Melbourne offers amazing hiking trails in and near the city that will challenge even the fittest hiker. There are also plenty of easy trails for those looking for a leisurely stroll or trying to get back into shape. Whether you hike alone or with a group, there are a number of fantastic hikes you will want to try.
Remember, the weather can be quick to change so you will want to dress accordingly and be prepared for anything. September through May offers warmer, sunny days whereas days in June through October are colder and wetter. Before hitting the trail, you will want to drop your bags at a Melbourne luggage locker. Don't carry extra gear that will only slow you down. Stow it for safety and pick it up when your trekking day is done!
Our Top Hiking Trail Picks in Melbourne
Finding great hiking trails for your skill level in or near Melbourne can be a little difficult if you do not know the area well. Check out some of these hiking trails for a great way to get out, stretch your legs, and breathe in the fresh Australian air.
Point Nepean Walk
Length: 3.7 miles
Location: Mornington Peninsula
Take a stroll along the sea while enjoying an easy hike that generally takes about two hours total to walk. The path is situated on the Mornington Peninsula between the Bass Strait and Port Phillip Bay and it loops along the coast, giving you amazing views of Cheviot Beach. The Mornington Peninsula is under two hours from the city center of Melbourne.
Length: 6.2 miles
Location: Great Ocean Road
Plan on spending about three to four hours wandering down the Great Ocean Road’s Ironbark Basin. Climb to the tops of the cliffs for fantastic views of the ocean and then stroll along sandy beaches. Bring along a picnic and stretch out on the shore for a relaxing meal after your hike. This trail is about an hour and a half from Melbourne.
Lerderderg Gorge Circuit Walk
Length: 8.3 miles
Location: Lerderderg State Park
Lerderderg State Park is about a 50-minute drive from Melbourne. The Lerderderg Gorge Circuit Walk takes you through the real bush, so dress accordingly and be ready to see some magnificent fauna and flora in the area. The gorge is about 984 feet deep and cuts through the park. You will probably spend between four and five hours hiking.
Stop and enjoy a refreshing picnic at the Mackenzies Flat picnic area and check out some of the artifacts from its gold mining days. Depending on the weather, you can even cross the river in certain parts, but always remain alert to changes to the weather and your surroundings.
Toorongo Falls Circuit Walk
Length: 1.24 miles
Location: West Gippsland
It is a bit of a drive from Melbourne to get to West Gippsland, about two-and-a-half hours, but it is well worth the trek. When you take a walk along the Toorongo Falls Circuit you will get to see not just the Toorongo Falls but also the Amphitheater Falls. Plan on spending about 45 minutes to an hour on this hike and keep your eyes open for wildlife along the way making their way to the falls as well.
Keppel Lookout Trail
Length: 6.8 miles
Location: Marysville and Cathedral Ranges
This trail is not for the faint of heart. Be prepared to do a lot of uphill climbing so if you are not used to tackling difficult trails, you should skip this one. The trail is only about 6.8 miles long and loops around to cover four lookouts that give you great views of the Cathedral Ranges as well as Steavenson Falls.
You will need between three and four hours to complete this hiking loop, depending on how long it takes you to climb to all the lookouts and how much time you spend at each lookout. The Keppel Lookout Trail is just under two hours from Melbourne.
Location: Yarra Valley
The Warburton Redwood hike is one of the most picturesque strolls you will take when hiking in Melbourne. The incredible redwood forest is serene, breathtaking, and absolutely amazing. There are really no set trails to follow so you can hike as far or as long as you like. It is about an hour and a half drive from Melbourne to the forest, but well worth the car ride.
Werribee Gorge Circuit Walk
Length: 6.2 miles
Location: Werribee Gorge State Park
Being only an hour from Melbourne, the Werribee Gorge Circuit Walk is a popular hike for those looking for a tough bushwalk with challenging terrain. You will definitely work up a sweat when you hike this trail. It will take you about five to six hours to complete this walk.
You will have gorgeous views from Falcon’s Lookout and it is a great place to rest and have a quick snack before continuing your hike. Be prepared to do a little rock climbing to get to Falcon’s Lookout. Depending on the weather, you can even take a quick dip in the swimming hole near the Meikles Point picnic area.
Eastern Sherbrooke Forest Walk
Length: 4.1 miles
Location: Dandenong Ranges National Park
You will begin your hike at the Grants Picnic area and head past the bird feeding stations, then follow the first part of the trail which is marked as the Lyrebird Walk. As you head up the moderately steep path, you will move into rougher terrain and make your way past lush vegetation.
Don’t be surprised if you see a kookaburra or two along the way. It is about an hour's drive from Melbourne, but well worth the trip as you will spend about two and a half hours hiking along the Eastern Sherbrooke Forest Walk.
Fingal Beach Walk
Length: 3.1 to 6.2 miles
Location: Mornington Peninsula National Park
The Fingal Beach Walk is a fairly easy hike but if you decide to tackle the full 6.2 miles there is a little bit of terrain and elevation change, making the second part of the hike better suited for moderate skill levels. The easy path will take you to Fingal Beach and it should only take about an hour and a half to complete. You can continue on from there to Gunnamatta making the entire hike about three hours long.
