Weekend away walks

Best walks two-three hours from Melbourne

Weekend Escape Walks updated collage image for article May 2018 Jane

Here are some great, fresh-air walks all within a two or three-hour-drive from Melbourne. There's a variety of landscapes to suit all tastes and they're perfect for a long weekend away from the hustle and bustle. Please share these walking weekend getaway ideas with your friends!

Cape Otway

Great Ocean Walk Blanket Bay to Cape Otway map 3956.

Great Ocean Walk, Blanket Bay to Cape Otway

This spectacular 10km walk along one of the most stunning section's of Victoria's coastline forms part of the famous Great Ocean Walk (this is stage 3 of 11 stages). It's a great way to stick your toe in the water if you're considering a multi-day hike in the future. 

The terrain is not overly difficult to navigate (we took two children aged 8 and 10) and it took us about four hours, including the '300 steps'! Along the way you'll see beautiful coastal bush, wildlife (koalas are common here), Parker River Inlet to the ocean and of course there's the lighthouse (mainland Australia's oldest) at the end. 

Find the walking map and more photos here.

Also try: Our 4km Apollo Bay Great Ocean Road walk is closer to Melbourne. See walks in the Otway Ranges below.

Hepburn Shire

Wombat Trail walk Trentham, blog size for Weekend Escapes article.

Trentham: Wombat Trail walk

At just over 7km you can easily complete this lovely country ramble in two hours. It's a lovely loop of Trentham that leads the walker through the Wombat State Forest and small reserves that surround the town - itself just 95km from Melbourne.

Also see: Our Tipperary Springs to Bryce's Flat mineral springs walk.

Cape Woolamai walk, Phillip Island

Cape Woolamai for Weekend Escapes article

Cape Woolamai Walk, Beacon Hill loop, Phillip Island

Heading to the Island? Well there's more to Phillip Island than the Penguin Parade and motorbikes!
Cape Woolamai is the least developed part of the Island and is heavily protected due to its significant role as a home for wildlife including the migrating Shearwaters. 

This 8km walk features stunning scenery including the beautiful 'Pinnacles' rock formation. A detour from the coast track into a woodland area also provides you with the opportunity to spot wallabies, echidnas and is a popular spot for butterflies!

More walks on Phillip Island
This Cowes waterfront walk
takes you from Anderson St in the west to Erehwon Point playground and includes stops at the Yacht Club, pier, beautiful Mussel Rocks and a beach-side cafe.
Flynns Beach historic jetty walk This little walk at a quiet beach is great for finding beach treasures!
Rhyll Inlet wetlands walk Almost destroyed by development in the 1960s this whole area is now a RAMSAR-listed wetland habitat for migratory bird species. A boardwalk takes you through spectacular mangroves.

For more walking ideas at Phillip Island, see this great article from Wild Melbourne.

Macedon Ranges

Hanging Rock summit walk for Weekend Escapes.

Hanging Rock

There are lots of great areas to explore around the Macedon Ranges so why not stay overnight and try a few. Of course you can't go past Hanging Rock, but please note that there's an entrance fee of $10 to enter the rock reserve.

Our Hanging Rock Summit walk is one of Victoria's most famous, thanks to Peter Weir's classic film. While the walk can be completed quite quickly, allow an hour to explore the rock formations and admire the views to Mount Macedon and beyond. Don't forget to channel your inner Miranda, but make sure you get yourself back down safely!

Also try: our Hanging Rock explorer walk which explores the reserve around the rock including the small racecourse lake, the forest that surrounds the rock and some beautiful parkland areas. The area near the Visitors' Centre and the summit walk can get very busy, but this walk takes you away from the crowds. 

Otway Ranges

Cora Lynn cascades walk for Weekend Walks article.

Cora Lynn Cascades waterfall walk, Great Ocean Road

So who was Cora Lynn? This hilly, two-hour walk takes you through impressive rainforest to a small but beautiful set of waterfalls, where you might just find out.

It's an ideal day trip if you're heading to the Otways or to the coastal area around Lorne for your weekend escape. There are many other spectacular walking tracks nearby (Erskine Falls is particuarly popular) but we like this one!

Also see
 our Mait's Rest rainforest walk, Otway Ranges

The Surf Coast

Airey's Inlet Walk for Weekend Walks article.

All stages from Torquay to Fairhaven

No matter where you're staying on the Surf Coast, there's a walk for you. Check out all 12 of our walking tracks which take in the townships dotted along the coast, and of course the most spectacular natural scenery.

Section 1 begins just outside of the Torquay township exploring taditional Wathaurung country, while the final one of our walks (prepared by Surf Coast Shire Council) takes your from the lighthouse at Aireys Inlet to Fairhaven. This photo shows the Airey's Inlet clifftop walk.

Gippsland

Tarra Bulga rainforest walk for Weekend Escapes

Tarra Bulga National Park rainforest walk

This walk, nestled deep in the Strzelecki Ranges, may be stretching the three-hour limit (!) but it's worth the trip.  It rates alongside Mait's Rest as one of Victoria's moist beautiful rainforest walks, taking you through lush fern-filled gullies, ancient Myrtle Beech trees and towering Mountain Ash. You may also see Lyrebirds splashing in the pond. This walk begins and ends at the Visitor Centre, open 10am-4pm during school holidays, weekends and public holidays.

Also try: Mirboo North's Grand Ridge rail trail walk (12.5km) for a different kind of green getaway in Gippsland. The trail showcases many historical gems, scenes of natural beauty and beautiful mountain views.

And... You can't go past Wilson's Promontory (3.5 hour drive from Melbourne) for some of Victoria's most stunning scenery. This Mount Bishop summit walk is one of the best that leaves from Tidal River and affords a great view over Norman Bay.

Mornington Peninsula

Animals aplenty at Cape Shanck

Bushranger's Bay to Cape Schanck

Impressive views, good exercise and less than one hour of walking time ... If that sounds like you, then here's a great reason to get out of Melbourne for a weekend.

This walk starts at the spectacular Cape Schanck lighthouse and ends with a descent to a spectacular beach. This walk has a few stairs and elavations so it's a moderate to challenging walk, but well worth it!

There's plenty of scope for wildlife-viewing along the way also. Just gorgeous!

Also try: This 7.7km Sorrento back beach to Portsea Pier walk

The Murray

Wodonga: Country tracks walk

This walk on Victoria's northern border provides panoramic views across Wodonga and the Baranduda Ranges.

Take your time with it; it's well-worth the effort and brings fitness benefits along the way. Take a camera and you'll also find some great shots to share.

A section of the leg - along the boundary to residential areas - is unmarked on the map as not having a track - in fact, there is a fire trail which connects it all up very easily. Further details from the Parklands Albury Wodonga site link.

Also try: Our Wodonga hills circuit walk.