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Great Walks of Australia
Miners Beach Walking Track, Port Macquarie, NSW
A nine-kilometre walk from Town beach to Lighthouse beach at Port Macquarie, NSW. Five beaches are linked by timber walkways over the rocky headlands, which include whale watching platforms. The walk, which takes about three hours if you don't stop for a swim or dawdle over a coffee at one of the beachside cafes, has a short rainforest section but for the most sticks to the water's edge.
Wilsons Promontory, Melbourne, VIC
Its granite headlands, undeveloped beaches, rivers, walking trails and wildlife make it one of Victoria's most well-loved national parks. The 19-kilometre one-way walk out to the remote lighthouse, is a highlight but takes some effort as you need to carry all your food and gear on the long hike in and carry all your rubbish out. An easier walk is the two-hour trek across three of the park's best beaches: Squeaky beach, Whisky beach, and Picnic beach. This walk is best done at low tide.
The wild and lonely southern coast of WA has some great bay-to-bay walking trails along the clifftops, with its coloured banksias and other wildflowers in full bloom during late winter and early spring. The Coastal Trail in Cape Le Grand National Park, just east of Esperance in Western Australia, is a 15-kilometre (one-way) walk from Le Grand beach to Rossiter Bay. It can be broken up into shorter sections of between two and three hours each. There are two beachside campsites, both of which feature solar-powered hot showers and good camp kitchens - all the ingredients for a perfect beach camping holiday, if you ask me.
If you want to really explore the southern coastline there is a long-distance walking track along the coastal edge that stretches from Goolwa to Cape Jervis, via Victor Harbor on the Fleurieu Peninsula south of Adelaide. It's part of the 1200-kilometre-long Heysen Trail that continues up to Parachilna Gorge in the Flinders Ranges, but if you don't have the time, or energy, then you can pick up parts of the trail at Parsons beach or Waitpinga beach in Newland Head Conservation Park, or at the Bluff on the outskirts of Victor Harbor, and simply wander along the cliffs for as long and far as you please.
At the eastern end of Noosa's main street, this Queensland national park is within a short stroll of the cafes and boutiques and includes the headland at Noosa Heads, where there are more than 15 kilometres of walking tracks. The Coastal Track keeps close to the shoreline around the headland and provides easy access to several pretty beaches. Lookouts along the way provide great views and the track ends at Hell's Gates. Go to Alexandria Bay on the eastern side of the headland if you feel like a refreshing swim.