The lockdowns of 2020 really showed us that there are plenty of great walking trails in Melbourne. Whether you like to walk by the water, the city or get lost in the suburbs – you’re pretty well covered. Here’s our list of the best walking trails in Melbourne, so let us know which ones you frequent and any that we might be missing. You can also check out government Parks Victoria to find great parks and read about trail improvements and disruptions.
1. Merri Creek Trail in Coburg
The Merri Creek Trail is 21 kilometres long and starts from Mahoney’s Road in Broadmeadows proceeding to Dights Falls Reserve in Abbotsford. The trail follows the creek, along the way it passes Coburg Lake Reserve, the Brunswick Velodrome, Cable Suspension Bridge and CERES Community Environment Park where fresh produce and coffee can be picked up for a picnic.
2. Lysterfield Park in Narre Warren
Lysterfield Park is an unexpected oasis about 45 minutes south of the CBD, offering a range of recreational activities. The Lysterfield Park Mountain Bike Trails and the State Mountain Bike course offers 20 kilometres of trails catering for riders of all ages and ability. Lysterfield Lake is very popular for canoeing, sailing, paddle boating, surf skiing, and a fabulous walking trail in Melbourne. The area is also a haven for wildlife spotting (mainly kangaroos and wallabies) plus 140 different species of birds.
3. Yarra Bend Park in Fairfield
Yarra Bend Park is Melbourne’s largest natural bushland park just 4km east of the CBD, and you won’t want to miss this walking trails in Melbourne. Enjoy the leafy grounds and abundant wildlife while strolling or biking its many walking trails in Melbourne. Catch sunrise or sunset with beautiful views out to the city skyline. Hire a canoe at historic Studley Park Boathouse, paddle upstream, and spot flying foxes. Explore the wild river escarpments, open woodlands, formal parklands and sports fields that make up Yarra Bend Park. Stop by the iconic Dights Fall – the closest thing to a waterfall to the CBD.
4. The Solar System Trail in Port Melbourne
Navigate the Solar System Trail from the sun to the outer planets by following the bike and walking trail on the City of Port Phillip’s foreshore. In 2008 artists and scientists constructed a model of our solar system, to a scale of one to one billion. The full trail is 5.9km from the Sun in St Kilda to planet Pluto at Sandridge Beach in Port Melbourne, which equates to the actual 5.9 billion kilometres.
5. Herring Island in South Yarra
Herring Island may be one of Melbourne’s best-kept secrets, and home to the best walking trails in Melbourne. Accessible only by boat, 3.2 hectares in size and just three kilometres from the city. Herring Island is the only substantial island in the Yarra River. Stroll through the sculpture park which has site-specific works from international and local artists.
6. Plenty Gorge Park in Bundoora
Plenty Gorge Park offers a wide range of natural and cultural experiences only 20 km from Melbourne, where the spectacular gorge sets a backdrop for stunning landscape views and the abundant native wildlife are always on show. The 2km loop walk circles the Blue Lake, named for its turquoise colour at certain times of the year.
7. Westerfolds Park in Templestowe
Watch adrenaline junkies tackle the rapids at Westerfolds Park from the observation deck (Lower Templestowe). This peaceful walk passes the old Westerfolds Manor, woodlands and shrub land. Take in the ancient Red Gums, as well as kangaroos and wombats who often graze in the open areas in the morning. One of the more stunning walking trails in Melbourne.
8. Woodlands Historic Park in Greenvale
Woodland Historic Park provides a fascinating glimpse of the landscapes and wildlife seen by European settlers in the 1840s. The park has a 150-year old homestead, Indigenous canoe trees, native woodland and grassland. Wander through the fenced ‘Back Paddock’ and see kangaroos, birds and other wildlife. In the Spring, a sea of purple wildflowers make for very Instagrammable moments.
9. Organ Pipes in Keilor North
Twenty kilometres north-west of Melbourne’s business area is an impressive rock formation called the Organ Pipes. Formed by cooling and cracking volcanic lava, the organ pipes look just like their name suggests, towering above the river below. A short walk away see the Rosetta Stone that looks like the spokes of a wheel, a Tessellated pavement and fossils over four million years old. Great for social gatherings, the park also has picnic spots and easy walking trails in Melbourne.
10. Capital City Trail in Melbourne
The Capital City Trail links some of the best cultural, entertainment, sporting and outdoor recreation opportunities that Melbourne has to offer. Starting at the vibrant entertainment hub of Southbank, it winds along the grassy banks of the Yarra River past the Victorian Arts Centre, Royal Botanic Gardens, the MCG and Melbourne Park, and the elegant grandeur of historic Como House. It’s a flat 29.6-kilometre loop that provides a great way of exploring Melbourne by bike if you’re not wanting specific walking trails in Melbourne. Make the most of the trail by allowing plenty of time to stop at your favourite attractions or picnic in leafy gardens or on a tranquil riverbank.
Want to explore more than these walking trails in Melbourne? Check out our latest Melbourne travel articles to start planning your next escape.