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One of the best ways to see the natural beauty and wonders of our countries is to get out into the great outdoors on a hiking trail. We’ve all probably heard of some of the infamous hiking trails such as: Camino de Santiago through France, Spain and Portugal; The Path of the Gods along the Amalfi Coast of Italy; Inca Trail to Machu Picchu in Peru; Bright Angel Trail in the Grand Canyon, USA; or Tour du Mont Blanc in Europe. However, there are countless epic hikes of Australia and New Zealand that are rapidly becoming world acclaimed.
In Lonely Planet’s latest publication titled “Epic Hikes of Australia and New Zealand”, you will discover 50 incredible hiking routes, plus an additional 150 suggestions of the most thrilling trails in these countries. They are all detailed and beautifully illustrated in this 320-page book with a rating applied to each hike: easy, medium or epic!
To compile this book, Lonely Planet asked seasoned hikers to share their adventures in Australia and New Zealand. And guests, such as Bob Brown, senator and former leader of the Australian Greens, recount some of their personal hiking tales and favourite destinations.
The book is broken up into chapters according to the location of the hikes:
With each hike there is map, quality photos, a detailed description, first-hand accounts, and orientation points to help planning. These include: Start and finish, distance, duration, getting there, when to go, what to pack and more information as applicable. Then there are recommendations for more hikes that are similar to the one featured.
Hiking in Australia offers the walker an absolute smorgasbord of walking trails. With its abundance of protected national parks and wilderness areas the options are endless. There are walks along rugged coastlines, through serene rainforests, native bushland, into deep gorges, on pristine beaches, through the alpine highlands and arid deserts.
There are far too many hikes in Australia to list them all here, but some of the better known ones include:
New Zealand is a walking wonderland with volcanic peaks, steaming craters, vivid blue lakes, snow capped mountains and glaciers, fjordlands, dense native forests and wild West Coast beaches.
Here’s just a handful of the more renowned hiking trails in New Zealand:
Hiking in Australia and New Zealand not only offers a variety of terrain but are also culturally diverse with intriguing indigenous histories. As both countries were both originally explored on foot, some of the walking routes help walkers connect with and understand some of the countries history.
In parts of Australia you will discover amazing aboriginal rock art in gorges and caves, trees where canoes were cut from, sacred ceremonial sites and middens – relics of the Aboriginal Heritage. In New Zealand some of the tracks lead into river valleys along routes used by Maori long before Europeans arrived.
The hiking trails in this book vary from one-day hikes, urban adventures, long-distance challenging trails and even some newly created routes.
One thing that hiking gives us is a connection with nature where we can feel awe and peace among the trees, rocks and warbling birds. It is known to help reduce stress levels, clear our minds, breathe in fresh air and increase awareness and creativity.
Each page of this fantastic book tells a first-hand story of the featured hiking trail, that I found extremely interesting. It also gives great detailed information for planning and preparing for the hikes. I can see that the book would be a valuable tool for avid walkers and hikers, from the weekend warrior to the hardcore thrill seeker. There are hikes listed in this book that would suit all levels of fitness, ability and interest.
Lonely Planet’s “Epic Hikes of Australia and New Zealand” is available online from Lonely Planet for $44.99 or from most book shops in Australia and New Zealand.
Kathy was a 50 something year old when she started up this blog 6 years ago, but has since turned over another decade and is now in her early 60s. She is married with two adult children and lives on the Tweed Coast of New South Wales, Australia. Kathy enjoys living life to the fullest and loves to keep fit and active by maintaining a healthy diet and exercising regularly. Some of her interests include reading, photography, travelling, cooking and blogging! Kathy works part-time as a freelance writer but her real passion is travelling and photographing brilliant destinations both within Australia and overseas and writing about it.