So says some new visitor statistics from the Government’s tourism and major events agency, Destination NSW.
Over a third of all travellers in Australia who undertake a bushwalk evidently choose NSW for this activity, with more than one in six of all holiday trips in NSW (16%) involving bushwalking. Well over a half (58%) of all holiday trips to NSW will involve a nature based activity.
Destination NSW CEO Sandra Chipchase puts the popularity of NSW bushwalks down to the state’s hugely diverse natural environment.
“NSW has some of the greatest single and multi-day walks in the world. In NSW you can hike up Australia’s highest mountain, walk amongst age-old rainforest, along pristine coastal tracks and through World Heritage-listed national parks,” she said.
“With more than 820 National Parks and reserves, over 2,000 km of coastline and a Sydney Harbour walk covering 60 km, NSW is the ultimate bushwalking destination.”
Autumn marks the start of the bushwalking season for many, with its cooler weather and long sunny days. Destination NSW suggests this selection of great autumn walks.
Grab a backpack and go exploring for a few days
Light to Light on the far South Coast spans 30 km of coastline and links historic Boyds Tower and Green Cape Light station
Kanangra Walls to Katoomba in the Blue Mountains is a challenging 45 km hike through stunning scenery and can include camping in the Hundred Man Cave.
Solitary Islands Coastal Walk on the North Coast is an easy four-day walk over 60 km. Pack a light pack back as there are cafes and accommodation along the way
Sydney’s Great Coastal Walk, from Barrenjoey on Sydney’s northern beaches to the Royal National Park in the South, can be done as a seven-day adventure covering 100km of coastal trails or broken up into sections as day trips.
Great short walks
White Sands Walk at Jervis Bay on the South Coast is an easy hour-long walk along the whitest sands of the world past unspoilt and secluded beaches
Mt Kosciuszko Summit Walk to the peak of Australia’s highest mountain can include catching a chair lift or adding a side trail, such as Main Range, which includes hiking through alpine herb fields and climbing Carruthers Peak.
Ultimate guided walks
Mount Gower on Lord Howe Island is a challenging eight-hour return trek, complete with rope-assisted climbs and dizzying drops. Walkers are required to take a licensed guide, such a fifth generation islander Jack Shick who has guided more than 1,000 walks and can provide insight into the rare plants and wildlife of Lord Howe Island
The Coast Track with Sydney Coast Walks is a two-day hike for private groups through Australia’s oldest national park, The Royal National Park. Experience ancient Aboriginal carvings, secluded beaches, waterfalls and camp on the edge of Sydney
Yuraygir Coastal Walk on the North Coast is a six-day guided walk with AusWalks. From Yamba to Red Rock through rainforest, paperbark swamps and colourful heathlands, this walk includes a river crossing by ferry, eating freshly shucked oysters and accommodation along the way
The Six Foot Track, a 45 km route follows the 1884 heritage horse track through the Blue Mountains. Trek amongst health, woodland and rainforest, past waterfalls and wild rivers on a guided or self-guided trek.