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Australian Walking Track Grading System (AWTGS)

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track grading system hiking walking

When working out how difficult a trail will be, the Australian Walking Track Grading System (AWTGS) can help. The AWTGS is a voluntary industry standard that has been widely adopted throughout Australia. It offers walkers a way to easily determine the difficulty level of a particular trek and to assess whether they have the fitness and capability to complete it.

  • What is a Grade 1 walking track?
  • What is a Grade 2 walking track?
  • What is a Grade 3 walking track?
  • What is a Grade 4 walking track?
  • What is a Grade 5 walking track?

These track grades are part of the Australian Walking Track Grading System (AWTGS). This system assesses how difficult a walk is by considering the experience required, steps, how steep it is, quality of the path surface, and signage. A walk’s final grade is the based on the most difficult of these five criteria, rather than an average of them all. 

This grading system is comprised of five grades that indicate the difficulty of the walk, not its quality.

What is a grade 1 hiking track

Grade 1  Grade 1: No bushwalking experience required. Flat even surface with no steps or steep sections. Suitable for assisted wheelchair users. No longer than 5km.

What is a grade 2 hiking track

Grade 2  Grade 2: No bushwalking experience required. A hardened or compacted surface which may have gentle hill sections or occasional steps. Walks up to 10km.

What is a grade 3 hiking track

Grade 3  Grade 3: Suitable for most ages and fitness levels. Tracks may have short steep sections, a rough surface and many steps. Walks up to 20km.

What is a grade 4 hiking track

Grade 4  Grade 4: Bushwalking experience recommended. Tracks may be long, rough and very steep. Directional signage may be limited.

What is a grade 5 hiking track

Grade 5  Grade 5: Very experienced bushwalkers with specialised skills, including navigation and emergency first aid. Tracks likely to be very rough, very steep and unmarked.

Image credit: NT Government.

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