Awesome Parks to Explore Around Melbourne
Looking for a park to spend the day in outside of Melbourne? Here are some great places to explore any time of the year!
There are so many great parks around Australia to choose from, including many in Victoria. We're really spoiled for choice! Between abundant wildlife, spectacular wildflowers and plants, and gorgeous landscapes, it's easy to enjoy a day out in the bush if you find yourself on a trail in one of these parks. Below are a few parks you can spend a day or more in with a few suggestions for walks you can do.
Wilson's Promontory National Park
225 km from Melbourne CBD
No list would be complete without Victoria's crown jewel - Wilson's Promontory National Park. With hikes that range from half-day to multi-day treks, this park has everything. Mountains to climb, beaches to swim in, and forests to explore. With tons of wildlife and vast diverse landscapes, no trip to Victoria would be complete without a visit to this park.
Check out my multi-day adventure in the link here: Backpack Wilson's Promontory
If you wish to reduce the multi-day hike to a day hike, feel free to start the hike at either end as an out-and-back, either making your way to Sealers Cove (in the beginning) or Oberon Bay (at the end of the hike) from Tidal River or to Mt Oberon (not included in my adventure).
Australian Alps National Park
400 km from Melbourne CBD
The Australian Alps is home to a 670 km long track, boasting the highest mountains in Australia, including Kosciuszko on the NSW side of the border. Given the large size of the park, the mountains have many different beautiful landscapes, with rivers, forests, and some of the most difficult hiking in Victoria.
One of my favourite places in the park was Mt Feathertop, the second highest peak in Victoria. Take a look at look at Elliot Kramer's hiking adventure here: Summit Mt Feathertop
Cathedral Range State Park
115 km from Melbourne CBD
One of the closest parks to Melbourne with fantastic 360 degree views for hours at a time, the Cathedral Ranges offers extensive ridgeline hikes that descend into forested trails filled with wildlife. The ridge portion of the main hike will test your fear of heights with lots of scrambling, paying off with amazing views of the surrounding areas.
Check out my multi-day adventure in the link here: Backpack the Cathedral Ranges
If you wish to turn the adventure above into a day hike, I recommend hiking until you reach the Farmyard then making your way back to Sugarloaf Saddle.
Mornington Peninsula National Park
78 km from Melbourne CBD
I've had the opportunity to hike several trails in Mornington Peninsula. The park is quite close to the city, with many different seaside hikes on its shores. The area is abundant in wildlife and the trails wind through many different forests and bushlands between the trails on the beach.
Here are a few options you can follow if you want to visit it yourself:
Hike to Gunnamatta Beach - A seaside cliff hike that makes your way from Cape Schank Lighthouse to Gunnamatta Beach. A good portion of this hike is on sand and offers beautiful views of the ocean both from the beach and the cliffs.
Hike to Fort Nepean - A beachside walk where you get views of both the turbulant Bass Strait and serene Port Phillip. Make your way through the fort, which has been renovated so you can see information on the area and the purpose of the different buildings. It's a great hike for someone who loves the outdoors as well as history!
Grampians National Park
270 km from Melbourne CBD
The Grampians are a beautiful set of mountains with a drier climate than many of the hikes in and around Melbourne. The rocky trails offer some stunning lookouts, such as The Pinnacle (pictured above). The park offers many hiking trails, including the Grampians Peaks Trail (which is currently being worked on due to bushfires in the past, but the first section has been complete). The park also has lots of wildlife - if you want to see a kangaroo, just come here!.
Backpack to Bugiga Hikers Camp - A hike on the Grampians Peaks Trail, a newly built trail with many stunning views including the Pinnacle (pictured above). Make your way to the Bugiga Hikers Camp, where you can spend the night watching the sunset hit the rockside cliffs. If you want to turn this into a day hike, you can either stop at the Pinnacle (partway) or make your way to the Hikers Camp as an out-and-back.
Backpack to the Fortress and Mt Thackeray - Start your trip off looking at Aboriginal hand paintings, continuing on to cave campsites and stunning mountain views. If you wish to turn this hike into a day hike, make it into an out-and-back, visiting the Fortress before you head back to the carpark.
Please respect the places you find on The Outbound.
Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures. Be aware of local regulations and don't damage these amazing places for the sake of a photograph.