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Australian Walking Track Grading System

NSW national parks offer hundreds of walking tracks across the state for all levels and experiences. To help you find walks best suited to your needs, tracks are graded using the Australian Walking Track Grading System (AWTGS).

Read more about Australian Walking Track Grading System

AWTGS classifies tracks into 5 grades, based on the Australian Standard for walking track construction (AS 2156). It was funded and developed by a Victorian Government initiative, in partnership government agencies and non-government groups across Australia, including NSW National Parks.

How a track gets its grade

The grading system assesses a walk’s difficulty based on several criteria, including: experience required, steps, gradient, path quality and signage. The walk’s final grade is based on the most difficult of these 5 criteria, rather than an average. So some walks will have criteria that meet an easier grade. 

Take a look at our guide below, and before your next adventure ask yourself ‘is this walk suitable for me?’

AWTGS grade 1 icon Grade 1

No bushwalking experience required. Flat even surface with no steps or steep sections. Suitable for wheelchair users who have someone to assist them. Walks no greater than 5km.

AWTGS grade 2 icon Grade 2

No bushwalking experience required. The track is hardened or compacted surface and may have a gentle hill section or sections and occasional steps. Walks no greater than 10km.

AWTGS grade 3 icon Grade 3

Suitable for most ages and fitness levels. Some bushwalking experience recommended. Tracks may have short steep hill sections a rough surface and many steps. Walks up to 20km.

AWTGS grade 4 icon Grade 4

Bushwalking experience recommended. Tracks may be long, rough and very steep. Directional signage may be limited.

AWTGS grade 5 icon Grade 5

Very experienced bushwalkers with specialised skills, including navigation and emergency first aid. Tracks are likely to be very rough, very steep and unmarked. Walks may be more than 20km.

Bushwalking safety

If you're keen to head out on a longer walk or a backpack camp, always be prepared. Read these bushwalking safety tips before you set off on a walking adventure in national parks.

Seamans Hut with grass and wildflowers. Photo: Murray Vanderveer