These Are the Best Walks Near Melbourne

Facebook / Heide Museum of Modern Art

We love our liveable city Melbourne, but sometimes, you need a break from that busy city life. Luckily, Melbourne isn’t just the most liveable city because of its high rise buildings, but also because of it’s incredible views, gardens and trails that are closer than you’d think to the city.

Whether you’re into a coastline trail, an escape into the forest or even a garden walk with a side of art history, we have a walk for you.

Here are five of the most beautiful walks near Melbourne.

Instagram / @allanwphotography

Sanatorium Lake Eco-Trail

Mount Macedon
Just an hour’s drive outside Melbourne you’ll reach Mount Macedon, which is honestly brimming with beautiful walking paths that you can spend the day getting amongst. The Sanatorium Lake Eco-Trail is one of our faves. It’s a family-friendly (and non-professional hiker) trail, amongst native forests, gullies of eucalypts, ferns and an impressive range of wildlife, including 150 species of native birds, as well as kangaroos, wallabies and wombats. The trail walk is 2.8km and takes about an hour one day. It loops around the tree-fringed Sanatorium Lake, built to supply water to a tuberculosis sanatorium built nearby in 1899, but later destroyed by fire. The trail also passes the site of an old plant nursery, near the Sanatorium Picnic Ground. This trail is the perfect combination of history, nature and beautiful views. Plus it’s a pretty cruisy walk, if you’re just looking to get out of the city for the afternoon.

Instagram / @meh.18

Fort Nepean Walk

Fort Nepean
Fort Nepean is a bit further out, about an hour and 40 minutes out of Melbourne, but the history of this place is worth it. Starting at Gunners Car Park in Portsea and ending in Fort Nepean, the 3.5km walk passes Cheviot Beach, where Prime Minister Harold Holt disappeared in 1967, and The Rip, the treacherous divide between Point Nepean and Point Lonsdale, that has taken the lives of many ships since the European settlement. 

The walk takes a good three hours, but we’d recommend you allow five so you have enough time to take in all of the historic artifacts along the way. Built in 1882, Fort Nepean was in service until the end of WWII, and it’s guns have incredibly only ever shot two shots in aggression. Today, you can explore the tunnels leading to gun emplacements, ammunition stores and bunkers and you’re invited to inspect the historic cemetery as well. If you’re a bit of a nerd for war history, then this is a perfect day adventure for you.

Instagram / @anna_rok

Bayside Coastal Trail

The Bayside Coastal trail covers 17km along one of Melbourne’s most picturesque coastlines and celebrates the artwork of notable Australian artists. The full trail, which goes from Beaumaris to Brighton, passes through Sandringham, Hampton and Black Rock along the way, and encourages you to walk for as long (or as little) as you like. Regardless, you can’t skip a pit stop at Half Moon Bay. 

This trail is casual, with killer views of a beautiful blue coastline. You should absolutely wear your bathers underneath your walking clothes because you’ll undoubtedly want to take a dip as you start to work up a sweat. 

Dight Falls Trail

Yarra Bend Park
Yarra Bend Park feels so far away from the city that you can barely believe that it’s less than 10km from the CBD. Follow the Dights Falls Loop Trail, which will take around an hour or so to complete and allow you to discover a former lunatic asylum, the River Red Gum-dominated landscape of Galatea Point, the former Deep Rock Swimming Club and heritage-listed Kane’s Bridge. It’s the perfect walk to get you out of a city mindset, or to give you a break from life in general.

Facebook / Heide Museum of Modern Art

Banksia Park to Heide Walk

Why not make a day of it and go for a beautiful walk that leads you to Australian art? Sounds like the perfect sunny Sunday to us. The Heide Museum of Modern Art and its surrounding gardens are the perfect place to recharge and get inspired. Park your car at Banksia Park and follow the Yarra on foot, through the old Red Gums and fruit trees until you hit the gardens of Heide Park, where you’ll pass the beautiful pavilion and life-size cow sculptures and finally, end up at the gallery. It’s a leisurely 5km (1-2 hour) walk and can be topped off with a refreshment and some historic and contemporary Australian art.

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