what are the best day hikes from melbourne

What Are The Best Day Hikes From Melbourne?

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    Put away the couch, grab a tent and sleeping bag, and fill up your Camelbak; it's time to embark on an adventure in some of the most beautiful parts of the world hikes within an easy drive of Melbourne. Victoria's regional areas are home to a wealth of stunning hiking destinations, from temperate rainforests to coastal vistas.

    You can find some fantastic Melbourne hikes just outside the city limits if you'd prefer not travel too far. Wearing walking boots, head out onto the path. Just a 15-minute drive in Melbourne can take you to some of the best hiking routes in the country day trip. Traverse paths high up on coastal cliffs, go through verdant rainforests to reach cascading waterfalls, and hike to summits that gaze out over wide valleys.

    Here are some of our favourite day treks and strolls around Melbourne for you to wander. Intent on learning more? Check out the fantastic trail networks at the nearby state, regional, and national parks.

    FAQs About Melbourne

    • Early morning (between sunrise and 9:00 a.m.)
    • Late morning through midday (between 9:00 and 2:00 p.m.)
    • Afternoon (between 2:00 and 5:00 p.m.)
    • Evening (between 5:00 and 8:00 p.m.)
    • Night (between sunset and sunrise)

    Reach the peak of Victoria on the Mount Bogong Circuit. This hike is the toughest of this selection, being the longest at over 20 kilometres and with probably the steepest and most drawn-out climb up Staircase Spur.

    Most people will plan to hike 3-10 miles per day, depending on what shape you're in and how much elevation gain there is.

    It's safer. Not many people give it much thought but hiking in the early morning is safer. If you happen to get lost, you'll have all the light you need to find your way out. Also, you're more likely to find others to help you during the day than you would if it were dark.

    Avoid The Hottest Time Of Day: The hottest time of day is usually around noon to 3 p.m. It can be best to avoid this time altogether on scorching days by getting an early start and ending your hike by early afternoon or heading out sometime after 3 p.m.

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    You Yangs Regional Park

    Flinders Peak Walk

    Don't forget Fido! There is an animal park in between Augusta and Geelong called the You Yangs Park Was created. The Flinders Peak Trek, a 3.2-kilometer journey to the You Yangs' highest point, is the greatest walk to try (with your puppy). There are roughly 450 stairs and a rise with about 200 metres, so you can expect to be out of breath by the time you arrive at the summit. The parking lot on Turntable Drive serves as the trail's starting and ending point.

    Drive Time From Cbd: 1h

    Duration (Return): 1h (3.2km)

    Level Of Difficulty: Medium to hard

    Mornington Peninsula National Park

    Bushrangers Bay Trail

    Beautiful views of Bass Strait may be seen from this coastal clifftop stroll. Beginning at the Cape Schanck parking lot, hikers will traverse sand dunes, farmland, and a banksia forest on their way to the Cape. Look out for whales, talkative birds, and maybe even a kangaroo hopping across the open grasslands. After your hike, cool off in the waves at the beach that gives this path its name.

    Drive Time From Cbd: 1h 30m

    Duration (One Way): 45m (2.7km)

    Level Of Difficulty: Easy to medium

    Steavenson Falls

    Keppel Lookout Walk

    This journey begins at one of the state's largest waterfalls, as it begins at the Steavenson Falls parking lot. Once you've passed the Haut De lookout, you'll be on a difficult dirt track leading up to the Keppel Lookout, so just follow the directions. There are a lot of hills, and if it has been raining recently, the route can be very slick, so make sure to pack enough of water, food, and strong shoes. On a clear day, you can see all the way to the Cathedral Ranges from the Keppel Lookout, which is halfway through the trek. The next step is to begin the journey back down to Falls Road. Additional exploration of the fern gully can be added if you are feeling very energetic.

