysen Trail: Cape Jervis to Cobbler Hill

Length: 13.8km point to point | Average time: 3hrs 53mins

Difficulty: Moderate

Best for: Serious walkers and older kids who have tackled other family hiking trails confidently.

Australia's longest dedicated walking trail spans 1200km of South Australia's varied landscapes. Walking end-to-end would take 60 days to complete, so even the most advanced of walkers take this epic hike on over years. But, the trail has been designed so there's something for most skill levels along the whole track. Choose from day walks in the Adelaide Hills to rugged outback multi-day camping adventures near Wilpena Pound/Ikara, the crowning glory of Flinders Ranges.

Anywhere along the southern section from Cape Jervis to Spalding in the Clare Valley, like this section ending at Cobbler Hill, is good for family hiking.

An aerial view of Wilpena Pound, South Australia
An aerial view of Wilpena Pound, South Australia
An aerial view of Wilpena Pound, South Australia

The spectacular Wilpena Pound in the  Ikara-Flinders Ranges National Park, South Australia


Sherbrooke Falls via Ridge, Moores Break and Lloyd's Track

Length: 6.1km loop | Average time: 1hr 58mins

Difficulty: Moderate

Best for: Kids over the age of four or five unless they are keen hikers

Forest ferns and mountain ash tower overhead tramping along this sometimes muddy trail. A steep section for about 800m takes this hike from easy to moderate, but keep kids distracted with echidna spotting. Pack some snacks for a post-hike picnic at trail's end.

Cape Woolamai Circuit

Length: 8.2km loop | Average time: 1hr 53mins

Difficulty: Moderate

Best for: Any age – lots of wildlife spotting opportunities

Butterflies, penguins, Australian fur seals, possums, koalas – this Empress hike brings the fauna goods! A relatively easy coastal walk with stunning views and plenty of vantage points for happy hiking snaps.

Walk this way! Check out our most popular hiking tour options today.

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