Try Our Athletes' Favourite Hikes
We asked our team athletes to share the trails they keep going back to, time and time again.
We're all looking ahead to a summer where we will get the chance to explore our own backyard more than ever before. To help you find some inspiration for the summer of hiking ahead, we asked our team athletes to share the trails they keep going back to, time and time again.
10 PEAKS WALK, KOSCIUSZKO NATIONAL PARK, NSW
Duncan Brown, Climber & Coach
This walk is a ~50km circuit of the ten tallest peaks in Australia and covers the entirety of the Main Range with epic alpine scenery and majestic views the entire time. Also makes for an epic one day ultra distance trail run.
Find more information on the 10 Peaks Walk.
TONGARIRO ALPINE CROSSING, TONGARIRO NATIONAL PARK, NEW ZEALAND
Roland Morley-Brown, Snowboarder
Going to school from a young age in the National Park this hike was always something we learnt about and did over school holidays, so it definitely has a special place in my heart. The unique natural scenery and the fact you're hiking around 3 active volcanos is definitely why I would recommend this hike to anyone who hasn't experienced terrain like that. It's incredible.
Find more information on the Tongariro Alpine Crossing.
TWO BAYS WALKING TRACK, MORNINGTON PENINSULA NATIONAL PARK, VIC
Michaela Davis-Meehan, Snowboarder
What I love about this track is the diversity in vegetation. The scenery is always changing and my favourite part is towards the end, standing on these huge cliffs looking out over the ocean.
Find more information on the Two Bays Walking Track.
PIGEON HOUSE MOUNTAIN DIDTHUL WALKING TRACK, MORTON NATIONAL PARK, NSW
Dave Byrne, Ultra Runner
Pigeon House Mountain is like a beacon that’s visible for miles around. Growing up in the area I would surf in the morning and then look at it in this distance while having breakfast. It was a regular weekend mission and while only 6km return, the steep climb and epic views make it incredibly rewarding.
Find more information on the Pigeon House Mountain Didthul walking track.
THE GREAT OCEAN WALK, VIC
Blake Hose, Ultra Runner
This trail has some of the most outstanding scenery of anywhere that I have ever been. The trail varies from broad and flowing fire breaks in small parts, to beaches in others, but is predominantly comprised of single track that gives a firsthand tour of the beauty of the South West Coast. Even if you’re not to do the whole trail, the section running from Johanna to the Gables is easily the toughest, but most rewarding portion to complete and contains unbeatable coastal views.
Find more information on The Great Ocean Walk.
FRENCHMANS CAP TRACK, FRANKLIN-GORDON WILD RIVERS NATIONAL PARK, TAS
Allie Pepper, Mountaineer & Guide
The track goes through heathland, gum tree forest, lush green rainforest and alpine terrain. Once you reach Barron Pass there are amazing views of lakes and the quartzite rock face of the Cap itself. It is nice to hike to the top of a Tassie summit in the middle of the wilderness. My husband and I ran the trail out and back in a day.
Find more information on the Frenchmans Cap Track.
FANTHAMS PEAK/PANITAHI, EGMONT NATIONAL PARK, NEW ZEALAND
Andrius Ramonas, Ultra Runner
Fanthams Peak is Mt Taranaki’s secondary cone coming on the side of the big mountain. A challenging uphill climb through a loose rock tracks, typical to volcanic terrain. I love that this hike brings you from the dense old forest right to a mountainous wonderland. Facing the peak of Mt Taranaki on the way up is a very inspiring experience.
Find more information on the Fanthams Peak/Panitahi and Syme Hut Track.
MT BREWSTER TRACK, MOUNT ASPIRING NATIONAL PARK, NEW ZEALAND
Janina Kuzma, Freeskier
The track starts from Fantail Falls about a one hour drive from Wanaka. What I love about the track is that it starts with a river crossing of the Haast River, and then climbs steadily through the most amazing native beech forest to the bushline. Then you hit the high alpine tussock. It's such a contrast going from native bush to high alpine grass. It's always so green through the forest and reminds me of being a kid again growing up in the jungle. If you’re lucky you get to see the cheeky Kia. Once you get to the hut you can access Mt Armstrong and Mt Brewster. And of course, there's always great skiing when it’s on.
Find more information on the Brewster Track.
