We’re pretty spoilt with hiking choices in Victoria. While some tracks are best explored in spring or autumn (Mackenzie Falls, we’re looking at you), others are home to flora, fauna and pristine swimming areas that flourish in warmer weather.
Bookmark the best summer walks for next weekend.
The You Yangs
Victoria’s most underrated twin peaks, the You Yangs are halfway between the CBD and Geelong. Start at Turntable Carpark and make your way up to Flinders Peak, where you’ll be rewarded with views out to the bay. If you veer right, the East-West loop Track guides you around exceptional rock formations, bushland and native foliage. The twins are a charmer, without the crowds.
Phillip Island is the Bachelor of Victorian beaches. Leave the baby penguins for tourists and head to the Cape Woolamai circuit, a 9.2km loop that will take the better part of a day. Looping around pink granite cliffs, secluded swimming holes and ocean views, you’ll want to pack your swimmers for this trip.
Cathedral Range State Park Jawbone
Not one for light hearts (or hearts that feel queasy when it comes to height or narrow caves), strap on your hiking boots for this one. 11 kilometres of ragged, rocky, adventurous terrain includes exposed ledges, scrambling and unassisted climbing in sections of the track. You’ll follow the ridges of the mountain, hop through caves and pivot on rock surfaces. Channel your inner Lara Croft, but if that fails—make your mate go first.
Wilsons Promontory National Park
Only accessible by foot or boat, Sealers Cove is one of the most well-preserved, beaches in Victoria. Nestled in Wilsons Promontory, the walk starts from the Telegraph Saddle carpark and the 10km track ascends to the Windy Saddle before heading downhill to Sealers Cove. There are a small number of campsites with a maximum stay of two nights, and permits are required.
The Bluff Trail
Alpine National Park
A two-day hike covering 28.1km as a round trip, The Bluff Trail climbs smoothly from beside the Howqua River to Bluff Summit. The natural ascent to the peak is a little rougher, however you’ll be rewarded with a 1,725 metre summit with view stretching past Mount Buller and Lake Eildon. Camp at Bluff Hut overnight, and don’t forget the s’mores.
Werribee Gorge State Park
Ideal for a day trip, the Werribee Gorge Circuit is an easy 8.5km 3.5 hour walk. The first section of the trail hugs the riverbank, with plenty of watering holes and potential swimming spots along the way. Pack plenty of water, scroggin and bathers on sunny days.
Great Ocean Road Walk
Great Ocean Road
Stretching along the coast from Apollo Bay to Twelve Apostles, the Great Ocean Road Walk can be completed over eight days or handpick sections of the track to walk. One of Victoria’s iconic trail walks, each section boasts unique, diverse flora and fauna.
Bushrangers Bay Trail
A stone’s throw away from Cape Schanck lies Bushrangers Bay, a sheltered beach surrounded by towering basalt cliffs. Swimming is not recommended because the site is unpatrolled, and large waves often crash on headlands, however there are a handful of calm crystal-coloured rock pools. It can be accessed from Boneo Road carpark or Cape Schanck carpark, both a short 2.5km walk.
Keen for more walking? Here are some that are close to Melbourne.
Image credit: Visit Victoria