    Drive Time From The Cbd: 2h

    Duration (Return): 3h30m (11km)

    Level Of Difficulty: Medium to hard

    Organ Pipes National Park

    Organ Pipes Circuit

    Wow, nature sure is strange. 20 kilometres to the north of Melbourne, you'll find the stunning Organ Pipes National Park, easily accessible via the Calder Freeway. The park's 2.5 million basalt columns, which resemble organ pipes, inspired the park's name. The park spans 121 ha. While you're at the park, stroll the short circuit. Beginning at the information desk, the walk winds through the park's most notable attractions, such as Keilor Plains, the Acc Pavement, and the Bass Pipes.

    However, the 121-hectare park's namesake basalt columns date back 2.5 million years and are reminiscent of organ pipes.

    The Organ Pipes are only one of several sights along the short but steep walk that also goes by Jacksons Creek, Keilor Fields, Rosette Rock, and Tessellated Pavement. This trail has a lot to offer, making it great for families with kids.

    Drive Time From Cbd: 30m

    Duration (Circuit): 30m (1.5km)

    Level Of Difficulty: Easy to medium

    Dandenong Ranges National Park

    Eastern Sherbrooke Forest Walk

    You've completed the "1,000 Steps," right? This trail in Sherbrooke Forest has many of the same lush trees and foliage as the more popular routes, but without the swarms of joggers. To begin the Lyrebird Walk, head to Grants Picnic Ground and continue down the path beyond the bird feeding cage. Don't veer off the sometimes-steep trail; instead, keep going straight to view plenty of greenery and maybe even a kookaburra or two.

    Drive Time From Cbd: 1h

    Duration (Return): 2.5h (6.6km)

    Level Of Difficulty: Medium

    Lerderderg State Park

    Lerderderg Gorge Circuit Walk

    This area is rather rural and bushy. The genuine article in the Victorian bush. Lerderderg is distinguished by a 300-meter-deep gorge that has carved its way through the park's rock and slate, as well as by some fantastic flora and animals. Leaving from the picnic spot at Mackenzies Flat, this walk goes in a complete round, largely following the river's meandering path. Depending on the weather, your hike may involve wading through a river or bouncing from rock to rock.

    Drive Time From Cbd: 50m

    Duration (Circuit): 4-5h (13.5km circuit)

    Level Of Difficulty: Medium

    Cathedral Range State Park

    Neds Gully Track

    Neds Gully Track is a terrific introduction to the Cathedral Ranges, which are home to many more excellent hiking options. The trail to Neds Trench and Neds Saddle is a gradual ascent. Here the trail splits off to go to Castle Peak, the highest peak in the park at 840 metres. You should have at least a little bit of bushwalking experience for this.

    Drive Time From Cbd: 1h 40m

    Duration (One Way): 1h (2.2km)

    Level Of Difficulty: Medium to hard

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    Mornington Peninsula National Park

    Fingal Beach Walk

    This trip has stunning clifftop scenery and a private beach, making it a good value for walkers who want to get the most out of their time outside. Walk through to the scrub forest beginning at Fingal Camping Ground, 2 kilometres north of Cape Schanck. If you need a break, stop at one of the many vantage points that offer breathtaking vistas across the tip of Mornington Peninsula. Functional parts Beach, which you will likely have all to yourself, can be reached at the bottom of many (and we do mean many) steps along the trail. You can either turn around and go back the way you came or, if the tide is low enough, continue going for a further two kilometres or more to Gunnamatta Beach, from where you can take a loop trail back to where you started. One benefit of this strategy is that. You don't take the elevator and choose to avoid the stairs. The negative is that it's twice as thick.

    Drive Time From Cbd: 1h 30min

    Duration (Return): 3hr (10km) if you take the loop to Gunnamatta

    Level Of Difficulty: Easy to medium

    Brisbane Ranges National Park

    Deadman's Loop

    Don't let the unpleasant moniker deter you; this hike is a lovely opportunity to see Brisbane Ranges Park, which contains one of several state's most diverse collections of flora. You can begin your journey to the creek from the Stieglitz Courthouse. Wildflowers that have vanished from other parts if Victoria have been preserved in these stony gorges and peculiar geology.

