Spring has finally sprung here in Melbourne, and there’s no better way to celebrate the brighter days than with a trip to one of the best adventure spots just outside of the city’s borders.
So with that in mind, here are our five fave spots to explore Melbourne (and they’re even Bugaboo friendly).
If a beach-side stroll that’s brimming with wildlife sounds like your idea of bliss, head to Ricketts Point (just beyond Half Moon Beach), on the Mornington Peninsula. This bayside lookout is home to a marine reserve comprised of underwater areas and exposed rock pools. You’ll find everything from colour-changing cuttlefish to majestic black swans.
There’s a dog beach too, making it the perfect place to take your pooch for a paddle along with the rest of your family and friends. And, if you’re stuck for a flat white after your adventure, we’d recommend dropping into The Parlor in Beaumaris.
Merri Creek Trail
The Merri Creek Trail stretches north from the city, running the entire length of the Merri Creek and weaving its way through more than 20km of incredible parks, lakes and BBQ hotspots. You can jump on the trail just about anywhere, although our favourite spots include Ceres Community Environmental Park, Coburg Lake Reserve, and Dights Falls, where you’ll find the closest thing Melbourne has to waterfalls.
Don’t fancy walking? The Merri Creek Trail is ideal for cyclists too—make sure you stop off at the Brunswick Velodrome for a few laps on the way!
Point Cook Coastal Park
Thinking of heading west? Take a short drive along the Princes Freeway, exit at Point Cook, and you’ll find one of the most beautiful stretches of beach within an hour’s drive of Melbourne. The park and neighbouring wetlands are home to birdlife, other wetland wildlife, and a wide array of picnic spots, making it a fantastic choice for a day’s exploring with a backpack full of goodies. Look out for bridges and landmarks along the way.
And hey, while driving back into the city, why not stop for a delicious feed at the latest Calombaris venture, Hellenic Hotel, in Williamstown? As if you needed an excuse…
Kangaroos, echidnas, birdlife of all shapes, sizes and colours… Lysterfield Park is a thriving hub of nature, complete with a lakeside beach, horse-riding tracks, and acres of forest just waiting to be explored. The park is also kitted out with heaps of car parking spots, free-to-use BBQs and designated picnic areas, making it a great pick for catching up with friends in the great outdoors.
As well as being fantastic for everything from a short stroll to a 2-hour hike, Lysterfield Park also offers mountain biking, canoeing, paddle boating and sailing classes, which take place on the lake in the centre of the park. Lysterfield Park will satisfy everyone, from great outdoors daredevils to picnic blanket sunbathers.
William Ricketts Sanctuary
We couldn’t wrap up this list without including at least one adventure hot-spot in the Dandenongs, and when it comes to our favourite trail for culture and nature, we’re head over heels for William Ricketts Sanctuary in Mount Dandenong. This sculpture garden is a truly unique area within Victoria, combining over 90 sculptures that depict native animals with the natural stone and plant life in the region.
The sanctuary trail is relatively short, so we’d also recommend making a stop at Dandenong Ranges National Park for a wander through the area’s signature ferns and sky-scraping ash trees. Pack the camera because this is one Insta-worthy spot!
Image credit: Griffin Simm on the Merri Creek Trail
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