Road trips are great, but stretching your legs along shorter stretches of coastline is a fantastic way to really immerse yourself in the surroundings. Whether it’s a DIY half-day hike along the Spit to Manly walk in Sydney (you’ll forget you’re in the middle of our biggest city); a weekend overnighter like the Coast Track in NSW’s Royal National Park; a mid-length adventure along the Twelve Apostles Walk in Victoria; or a longer, guided trek like the Cape to Cape Track in WA, there’s a walking route to suit every family and fitness level.
The option you choose will depend largely on your budget and family. Luxury operators such as Great Walks of Australia offers top-notch camping accommodation along the way, with meals using local produce, and fine wines, but not all of these tours will be well-suited to young children. You’ll also want to consider how long little legs will hold up for each day (a good guide for under 12s is the same number of kilometres per day as years they are old). Whichever walk you choose, it’s a great way to keep the family active while on holiday, with a real sense of achievement at the end of it all.
Manly to Spit Bridge, NSW – This 10 kilometre walk is easily done in a morning or afternoon, taking in spectacular views over Sydney Harbour, small coastal coves and vast swathes of bushland. manly.nsw.gov.au
Coast Track (Bundeena to Otford), NSW – It’s a good idea to break this spectacular 26 kilometre coastal hike into sections. You can camp overnight at North Era campground.
Twelve Apostles Walk, Vic – Bothfeet Tours will guide you on this four-day, 56 kilometre section of the Great Ocean Walk, providing much of your walking gear plus meals and even a scenic heli-flight to ensure you see the incredible Twelve Apostles from all angles. Kids 12 and over can join regular tour groups; and they’ll even tailor a private, family-friendly itinerary for younger children. You’ll stay at the Bothfeet Lodge each night, so there’s no lugging heavy packs!
Cape to Cape Track, WA – Cape to Cape Explorer Tours offers a range of guided walks along this 135 kilometre stretch of the WA coast. Choose from a short sunset tour exploring forest and caves; full-day ‘Jewel of the Capes’ tours, or longer seven-night end-to-end tours (for kids 12 and older). You’ll get tasty meals and comfy lodgings along the way.