    Drive Time From Cbd: 1h 15m

    Duration (Circuit): 1h 45m (5.4km)

    Level Of Difficulty: Medium to hard

    Macedon Ranges

    Hanging Rock Summit Walk

    Atop Hanging Rock, you may take in breathtaking views of the landscape to the north of Melbourne. So put away your white gowns and picnic baskets and think instead on the stunning rock formations you'll see on your climb to the top of Dropping Rock. The path can be rather steep at times, however the reward of seeing rocks that are at least six million years old up close is well worth the climb.

    Drive Time From Cbd: 1h

    Duration (Circuit): 40 mins (1.8km)

    Level Of Difficulty: Medium

    Point Nepean National Park

    Point Nepean Walk

    Some of Victoria's earliest European settlements may be found in this area traditionally occupied by the Boonwurrung people. This 14.5-kilometer round-trip hike allows you to see it all (along with stunning views of the harbour). The trail begins at the Cape Nepean entrance and travels over coastal and woodland roads, past the remnants of the Quarantine Station and other military structures from World War II. You can stop an turn about at any time because the terrain is both flat and varied.

    Drive Time From Cbd: 1h40m

    Duration (Return): 3h (14.5km)

    Level Of Difficulty: Easy to medium

    Wilsons Promontory National Park

    Mount Oberon Summit Walk

    This hike begins at the Telegraph Saddle parking lot and ascends Mount Oberon along a winding, forested path to a picture-perfect vista of the Tidal River, the shoreline, and the nearby offshore islands. While the path itself may be boring, the breathtaking views from the top more than make up for it.

    Drive Time From Cbd: 3h

    Duration (Return): 2h (6.8km)

    Level Of Difficulty: Medium to hard

    Grampians National Park

    The Pinnacle

    There's a good reason why bushwalkers keep coming back to the Grampians. While it may appear harsh and rocky at first, tourists will be pleasantly surprised by the presence of secluded waterfalls, hollow mountains, and breathtaking natural amphitheatres. After parking at the Sundial, hikers can enjoy a pleasant ascent through interesting geological terrain to a large outcropping of granite with a view of Fyans Valley. There is an alternative, more challenging route to the same location that begins at the Wonderland parking lot, if you're up for the physical challenge.

    Drive Time From Cbd: 3h

    Duration (Return): 2h (4.2km)

    Level Of Difficulty: Medium

    Great Otway National Park

    This national forest is a must-see for everyone travelling along the Coastline, especially if you have a passion for waterfalls. The park is a great site to experience a cold temperate rainforest in Victoria, since it runs from Torquay to Princetown and even up to Colac. Explore the shore on foot and you'll see koalas peeking out from the gum trees, possums scurrying over the sand, and a variety of other wildlife.

    Wilsons Promontory National Park

    The Big Drift

    Have you heard that only one and a half hours southwest of Melbourne you may find sand dunes? These large dunes, known collectively as the Big Drift, are further off the beaten path and require some bush bashing to reach. In order to reach the final very steep sandy hill, please begin at the back of the Meat factory camp and follow the trail as it winds past bushland and open fields. The sand is steep, so be careful as you climb it. At the peak, you'll see what seems like an infinite stretch of sandy landscape, broken up only by glimpses of verdant treetops and the distant ocean.

    Duration: 1h (2km)

    Level Of Difficulty: Medium

    Alpine National Park

    Willing to take on a test? This staggeringly lengthy hike is in Alpine National Park in Victoria and, for precisely that reason, can only be performed during the warmer months. The trek to Victoria's second-highest peak begins barely 2.5 km from Hotham Village at the Diamantina Hut and winds its way along a ridge. Since the trail lies primarily above the treetops, you'll be in a precarious position; yet, the exposure will reward you with stunning views of the mountaintop.

