Wandering through Australia’s vast wilderness is a ritual to blend into the country’s rich history. Thousands of years ago, the first inhabitants of this country took a “walkabout”, a spiritual journey along the ancient tracks or “songlines” left by their ancestors.

Today you can follow in their footsteps. Australia’s top hikes include independent half-day jaunts through bird-rich jungles and beaches surrounded by sapphire blue oceans, as well as multi-day hikes through the country’s fiery heart, where rugged canyons and red deserts are even hard-core hikers.

Depending on your leisure time and fitness level, you can divide longer hikes, the so-called “Great Walks of Australia”, into shorter day hikes.

Many of Australia’s best bushwalks pass through the World Heritage Listed wilderness areas, where you can see some of the country’s weird wildlife, from wallabies and wombats to dingoes, kangaroos and echidnas. On one of Australia’s best alpine hikes, budding climbers can even ascend the country’s highest peak in less than a day.

Australia’s hiking holidays offer something for everyone, from families to solo hikers, from the coast to the desert. No matter your trip takes you to this sun-drenched wilderness, wherever you go, the spectacular scenery will touch your soul like the indigenous people thousands of years ago.

Plan your adventures with our list of the best hikes in Australia.