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Sunset at St Kilda Pier
Photograph: Roberto Seba

The best walks in Melbourne

Don’t venture far from the city with these great walks and trails near Melbourne

By Time Out editors
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If you’re looking for a walking track near Melbourne that you can complete in a couple of hours, we’ve got you covered. The following trails show off sides of Melbourne’s inner city and close-by suburbs you may not have explored yet so buckle up your comfy shoes and head out on these great Melbourne walks.

According to advice from the Department of Health, Victorians are allowed to gather in groups and enjoy recreational activities. Remember to stay 1.5 metres away from others and wear a face mask at all times. Read up about the latest rules here.

Melbourne's best walks

A bicyclist on the Yarra Trail near the Abbotsford Convent
A bicyclist on the Yarra Trail near the Abbotsford Convent
Photograph: Roberto Seba

1. The Yarra Trail

Distance: Approx 20km return (easy)

Start: Hoddle Bridge, Richmond (intersection of Punt Road and the entry to the Monash Freeway)

End: Dights Falls, Abbotsford

There's about a gazillion ways to approach the Yarra Trail (which winds from the mouth of the Yarra River near the Westgate Bridge to Templestowe). Try setting out from Richmond underneath the Swan Street Bridge and pulling up stumps at the artificial weir and rock rapids at Dights Falls. Then simply retrace your steps.

Allow ample time for stops, not because you'll need them (this is a super easy walk), but because the Yarra Trail covers interesting turf, including New York artist Ugo Rondinone's gigantic and cheerful rainbow sculpture, 'Our Magic Hour', the Collingwood Children's Farm and the Abbotsford Convent.

Kororoit Creek in Sunshine on the Kororoit Creek Trail
Kororoit Creek in Sunshine on the Kororoit Creek Trail
Photograph: Reinthal

2. Kororoit Creek Trail

Distance: 16km return (easy)

Start: Fearon Reserve, Williamstown

Turn around at: WG Cresser Reserve

The stretch between Williamstown and Altona is a good stroll for pooches and their humans because there's an off-leash park at either end. It's also a nice reminder that it's not all industrial Altona way – there's an inner-urban oasis awaiting exploration. While you should be aware that it is a 14-kilometre return meander, the trail is paved and there are cafés littered along the way. Head out from Fearon Reserve in Williamstown and swing back when you hit WG Cresser Reserve in Altona.

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The bathing boxes at Brighton Beach
The bathing boxes at Brighton Beach
Flickr: Indigo Skies Photography

3. Elwood to Sandringham

Distance: 16km return (easy)

Start: Moran Reserve, Elwood

Turn around at: Picnic Point, Sandringham

Save this one for a warm, but not scorching day when you feel like a walk, a dip and the chance to see how the other half live. You’ll find the historic Brighton Bay bathing boxes midway between Elwood and Sandy. Built in the late 1800s to preserve feminine modesty, they’re now more a conspicuous display of wealth (you can pick one up for around a lazy 260 grand). Loll about on the beach and stroll home afterwards. 

Footbridge over the Merri Creek
Footbridge over the Merri Creek
Photograph: Nick Carson

4. Merri Creek

Distance: 14km return (easy)

Start: CERES

Turn around at: Dights Falls

Find a northsider who’s not enamoured of Merri Creek and we will show you someone who’s lying about their locale. People have even dedicated odes to it (local musos the Orbweavers for example immortalised it in their tune Merri). Relive a misspent youth by sitting on its banks and downing a cheeky beer or two or go for a wholesome approach, pausing at Brunswick’s haven, CERES, for an amble through the vegies, chickens and vegan eats. The choice stretch is between CERES and Dights Falls.

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Sunset at St Kilda Pier
Sunset at St Kilda Pier
Photograph: Roberto Seba

5. Port Melbourne to St Kilda

Distance: 14km return (easy)

Start: Westgate Park

Turn around at: St Kilda Pier

It’s one of the world’s worst kept secrets – you can spy “little penguins” (yep, scientifically those funny little fellas are no longer called fairy penguins) at the end of the St Kilda Pier and surrounds after sundown. The colony is there all year round, but the best viewing is to be had in the summertime.

If you time this walk right, you could pull up stumps to watch them stretch and socialise (it’s the time of year when they look for a mate and they’ll basically stay up all night cruising). Don’t be a dick about it though – no selfie sticks in their burrows, put red cellophane over torches if you must use one, no flash photography and don’t touch them. The males have hooked beaks and they’re not afraid to use them.

More ideas for nature lovers

Royal Botanic Gardens generic
Photograph: Adrian Vittorio

The best parks in Melbourne

Attractions Parks and gardens

Craving some closeness to Mother Nature? There's nothing like a romp through a local CBD park to restore some balance. Next time you're sick of the sight of concrete, head straight to these green spots.

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