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What Are The Spots For Walking On Things To Do In Melbourne?

In Melbourne, a pleasant stroll is never far away. Yes, that's exactly what adds to the unique character of the city. The misty alpine forest, towering Tree Ferns, tannin-stained rivers, and excellent hiking trails of Victoria can all be reached from the urban sprawl in under an hour.

There are many wonderful trails in and around Melbourne that we did not include because narrowing it down to just 10 was simply impossible, but here are some of our favourites. We've attempted to set a cutoff at four hours from the central business district, though some are considerably further. There are some that are more reticent to speak up than others.

On Saturday mornings, the 1000 Steps may be swarming with people in workout gear, but the Den of Nargun Circuit Walk is likely to be deserted, so put on your walking shoes and grab some trail mix; you'll be in for a treat. The best walks in the Melbourne area are listed here.

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Spots For Walking In Melbourne

So what if you live in the middle of a city? The city of Melbourne itself is full of beautiful places to get some fresh air, so you won't even need to get in the car.

The same sort of strolls on the subway, bus, or tram can become monotonous after a while. But all over Melbourne, from the central business district to the outskirts, you'll find stunning walking trails. Get your walking shoes on and experience one of Melbourne's best trails.

Want to learn more about Melbourne and the surrounding area? Try one of these day hikes or discover a hidden garden.

The Yarra Trail

There are about a gazillion ways to approach the Yarra Trail (which winds from the mouth of the Yarra River near the Westgate Bridge to Templestowe). First, try setting out from Richmond underneath the Swan Street Bridge and pulling up stumps at the artificial weir and rock rapids at Dights Falls. Then retrace your steps. 

Allow ample time for stops, not because you'll need them (this is a super easy walk), but because the Yarra Trail covers interesting turf, including New York artist Ugo Rondinone's gigantic and cheerful rainbow sculpture, 'Our Magic Hour', the Collingwood Children's Farm and the Abbotsford Convent.

Kororoit Creek Trail

The stretch between Williamstown and Altona is a good stroll for canines and their humans because there's an off-leash park at either end. It's also a nice reminder that it's not all industrial out Altona way – there's an inner-urban oasis awaiting exploration. 

While you should be aware that it is a 14-kilometre return meander, the trail is paved, and there are cafés littered along the way. Head out from Fearon Reserve in Williamstown and swing back when you hit WG Cresser Reserve in Altona.

Toorongo Falls Circuit Walk

Toorongo Falls in West Gippsland is a popular hiking destination, but few Melburnians have visited it. This short loop trail, on the other hand, can be found two hours outside of Noojee's city limits, in the woods to the north of the town. While you could do this in a day, we suggest spending the night at the Toorongo Falls Campground.

Both Toorongo Falls and Amphitheatre Falls can be seen along the Toorongo Falls Circuit Walk. The path begins close to the campsite and continues along the river. It's a laid-back situation. It shouldn't be too hard for kids to figure out. It's about 2.2 kilometres long and should take you about 90 minutes to complete. A fantastic alternative to the more well-known Melbourne hikes.

Capital City Trail

The Capital City Trail is a composite trail of other trails, including the Merri Creek, Yarra Trail, Moonee Ponds Creek Trail and Inner Circle Rail Trail. The loop passes by landmarks like Southbank, Melbourne Zoo and the Royal Botanic Gardens. 

If you’d like to explore a stretch you might not have explored much of, we’d recommend following the bikes across Webb Bridge near DFO South Wharf and walking along Harbour Esplanade in Docklands.

Point Nepean Walk

It’s a shame that so many day-trippers stop at Sorrento or Rosebud. With the Bass Strait on one side and Port Phillip Bay on the other, Point Nepean Coastal Walk is a great way to explore the very tip of the Mornington Peninsula.

The walk to Point Nepean will take you a long way from the city steps. Instead, you’ll be exploring the very tip of the Mornington Peninsula and getting a glimpse into Australia’s rich wartime history. The walk starts at The Gunner’s Cottage, which is the furthermost point you can drive to on the Mornington Peninsula (note, for those that need assistance, there is a hop-on-hop-off shuttle service that operates between 10.30 am – 4 pm that can take you to Fort Nepean at the very tip of the Point Nepean).

