Whether you want to take a short walk in a forest or climb to the top of a mountain, there are some great walks in the Yarra Valley that will get your blood pumping. These hikes are perfect for people of all ages, from beginners to seasoned outdoorsmen.
Located just one hour south of Melbourne, Lake Mountain is a popular destination for hikers and cross country skiers. This picturesque location is in the heart of the Yarra Valley, and is close to the towns of Healesville, Marysville and Coldstream. It also lies along the Great Dividing Range, and boasts spectacular views of the surrounding countryside.
Lake Mountain is part of the Yarra Ranges National Park, and has numerous walking tracks. Visitors can enjoy spectacular views of the Yarra Valley, Westernport Bay, and the Victorian Alps.
The Mt Donna Buang Summit has a 21-metre lookout tower. There are panoramic views of the Great Dividing Range, the Victorian Alps, and the city of Melbourne. There are trails for cross-country skiing, tobogganing and hiking. There are also a range of picnic spots at the top.
The Mt Monda walk is for experienced bushwalkers, and climbs through tall, wet mountain ash forests. It is suitable for a full day hike, and starts on Road 17 just past Echo Tunnel. It returns to Donnellys Weir via the Condons Track.
The O’Shannassy Aqueduct Trail is 35km long, and is considered to be one of the prettiest trails in the Yarra Ranges. It runs through mature fern gullies, and passes creeks, plantations, and old O’Shannassy Aqueduct.
The Lake Mountain Summit is another great place to take a short hike. There is a variety of wildflowers in the area between November and March. The view from the summit is beautiful, and the alpine heath is a welcome respite on a hot day.
Located about an hour’s drive from Melbourne CBD, Plenty Gorge is a scenic area to visit for a weekend stroll or bushwalk. It is a great place for wildlife watching, with plenty of kangaroos, echidnas, and other bird species. The Yarra River forms part of the park.
The park is home to seven moderate trails, including the Blue Lake circuit, the Yellow Gum circuit, and the Plenty Gorge Insonamic trail. These trails all pass through plenty of native bushland, with evidence of the Wurundjeri people. The park is also home to plenty of recreational activities.
The Dights Falls Loop trail is a 5KM walk that ends at Dights Falls Lookout. It is an easy walk, and is a great way to experience the gorge. The trail has a mural that pays homage to the Wurundjeri people.
The Port Phillip Bay Swim Course is another popular destination. This 4.8km track has water fountains every 500 meters. The water normally stays one meter deep, but it can be shallower depending on the time of year. This is an excellent spot to view the city from the shore.
The Cathedral Ranges State Park is a great place to enjoy some challenging walking. Its rocky ridgeline provides impressive views. You can also take a guided tour. It’s a fun, rewarding walk, and you can finish it in one day. The park has a range of trails, including the Kokoda Memorial Walk and the Monda Loop.
Located in the Yarra Ranges National Park, Morleys Track is a walk that cuts through the Maroondah catchment. It is one of the only places where you can experience a section of old growth forest. It is also a great way to see some of the area’s native wildlife.
The trail is not particularly long, averaging about 4 kilometres per stage. It’s also a flat walking track, making for a pleasant change. It’s possible to reach Mt St Leonard via the Northwest spur, Bungalow spur or Road 9. The total climbing is 1300 metres.
The Morleys Track is a one-way trail, so you should plan your journey accordingly. Visitors should be prepared for a variety of conditions, particularly in the peak of summer. During this time there is a risk of bushfires. During these hot days it’s advisable to take extra precautions, such as wearing sunscreen and a raincoat.
It’s also a good idea to check the trail’s opening times before setting out. There are a number of hazards that you may encounter, including snakes. There are also some steep sections, so make sure you take your time.
The walk includes a variety of terrain, from lush forest to lowland ferns. There are a number of creeks, and the trail passes through plantations and mature fern gullies. It’s a great place for picnics. The trail is usually broken up into shorter sections, which makes it ideal for a short day trip.
