Hikes around Melbourne: Six of the best scenic walks

Ready to walk it all off? It's time to look beyond your favourite trails and take a walk on the wild side. Discover a different perspective when you take a hike along one of these memorable tracks.

INTO THE WOODS: CUMBERLAND WALK

THE ROUTE

Start and finish at Cambarville picnic area car park

DISTANCE 4km loop

If you think all the best hikes involve a hard-core workout, think again. This lush excursion through the Yarra Ranges National Park delivers plenty of memorable moments, and you won't ever have to break a sweat. Keep it to a gentle stroll and you will have plenty of time to admire the striking tree ferns, admire waterfalls and towering trees, and soak up the view from the lookout across the Armstrong Creek Valley.

NEED TO KNOW

One of the trail highlights, the Big Tree, truly deserves its moniker - at 85 metres tall, this mountain ash is officially the tallest tree in Victoria.

PEAKS AND TRACKS: MACEDON RANGES

009444  4.1  View across hills and paddocks from Blue Ridge Inn at Mount Macedon S
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THE ROUTE

Start and finish Memorial Cross car park

DISTANCE 5km there and back

So close to Melbourne but with its gardens and bush, a world apart. Head through Mount Macedon and up to the Memorial Cross, enjoy the view there and then head along the track [ast the tea rooms to Camels Hump. Climb it for a totally different view towards Hanging Rock, with big boulders and gnarly snow gums framing the picture. Return as you came or head further to the Sanitorium Lake Eco Trail.

NEED TO KNOW

The trail network is extensive in this area. It's even possible to do it by train, walking from Macedon Station and through the old Scout Camp (if you don't mind some uphill work).

See: www.visitmacedonranges.com

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THE SHORE THING: THE IRONBARK BASIN WALK

The coastal town of Torquay in Victoria.

Photo: Mark Chew/Visit Victoria

THE ROUTE

From Bells Beach to Point Addis

DISTANCE 8.5km

Part of the 44km Surf Coast Walk between Torquay and Aireys Inlet, this two-hour walk showcases the area's beauty, from long stretches of coastal bush to magnificent clifftop views across the ocean. The track starts at the Bells Beach Southside car park – on the right day, you may spot parasailers drifting on the thermals as you head off.

NEED TO KNOW

A 90-minute walk along the water will take you back to Bells Beach – but be aware that this is only possible at low tide.

GO DEEP: THE WERRIBEE GORGE CIRCUIT WALK

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Werribee Gorge, Victoria

Photo: Alamy

THE ROUTE

Start and finish at Meikles Point picnic area

DISTANCE 10km loop

Tall reeds and ancient rocks fringe the river that runs through the picturesque Werribee Gorge, which feels wonderfully wild despite being just an hour out of town. The track winds its way from the riverbank up to the clifftops. Some rocky areas requiring a fair bit of scrambling; there is a cable handrail in one particularly challenging section. Good footwear is a must.

NEED TO KNOW

The river is prone to flooding, so avoid this walk after heavy rains.

A PINCH OF SALT: THE GEORGE BASS COASTAL WALK

Gippsland Photoshoot | April 2019
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Photo: Rob Blackburn

THE ROUTE

Kilcunda to San Remo

DISTANCE 7km

If you enjoy the thrill of discovery that comes from stumbling across a tucked-away bay, you're going to love this walk, which offers views onto hidden beaches that most people don't even know exist. The sound of waves crashing onto the shore provides a distinctive soundtrack. Allow around two hours for the one-way trip along a track that is mostly gravel or grass – although you will need to use stiles over the occasional farm fence.

NEED TO KNOW

A quick bus trip from San Remo will take you back to Kilcunda.

ROUND AND ROUND: YOU YANGS EAST-WEST WALK

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THE ROUTE

Start and finish at the Turntable car park

DISTANCE 7km loop

The name may lack a certain flair but this track, which circumnavigates the lower slopes of Flinders Peak in the You Yangs Regional Park – less than an hour out of Melbourne - is a winner. The trail, which takes around two hours to complete, is best done in a clockwise direction. This one is all about the views – especially the sweeping outlook over the volcanic plains - but weaving your way around the granite boulders strewn across the path ups the fun factor.

NEED TO KNOW

Dogs are allowed on this walk but must be kept on a leash.

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