From here, you begin to see more and more remnants from Australia's wartime history, too, as you’re nearing Fort Nepean. The main structures are down near the end of Point Nepean, but gun turrets and fortifications can be seen in tactical positions throughout the second half of this walk.

Most fortifications are open to exploring, so jump in and check them out – looking out to sea through the ‘windows’ gives you an airy sense of what it could have been like back in the day when Australia considered itself at risk of attack.

 The walk is on a sealed road, and the first section meanders through the wind-blown coastal bush – nice but not that impressive – then before you know it, the ocean/bay views open up, and the wow factor begins!

It’s at about this point, 1.5 km into the walk, where you come across Cheviot Beach, a beautiful stretch of wild-looking coastline that offers you one of many glimpses back in time on this walk – by way of the Harold Holt Memorial. At this beach in 1967, then-current Prime Minister Harold Holt went for a swim, never to return.

While it’s generally accepted rough seas overcame him, there are plenty of theories about what could have happened that day as his body was never recovered – even after 22 days of intense search & rescue efforts. Sharks? Suicide? Something more sinister? It’s an interesting question to ponder as you look out over Cheviot Beach.

As you near the tip of the Mornington Peninsula, you’ll discover Fort Nepean. Built-in 1882 as a crucial part of Victorian/Australian defences, Fort Nepean was in service until 1945 – the end of World War II. In that time, its guns fired just two shots in aggression. Today you can explore the well-maintained tunnels, barracks, store houses, gun emplacements and bunkers freely, adding to the adventure on this walk back in time. It is well presented, so leave yourself plenty of time to check it all out.

Maribyrnong River Loop

This path is a very popular loop for those in the area; this path is situated next to the Maribyrnong River and undulates around the river’s many bends and snaps. Follow the path west toward the pedestrian bridge, cross over to the Maribyrnong side, and walk back towards the Anglers Tavern. 

You can continue further south to lengthen your walk; otherwise, cross over at Maribyrnong Road to loop back to your starting point. Expect lots of dogs on this path, and be sure to pick up a coffee from The Boathouse to keep your caffeine up.

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Organ Pipes National Park

How weird is nature? The beautiful Organ Pipes National Park can be found just off the Calder Freeway, about 20 kilometres north of Melbourne. The 121-hectare park is named after its star attraction: 2.5 million basalt columns look strikingly like organ pipes.

This type of structure is known in the geological community as trap rock. The valley walls of Jacksons Creek are Pleistocene volcanic rocks that fractured during cooling into these vertical columns.

Today, people gather in the park to view this bizarre rock wall and spend time in the traditional country of the Wurundjeri People. Head to the Tessellated Pavement and look at fossils over 4 million years old. There are native plants to spot, including a field of Kangaroo Grass to the north, plus picnic spots and walking tracks. 

While you're there, we'd suggest taking the short three-kilometre circuit walk around the park. Then, starting at the visitor centre, you can follow the trail that passes along the park's main features, including Keilor Plains, the Tessellated Pavement, and the Organ Pipes themselves.

Plenty Gorge Walk

Plenty Gorge is a pocket of native wildlife within Melbourne’s suburbs, and Plenty Gorge is a great area for animal spotting. If you’re lucky, you might be able to spot kangaroos and echidnas, as well as some beautiful herons and swans on the water. So walk a loop around the lake and be mindful of where you step and the local birdlife you come in contact with.

Den Of Nargun Circuit Walk

The Den of Nargun is a bit further from Melbourne (just over three hours), but trust us, it’s worth the drive. It’s a beautiful forest loop trail that runs 5 kilometres through the Mitchell River National Park. This area is technically part of the Bataluk Cultural Trail, which explores the culture and history of the Gunaikurnai people.

The Circuit should take about an hour and a half. There are a few steep scrambles, but it’s mostly an ambling forest trail, winding past moss-covered boulders, little river gullies and several waterfalls. The halfway point is the Den itself. 

