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19 Best Day Hikes Melbourne 2024

11/09/2023
14 mins read
You Yangs Regional Park
Source: Geelong and the Bellarine

Embark on an unforgettable adventure with our guide to the best day hikes in and around Melbourne. From coastal cliff tops and lush rainforests to rugged mountain peaks and serene river valleys, these trails offer a diverse range of landscapes and experiences for hikers of all levels. Whether you’re a seasoned trekker or a casual stroller, Melbourne’s stunning natural beauty is waiting to be explored. So, lace up your hiking boots, pack a picnic, and get ready to discover the breathtaking trails that make Melbourne a hiker’s paradise.

1. You Yangs Regional Park – Flinders Peak Walk

The Flinders Peak Walk in You Yangs Regional Park offers a moderately challenging hike with rewarding panoramic views of Melbourne’s skyline, Geelong, and Port Phillip Bay. As you ascend the peak, you’ll be surrounded by diverse landscapes, from exposed boulders to dense vegetation. The park is also home to a variety of wildlife, such as kangaroos and koalas, making it a perfect day trip for nature lovers.

At the summit, take a moment to appreciate the breathtaking views and snap some photos to remember your adventure. This hike is suitable for those with a moderate level of fitness, and the well-signed trail makes it easy to navigate. After your hike, enjoy a picnic at one of the park’s picnic areas, or explore other trails within the park.

  • Difficulty Rating: Moderate
  • Start Location: Turntable car park
  • End Location: Turntable car park
  • Route Distance: 3.2 km
  • Time to Complete: 1 hour 15 minutes
  • Facilities: Toilets, picnic areas, and parking available at the park
  • Distance and travel time from CBD: Approximately 55 km, 1 hour drive
  • Google Map Link: https://goo.gl/maps/WRf617pCBgkztF4g8

2. Mornington Peninsula National Park

Mornington Peninsula National Park features stunning coastal scenery, including rugged cliffs, sandy beaches, and rock pools. With various trails to explore, such as the Bushrangers Bay and Cape Schanck Trail, you’ll be treated to breathtaking views of the ocean and diverse landscapes. The park is also home to an abundance of wildlife, making it an ideal destination for nature enthusiasts.

Whether you’re looking for a leisurely stroll or a more challenging hike, Mornington Peninsula National Park offers a range of trails to suit all abilities. After your hike, relax at one of the park’s picnic areas or take a dip in the ocean at one of the beautiful beaches.

  • Difficulty Rating: Varies depending on the trail (Easy to Moderate)
  • Start Location: Varies depending on the trail
  • End Location: Varies depending on the trail
  • Route Distance: Varies depending on the trail
  • Time to Complete: Varies depending on the trail
  • Facilities: Toilets, picnic areas, and parking available at various locations within the park
  • Distance and travel time from CBD: Approximately 90 km, 1.5 hours drive
  • Google Map Link: https://goo.gl/maps/7zbPC9qHovXN7YZy6

3. Steavenson Falls

Steavenson Falls hike leads you to one of Victoria’s highest waterfalls, with an impressive 84-meter drop. The trail is surrounded by lush ferns and towering eucalyptus trees, providing a serene atmosphere for your hike. The waterfall is a spectacular sight, and the sound of the cascading water adds to the tranquility of the experience.

The hike is relatively easy, making it suitable for all ages and fitness levels. After your hike, take some time to relax and enjoy a picnic at the nearby picnic area, or explore other trails in the area.

  • Difficulty Rating: Easy
  • Start Location: Steavenson Falls car park
  • End Location: Steavenson Falls car park
  • Route Distance: 700 meters
  • Time to Complete: 30 minutes
  • Facilities: Toilets, picnic areas, and parking available at the car park
  • Distance and travel time from CBD: Approximately 95 km, 1.5 hours drive
  • Google Map Link: https://goo.gl/maps/BVsaxhrQzTr1oYUs6

4. Dandenong Ranges Tourist Track

The Dandenong Ranges Tourist Track takes you through the lush Dandenong Ranges, with highlights including the 1000 Steps, Sherbrooke Falls, and various viewpoints offering stunning views of the surrounding area. The track offers a range of trails to suit all abilities, from easy strolls to more challenging hikes.

As you explore the Dandenong Ranges, you’ll be surrounded by towering mountain ash trees, tree ferns, and an abundance of wildlife. After your hike, relax at one of the park’s picnic areas or explore the nearby towns of Olinda and Sassafras for tea shops, gifts, galleries, and gardens.

