Dawdlers down under often have to pay to plod around many of the region's popular parks and paths, but this selection of freestyle footpaths from The Best Things in Life are Free won't cost you a thing.
So why not strap on those boots and save your pennies for a post-hike reward?
Tongariro Alpine Crossing
This fabulous one-day trail tiptoes past active volcanoes and luminous lakes. The weather can be as confronting as the terrain, so be prepared (for almost anything). You’ll need to arrange a car drop.
Bondi to Coogee Beach
A classic cliff-top canter around five of Sydney’s best beaches, this urban adventure starts amid the backpackers and breakers on Bondi and traces the curvaceous coastline south, taking in Tamarama, Bronte, Clovelly and finally Coogee Beach. Allow ample time for swimming breaks and beachside beers.
Ormiston Gorge and Pound
There’s more to explore in the Red Centre than the Rock. An offshoot of the epic Larapinta Trail, this dramatic day-long desert adventure takes you through a gorge and the West MacDonnell ranges to a croc-free swimming hole.
This challenging four to five-day adventure near Queenstown follows the spectacular Rees and Dart Rivers. Unfortunately due to a land slide it is not currently possible to complete the entire circuit, but sections make for excellent day trips. Check the website for more details. Considerate backcountry camping is permitted and free unless you’re using hut campgrounds.
Mt Feathertop and the Razorback
One of the Victorian Alps’ top trails, this two-day mission takes trekkers along a fantastic ridgeline to the second-highest – but prettiest – peak in the state. A demanding exercise for experienced walkers, it’s also cross-country skiable in winter.
Running between Cape Naturaliste and Cape Leeuwin, this lighthouse-to-lighthouse seven-day epic is one colossal coastal walk, promising everything from whale sightings to wine tasting. Wild camping is possible.
Bartle Frere Trail
From Josephine Falls, 75km south of Cairns, return-hike to Queensland’s highest point. Tropical trails climb dramatically through lush rainforest until you pop out of the canopy and cop a view across the Tablelands to the Great Barrier Reef, vaguely visible through the iridescence of the Coral Sea.
Nprsr.qld.gov.au/parks/bartle-frere; Tropical North Queensland, Australia; 16km; free.
Mt Wellington and the Organ Pipes
The best spot to absorb Hobart’s end-of-the-world ambience is atop Mt Wellington, the apex of this rock-strewn scramble, which starts with a cheap-as-chips bus ride into the suburbs. A stern climb earns stunning views over the Organ Pipes (a rock-climbing mecca) to the harbour, where icebreakers prepare for Antarctica.
Parks.tas.gov.au; Hobart, Tasmania, Australia; 13km; free.