Best Day Hikes Near Melbourne

Best Day Hikes Near Melbourne

by Chris Burns, Hop To It Tours

Sitting on an edge at Mount William looking at the Grampians National Park

Loving the outdoors and looking to explore a variety of areas near Melbourne but don’t have long to travel? Here we are going to show you some awesome options for day hikes near Melbourne.

Victoria has such a great variety of nature from mountain regions to beachside tracks. With such a wide selection to choose from you can plan a weekly hike a short distance from Melbourne and feel like you’ve had a completely different experience! All of the hikes listed below can easily be done in a half day, allowing time for you to get there and back without having to stay overnight. Having said that, why not make a weekend of it and camp out too, giving you even more chance to explore!

The hikes below are divided into two sections – those within two hours of Melbourne and those slightly further out.

Day Hikes Near Melbourne – Under 2 hours away

Point Nepean National Park

Point Nepean Walk

Drive time from CBD: 1h40m
Duration (return): 3h (14.5km)
Level of difficulty: Easy to medium

Right on the spur of Port Phillip Bay, just past Portsea in Point Nepean National Park. The walk here is a one way walk that takes you past the old quarantine station to where the bay meets the ocean. At this point is an old WWII barracks to explore as well as beautiful views. Also If you’d prefer not to hike the return leg there is an hourly shuttle bus that can pick you up and drop you back to the car park.

Looking over the spit at Point Nepean National Park

Mornington Peninsula National Park

Cape Schanck to Bushrangers Bay

Drive time from CBD: 1h 30m
Duration (one way): 45m (2.7km)
Level of difficulty: Easy to medium

Not too far from Point Nepean (another 30 min drive) is the Cape Schanck car park and our next hike. Both the start and end point of this walk are spectacular. Cape Schanck lighthouse and the boardwalk down to the rocky beach is not to be missed. Also it is highly recommended to time this to get to Bushrangers Bay at low tide. The reason – you can swim in the rock pools!

Cape Schanck on the Mornington Peninsula

Rock Pool at Bushrangers Bay

Cathedral Range State Park

Southern Circuit Track

Drive time from CBD: 1h 40m
Duration (circuit): 4h (11km)
Level of difficulty: Medium to hard

To the east of Melbourne, past the Yarra Valley is the Cathedral Ranges. This hike is for those that like a bit more of a challenge as involves a little rock hopping and scrambling on the way up through Wells Cave. This way can be slippery so only do it as an ascent before enjoying the 360 degree views from Sugarloaf Peak. Follow the ridge line down to the Jawbone Saddle and descend from there, back to the car park.

Hiking up the South Cathedral Ranges

Lysterfield Park

Lake Track

Drive time from CBD: 1h
Duration (circuit): 1h 3om (6km)
Level of difficulty: Easy

Situated just south of the Dandenong Ranges, Lysterfield Park is probably the closest area to Melbourne to get immersed in wildlife such as kangaroos, wallabies, koalas and wombats. Also known for its great mountain biking tracks and kayaking on the lake, Lysterfield Park is a must for those that don’t have much time but want a break from the daily grind.

Family shot overlooking Lysterfield Lake
Meet our baby Penny!

 

Werribee Gorge

Circuit Walk

Drive time from CBD: 1h
Duration (circuit): 4h (10km)
Level of difficulty: Medium to hard

Boasting both gorgeous views and fun rock scrambling, Werribee Gorge has become a hot spot for the day adventurer. You start at Meikles Point Picnic Area, snaking next to the river before ascending up a rocky crest towards Eastern Lookout for great panoramic views.

Looking out over Werribee Gorge

Day Hikes Near Melbourne – Just over 2 hours away

Great Otway National Park

Triplett Falls

Drive time from CBD: 2h 30m
Duration (return): 1h (3km)
Level of difficulty: Easy to medium

Part of the Great Ocean Road region, the Otway National Park has many good short walks to do. The one we are going to feature is Triplett Falls. The reason – it is in a sub tropical rainforest, surrounded by the largest Mountain Ash trees in the area and features a three tiered waterfall. The hike itself isn’t too hard so why not add in a stop to Hopetoun or Beauchamp Falls as well. Both are within a 10km drive of Triplett Falls and are of a similar difficulty of walking. You could easily do all three in one day if you’re happy to have a long day out!

From the viewing platform at Triplet Falls

Grampians National Park

Pinnacle from the Wonderland Carpark

Drive time from CBD: 3h
Duration (return): 2h (4.2km)
Level of difficulty: Medium

The Grampians National Park also has many hikes to do at various difficulties but we have chosen to feature the most diverse (and popular) one, the hike up to the Pinnacle. Don’t let the distance fool you, the Pinnacle hike from the Wonderland car park is a track that ascends straight up and then returns straight down. Combining good paths with some rock scrambling this is a fun, diverse hike that takes you to an amazing view of the Fyans valley and the town of Halls Gap. Along the way explore spots known as the Grand Canyon and Silent Street and see why this is perhaps one of the best day walks you could do!

Pinnacles Lookout at the Grampians National Park

Wilsons Promontory

Wilsons Promontory is so amazing that we couldn’t resist putting in two different hikes as they are so different. The first shows off amazing views whilst the second will get you amongst the bays.

Mount Oberon Summit Walk

Drive time from CBD: 3h
Duration (return): 2h (6.8km)
Level of difficulty: Medium to hard

Mount Oberon is the highest point in Wilson Promontory. The hike itself is quite steep, yet not overly impressive. Starting at Telegraph Saddle, you’ll follow a road winding round a shady path. The reason for doing it though is that once at the top the views are spectacular. A warning though, Mount Oberon can often be covered in low lying cloud so make sure to do it on a clear day!

View from Oberon Summit Wilsons Prom

The Three Bays Walk

Duration (return): 5h (17km)
Level of difficulty: Medium

Three Bays Walk incorporates walking from Tidal River, past Pillar Point, to the bays of Squeaky Beach (yes the sand actually squeaks), Picnic Bay and Whiskey Bay. If you can arrange a car shuttle then the walk can be done as a one way trek but if not then pack a lunch and take your time, stopping at the beaches for a swim and relax.

Picnic Bay Wilsons Promontory

So there you go, some amazing day hikes near Melbourne. If you fancy getting a group together to visit any of these great tracks feel free to hire us for a great day tour. We don’t just drive you all there but do the hike with you too, making sure you can relax and not worry about getting lost. Fancy turning it into an overnight camping trip? Then why not look at our option to do just that.

Simply click on the following link, Hop To It Tours Overnight Camping and Multi Day Trip

If you’d prefer to do them yourself and would like more information on any of these hikes from Melbourne then check out the Parks Victoria page at https://www.parks.vic.gov.au

Hopefully we’ll see you on a hike with us soon!

 

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