Packing Guide for Australia’s Best Hiking Trails

Photo, Jake Melara.

DispatchesLifestyle

Packing Guide for Australia’s Best Hiking Trails

Where to go and what to pack, here's a guide to Australia's best hiking trails and how to pack properly for your expedition...

Whether you’re a seasoned tramper or just getting started with hiking, there’s something pretty much for any zealous adventurer in Australia. Thanks to its vast wilderness and amazing natural beauty, Australia is home to thousands of hiking trails, some of which are deeply rooted in the history of the ‘Land Down Under.’

However, any seasoned hiker will tell you that one of the secrets to a safe, comfortable, and enjoyable bushwalking experience is to pack right. With a brief mention of some of the most epic trails in Australia, read on for a guide to packing properly before you go.

Packing Guide for Australia's Best Hiking Trails

Photo, Biljana Ristic.

4 Incredibly Epic Hiking Trails in Australia

1. Kangaroo Island Wilderness Trail

Located in the West MacDonnell Ranges in the Northern Territory, this enormous hiking trail covers 139 miles and might take anything between 12 and 20 days to complete. From the windswept coastline to native wildlife, multiple square miles of forest, and the ranges, the Kangaroo Island wilderness has plenty to offer for any hiker.

2. Cape to Cape Track, Margaret River, Western Australia

This trail is considered one of the most dangerous hikes in the world and for good reason. The 76-mile track has some of the best views of Western Australia. Those who make it will reach Cape To Cape, the southernmost tip of mainland Australia. There’s a lot to marvel at during the hike, from the spectacular forest and coastal scenery to fascinating views of geology – cliffs, headlands, caves, and rock formations, you name it!

3. The Great Ocean Walk, Victoria, Australia

The Great Ocean Walk is a magnificent geological wonderland in the south of the state of Victoria, Australia. While the entire trail is about 110 km long, it runs for 20 kilometers across the most northern reaches of the Southern Hemisphere, from the South Atlantic Ocean to the Victorian Gulf in the east, it traverses the stunning Lorne Valley along a coastal cliff face. Get started at Apollo Bay, and you’ll traverse through Port Campbell as well as the Great Otway National Parks.

4. Heysen Trail, South Australia

Stretching a good 1200 kilometers, this is the longest hiking trail in the whole of Australia. It stretches from Cape Jervis, south of the Fleurieu Peninsula coast, to the Parachilna Gorge in the Flinders Ranges. It could take up to two months to complete the entire hike, but you can always break it up into shorter hikes.

Preparing For Emergencies

As anyone can imagine, hiking can be as dangerous as it is adrenaline-pumping. There are many risks, from bad weather to getting lost, falling sick, or getting attacked by a wild animal. This makes it important to prepare yourself accordingly so you can ensure your safety.

And besides packing appropriately, one of the best ways to ensure your safety is to get insured before the trip. At the very least, getting a health coverage, travel, or life insurance policy that includes medical evacuations can keep you prepared for emergencies. And if you’re wondering what to pack for your safety and comfort, keep reading.

Packing Guide for Australia's Best Hiking Trails

Photo, Andrew Ly.

Tips for Packing for Your Hike

Pack Light

Yes, it’s important to pack light when headed for your Aussie hiking adventure. The less you have to carry, the easier it will be to navigate your trail and cover more distance. However, you also want to ensure you pack all the essentials.

Some of these would include:

– Clothing: warm and dry spare clothing and waterproof overgear
– Fire starter or matchbox
– Enough food and water for your hike: Preferably healthy snacks for food and if you can bring at least half a gallon of water, the better
– Map and compass: For easy navigation, you don’t want to get lost in the middle of “nowhere”
– First aid kit: It should include first aid supplies plus a space blanket

Bring a Tent and Sleep, and Bathroom Supplies

Most of the epic Aussie hiking trails will require a few days to complete or even get halfway. This means that you’ll want to get prepared to safely spend the night in the wilderness. This said, do not forget to pack a sizable tent, a sleeping bag, or a sleeping mat.

Even in the warmer months, it can get really chilly in Australia, especially in areas like Victoria, Tasmania, and New South Wales in the alpines. So, make sure to pack a fairly light but warm blanket and one or two pairs of warm camping clothing.

Also, bring one or two waterproof jackets and pants in case it gets wet. Don’t forget to bring bathroom supplies like toilet paper, a toilet trowel, and a plastic bag!

Survival Kit

Since you’ll be traversing tens or hundreds of miles in the wild, it’s good to have some tools and accessories that will help you keep safe while hiking. Besides fire-starting materials, a compass, and a map, make sure to bring a survival kit with items like:

– Signaling devices: Like light sticks or a whistle
– Illumination: A solar-charging torch or headlamp will do
– A survival knife: You can use it to hunt, build shelter, cut and slice, self-defense, make a weapon, and so forth

Pack Heavier Items Closer To Your Body

It’s also important to arrange your items in a way that will help you move easily. This means packing heavier items closer to your body. And if possible, you’ll want to get a backpack with a hip belt to distribute the weight evenly.

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