10 Hikes Around Melbourne
There's a lot more to Melbourne than its trendy bars, delicious bakeries and thriving live music scene. Beyond the city you'll find spectacular hiking trails just waiting to be explored. Here are some of our top picks for places to hike around Melbourne.
Werribee Gorge State Park Circuit
Length: 9.3km (return)
If you're looking for a bit of a challenge, head to Werribee Gorge State Park circuit. With its rugged and hilly tracks, this is the prefect circuit for avid bushwalkers and rock climbers. This trail can get tricky in parts, so only attempt it if you're up for some steep climbs and cable walking! Your hard work will be rewarded with spectacular views and fantastic picnic spots.
Length: 2km (partial circuit)
Formally known as Mount Diogenes, you'll find Hanging Rock 70km north-west of Melbourne. This trail features multiple spectacular rock formations, including a boulder suspended between other boulders (Hanging Rock) at the main entrance path. If you keep an eye out, you'll also see a range of spectacular wildlife.
Sherbrooke Falls Trail
Length: 1.2km (one way)
Drive an hour out of the Melbourne CBD and you'll discover the beautiful Sherbrooke Falls trail. Tucked away in the Dandenong Ranges, this trail is suited to beginner hikers. The flat track takes you through beautiful ferns until you reach the peaceful Sherbrooke Falls. It's the perfect way to escape for the day.
Organ Pipes National Park Trail
Length: 3.1km (return)
If curious rock formations and stunning Australian scenery is your kind of adventure, head to Organ Pipes National Park for a day. A short walk takes you to the incredible Organ Pipe formations that are believed to have been created by lava flow. The basalt columns known as the Organ Pipes are the main feature of the trail but there are also views of the Kelior Plains along the way and spring wattle blossom. To get to the top of the Pipes, you'll need to conquer a steep climb. If you're an early riser, you might like to note that the National Park is only open to vehicles from 8.30am to 4.30pm.
The Beeches Trail
Length: 4km (return)
One of Melbourne's best walking tracks is just an hour and a half north east of the city - The Beeches Trail. Tucked away in the quaint hills of Marysvillie, this 4km circuit is home to a breathtaking dense rainforest filled with moss covered trees and a flowing river. If you're lucky, you might even catch a glimpse of a Platypus! This Melbourne hiking trail is suited to all hiking levels (you just need to be prepared to trot over some fallen trees).
Two Bays Walking Trail
Length: 26.5km (one way)
If you're up for a multi-day hike, give Two Bays Walking Trail a go. This spectacular track takes you along the coastline from Dromana to Cape Schank with plenty of picturesque spots to stop at along the way. You'll need 1-2 days to complete this track in full, so make sure you plan out your pit stops and have a place to stay overnight. If you don't want to do the entire walk you can also tackle it in pieces.
Ferntree Gully's 1,000 Steps trail is less than an hour's drive east of the city. This walking trail is memorial to the Australian soldiers on the Kokoda Trail in World War II. This track is a steep 5km hike, taking around 2 hours to complete. The steep incline of the track is great if you're up for a challenge and gives you a sliver of insight into the exhaustion faced by the Australian soldiers trekking the Kokoda Trail.
Pound Bend River Walk
Length: 3.5km (return)
Pound Bend river walk is the perfect way to escape the hustle and bustle of city and take in the relaxing Yarra River. This peaceful trail feels so secluded that you forget you're only a 30-minute drive away from the CBD. You'll find a range of birdlife as well as plenty of swimming spots and picnic areas along the way.
Plenty Gorge Park
Length: 6km (return)
Take a drive north of the city and within an hour you'll discover Plenty Gorge Park. This hidden gem is the perfect way to spend a few hours on your day off - park your car at the Yellow Gum Recreational Area and venture out on the 6km trail. There are several small lakes along the walk to cool off in and a wide variety of birdlife!
Bushrangers Bay Trail
The Bushrangers Bay Trail takes you past jagged rocks and stunning coastlines, eventually leading to the 150-year-old Cape Schanck lighthouse. Just an hour-and-a-half drive south of the city, this incredible trail is located in the Mornington Peninsula. If you're a curious soul, check out the sea life living in numerous rock pools and discover what a volcanic plug looks like. This walk is suitable for all fitness levels, just be prepared for slippery surfaces from time to time.
Some Tips Before You Go
As always, it's important to keep the basics in mind when it comes to hiking any trail. Before you lace up and head off, don't forget to:
Tell someone where you are going, when you plan on leaving and how long you'll be gone.
Pack more food and water than you will actually need, just in case.
Wear the right gear and bring the essential equipment.
Know the route you are about to embark on and prepare accordingly.
Bring a first aid kit.
If you're craving a trip into the wild, put these trails on your list. These are just a few of the remarkable hikes around Melbourne that can fill up your weekend plans. Pack your bag, lace up your shoes and get going!