Do you remember the last time you went to a nature reserve and enjoyed a relaxing hike? If not, then maybe it’s time for you to spend a day or two to get some sunshine, go for a leisurely stroll, and explore the great outdoors.
According to researchers, nature makes people happy. Spending time outdoors surrounded by trees and hearing birds chirping can improve one’s health and happiness.
That’s why more and more folks are wanting to escape the hectic city life and looking for great walking trails, nature parks, bush-lands, and such. The best thing is, you don’t have to go very far to go on a day hike or bush walk.
So, get your hiking gear ready, call your mates, and find a car rental in Melbourne, so you can experience all these beautiful nature walks that are just a short driving distance away from the city.
Just an hour and a half drive from the CBD, this trail was named after two escaped convicts and offers gorgeous views of Bass Strait from the cliff tops. You can see lots of birds, as well as kangaroos in the grassy clearings.
Start your walk at the Cape Schanck Lighthouse and end it at Borneo Road. The distance is roughly 3 kilometres one-way and can take about 45 minutes. Make sure you wear sports attire and bring lots of water and some snacks to have enough energy on your stroll.
To enjoy a little slice of rugged beauty, check out Werribee Gorge. It’s a 10-kilometre trail with magnificent river views and a few steep climbs. If you want to complete a hike and still have enough time to be home by lunchtime, then this is perfect for you. Hiking here is suitable for all seasons.
Werribee Gorge is just an hour away out of the CBD, and its main circuit is about ten kilometres, which takes you to the top of the gorge and down again to the bottom. It may take you about three hours to finish. Start at the Quarry and go counterclockwise around the Gorge rim.
1000 Steps Walk
No need to guess how many steps you’ll take here, this pleasant walk is popular among locals, tourists, fitness fans, you name it. So, expect to see many people huffing and puffing along the way.
The main circuit is about 4.3 kilometres and begins up the 1000 Steps from the car park area and down the Lyrebird Trail, which is like a dirt road. It still has stairs along the way and a lot wider, so the trail down is very manageable compared to the way up.
Sherbrooke Forest Walk
Located just 40 kilometres east of the city, the lush rain forest of Sherbrooke is one of the most beautiful and easy to go to locations for bush walking near Melbourne.
This forest is part of the Dandenong Ranges Park and offers much of the same scenery you’ll find at the 1,000 Steps Kokoda Walk, but without the crowd.
Start the trail at Sherbrooke Road, then go right through the sassafras, ferns, and mountain ash, then head over the falls and back again. It just takes half an hour each way, so you can have plenty of time to appreciate the views and breathe in the fresh air.
The You Yangs is a fantastic park that is perfect for bird watching, cycling, and mountain biking, as well as a relaxing picnic. Just drive west from the CBD, over the West Gate on the road to Geelong, and you’ll notice the distinctive granite peaks about halfway there.
Merri Creek Trail
For a relaxing stroll on a Saturday morning, look no further. This trail starts at Dight Falls and runs for 21 kilometres, but the good news is, you can start and finish anywhere you want.
Enjoy walking along the wide-open spaces, perfect for flying kites, and along the horse paddocks. Don’t forget to drop by the CERES Community Environmental Park, where you can shop for fresh, organic produce.
What about you? Have you been to any of the trails mentioned above? What is your favourite walk near Melbourne? Share your thoughts below.