It is about an hour and a half drive from Melbourne to the Mornington Peninsula National Park. Begin your walk at the Fingal Picnic Area which is about a mile north of Cape Schanck. The path does lead you down the steps to Fingal Beach and then to Gunnamatta Beach at the end of the peninsula. The trail loops back from here to the Fingal Picnic Area.
Bushrangers Bay Trail
Length: 1.67 miles (one way)
Location: Mornington Peninsula National Park
This trail is about an hour and a half from Melbourne and is a picturesque walk along the clifftops that overlook the Bass Strait. You will start your walk at the Cape Schanck car park and follow the trail that will lead you through farmland, a banksia forest, and up over the sandy outcrops.
It should take you about an hour and a half to complete the Bushrangers Bay Trail. Keep a lookout for a kangaroo or two along the way and listen to some chatty birds as they hop through the trees. Once you have completed the hike, take a dip in Bushrangers Bay and relax on the beach before heading home.
Length: 6.2 miles
Location: Wilsons Promontory National Park
While this trail is about three hours away from Melbourne, it is a fun trip and the hike is moderately challenging, giving you a great workout while you explore this beautiful coastal area. Enjoy this coastal walk which begins at the Darby River car park and leads you to the tip of Tongue Point and then back to the car park.
Plan on spending three to four hours on this walk and be on the lookout for local wildlife such as wombats, echidna, kangaroos, and emu. Bring along a picnic to enjoy after you have completed your hike.
Burrowa Pine Mountain Track
Length: 6.2 miles
Location: Burrowa Pine Mountain National Park
This is the perfect hike for those looking for a very challenging day hike but it is about four hours from Melbourne, so you may want to plan a weekend getaway to Burrowa Pine Mountain National Park. This mountain track is filled with rough terrain, rocky slopes, and hard climbs but is a very rewarding hike.
Expect to spend five to seven hours on the trail so be sure to bring along a backpack with plenty of water, snacks, sunscreen, and a first aid kit. You may also want to tackle this trail with a buddy or leave details about where you are planning to go with a friend or relative.
Keppel Lookout Walk
Length: 6.8 miles
Location: Steavenson Falls
Start your day with a hearty brunch in Melbourne. You will have a two hour drive from Melbourne’s Central Business District to the Keppel Lookout Walk. You will begin your hike at the Steavenson Falls car park; take a few minutes before you start out to check out the tallest waterfall in Victoria. Begin your hike by following the signs pointing you toward Keppel Lookout.
You will pass the De La Rue Lookout and then follow the path upward, it does get slippery if there has been any rain so be careful. Once you reach the Keppel Lookout you are halfway through your hike. It should take you about three and a half hours to complete this hike.
Flinders Peak Walk
Length: 1.98 miles
Location: You Yangs Regional Park
Dogs are welcome in You Yangs National Park which is located about an hour from the Central Business District of Melbourne. This hike is just under two miles and will take you to the highest point of the park, with an elevation rise of about 656 feet. Begin your hike at the Turntable Drive car park which is also a picnic area.
Hike across the flat volcanic plains and then climb up 450 steps that lead to the summit of Flinders Peak giving you breathtaking views of the park and surrounding region. Stop at the lookout located near the top of Flinders Peak and look down at the Bunjil Geoglyph, a rock sculpture in the shape of an eagle. It is a beautiful thing to see.
Organ Pipes Circuit
Length: 0.95 miles
Location: Organ Pipes National Park
Located only about 30 minutes to the north of Melbourne, this easy hiking trail will lead you through parts of Organ Pipes National Park off Calder Freeway. Be sure to check out the basalt columns which look a lot like organ pipes are believed to be 2.5 million years old.
Start your hike at the visitor center and follow the trail through the Keilor Plains and Tessellated Pavement and then past the Organ Pipes. This easy to moderate hike will only take you about 30 minutes.
Easy Hikes in Melbourne
Easy hikes are the best activities for families with children or older people wanting to get out and stretch their legs. Most of the easy trails are under two hours and are generally flat with minimal rough terrain. Melbourne has several great easy hikes nearby including these wonderful trails. Try Point Nepean Walk, Toorongo Falls Circuit Walk or Organ Pipes Circuit.
Intermediate Hikes in Melbourne
Most moderate hikes will take a few hours to complete and you will want to bring along a pack with water, snacks, and a first aid kit. Wear sturdy shoes and plan on spending some time hiking through rougher terrain. Check out our recommended intermediate or moderate hikes, which are Ironbark Basin, Tongue Point and Eastern Sherbrooke Forest Walk.
Difficult Hikes in Melbourne
Spending time tackling the more difficult or challenging hikes near Melbourne will really get your muscles working and you will work up a sweat on these trails. Be prepared to spend several hours on the trail so be sure to bring a pack with water, snacks, sunscreen, and a first aid kit. For some of these hikes, you may want to bring a buddy along. With another avid hiker, try Keppel Lookout Trail, Werribee Gorge Circuit Walk and Flinders Peak Walk.
Melbourne Hikes and Walking Trails
When looking for great walking trails in and near Melbourne, you will find trails of all shapes and sizes. There are plenty of Melbourne day hikes that you can easily explore or you can plan on a longer hike that will take you through the Australian bush.
We didn't mention Mitchell River National Park but it is a terrific area to explore if you have the opportunity. Mount Oberon Summit Walk is a lovely place to discover and is suitable for everyone. When flying into Melbourne Airport, be sure to work on your hiking itinerary!