The Dream-story of Nargun speaks of a cave “inhabited by a fierce creature that was half-human and a half stone.” You’ll spot the cave beyond a small waterhole, but please be respectful—don’t climb inside.

Port Melbourne To St Kilda

Fairy penguins can be spotted at the end of the St. Kilda Pier and in the surrounding area after dark, which is one of the worst kept secrets in the world. At the right time of year (when they are actively seeking a mate and will stay up all night cruising), you could pull up stumps along this path and watch them stretch and socialise.

However, don't be a jerk about it; no selfie sticks are allowed in their burrows, red cellophane should be placed over any torches, no flash photography or touching is allowed, and so on. Big glasshouse fans will also enjoy the walk between Port Melbourne and St. Kilda.

Blue Tongue Bend, Warrandyte State Park

Any point of the Yarra River has its merits, but as you know, the higher up you go, the cleaner and cooler the river is. So up here in northern Warrandyte, you can take a casual stroll through thick bush and narrow paths and inhale that sweet mountain air city folk are missing. 

There are a few small inclines, but this particular path is good for intermediate walkers (and those keen on taking a dip in the freshwater). Keep in mind that dogs are not allowed in this park.

Mount Oberon Summit Walk

Any walk with ‘summit’ in the title is going to hurt. But Mount Oberon Summit Walk is definitely worth the sore thighs. Kicking off from the Telegraph Saddle carpark, Oberon is a steep slog, but it’s still one of the Prom’s shorter hikes (about 3.4 kilometres, one way). The ‘mountain’ is only 558 metres high, don’t forget.

You generally want to do this one at sunrise. If you time it right, you’ll get insane 360-degree views, just as the sun sweeps in from the Eastern Prom. The waters sparkle turquoise. Look west, and see past Little Oberon Bay, Norman Bay and Picnic Bay. If you’re hiking Oberon Summit at sunset (which is also a great idea), don’t forget to bring a torch. The nights get dark on the Prom.

Jells Park Walk

Out over in Wheelers Hill, you can visit the beautiful Jells Park and take a walk around Wildlife Lake. It’s a popular spot for picnickers, bike riders, joggers and walkers, so don’t expect an empty path ahead of you. 

There are actually around 127 hectares to explore in this park so feel free to create your loop and spend time exploring the playgrounds, picnicking near the barbecue areas or just wandering around and spying wildlife.

Bushrangers Bay Walking Trail

Bushranger’s Bay has always been one of Melbourne’s favourite day-hikes, and it’s only an hour’s drive south of the city. The bay itself was named after two escaped convicts. It’s a narrow strip of gravelly sand, surrounded by dark basalt cliffs, with jagged rock pools and some pretty dangerous rip currents (swimming at Bushrangers isn’t illegal, but it can be super dangerous. Best to avoid). 

Bushranger’s Bay has always been one of Melbourne’s favourite day-hikes, and it’s only an hour’s drive south of the city. The bay itself was named after two escaped convicts. It’s a narrow strip of gravelly sand, surrounded by dark basalt cliffs, with jagged rock pools and some pretty dangerous rip currents (swimming at Bushrangers isn’t illegal, but it can be super dangerous. Best to avoid). 

Werribee Gorge Circuit Walk

One of the weird things about Werribee Gorge is how far away from actual Werribee it is. Instead of heading south-west, down the M1, you drive north-west, up towards Ballarat. After about 60 minutes, you’ll hit Werribee Gorge State Park: a tinder-dry network of sandstone canyons shaped over 500 million years.

One of the weird things about Werribee Gorge is how far away from actual Werribee it is. Instead of heading south-west, down the M1, you drive north-west, up towards Ballarat. After about 60 minutes, you’ll hit Werribee Gorge State Park: a tinder-dry network of sandstone canyons shaped over 500 million years.

Merri Creek

Find a northside who’s not enamoured of Merri Creek, and we will show you someone who’s lying about their locale. People have even dedicated odes to it (local musos the Orbweavers, for example, immortalised it in their tune 'Merri'). 