  • Difficulty Rating: Easy to Moderate
  • Start Location: Varies depending on the trail
  • End Location: Varies depending on the trail
  • Route Distance: Varies depending on the trail
  • Time to Complete: Varies depending on the trail
  • Facilities: Toilets, picnic areas, and parking available at various locations within the park
  • Distance and travel time from CBD: Approximately 40 km, 1 hour drive
  • Google Map Link: https://goo.gl/maps/yieYYnSY3WFZhDBE7

5. Flinders Blowhole

The Flinders Blowhole coastal walk features dramatic cliffs, rock formations, and the impressive Flinders Blowhole, where waves crash through a narrow opening, creating a spectacular display. The trail offers stunning views of the ocean and the rugged coastline, making it a perfect destination for those seeking a coastal adventure.

The hike is relatively easy to moderate, making it suitable for all ages and fitness levels. After your hike, take some time to relax and enjoy the scenery, or explore the nearby town of Flinders for cafes, shops, and galleries.

  • Difficulty Rating: Easy to Moderate
  • Start Location: Blowhole car park
  • End Location: Blowhole car park
  • Route Distance: 2.5 km
  • Time to Complete: 1 hour
  • Facilities: Parking available at the car park
  • Distance and travel time from CBD: Approximately 100 km, 1.5 hours drive
  • Google Map Link: https://goo.gl/maps/hWx7iXMtqaeE1gKy9

6. Sherbrooke Falls Trail

The Sherbrooke Falls Trail takes you through the lush Sherbrooke Forest, leading to the picturesque Sherbrooke Falls, surrounded by towering mountain ash trees and tree ferns. The trail offers a peaceful and serene atmosphere, making it a perfect escape from the hustle and bustle of the city.

The hike is relatively easy, making it suitable for all ages and fitness levels. After your hike, take some time to relax and enjoy a picnic at the nearby picnic area, or explore other trails within the Dandenong Ranges.

  • Difficulty Rating: Easy
  • Start Location: Sherbrooke Picnic Ground
  • End Location: Sherbrooke Picnic Ground
  • Route Distance: 2.4 km
  • Time to Complete: 1 hour
  • Facilities: Toilets, picnic areas, and parking available at the picnic ground
  • Distance and travel time from CBD: Approximately 45 km, 1 hour drive
  • Google Map Link: https://goo.gl/maps/UqgYZeH7CTmcevg37

7. Cape Woolamai Walk

The Cape Woolamai Walk offers stunning views of the Bass Strait and Phillip Island’s rugged coastline, with highlights including the Pinnacles rock formations and the Cape Woolamai Lighthouse. The coastal walk provides a unique opportunity to experience the region’s natural beauty and observe the local wildlife, such as seabirds and seals.

The hike is moderately challenging, making it suitable for those with a moderate level of fitness. After your hike, relax at one of the nearby beaches or explore the rest of Phillip Island for more adventures.

  • Difficulty Rating: Moderate
  • Start Location: Cape Woolamai Surf Life Saving Club car park
  • End Location: Cape Woolamai Surf Life Saving Club car park
  • Route Distance: 6.6 km
  • Time to Complete: 2.5 hours
  • Facilities: Toilets and parking available at the car park
  • Distance and travel time from CBD: Approximately 140 km, 2 hours drive
  • Google Map Link: https://goo.gl/maps/ZFgVYubgRmCf8Tkm8

8. Organ Pipes National Park

Organ Pipes National Park is home to the unique Organ Pipes rock formation, which is the park’s main attraction. The 3 km Organ Pipes Trail takes you through a peaceful river valley and offers a serene atmosphere for your hike. The trail is relatively easy and suitable for all ages and fitness levels.

After your hike, take some time to relax and enjoy the scenery, or explore other trails within the park. The park is easily accessible and offers a great opportunity to experience nature close to Melbourne.

  • Difficulty Rating: Easy
  • Start Location: Organ Pipes car park
  • End Location: Organ Pipes car park
  • Route Distance: 3 km
  • Time to Complete: 1 hour 15 minutes
  • Facilities: Toilets and parking available at the car park
  • Distance and travel time from CBD: Approximately 25 km, 30 minutes drive
  • Google Map Link: https://goo.gl/maps/xDH2EGniMUZaAkYp8

9. Werribee Gorge Circuit Walk

The Werribee Gorge Circuit Walk is a moderately challenging 10 km trail that offers incredible views of the gorge, rock climbing opportunities, and even a mid-hike swimming hole. The trail takes you through open rocky woodlands and along the gorge rim, providing a diverse and exciting hiking experience.

