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Stay Active This Winter: Best Hikes Near Melbourne

stay active this winter

Winter in Melbourne may bring cooler temperatures, but it also presents an opportunity to explore the region’s stunning natural landscapes in a whole new light with these Melbourne hiking trails.  From misty mountains to tranquil forests, the area surrounding Melbourne offers a plethora of hiking trails that showcase the beauty of the season. So, grab your warmest attire, lace up your boots, and join us as we unveil some of the best winter hikes near Melbourne.

Wilsons Promontory National Park Hiking Trails

Photo Credit: Parks Victoria

Wilsons Promontory, affectionately known as “The Prom,” is a nature lover’s paradise located approximately 200 kilometres southeast of Melbourne, or about a 3 hour drive. During winter, the park takes on a mystical aura with its mist-shrouded forests and rugged coastlines. The hike to Mount Oberon offers breathtaking panoramic views of the surrounding landscape, including pristine beaches, granite peaks, and vast expanses of eucalyptus forest. For more day hike ideas and details on hiking trails near Melbourne, visit Parks Victoria.

Dandenong Ranges National Park Hiking Trails

Photo Credit: Parks Victoria

Situated just east of Melbourne, about an hour’s drive, the Dandenong Ranges beckon hikers with their enchanting forests and charming villages. In winter, the park is transformed into a wonderland, with towering mountain ash trees cloaked in mist and fern-covered gullies exuding an otherworldly atmosphere. The Sherbrooke Falls walk and picnic area showcases a fantastic rainforest, filled with fresh forest smells, flowing waterfalls, Lyrebirds and other wildlife. The popular 1,000 Steps Kokoda Track, in contrast, is a challenging Melbourne hike that rewards adventurers with a sense of accomplishment and stunning views at the summit.

Cathedral Range State Park Hiking Trails

Photo Credit: Visit Melbourne

For those seeking a more adventurous winter hike near Melbourne, Cathedral Range State Park is the perfect choice. Located around 120 kilometres northeast of the city, or a 2 hour drive, this park boasts a dramatic mountain range, complete with rugged peaks and impressive rock formations. The Cathedral Range Circuit offers an exhilarating hike near Melbourne, leading you through diverse terrain and offering spectacular vistas of the surrounding valleys. As with any hike near Melbourne, be sure to check the weather conditions, duration, and grade/difficulty in advance.

Yarra Ranges National Park Hiking Trails

Photo Credit: Parks Victoria

Spanning across the eastern outskirts of Melbourne, the Yarra Ranges National Park is a captivating destination for a memorable winter hike. It’s about a 2 hour and 10 minute drive from Melbourne and is filled with epic views, rainforests, snow-play areas and the world’s tallest flowering tree, the Mountain Ash. The Rainforest Gallery Walk is an accessible walking trail that allows visitors to immerse themselves in the park’s tranquil beauty. Be sure to keep an eye out for colourful native bird species that thrive in the cooler months. There’s also a stunning lookout at Mount Donna Buang, Melbourne’s closest winter wonderland where snow is often sighted. You can also check out a number of walks and picnic areas at Donnelly’s Weir, Dom Dom Saddle and Maroondah Reservoir Park.

Lerderderg State Park Hiking Trails

Photo Credit: Trail Hiking

Just an hour and a half’s drive northwest of Melbourne lies Lerderderg State Park, a hidden gem known for its rugged gorges and pristine wilderness. The park’s eponymous river winds through the ancient rock formations, creating a picturesque backdrop for winter hiking. The Razorback Ridge Trail is a challenging yet rewarding hiking trail near Melbourne, taking you along the edge of the gorge and providing awe-inspiring views of the surrounding landscape. It leads you to the beautiful Mount Feathertop at the end for one of the most stunning views in the park.

You Yangs Regional Park Hiking Trails

Nestled just over an hour’s drive southwest of Melbourne, You Yangs Regional Park is a natural oasis, offering a convenient day trip and a captivating outdoor experience. Renowned for its distinctive granite peaks, the park provides a picturesque setting for hiking, mountain biking, and rock climbing enthusiasts. The Flinders Peak Walk is one of the most popular family-friendly hiking trails near Melbourne, with undulating landscapes and plenty of native flora and fauna. As you ascend, sweeping views of the surrounding plains will make the hike entirely worthwhile.

Winter in Melbourne may be synonymous with chilly weather, but it also presents a unique opportunity to explore the region’s natural beauty through invigorating hikes. From the misty forests of Wilsons Promontory to the dramatic peaks of Cathedral Range, each of these Melbourne trails offers its own enchanting winter experience.