When most people think about Australia, great mountain views are not necessarily what will come to mind first, with the sandy plain around Uluru and the stunning coastline of the country drawing the vast majority of visitors. However, there are several mountain ranges to be found in the country, and along with the altitude comes an often refreshing climate that provides an interesting contrast to the hot temperatures of many of the coastal areas.
Here are seven hikes, both short and long, that can give you a great alternative perspective on the terrain of Australia.
Six Foot Track, New South Wales
The interesting name of this trail comes from the fact that it was originally designed to be a trail that was six feet wide so that loaded dray horses could pass each other safely on the trail, while the route people walk today is around 45 kilometers in total.
There are some fascinating historic sites along the route which begins at Explorers Tree near Katoomba and travels to a point just beyond the Jenolan Caves, a network of stunning caves with beautiful rock formations. In terms of mountain scenery, the viewpoints along the Black Range ridge are particularly good.
Dove Lake Circuit, Tasmania
This is a great hike for those who are looking for something a little shorter, but at a little over two hours to complete the six kilometers of the loop you get an awful lot of bang for your buck in terms of scenery.
There are several lovely mountains around the lake, and almost every time you climb above the trees around the lake's shore, you are treated to another superb vista. This runs quite close to the longer and more challenging Overland Track, which also features among Australia's great mountain hikes.
Bibbulmun Track, Western Australia
At over 1,000 kilometers in total, this is one of the great walks in Australia and takes in a wealth of different terrain, ranging from the lovely coastal areas at the southern end of the track, and stunning forests.
However, the northern end of the trail from Kalamunda to Dwellingup is among the best for mountain scenery, passing through the Darling Range and with some great summits as you cross Mount Vincent, Mount Cooke and Mount Cuthbert on your way south.
Kosciuszko Walk, New South Wales
The day-long walk from the trailhead at Thredbo is a challenging hike that is only thirteen kilometers in length but involves a fairly steep climb to get to the highest point in Australia.
The trail is well maintained and waymarked so you shouldn't get lost along the way, but with nothing else higher than the peak in the country, you can expect 360-degree views as far as the eye can see, with the lovely Snowy Mountains providing the highlights.
Stirling Ranges Ridge Walk, Western Australia
This three-day hike may not reach altitudes much above 1,000 meters, but it is certainly challenging and offers some wonderful scenery when the weather is good. However, the trail is unmarked so you will need to be familiar with navigation techniques, and be ready for the changeable weather.
There are no supplied campsites along the route, nor are there any reliable water sources either, so make sure you carry enough water for the three days and have everything you will need.
Overland Track, Tasmania
This superb trail covers the route from Cradle Mountain to Lake St. Clair in a national park area in Tasmania, and while there is some great mountain scenery around, side trips to Cradle Mountain and Mount Ossa can provide an additional challenge.
There is a good number of accommodation huts along the trail, while the panorama of the surrounding mountains is particularly good from Mount Oakleigh, while there are plenty of other stunning viewpoints to enjoy too.
Australian Alps Walking Track, New South Wales And Australian Capital Territory
Passing through three states and several national parks, this 650-kilometer route follows the ridges and high country along with the Australian Alps mountain range, and it has been waymarked which should make navigation for most of the year easier.
There are some superb mountain views in so many places along the route, while the remote areas mean you will need some experience of camping and bushcraft in order to try and complete the entire route by yourself.