This hike is suitable for those with a moderate level of fitness and is a great option for a day trip from Melbourne. After your hike, relax and enjoy the scenery or take a dip in the swimming hole.

  • Difficulty Rating: Moderate
  • Start Location: Myers or Quarry Picnic Area car parks
  • End Location: Myers or Quarry Picnic Area car parks
  • Route Distance: 10 km
  • Time to Complete: 4.5 hours
  • Facilities: Toilets and parking available at the picnic area car parks
  • Distance and travel time from CBD: Approximately 75 km, 1 hour drive
  • Google Map Link: https://goo.gl/maps/yG7TPGYq5k8rkrLk7

10. Hanging Rock Summit Walk

The Hanging Rock Summit Walk takes you to the top of the famous Hanging Rock, offering gorgeous views of the northern region of Melbourne and interesting rock formations. The trail is relatively easy, making it suitable for all ages and fitness levels.

After your hike, take some time to relax and enjoy the scenery, or explore other trails within the park. Hanging Rock is a popular destination for day trips from Melbourne and offers a unique hiking experience.

  • Difficulty Rating: Easy
  • Start Location: Hanging Rock Reserve car park
  • End Location: Hanging Rock Reserve car park
  • Route Distance: Varies depending on the trail
  • Time to Complete: Varies depending on the trail
  • Facilities: Toilets and parking available at the car park
  • Distance and travel time from CBD: Approximately 70 km, 1 hour drive
  • Google Map Link: https://goo.gl/maps/EKtjQ5TWJKQv5kDv9

11. Yarra Bend Park Loop

The Yarra Bend Park Loop is a 9.5 km hike that takes you through Yarra Bend Park, Studley Park, and Dights Falls. The trail offers a mix of urban and natural landscapes, making it a great option for those looking to explore Melbourne’s green spaces.

The hike is relatively easy and suitable for all ages and fitness levels. After your hike, take some time to relax and enjoy the scenery, or explore other trails within the park.

  • Difficulty Rating: Easy
  • Start Location: Studley Park Boathouse
  • End Location: Studley Park Boathouse
  • Route Distance: 9.5 km
  • Time to Complete: 2 hours
  • Facilities: Toilets and parking available at the boathouse
  • Distance and travel time from CBD: Approximately 4 km, 15 minutes drive
  • Google Map Link: https://goo.gl/maps/YJ56KjP2dz4hZHKj7

12. Red Hill Rail Trail

The Red Hill Rail Trail follows a former railway line through the scenic Mornington Peninsula hinterland, passing through vineyards, orchards, and farmland. The trail is relatively easy and suitable for all ages and fitness levels, making it a great option for a leisurely stroll or a family outing.

After your hike, take some time to relax and enjoy the scenery, or explore the nearby towns of Red Hill and Merricks for cafes, shops, and galleries. The trail is also close to several wineries, making it a perfect destination for a day trip from Melbourne.

  • Difficulty Rating: Easy
  • Start Location: Merricks Station Reserve
  • End Location: Red Hill Recreation Reserve
  • Route Distance: 6.5 km
  • Time to Complete: 2 hours
  • Facilities: Parking available at both ends of the trail
  • Distance and travel time from CBD: Approximately 80 km, 1 hour 15 minutes drive
  • Google Map Link: https://goo.gl/maps/QoGcAzuxQ9AomWyy8

13. Hobsons Bay Coastal Trail

The Hobsons Bay Coastal Trail offers stunning views of Port Phillip Bay and the city skyline, passing through wetlands, beaches, and historic maritime sites. The trail is relatively easy and suitable for all ages and fitness levels, making it a great option for a leisurely stroll or a family outing.

After your hike, take some time to relax and enjoy the scenery, or explore the nearby towns of Williamstown and Altona for cafes, shops, and galleries. The trail is also close to several parks and reserves, making it a perfect destination for a day trip from Melbourne.

