Bush walking is a great way to see Australia and get to know the country, but you can’t just grab any bit of bush and start walking - even if you do have a gps. Even if you didn’t get lost there might not be anything much to see except more bush. National parks and other places have designated walking trails that lead the walker safely to some place of interest such as caves or a waterfall. Or it might lead to various lookouts where you can see a lovely vista of mountains or rivers.
Many walking trails loop back and return you to where you started, like the 45-minute Rainforest Walk at Bruxner Park Flora Reserve, Coffs Harbour. Others may lead to a sky cable or chair lift that you can catch to return. Some have seats along the way; others have kiosks where you can purchase food, drinks and other things you might need such as disposable cameras and insect repellent. Following a walking trail will help to keep you safer and if you are injured make it much easier for rescue services to get you out.
Walking trails are usually graded by difficulty and length so you know whether you are likely to be able to last the distance. They will also have signs along the way warning of danger; necessary in the top end where crocodiles might be lurking. Many trails are long ones that take up to a week to traverse, so there are camping spots along the way, and water so you don’t have to carry a week’s supply.
The Wollemi National Park has walking trails of various lengths and fitness levels from a few hours up to a week. Some of the access points are through private property and permission must be obtained.
To see stunning sub-tropical forests, waterfalls and hopefully a lyrebird or two you could try the Lyrebird Link Track at Dorrigo National Park. A high 200m return boardwalk called Walk with the Birds is included, along with a short track named Satin Bird Stroll. For something a little more demanding there is the Casuarina Falls walk of about 4km, or the slightly longer Rosewood Creek Track.
Yanchep National Park in Western Australia offers an incredible diversity of flora and fauna to the bushwalker. With trails of various lengths and grades, you can view fantastic scenery of ocean, rivers and tumbling cliffs, pristine coastal wetlands, collapsed caves, and historic remains said to be haunted. The parrot bush and Yanchep Rose bloom in the last two months of winter, while kangaroo and cats paws brighten up the bush in spring - all this just 45 minutes from Perth.
No matter where you go to walk in the Australian bush, you should always take water, a hat and sunscreen. Take a light jacket even if you have to tie it around your waist. Let someone know where and when you are going and when you expect to be back. Tell them you will check in with them on a certain day or time and remember to do so. If you don’t, they will know to alert rescue services. In this way you will be safer and if an accident occurs, help will be quickly on the way.