MT CRICHTON LOOP TRACK, QUEENSTOWN, NEW ZEALAND
Josh Clark, Snowboarder
This track offers plenty to gorge the eyes upon and keep you entertained. Snow-capped mountains, native forest with flowing waterfalls, mountain lakes and tarns and some local gold mining history with old stone miner’s huts and caves to explore. Only a 5 minute drive from my front door, it is a regular family walk and a great training loop to keep me active.
Find more information on the Mount Critchton Loop track.
FRENCH RIDGE HUT, MOUNT ASPIRING NATIONAL PARK, NEW ZEALAND
Fraser McDougall, Freeskier
The Mount Aspiring area represents a sliver of the last vestiges of a fast-vanishing world, a pristine environment. The path meanders along Matukituki river then thrusts you into the high alpine climbing through the beech forest and onto a narrow spur to the hut. A sense of remoteness and isolation, both physically and in time lies at the heart of what makes this place special. A chance to escape the pressure of population, and your link to the world, your phone, is cut.
Find more information on the French Ridge track.
ROCK OF AGES, MOUNT ASPIRING NATIONAL PARK, NEW ZEALAND
Sam Smoothy, Freeskier
Last spring I did the Rock of Ages bivy track up the East Matukituki Valley in the Mt Aspiring National Park. I love this track because it's in my backyard, gives you amazing views of the insane Kitcher Cirque just under Mt Aspiring and the Popes Nose, one of New Zealand’s most incredible landscapes. The track starts on farm land, with a fun crossing of the Matuki River, then turns into a beautiful single track snaking through the dense beech forest.
The Rock of Ages bivy is a huge boulder hidden away in the forest so you have to find it which is a bit of fun. It's such a beautiful camp spot, hidden away a little from the crowds. Plus there's some pretty amazing swimming spots along the way.
Find more information on the East Matukituki Valley tracks.
TIM’S BACKYARD, SOUTHERN HIGHLANDS, NSW
Tim Macartney-Snape, Mountaineer
With travel restrictions my world has shrunk, from well, large parts of the world to areas much closer to home. I’ve had to cancel trips to East Africa, Japan, Oman, the Karakoram, Nepal, and New Zealand. The large gaps of time freed up by not going on those adventures have been filled by home renovations, landscaping, zoom calls and other desk work, leavened by smaller adventures. Apart from my usual diet of rock climbing and ski touring days, I’ve had the time to explore more of my immediate surroundings.
Scouting a potential route for a mountain bike track, I stumbled on a gem of a walk that descends into the gorge of a local creek. Descending through the bluffs and massive boulders that have fallen off the cliff line, there’s a palpable sense of moving from one world to another. The bluffs and boulders have many overhangs with sandy floors. At the base of the steep slope you come upon a secluded flat with a lawn like carpet of low ferns, towered over by massive old trees. With hardly any undergrowth to wade through it’s like a wild parkland. Down to one side, the creek lazily burbles from pool to pool, but for a dip I’m going to wait for the heat of summer. Platypus are shy, by employing a stealthy approach you can sometimes see them down there. Heading out, the route ascends back to the start by climbing a sharp spur that tackled head-on, gives fun and sometimes airy scrambling. From the top you can look down the main valley to the distant Blue Mountains, I always wonder about all the other hidden gems out there. I’ve simply got to get out more to find out.
Time to step further afield in your own backyard. Check out one of our athletes’ favourites – or take a page out of Tim Macartney-Snape’s book and find a new trail in your own backyard.
BEST GEAR FOR TRAILS AHEAD
Southern Lakes Heliski Women’s Weekend: Mountain Development Scholarship
We’ve teamed up with Southern Lakes Heliski and POC to encourage, equip and connect like-minded women to pursue new ski and snowboard adventures, over two incredible days in Wanaka.
EXPLORE FUND RECIPIENT: The ClimbingQTs
ClimbingQTs is a LGBTQ+ social climbing community and advocacy group inclusive of all identities and backgrounds, founded in Naarm (Melbourne, Australia). We’re proud to announce the QTs as one of the Founding Partners of The North Face Explore Fund and recipient of a 2022 grant.
Allie Pepper Summits Annapurna I
On April 28th, 2022, Allie Pepper and Dawa Tenzing Sherpa, summited Annapurna I. In doing so, Allie became the third Australian to summit what many consider to be the most dangerous of the world’s 8000m peaks. After hearing stories of Allie’s expedition, there is no questioning the courage, sheer determination and luck required to overcome the dangers of this summit.