  • Difficulty Rating: Easy
  • Start Location: Westgate Park
  • End Location: Altona Coastal Park
  • Route Distance: 23 km
  • Time to Complete: 5-6 hours
  • Facilities: Toilets, picnic areas, and parking available at various locations along the trail
  • Distance and travel time from CBD: Approximately 10 km, 20 minutes drive to the starting point
  • Google Map Link: https://goo.gl/maps/ZhmmkHgbpYv8Ykv17

14. Mount Macedon’s Saddle

The Mount Macedon’s Saddle hike takes you to the summit of Mount Macedon, offering panoramic views of the surrounding landscape, including the Macedon Ranges and Hanging Rock. The trail is moderately challenging, making it suitable for those with a moderate level of fitness.

Saddles
Source: Wade Sellers

After your hike, take some time to relax and enjoy the scenery, or explore the nearby towns of Macedon and Woodend for cafes, shops, and galleries. The trail is also close to several parks and reserves, making it a perfect destination for a day trip from Melbourne.

  • Difficulty Rating: Moderate
  • Start Location: Cameron Drive Picnic Ground
  • End Location: Cameron Drive Picnic Ground
  • Route Distance: 5.8 km
  • Time to Complete: 2-3 hours
  • Facilities: Toilets, picnic areas, and parking available at the picnic ground
  • Distance and travel time from CBD: Approximately 65 km, 1 hour drive
  • Google Map Link: https://goo.gl/maps/QyCFMwH4GWLy48Y78

15. Bushrangers Bay and Cape Schanck Trail

The Bushrangers Bay and Cape Schanck Trail is a coastal walk that features stunning views of the ocean, rugged cliffs, and the historic Cape Schanck Lighthouse. The trail is moderately challenging, making it suitable for those with a moderate level of fitness.

After your hike, take some time to relax and enjoy the scenery, or explore the nearby towns of Flinders and Rosebud for cafes, shops, and galleries. The trail is also close to several parks and reserves, making it a perfect destination for a day trip from Melbourne.

  • Difficulty Rating: Moderate
  • Start Location: Bushrangers Bay car park
  • End Location: Cape Schanck car park
  • Route Distance: 7.4 km
  • Time to Complete: 2-3 hours
  • Facilities: Toilets and parking available at both ends of the trail
  • Distance and travel time from CBD: Approximately 90 km, 1.5 hours drive
  • Google Map Link: https://goo.gl/maps/HBFbbfDqcQwHgUdW6

16. Plenty Gorge Hike

Plenty Gorge Park offers a variety of trails that take you through diverse landscapes, including woodlands, grasslands, and wetlands. The park is home to a range of native wildlife, making it an ideal destination for nature enthusiasts. The trails are relatively easy and suitable for all ages and fitness levels.

After your hike, take some time to relax and enjoy the scenery, or explore other trails within the park. Plenty Gorge Park is a great option for a day trip from Melbourne, offering a unique hiking experience close to the city.

  • Difficulty Rating: Easy
  • Start Location: Varies depending on the trail
  • End Location: Varies depending on the trail
  • Route Distance: Varies depending on the trail
  • Time to Complete: Varies depending on the trail
  • Facilities: Parking available at various locations within the park
  • Distance and travel time from CBD: Approximately 20 km, 30 minutes drive
  • Google Map Link: https://goo.gl/maps/fbmc5EFsMf7KFLY27

17. Organ Pipes Trail / Circuit – Keilor North

The Organ Pipes Trail takes you through Organ Pipes National Park, featuring the unique Organ Pipes rock formation as the main attraction. The trail is relatively easy and suitable for all ages and fitness levels, making it a great option for a day trip from Melbourne.

After your hike, take some time to relax and enjoy the scenery, or explore other trails within the park. Organ Pipes National Park is easily accessible and offers a great opportunity to experience nature close to Melbourne.

  • Difficulty Rating: Easy
  • Start Location: Organ Pipes car park
  • End Location: Organ Pipes car park
  • Route Distance: 3 km
  • Time to Complete: 1 hour 15 minutes
  • Facilities: Toilets and parking available at the car park
  • Distance and travel time from CBD: Approximately 25 km, 30 minutes drive
  • Google Map Link: https://goo.gl/maps/2ciPqkaui8jVYBSG6

18. Bourke’s Lookout via Fire Trail Hike – Mount Dandenong

The Bourke’s Lookout via Fire Trail Hike takes you to the summit of Mount Dandenong, offering stunning views of the surrounding area. The trail is moderately challenging, making it suitable for those with a moderate level of fitness.

