Outsiders Club

Five NSW hikes off the beaten track

26 Apr 2024
5 minutes

Craving more time outdoors? We've got the hit list for some spectacular hikes, off the beaten track. Places where less wi-fi means less distraction... and less distraction means more connection. Time and space to physically and mentally immerse yourself in some of the best tracks and trails that New South Wales has to offer. Let's get to it...

Iluka Rainforest Walking Track, Iluka NSW

Location: Northern entry, Bluff Road Illuka, 2466

Distance: 2.6km one way

Time: 30 minutes

Grade level: 2

Iluka Rainforest Trail - image courtesy of Australian Tourism Data Warehouse

Just a hop across the Clarence River from Yamba, New South Wales, the Iluka Nature Reserve and Rainforest Walking Trail awaits. It's like stepping back in time in an ancient rainforest, all on an easy-peasy hiking trail. While you're wandering, take in the sounds of birdlife around you and remember to look up at the massive ancient canopy of green above you. The short trail leads you straight to Bluff Lookout, where you can soak in those panoramic views, have a picnic, and maybe catch some whale action if it's winter. And hey, when it's warmer, why not hit up the beach for a swim or some snorkeling before you head back to Iluka.

Accommodation nearby: Reflections Red Rock & Yamba Lighthouse Cottages

Jerulasem Creek Walk, Esk NSW

Location: Jerusalem Creek Track, Esk NSW 2472

Distance: 10.3km loop

Time: 5-6 hours

Grade level: 3

Jerusalem Creek Walk - image courtesy of Australiam Tourism Data Warehouse

Just half an hour south of Evans Head, Jerusalem Creek Walk, is a 10km looped trail taking you all the way up to a picnic area on Jerusalem Creek and back again. Enjoy the lovely views as you wander the trail, particularly if you go in the late afternoon and catch the sun setting over the lagoon. We recommend taking a picnic with you for a well-deserved feast. You could also bring the canoe or stand-up paddle board for a paddle along the Jerusalem Creek paddle route. Parking is at Mibanbah Black Rocks campground and Booroora picnic area.

Accommodation nearby: Reflections Evans Head

Solitary Islands Coastal Walk

Location: Moonee Beach, NSW

Distance: 60km one way

Time: 3-4 days to do the entire stretch

Grade level: 4

Solitary Islands Coastal Walk - Moonee Beach - Image courtesy of Australian Tourism Data Warehouse

Looking for a breathtaking trail along the NSW east coast? Look no further than the Solitary Islands Coastal Walk! This picturesque path connects stunning golden beaches, rugged headlands, and lush rainforest along the Coffs Coast. Start the trail at the enchanting landscapes of Coffs Coast Regional Park, Moonee Beach Nature Reserve, and Muttonbird Island Nature Reserve before reaching the charming Sawtell, near Bongil Bongil National Park.

You might even glimpse of dolphins dancing in the waves or spot majestic whales from the headlands during the whale-watching season. And don't forget your binoculars for some fantastic birdwatching! There are also plenty of opportunities for picnics, swimming, and water sports, plus a choice of nearby cafes to grab a caffeine hit or snack.

Feeling adventurous? Pack your backpack and spend four days camping along the entire route for an unforgettable experience!

Accommodation nearby: Reflections Coffs Harbour & Reflections Moonee Beach

Wooli to Red Rock Walking Track

Location: Corindi Beach, NSW

Distance: 15.5km loop

Time: 5-6 hours

Grade level: 5


The Wooli to Red Rock Trail offers the most challenging and off-the-beaten-path adventure along the Yuraygir coastal walk. Embrace the thrill of navigating rocky platforms at low tide and crossing rivers with boat transport. Whether you tackle it in a day or spread it out over a few days, it's sure to be an unforgettable journey.

Follow the trail along rugged shorelines and energetic pebbly beaches, navigating tidal creeks and strolling along sandy shores lined with vibrant pandanus palms. Feel free to pause whenever the mood strikes and try your luck at fishing.

Keep your eyes peeled for the adorable little terns, nesting in protected habitats at Station Creek Beach near Pebbly Beach campground and Red Rock town. With their striking black, white, and grey feathers, they're a joy to spot with binoculars. Thanks to careful management, their breeding success has been on the rise, making this part of the national park a haven for these charming seabirds.

Accommodation nearby: Reflections Red Rock & Yamba Lighthouse Cottages

Light to Light Walk

Location: Saphire Coast, NSW

Distance: 30km one way

Time: 2-3 hours

Grade level: 4

Light to Light walking track - image courtesy of Australian Tourism Data Warehouse

Ready for an adventure? The Light to Light Walk in Beowa National Park (formerly Ben Boyd) on the Sapphire Coast is calling your name! This trail connects Green Cape Lighthouse south of Eden with Ben Boyd's Tower at Boydtown. It's not just a walk; it's a journey through breathtaking scenery, from lush wilderness to gorgeous beaches, with plenty of beautiful views along the way.

Plus, you'll uncover fascinating Aboriginal history as you explore. So lace up those hiking boots and get ready for an unforgettable experience!

Happy trails...