The best way to get your heart pumping and blood flowing again after hours in the car crossing the Nullarbor? Head out for one of Australia’s awesome hiking opportunities: a brilliant way to squeeze in a workout, spot some wildlife up close and enjoy some striking panoramic vistas.
Alligator Gorge: A steep downhill staircase takes you into a rocky and tree-filled gorge. The easy three-kilometer loop is an excellent chance to see some beautiful butterflies and tree-hugging lizards, and the perfect chance to stretch your legs after a narrow and winding road to the trail summit. (South Australia)
Warren Gorge: One of the few places in the world that you can spot yellow-footed rock wallabies, along with plenty of “normal” kangaroos. The wallabies are often in the rock wall of the gorge: stare long enough, and eventually you’ll see one move. This is also an excellent place to set up camp for the night: on a clear night, the stars are unbelievable.
Dutchmen’s Stern: This four-kilometer round trip is a slow-but-steady uphill slog to a brilliant vantage point overlooking open spaces as far as the eye can see.
Talia Sand Dunes: Bring a sandboard for ultimate fun! Just a few meters from an incredible stretch of sand and surf on Talia Beach, the sand dunes are a picturesque stretch of sparkling and undulating hills of white sand.
Rossiter Bay to Lucky Bay: One of those hikes that is worth it if just for the views. You’ll get panoramas of three different Cape Le Grande beaches, and sparkling turquoise water as far as the eye can see.
Hellfire Cove to Lucky Bay: Curving along the water, up and over hills, this path is sometimes laid-back, sometimes challenging. Keeping an eye out for the trail-markers can be almost as testing as the pure uphill stone faces you sometimes climb. But then you come to a stretch of the trail along the whitest of white sand beaches, and you forget about all the uphill you’ve conquered.
Frenchmen’s Peak: This is a “marked path” but not necessarily a trail: more like a nearly vertical stone face to clamber up. Once you reach the top, though, the view is staggering: the turquoise waters of Hellfire Cove and Lucky Bay straight ahead, and mile upon mile of open space behind you. The Germans I hiked with were shocked: you’d never find even a fraction of open spaces like these in Europe.
Bluff Knoll: The Stirling Ranges seem to appear out of nowhere in the otherwise flat expanse of land, and Bluff Knoll is the highest of them all. The trail is well-marked, and there’s a stream of fresh water about a quarter of the way up: don’t hesitate to fill your water bottles up here, as it gets plenty hot in the open sun up top. The view from the summit is breathtaking: another incredible example of just how much open space there is in Australia. Allow two to four hours for return.
Note: I discovered all of these hikes while crossing Australia with Nullarbor Traveller.