After your hike, take some time to relax and enjoy the scenery, or explore other trails within the park. Mount Dandenong is a popular destination for day trips from Melbourne and offers a unique hiking experience.

  • Difficulty Rating: Moderate
  • Start Location: Kalorama Park
  • End Location: Kalorama Park
  • Route Distance: 6 km
  • Time to Complete: 2-3 hours
  • Facilities: Toilets, picnic areas, and parking available at Kalorama Park
  • Distance and travel time from CBD: Approximately 40 km, 1 hour drive
  • Google Map Link: https://goo.gl/maps/2Na8qibmNVyDhdXJ6

19. Lerderderg Gorge Circuit Walk

The Lerderderg Gorge Circuit Walk is a moderately challenging 13 km trail that follows the Lerderderg River downstream and features amazing views of the gorge. The trail takes you through open rocky woodlands and along the gorge rim, providing a diverse and exciting hiking experience.

This hike is suitable for those with a moderate level of fitness and is a great option for a day trip from Melbourne. After your hike, relax and enjoy the scenery or explore other trails within the park.

  • Difficulty Rating: Moderat
  • Start Location: Myers or Quarry Picnic Area car parks
  • End Location: Myers or Quarry Picnic Area car parks
  • Route Distance: 13 km
  • Time to Complete: 4.5 hours
  • Facilities: Toilets and parking available at the picnic area car parks
  • Distance and travel time from CBD: Approximately 75 km, 1 hour drive
  • Google Map Link: https://goo.gl/maps/cfyMJhbRA5BA5RMo6

Best Day Hikes Melbourne at a Glance

Our list of best day hikes near Melbourne goes like this:

  • The best hike for panoramic views: You Yangs Regional Park – Flinders Peak Walk
  • The best coastal hike: Mornington Peninsula National Park
  • The best hike for waterfall lovers: Steavenson Falls
  • The best hike for unique rock formations: Organ Pipes Trail / Circuit – Keilor North
  • The best hike for a diverse range of landscapes: Bush to Bay Trail
  • The best hike for a coastal adventure: Flinders Blowhole
  • The best hike for a serene forest experience: Sherbrooke Falls Trail

These hikes offer a variety of difficulty levels, distances, and scenery, making them perfect for a day trip from Melbourne. Enjoy exploring the beautiful landscapes and natural wonders of the region!

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the best time of year to go hiking in Melbourne?

The best time for hiking in Melbourne is during the cooler months of autumn (March to May) and spring (September to November), when the weather is mild and the trails are less crowded. However, many of the hikes listed can be enjoyed year-round, with proper preparation and consideration for weather conditions.

Are these hikes suitable for beginners?

Many of the hikes listed in the article are suitable for beginners, such as Steavenson Falls, Sherbrooke Falls Trail, and Yarra Bend Park Loop. These hikes are relatively easy and suitable for all ages and fitness levels. However, some hikes, like the Werribee Gorge Circuit Walk and Cape Woolamai Walk, are more challenging and better suited for those with a moderate level of fitness.

Do I need any special equipment for these hikes?

For most of the hikes listed, comfortable walking shoes or hiking boots, appropriate clothing for the weather, sun protection, and plenty of water are essential. Some of the more challenging hikes may require additional equipment, such as trekking poles or a map and compass for navigation.

Are dogs allowed on these trails?

Some of the trails listed in the article may allow dogs on a leash, but it’s essential to check the specific park or trail regulations before bringing your pet. National parks in Victoria generally do not permit dogs, while regional parks and reserves may have different rules.

Can I access these hikes using public transport?

Some of the hikes listed in the article, such as the Dandenong Ranges Tourist Track and Yarra Bend Park Loop, are accessible by public transport. However, for many of the hikes outside the city, it may be more convenient to rent a car or join a guided tour. Always check the specific location’s transport options before planning your trip.

Madie

Madie is a lifestyle and travel writer at HumbleTrail. With her roots in the sunny coastal town of Eden, New South Wales.

She moved to Melbourne straight after high school and is now the go-to person in the team for the best local gems around Melbourne. She's got her ways in staying up to date with the upcoming cafes in the city before they become mainstream.

Madie's day starts off at 5 AM for her morning gym session. By 10 AM, you'll find her energized with her second coffee of the day, often sharing her latest K-pop crushes with the team.

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