If you’re planning a trip to Melbourne, and want to slot in a bit of hiking and trails, take a look at these 9 beautiful and exciting places.With a network of over 2000 trails totaling some 8000 kilometres, the state of Victoria is perfect for trailblazers of all levels, on two feet or two wheels. So, take your pick!
1. Great Ocean Road
The Great Ocean Walk is the state’s premier multi-day bushwalking experience. This 100 kilometre-long iconic walk stretches along the state’s southwestern coastline from Apollo Bay to the Twelve Apostles. The trail may be experienced in short walks, day hikes or in its entirety over eight days and seven nights. Twelve Apostles Lodge Walk is a three night, four days guided experience along the western half of the Great Ocean Walk. End the walk with a helicopter ride over the Twelve Apostles; the experience includes transfers to and from Melbourne CBD, eco-lodge accommodation, gourmet meals, snacks and walking gear.Bookings are required for camping. Track fees do not apply. If you prefer to opt for comfort with accommodation nearby, visit www.visitgreatoceanroad.org.au/greatoceanwalk/walk-accommodation for details.
2. Grampians Peaks Trail
With the next stages of development underway, the Grampians Peaks Trail will be a 13-day, 12 nights, 144 kilometres (one-way) walk through the Grampians. It can be enjoyed in its entirety or experienced in small sections at a time. The trail is rich in Aboriginal culture and will provide an insight into the lives of the Jardwadjali and Djab Wurrung people. Hikers can choose to carry their own equipment and food or request for tents, sleeping bags and supplies to be provided at the campsite, enabling them to walk with a daypack only. The first section of the trail, which is open, is a one-way three-day, two night loop walk from Halls Gap to Borough Huts and returning to Halls Gap, covering a total of 33 kilometres. The completed Grampians Peaks Trail will be available to hike in late 2019.
3. The Pinnacle
Elsewhere in the Grampians, the two-kilometre hike to The Pinnacle rewards walkers with spectacular views. The easiest route to The Pinnacle, the walk from Sundial car park via Devil’s Gap is suitable for less confident walkers or those with children. Keep an eye out for native wildlife along the way, including koalas, kangaroos and even echidnas. Wear sturdy walking shoes as you may have to hop over seasonal water crossings and a few rocks. The Pinnacle lookout offers breathtaking views of Halls Gap and the Grampians’ many peaks. Find a Grampians accommodation option to suit your wants, needs and budget. Visit www.visitgrampians.com.au/where-to-stay for more details or check out Royal Mail Hotel at http://royalmail.com.au/ an accommodation set in extensive Australian gardens with stunning views of the Southern Grampians Ranges.
4. Surf Coast Walk
The 44 kilometre-long Surf Coast Walk runs from Point Impossible to Fairhaven along the Great Ocean Road. The trail takes in renowned beaches near Australia’s surf capital, Torquay, including iconic Bells Beach. With 12 easy to access trail heads, it can be enjoyed as a day walk or multi-day experience. Along the way, visitors can learn about the Aboriginal (Koori) way of life with the Koorie Cultural Walk, where interpretive signs provide information. For accommodation along the way, please visit www.surfcoastwalk.com.au/accommodation for more details.
5. Great South West Walk
The Great South West Walk can be broken into two-hour loop walks or day walks, while the intrepid can walk the entire 250-kilometre loop that begins and ends in Portland in South West Victoria. From forest to beaches and the banks of the Glenelg River, the trail takes in a diverse landscape and boasts swimming holes, sand dunes, blowholes and seal colonies along the way. Auswalk runs a group guided and accommodated walking holiday along this trail. For accommodation, visit http://www.greatsouthwestwalk.com/local/accomm.php for more details.
6. The Twelve Apostles
One of the best-known highlights of the Great Ocean Road, the 12 Apostles is situated in the Port Campbell National Park. The 45-meter high limestone structures leave onlookers awe-struck with their size and beauty, whether viewed from land or from a helicopter. The 12 Apostles Marine National Park, which runs along 17 kilometers of coastline, is also home Loch Ard Gorge, London Bridge, Bay of Islands, and Bay of Martyrs. Plan and book your stay by visiting https://visit12apostles.com.au/accommodation/.
7. Falls to Hotham Alpine Crossing
As one of Victoria’s most iconic walks, the 37km Falls to Hotham Alpine Crossing is a three- day, two-night walk linking the resort village of Falls Creek with Mt Hotham. Winding its way along alpine ridges through snow gum woodlands and snow grass plains, over rocky summits and past historic huts, this three day hike offers an achievable and rewarding hiking challenge with spectacular views every step. The Falls to Hotham Alpine Crossing is accessible for hiking from November to April. The track can be walked in either direction but is best when starting from Falls Creek and walking towards Mt Hotham.
There are two campsites on the Falls to Hotham Alpine Crossing:
- Cope Hut campsite, amongst the Snow Gums on the Bogong High Plains, is 14km from the trailhead and usually the first night’s campsite.
- Dibbins Hut campsite, on a snow plain near the headwaters of the Cobungra River, is 9km from Mount Hotham.
Or, visit https://www.fallscreek.com.au/accommodation-search/ for accommodations along Falls Creek.
8. Mornington Peninsula Walk
The 100-kilometre Mornington Peninsula Walk takes a triangular route, linking four established trails along the state’s southern peninsula. Highlights along the trail include the historic fort at Point Nepean, foreshore townships, Arthurs Seat, Cape Schanck and its Lighthouse. The terrain ranges from ferny glens to cliff tops, coastal tea-tree forests and golden-sand beaches. Check out your idea of bliss at bedtime right across the Peninsula through this link www.visitmorningtonpeninsula.org/PlanYourTrip/BookAccommodationNow.aspx .
9. Mt. Feathertop via Razorback Trail
The superb trail from Mt Hotham to the summit of Mt Feathertop (1,922m), the state’s second highest mountain, follows the sharp, craggy spine of the Razorback above the tree line. Beginning at the car park at Diamantina Hut, the track descends to a saddle called Big Dipper, passing through open snow grass, low shrubs and snow gum woodlands on its way to the rocky bluffs of Twin Knobs and Mt Feathertop beyond. The stunning 360-degree views from the peak extend across the alps. Permits or bookings are not required to hike. For accommodation, it’s best to stay at Mt. Hotham Alpine Resort www.mthotham.com.au/plan-my-trip/accommodation/ for convenience.