The best day hikes near Melbourne that aren’t the 1000 steps
03.06.2020

The best day hikes near Melbourne that aren’t the 1000 steps

Beauchamp Falls in the Great Otway National Park
words by EMILY-LAYNE KAPETANOVIC

Who’s keen for a wander?

In Melbourne, we’re lucky enough to have some of the most picturesque hiking trails that are only a stone’s throw from the city. If you’ve got some free time on your hands and you feel like getting your blood pumping why not hit one of these day hikes.

Australian Alps Walking Track, Walhalla

You have to get up early for this one, but it’s worth it. Walhalla is a quaint gold mining town that has hardly changed since the 1900s. It also happens to be the beginning of the Australian Alps Walking Trail. Amble along the treetops overlooking this charming town before descending into lush fern gullies. The great thing about this walk is that it goes all the way to Canberra, so you can walk it for one hour or one week. If you don’t fancy yourself as too much of a fitness fanatic, you can always walk to Thomson station and catch the old steam train back to Walhalla. It gives Puffing Billy a run for its money.

Find out more about the track here.

Point Nepean National Park

Just one hour and forty minutes out of the city lies one of the oldest European settlements in Victoria. The variable 14.5km walk will take you past the old Quarantine Station as well as the Fort Nepean defence station. If you’re a sucker for history (especially anything WW2) you can walk through the tunnels of the fort and capture a glance of the old gun emplacements, not to mention the 360-degree views of the bay and Bass Strait.

Find out more about the national park here.

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You Yangs Regional Park

Located between Melbourne and Geelong, a one hour drive will get you to the You Yangs Regional Park. From here you can take a leisurely stroll or do the more demanding Flinders Peak walking trail instead. It’s a 3.2km track that features 450 steps to the highest point in the You Yangs and sits at an elevation of 200 metres. It’ll definitely get your blood flowing, but best of all you can do it will your furry pal – the You Yangs are dog-friendly.

Read up on the You Yangs here.

Werribee Gorge Circuit

The Werribee Gorge Circuit features a little bit of everything – lush forest, a twisting river and if you’re lucky, a swimming hole at the end. Follow an 8.5km track through the gorge keeping an eye out for local wildlife that reside in large numbers. Just be wary that the river is prone to flooding so try and avoid the circuit after heavy rain – especially because we’re going into winter.

Find out more about Werribee Gorge Circuit here.

Great Otway National Park

If you’re in the mood to disobey TLC’s instructions and want to go chasing waterfalls then the Great Otway National Park has a plethora of options. The tracks range from easy to medium so you don’t need to be experienced to witness the beauty of the Otways. From the criminally popular Erskine Falls to Hopetoun Falls, the national park has 11 different waterfalls you can visit.

Explore more about the Otways here.

Grampians National Park

If you’re looking to venture right out of Melbourne, the Grampians sit approximately three hours from the CBD. It’s another one with a diverse range of options from beginner walks to more advanced hikes. Walk the rocky cliff faces to the Pinnacle Lookout or trek down 260 narrow steps to witness the magnificence of MacKenzie Falls. But if you’d like to see snow, you can climb up to the top of Mt William – at 1167 metres high its easily the tallest point at the Grampians. On cold winter days, you can often see snow blankets in the distance. There’s also a new 160km hiking trail opening up in the Grampians for the real hiking gurus out there.

There’s more to the Grampians here.

Langwarrin Flora & Fauna Reserve

With a wide variety of Australian animals and plants, Langwarrin Flora & Fauna reserve is a truly beautiful place for a hike. The terrain on this track changes from thriving ferns to bare fields and is an interesting mix of bush and sand dunes. Only an hour and a half out of Melbourne, the walk is easily accessible and appropriate for all fitness levels. Get your binoculars ready.

Find out more about the Langwarrin Flora & Fauna Reserve here.

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