Relive a misspent youth by sitting on its banks and downing a cheeky beer or two, or go for a wholesome approach, pausing at Brunswick’s haven, CERES, for an amble through the veggies, chickens and vegan eats. The choice stretch is between CERES and Dights Falls (where the Yarra and Merri Creek meet).

Tongue Point Walking Trail

One of our favourites walks at The Prom. One of our favourite walks in Victoria. The Tongue Point Walking Trail follows the headline to the tip of Tongue Point—a lick of shrub-covered land poking out into the Darby Bay. Giant boulders tower over your head, and you get some truly epic views of Darby Swamp, Cotters Beach and the Vereker Range.

Tongue Point is a serious hike.

 It’s 9.4 kilometres—one way. The whole thing should take around 4.5 hours. The landscape here is weathered coastal heath, classic Prom country. The wildlife isn’t shy either: you can often spot echidnas and wombats snuffling across the path. If you have the time, make sure you take the short detour down to Fairy Cove (you’ll thank us later).

Ironbark Basin Walk

Ironbark Basin Walk runs from the south-western end of Bells Beach to Point Addis, snaking inland around Jarosite Mine and the Point Addis Marine National Park. Depending on the tides, you can start at Point Addis car park and walk east along the beach—or do it in reverse. Either way, you get views over a wide basin that runs down to the coast. If you’re lucky, you might spot a few echidnas, too.

Ironbark isn’t a strenuous hike. Most of the trail is packed with earth and gentle gradients. Just keep in mind a few things. Dogs aren’t allowed on the trail (there’s a lot of native birdlife at Point Addis, and the rangers are pretty keen on keeping it alive). Also, watch out for cliffs and landslides. Jarosite Headland, in particular, can get dicey after rain. Stay well back from the edge.

Elwood to Sandringham

Save this one for a warm but not scorching day when you feel like a walk, a dip and the chance to see how the other half live. You’ll find the historic Brighton Bay bathing boxes midway between Elwood and Sandy. 

Builtin the late 1800s to preserve feminine modesty, they’re now more a conspicuous display of wealth (you can pick one up for around a lazy 260 grand). So loll about on the beach and stroll home afterwards.

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1000 Steps Walk

If the Kokoda Track Memorial Walk was ever kept secret, word got out years ago. On Sunday mornings, everyone east of the Central Business District (CBD) in workout gear makes their way to the '1000 Steps' to sweat their way up the 3-kilometer course. Some people tend to be heavy smokers. There should be a monetary reward for every time we've been overtaken on this trail.

The "1000 Steps" are a set of stairs built in the early 1900s that lead up the Dandenong Ranges. Obviously, it's steep from the name alone. The next day, your quadriceps will be sore. Many of the treads are made from massive slabs of stone or hand-hewn planks. Along the way, there are a few benches for you to take a break on. You can wheeze, stretch, and look at the nearby Manna Gums without disturbing the peace.

Those curious about these strolls, or those in the mood for even more excitement, should go on an adventure.

FAQs About Walking In Melbourne

Whether you're a diehard bushwalker or just looking for a day out in some fresh air, Melbourne's a great place for walking. From art trails to lyrebird rainforest to spectacular coastal views, there's a walk for everyone to enjoy. We've rounded up five of the best walks in and around Melbourne. Yarra River Trail.

Highlights: Royal Botanic Gardens, the lovely Morrell Bridge over the Yarra, Melbourne’s sports arena precinct (including MCG), Fitzroy Gardens, Carlton Gardens and Royal Exhibition Building, Lygon Street coffee and cake pitstop, Princes Park, Royal Park. Maree's Inner-Yarra hike, 16km Start and finish: Fairfield Boathouse to Federation Square.

If you're after a great, long walk in Melbourne - see our Great Urban Hikes of Melbourne page, which features a selection of great day walks in metropolitan Melbourne (8km-16km distances). The City of Melbourne is one of Australia's most progressive councils to implement walk-friendly initiatives.

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