5 Stunning Hikes in & Near Melbourne to Get You Moving
Getting out into nature refreshes the body in mind in more ways than one. It can improve focus, mental clarity and mood. If you decide to embark on a bush walk or hike, you’ll also get your muscles working.
If you live in Melbourne or are visiting the area, several locations will provide you with hours of natural entertainment.
We’ve provided a list of some of our favourite hiking spots in and around the city. These vary in difficulty, so make sure you pick one to fit your capabilities and experience level.
If we missed one of your preferred hiking spots, let us know! We’re always looking for the best trails to explore all over the country.
Fort Nepean Walk
If you’re a history buff, Fort Nepean walk will provide some beautiful background with a bit of historical context. The trail is located in Mornington Peninsula National Park and spans 3.5 km – passing multiple historical landmarks along your route.
This area was home to one of the earliest European settlements in Australia, dating back to 1845. You’ll pass the area between Point Nepean and Point Lonsdale, where many European settlers lost their ships during the move.
Later, it played host to Fort Nepean, an active military outpost that shut down after World War II. During the war, the fort fired only two shots in aggression.
On this 2+ hour walk, you’ll also pass the famous Cheviot beach, and the jetty where Prime Minister Harold Holt disappeared in 1967.
This trail makes for a relatively easy walk, as the path is flat and in good condition. For the full trail, start at Gunners car park and finish at Fort Nepean. You can bring your bicycle as well if you prefer to cycle on the path.
Hanging Rock Trail
You may have already heard of the Hanging Rock Trail by reputation. The 1967 novel Picnic at Hanging Rock by Joan Lindsay made the hiking trail a household name.
In the novel, Lindsay tells the story of a group of schoolgirls who went missing while hiking at Hanging Rock in 1901. The spooky legend of strange happenings at Hanging Rock still live on to this day.
Once you see the area, you’ll be blown away. The overhanging rocks are a bit spooky at first, but soon you’ll find yourself climbing over and through them.
As you travel to the summit, you’ll pass through trails that contained lava nearly six million years ago. Once you reach the top, you can see for miles in either direction.
This is a relatively short hike – only 2 km to the top – but it’s a bit steep. Make sure you wear appropriate footwear and keep an eye out for rocks.
Those who are a bit sprier will be able to make the most of the hike by climbing on the top of some of the larger rocks along the path.
Keppel Lookout Trail
If you want more of a challenge in your hike, then the Keppel Lookout Trail might be the one for you. There are several trails in the area leading to different lookouts, but the Keppel Lookout has the best view of them all.
This trail is about an hour and a half outside of Melbourne in Marysville, but the view is worth it. It’s also one of the most challenging trails in the area, so it’s fantastic if you want to get some exercise and push yourself.
The reward for this three to four hour, 11 km hike is a stunning view of the surrounding mountain ash forest.
Start your hike at the Falls Road car park and follow the trail up to the Keppel lookout. When you want to go back down, just follow the trail down Steavenson Falls until you reach the Tree Fern Gully Trail. This will take you back the way you came.
Since this trail can be steep at points, we recommend you wear appropriate hiking shoes so you don’t fall.
The world-famous 1000 steps of the Kokoda Walk is also just outside Melbourne. This is another strenuous walk, so make sure your fitness level is up to par before you try it!
You can walk your way up the trail, stopping at various points to relax and view the scenery, or choose to run up the steps to see what you’re made of.
A lot of visitors choose to run up the 5km trail as a fitness test. If you think you have what it takes, there’s only one way to find out!
This trail is a test, but you don’t have to complete the whole thing. There are several shady, scenic areas where you can stop and take the breath that you need.
Start your hike at the Ferntree Gully Rangers Office, and finish at the One Tree Hill Picnic Ground. Make sure you bring plenty of water, as there’s nowhere along the trail to fill up.
Sherbrooke Falls Trail
Take a look at the Sherbrooke Falls Trail if you want a more relaxing walk in the woods with places to stop for picnics. This trail is 1.2 km in each direction and will take you through the peaceful scenery of The Dandenongs.
You can complete this two-way hike in about an hour, and stop for a bite to eat along the way.
This trail is far easier than some of the others on this list and is best for those who want a brief taste of the area’s best hiking trails.
If you aren’t satisfied at the end of your walk, some nearby trails are a bit more challenging.