    Duration: 7h (22km)

    Level Of Difficulty: Hard

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    Bourke's Lookout

    This 2.3-kilometer out-and-back track is perfect if you're seeking for a challenging hike without having to deal with the crowds of the more popular 1000 Steps. It is well-known among bushwalkers as excellent preparation for the Kokoda Track and is hence known as Fire Trail Hike. Picture this: for the first 45 minutes, you'll be climbing a very steep, very straight ascent, and you'll have to do some rock scrambling, but once you reach Burkes Lookout, you'll be rewarded with breathtaking panoramas. Make it a 4-mile round trip and ease the strain on your knee joints by following the Zig Zag route down; the trail also features interesting geology, flora, and fauna. And yet, it cannot be overstated how beneficial a cardio exercise this challenging trail is. Doongalla Homestead is a great place to begin this hike because it has picnic tables and restrooms, in addition to ample parking (unlike the nearby Osprey Road, which is off Ridge Road).

    Duration (Return): 2-3h (2.3km)

    Level Of Difficulty: Medium to hard

    Drive Time From Melbourne Cbd: 1h

    Werribee Gorge State Park, Werribee

    A moderate 10 km trip, beginning at Meikles Point Recreation area, this route heads north-west along the Werribee River, rewarding hikers with scenic vistas, rock scrambling, and a waterhole that cool off in. The climb, which features a variety of terrain, including some steep frequent source the beginning and end, takes around 3.5 minutes to complete and is highlighted by breathtaking vistas of the valley. For shorter hikes, there are 3, 4, and 5 kilometre paths, but anyone interested in completing the full circuit should come prepared and with plenty of time.

    Duration (Return): 3.5-5h (10km)

    Level Of Difficulty: Moderate

    Drive Time From Melbourne Cbd: 1h


    You may hike 3.2 kilometres to the top of the You Yangs on the Flinders Peak Trek in You Yangs Regional Park. You'll be out of breath from the 450 steps and the roughly 200-meter ascent before you reach the peak. The basalt columns in the National Park are 2.5 million years old and look like organ pipes. The paths in Sherbrooke Forest are just as verdant, but you won't find as many runners there. A gorge 300 metres deep, Lerderderg Gorge cuts through the limestone and slate of the park.

    Beautiful clifftop views and a secluded beach may be found along Fingal Beach Walk. Expansive vistas of the countryside to the north of Melbourne may be seen from the summit of Hanging Rock. The trail can be challenging at times, but it's worth it to get up up and personal with rocks that are at least six million years old. This 14.5-kilometer round-trip hike may lead you to some of Victoria's early European settlements. The Tidal River, the coast, and the neighbouring offshore islands may be seen from the summit of Mount Oberon, which can be reached by the winding, forested Mount Oberon Summit Walk.

    Bourke's Lookout is a great alternative to the more crowded 1000 Steps if you're looking for a hard trek. Alpine National Park features a 2.3-kilometer out-and-back trail that leads to breathtaking vistas of the park's namesake peak. There are shorter trails of 3, 4, and 5 kilometres for those with less time, but those who want to hike the entire circuit should do so with plenty of daylight left.

    Content Summary

    • If you want to hike the highest peak in the You Yangs, your best bet is the 3.2-kilometer Flinders Peak Trek (with your puppy).
    • Located just 20 kilometres north of Melbourne, Organ Pipes National Park is a sight to behold and is readily reached via the Calder Freeway.
    • The park got its moniker from the 2.5 million basalt columns that may be found there; they resemble organ pipes.
    • The organ-pipe-like basalt columns that give the park its name date back 2.5 million years and cover 121 acres.
    • Difficulty ranges from moderate to high.
    • The National Park of the Mornington Peninsula
    • This hike is a terrific deal for walkers who want to make the most of their time outside, as it features beautiful clifftop vistas and a secluded beach.
    • Do you know that sand dunes may be found just 1.5 hours south-west of Melbourne?
    • The Big Drift is a collection of enormous dunes that is located away from the main trail and requires some bushwhacking to access.
    • This incredibly long trek is only possible during the warmer months because it is located in Alpine National Park in Victoria.
    • Only 2.5 kilometres from Hotham Village, the Diamantina Hut marks the beginning of the winding ridge walk to Victoria's second-highest peak.
    • They call it Fire Trail Hike because it is such good training for the Kokoda Track.
    • Take the Zigzag path down to save your knees some pain and make it a 4-mile round trip; the trail also has some amazing geology, vegetation, and fauna to check out.
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