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our favourite win­ter walks in Aus­tralia and New Zealand

Weight Watchers Magazine (Australia) - - Contents -

CAPE BY­RON WALK­ING TRACK NSW

LENGTH: 3.7km (about 2 hours). FIT­NESS LEVEL: High. This up-and-down loop passes through ex­quis­ite rain­for­est, beaches and grass­land and over spec­tac­u­lar clifftops. In win­ter it at­tracts whale spot­ters. Ap­par­ently the best whale-watch­ing is around the Cape By­ron Light­house (pic­tured). Also look out for tur­tles, dol­phins and st­ingrays. You can turn the walk into a day trip with lunch at the Cape By­ron Light­house Cafe.

KINGS CANYON RIM WALK NORTH­ERN TER­RI­TORY

LENGTH: 6km (about 4 hours). FIT­NESS LEVEL: Mod­er­ate to high. It’s been de­scribed as one of the world’s best short walks – and the scenery is awe-in­spir­ing. The stun­ning rim walk be­gins with a 500-step climb, which can be chal­leng­ing. But it’s worth ev­ery step be­cause when you reach the top you will be re­warded with breath­tak­ing views of Watar­rka Na­tional Park and the canyon. There is also an eas­ier, shaded walk along the canyon floor. Kings Canyon Re­sort (kingscanyon­re­sort.com.au) has guided walks to suit all fit­ness lev­els. LENGTH: 2.4km (3 hours). FIT­NESS LEVEL: Good. It may be short, but this steep climb to a beau­ti­ful alpine lake in the Fiord­land Na­tional Park, in the heart of the Mil­ford Sound area, re­quires good fit­ness and nav­i­ga­tion skills. It’s an easy 10-minute walk from the carpark to spec­tac­u­lar wa­ter­falls, but from then on the track be­comes steep and muddy. It’s worth it, though. Lake Mar­ian, lo­cated in a val­ley formed by glaciers, is con­sid­ered one of the most beau­ti­ful set­tings in Fiord­land. Sur­rounded by moun­tains, its waters of­fer stun­ning re­flec­tions when the weather is calm.

OR­GAN PIPES, MT WELLING­TON TAS­MA­NIA

LENGTH: 3 hours re­turn (7.4 km). FIT­NESS LEVEL: Mod­er­ate. These stun­ning fluted rock columns, called the Or­gan Pipes, are one of the most dis­tinc­tive fea­tures on Mt Welling­ton, just out­side Ho­bart. The columns, made of do­lerite rock and formed dur­ing the Juras­sic pe­riod, when Tas­ma­nia was in the process of sep­a­rat­ing from Antarc­tica, are a favourite for rock lovers and a source of won­der for all. The track has some steep parts and rocky sec­tions.

WER­RIBEE GORGE LOOKOUTS WALK VIC­TO­RIA

LENGTH: 7.1km (3 hours). FIT­NESS LEVEL: All. This easy walk, 69km from Melbourne, takes in three of Wer­ribee Gorge’s best lookouts, with views into the gorge and across the sur­round­ing coun­try­side. The walk de­scends into the val­ley to in­clude a sec­tion of the aquaduct track at the base of the spec­tac­u­lar Wer­ribee Gorge. There are a few short, steep as­cents and de­scents. #

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