Mt Dandenong Hiking Trail
Located in Melbourne, the Dandenong Ranges is one of the best places to go for a family day out. There are numerous waterfalls and beautiful walking tracks. There are many kilometres of walking trails to choose from. These walks are perfect for beginners and experienced hikers alike.
The Living Bush Nature Walk takes you through fern-encased gullies and offers you front row seat to native fauna. It also offers stunning views of the valley. It’s an easy 90 minute walk. The trail starts at Acacia Picnic Ground.
There are several loop trails that lead you off into the national park. The Sassafras Circuit is an 8km loop. It passes through Mountain Ash and ferns. The Piggery Cafe is at the halfway point. The loop trail is a fun way to get a little exercise.
The 1000 Steps trail has a reasonable hill at the three-quarter mark. It can be a bit slippery after rain, so be sure to wear good hiking shoes. There are toilets and a playground at the end of the trail.
The Upper Yarra River Track can be walked in two to three different sections. The trail is well formed, but can be a little rocky after rain. The trail is suitable for families, walkers and cyclists. It can be done in a 5-6 day trek.
If you’re looking for a more challenging hike, check out the Devil’s Elbows. It’s a 5.5km climb with an average gradient of 5.7%.
Located in the Yarra Valley, Steavenson Falls is one of the most popular waterfalls in Victoria. This scenic nature reserve is home to numerous walking tracks that make it easy for visitors to see the falls from various viewpoints.
Steavenson Falls is a 84-metre tall cascading waterfall. It is the highest in Victoria. Its powerful flow provides the town of Marysville with a reliable source of water. The fall is a popular tourist attraction, attracting up to 180,000 visitors each year.
The falls are illuminated at night, so it is a great place to take a picnic. There are also public toilets and bench seating. Depending on the time of year, there may be birds present.
There are two trails that lead to the falls. The first trail is a 2-kilometre walk. It is a flat, easy walk and can be completed in 15 to 30 minutes. The other is an 11-kilometre hike. This route is considered an advanced hike, but it is well worth the extra effort.
The Keppel Lookout Trail is an impressive half-day hike. It offers a panoramic view of the Yarra Valley, as well as a beautiful waterfall. The path is windy, but it is well signposted.
The Mathias Track is a popular hike with locals and visitors. It is an easy, flat hike that features Japanese maple trees and a kookaburra colony. The trail is ideal for horse riders and dog owners. Its dense foliage on either side makes it easy to spot local wildlife.
Warburton Redwood Forest
Located in the Yarra Ranges, Warburton’s Redwood Forest is an incredible place to explore. It’s the perfect spot to picnic, walk and relax. The mystical environment is a photographer’s delight.
The East Warburton Redwood Forest is a hidden gem in Victoria. It’s heritage listed and contains over 1450 giant Californian Redwoods. These huge trees are listed on the Victorian register of Significant Trees.
If you’re planning a day trip to the Yarra Valley, you’ll want to stop at Warburton’s Redwood Forest. It’s a great place to see some of the world’s largest Sequoias. It’s also home to a range of unusual and beautiful tree art.
Another must-see is the Ada Tree. It’s a giant living tree with an estimated age of over 300 years. It is one of the largest trees in Victoria. It has boardwalks and hardened gravel that make it accessible to all.
It’s also one of the best places to see the Yarra River, so you can swim there. The swimming area isn’t huge, but there is a nice sandy bank to help you get in and out of the water. It’s also very peaceful.
If you’re a mountain biker, you can ride the O’Shannassy Aqueduct Trail. This is a part of the Rail Trail and offers a magnificent outdoor experience. The trail is carved into the side of the mountain and features stunning views.
For a longer hike, try the Donna Buang Walking Track. This is an easy looping trail that will take you alongside clear rapids and treeferns. It also includes a lookout tower.