NSW is officially Australia’s most popular bushwalking destination with more than 5.5 million visitors trekking on the State’s bushwalk trails, new visitor statistics reveal from Destination NSW, the Government’s tourism and major events agency.30 March 2015
Over a third of all travellers in Australia who undertake a bushwalk 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,’ said Ms Chipchase.
‘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,’ she said.
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
- Green Gully Track in the New England is an award-winning track for the adventurous hiker, covering 65km over four days through the Oxley Wild Rivers National Park
- 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
- Red Top lookout and boardwalk at Mungo National Park in Outback NSW offers remarkable views of the park’s deep ravines, rippling patterns and rich textures of the Mungo lunette and lakebed
- National Pass, in the Blue Mountains National Park, is a hard walk built into the side of the cliff and follows a trail originally built by picks, shovels and dynamite in 1906
- Breadknife and Grand High Tops Walk in Western NSW’s Warrumbungles National Park is regarded as one of the State’s best day walks because of it its rugged volcanic landscape
- 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. Life’s An Adventure provides a luxury option with top of the line tents, luggage transport and gourmet food along the way.
NSW Bush walking data for the year-ended September 2014 shows:
- 5.5 million visitors chose NSW for bush or rainforest walking, giving NSW a 34% share of all bush or rainforest walking visitors to Australia. Of these travellers, 2.7 million (50%) were domestic overnight visitors, 1.9 million (34%) were domestic daytrip visitors and 853,000 (16%) were international visitors
- 15.8 million visitors went bush or rainforest walking during their trip to Australia. Of these, 8.3 million (52%) were domestic overnight visitors, 6.2 million (39%) were domestic daytrip visitors and 1.4 million (9%) were international visitors
- Just over one in ten of all holiday trips in Australia (11%) includes bushwalking or rainforest walking, compared to more than one in six of all holiday trips in NSW (16%) includes bush or rainforest walking
- Among domestic overnight visitors to NSW, most (27%) choose to bush or rainforest walk during the March Quarter (January to March). This is closely followed by the June Quarter (April – June) with 25% going bushwalking during these months.
- Of all NSW domestic overnight travellers, 10% will go bushwalking or rainforest walking during their trip
- Almost one in five domestic overnight holiday trips in Australia (18%) includes bushwalking or rainforest walking. Likewise, almost one in five domestic overnight holiday trips in NSW (18%) includes bush or rainforest walking
- Of those on a domestic holiday trip in Australia of more than four nights, 25% will go on a bushwalk or rainforest walk during the trip
- Well over half (58%) of all holiday trips to NSW will involve a nature based activity.
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