Hiking or as the Australians call it “bushwalking” is a great way to explore nature and be active. If you live in or around Melbourne you are spoilt for choice when it comes to bushwalking. There are inner city trails which are great for walking or riding your bike, but if you are happy to travel for one hour, there are so many locations to choose from. Below is a list of five great spots to go for a walk, each one is completely different but all give you the great outdoor feeling.
The Dandenong Ranges approximately 35 km east of Melbourne are great for walks especially in autumn with the colours of the many deciduous trees and the view over the Yarra Ranges. You have the opportunity to combine many of the shorter walks and turn it into a full day walk. One of the walks that we can highly recommend you to include is The Valley walking trail, a 6.5 km, 3.5 hr one way walk.
The You Yangs, 55 km south-west of Melbourne are a series of granite peaks that rise above the Werribee Plain. The park has more than 50 km of trails which are extremely popular with mountain bikers but there are also some great walks. One walk we can recommend is the Flinders Peak walk, this short but steep walk (450 steps and 200m elevation) brings you to the highest top once at the top you have an amazing view over the area.
Another short walk were some climbing is involved is Hanging Rock, Hanging Rock lies 76 km north-west of Melbourne and is part of the Macedon Ranges. You can do the circular walk at the base of the rock but we strongly recommend making the effort to climb up the rock and soak up the view. Both walks combined are just under 4km and should not take you more than 2 hours, unless you keep enjoying the view. And while you are there don’t forget to have a look inside the information centre and read about the stories of the missing school girls. One note; there is a $10 parking fee involved. Don’t let this stop you from visiting, simply put the esky in the back of the car and enjoy a BBQ or picnic while you are there.
Werribee State Gorge
It takes you less than an hour to get to Werribee State Gorge, which lies 67 km west of Melbourne. This National Park is great for picnics and for those who love to walk and rock climb, and there are several options to do longer or shorter walks. One walk which we love is the Circuit walk. Make sure you do this walk after an extended period without rain, or simply be prepared to get wet feet. This Circuit walk, is a 10 km, 4.5 hr’s walk and some parts involve some rock scrambling; at one section (rocky bluff), they have attached a robe to assist you with your climb. We would recommend you to complete this walk anti-clock wise, so that you have completed the climb first.
And the last walking spot which is the furthest away from Melbourne, 80 km which should take you just over an hour to get there is the Brisbane Ranges. You cannot go wrong with any walk in the Brisbane Ranges, and there are so many options from really short walks (30 minutes) up to multiple day walks (3 days). One of the walks we did complete is the Grass Tree walk, since we love grass trees. This walk is a 13,8 km, 5 hr walk mostly easy over tracks and paths, however there is one steep climb, roughly half way during the walk, this is also the spot were signage is a bit unclear. This walk is probably the best done in spring, but it can be done at any time of the year due to the surface and the quality of the paths.