Five Epic Multi-Day Hikes to Conquer Near Melbourne
Walk your way through the most beautiful parts of Victoria (while staying at remote campgrounds) during these multi-day hikes near Melbourne.
October 27, 2023
Victoria may be Australia's second smallest state in terms of area, but it sure does pack a punch when it comes to scenic variety. Within a couple of hours' drive from Melbourne, there are majestic mountain ranges, towering clifftops, bluer-than-blue bays, rich green farming country and idyllic vineyards.
So much diversity in such a small area makes for ideal walking conditions — and you don't have to wander far to be well-rewarded for your efforts. Get to know the Garden State a bit more intimately with the five best multi-day hikes near Melbourne.
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GREAT OCEAN WALK, APOLLO BAY TO PORT CAMPBELL
Chances are you've driven at least some part of the Great Ocean Road. Now it's time to walk it. The 100-kilometre-long Great Ocean Walk starts at Apollo Bay — about 200 kilometres southwest of Melbourne — and sticks to the coast all the way to Port Campbell (home to the Twelve Apostles).
Just a few of the extraordinary sites you'll see along the way include Cape Otway Lighthouse, Melanesia Beach, Moonlight Head and Wreck Beach — where the melancholic remains of the Marie Gabrielle and the Fiji lie. Carry a tent and self-cater along the way, with seven hike-in campsites available to pre-book. Or stay at your pick of Great Ocean Road BnBs, hotels and guest houses, feasting at local eateries.
How long? Eight days.
THE SOUTHERN PROM CIRCUIT, WILSONS PROMONTORY NATIONAL PARK
The Southern Prom is one of Victoria's most popular multi-day hikes. To get going, drive to the trailhead at Telegraph Saddle Car Park (about 220 kilometres southeast of Melbourne). Wilsons Promontory is home to some of Australia's most magical beaches and this walk visits many of them; from the protected turquoise waters of Sealers Cove, to Oberon Bay, backdropped by Oberon Mountain.
In between, you'll explore tea tree forests, rugged headlands, sheer granite cliffs and undulating heathlands. Set up at campsites as you go (bookings required) and/or reward yourself with a sleepover in one of the Wilsons Promontory Lightstation Cottages.
How long? Three-to-five days.
GRAMPIANS PEAKS TRAIL, GRAMPIANS NATIONAL PARK
If fresh mountain air, 360-degree views and shimmering lakes are on your mind — and you're not afraid of a bit of climbing — then the Grampians Peaks Trail is for you. Lace up your boots at Halls Gap (about 250 kilometres northwest of Melbourne) and stride out. The 36-kilometre long trail is a circuit and, for the best vistas, anti-clockwise is the way to travel.
Keep an eye out for the natural rock pools of Venus Baths, where you can take a refreshing dip, the impressive rock formations of the Grand Canyon, legendary Pinnacle Lookout, and Mount Rosea summit which affords awe-inspiring panoramas of the Serra and Mount William Ranges. There are three campgrounds along the way: Bugiga, Stoney Creek Group Camp and Borough Huts.
How long? Three days.
GREAT WALHALLA ALPINE TRAIL, WALHALLA TO MOUNT BAW BAW ALPINE VILLAGE
If heights are your thing, then make your next adventure the Great Walhalla Alpine Trail. This 40-kilometre trek is just a teeny-tiny section of the massive Australian Alps Walk; a 650-kilometre track that travels through Australia's high country. The abbreviated version features the former gold mining town of Walhalla at one end of the Walhalla Trail and Mount Baw Baw Alpine Village at the other.
You get to decide whether you walk uphill (from Walhalla) like a hard-core mountaineer, or tackle the slightly easier route running the opposite direction. Either way, you can count on wildflowers (during spring), sculpture-like snow gums, enchanting myrtle beech forests, rushing rivers and majestic mountain views. Camping options include O'Sheas Mill and the peaceful clearing at Mushroom Rocks, though facilities can be limited.
How long? Two-to-three days.
WILDERNESS COAST WALK, CROAJINGOLONG NATIONAL PARK
The Wilderness Coast Walk is a lengthy one, with the Victorian stretch running over 80 kilometres from Sydenham Inlet in Croajingolong National Park, right through to Mallacoota. As the name suggests, this rugged track follows remote coastline most of the way, transporting you to lonely beaches fringed by national park, pristine river estuaries and dramatic headlands that look like scenes out of 19th century ocean-going novels.
Expect to meet loads of wildlife, from whales (in season), to seals, to sea birds. Most areas are inaccessible by vehicle and accommodation takes the form of rustic campsites. You'll also want to be handy with a map, with some experience under your belt. Want more? Trek 55 kilometres further east from Mallacoota to reach Nadgee Nature Reserve in New South Wales. These multi-day hikes in Victoria are some of the best our there.
How long? Seven-to-eight days.
Top Images: Grampians National Park by Ben Savage and LVDI for Visit Victoria.
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