21 Melbourne Walks That Will Take Your Breath Away

At least, when it's not raining.

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1. Bayside Coastal Trail

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Enjoy a few kilometres of fresh air with some killer views of the bay. The Bayside Coastal Trail stretches 17km, but you don't have to go all the way from Beaumaris to Brighton. The track passes through Sandringham, Hampton and Black Rock along the way, so you can make the walk as long as you like, but don't skip a pit stop at Half Moon Bay.

2. Dights Falls Trail

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Yarra Bend Park feels so far removed from the city, it's hard to believe that it's less than 10km from the CBD. Follow the Dights Falls Loop Trail: starting from Kanes Bridge, it follows the Yarra along to the falls, and then loops back around to the starting point. It's an easy 4km and will take you around an hour or so. Great for when you need a break from the city, or life in general.

3. Royal Park, Melbourne

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They don't call Melbourne the most liveable city for nothing — where else can you feel like you're in the middle of nowhere, but still see the city skyline in the distance? Follow the Capital City Trail through the oasis of Royal Park, and when you hit Flemington Road, head left onto Elliot Avenue and back up The Avenue to where you started. It's about a 5km round trip of secluded times with the trees (and the occasional animal noise from the zoo).

4. Two Bays Walking Trail

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Located about an hour's drive down the Mornington Peninsula, this stunning 28km bay-to-bay walking trail will take you from Dromana over to Cape Schank on the other side. It will take the better part of the day — but there's really no better way to spend it.

5. Banksia Park to Heide walk

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There's something so lovely about the Heide Museum of Modern Art and its surrounding gardens, and it's the perfect place to spend a sunny Sunday. Park the car at Banskia Park and start following the Yarra on foot through the amazing old Red Gums and fruit trees. The trail will take you into the gardens of Heide Park (where you'll pass the pavillion and life-size cow sculptures) and, of course, the gallery. All up, it's a leisurely 5km and should take about one or two hours.

6. Merri Creek Trail

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Perfect for a Saturday morning, this leisurely 3km-or-so walk along Merri Creek will take you up through Fitzroy North and Brunswick, delivering you directly to CERES. Get there between 9am and 2pm on the weekend and you'll be able to pick up some fruit and veggies from the market. Or at least re-fuel for the walk home.

7. 1000 Steps walk

No need to count your steps on this one — we already know there's a whole 1000 of them. This Kokoda Memorial Track is popular on weekends, so don't come expecting to be alone of your climb. It's a rewarding walk up through the green Ferntree Gully Forest though, and at the top, a killer view and some the fresh forest air will be waiting for you.

8. Maribyrnong River Trail

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Come the weekend, this a popular walking spot for western suburbs locals and their adorable dogs. The best thing to do here is walk up one side of the river and, when you please, cross over and walk back along the other side. Finish up back at the lake and reward yourself with lunch at the Boathouse.

9. Pound Bend River Walk, Warrandyte

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Contrary to common misconception, Warrandyte is only half an hour away from the CBD — although when you're there, it feels much further. Park at Pound Bend Reserve and follow the 3.5km trail through the Pound Bend Tunnel and upstream along the river. Pro tip: take your togs. If it's hot, you'll want to take a dip when you're done.

10. Hobsons Bay Coastal Trail

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Despite popular belief, it's not all about the south east — the south west has lovely little beaches too. Follow the Hobsons Bay Trail from Williamstown to Altona and discover Melbourne's other, less-trodden coastline. It's not a mere stroll at about 10km each way, but it's a great trail along the foreshore and through Altona's coastal parkland.

11. Capital City Trail

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Give your myki a break — take the scenic route from the city to South Yarra. Setting off from Fed Square, walk along the banks of the Yarra until you get to the Church Street bridge. It's an easy 3km, and more or less flat all the way. When you get to your destination, head right for Chapel Street or left for a well-deserved brekkie at Top Paddock.

12. Sherbrooke Falls Trail

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Less than an hour's drive from the CBD is Sherbrooke Falls, located within the Dandenong Ranges' lush Sherbrooke Forest. The Sherbrooke Falls Trail will take you from Sherbrooke Road, right through the green ferns, sassafras and mountain ash, up to the falls and back again. It's only half an hour each way, but you'll want more time to enjoy the view and take in the fresh, forest air.

13. Capital City Trail

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Follow the Capital City Trail as you weave through Clifton Hill and Collingwood along Merri Creek. Sheltered from the traffic around you, this is the perfect way to traverse the inner north on foot. It's about 5km each way, so it's best you take a break at Abbotsford Convent for food, coffee and a nap on the grass.

14. Foreshore Trail

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Cover the best of the bay in just a few hours. This 11km walk will take you from Port Melbourne, through South Melbourne and St Kilda before finishing up at Elwood Park. The best part is that this walk runs along the foreshore, meaning that there's plenty of opportunity for great photos and food stops along the way.

15. Domino Trail, Trentham

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This 8km walk follows the disused railway line that used to run in and out of Trentham. It's an easy walk, and it will take you in a loop back to the heritage-listed train station. Just as great on crisp and cold days as it is on warm ones.

16. Albert Park Lake

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With the water, palm trees and a prime view of the city skyline, Albert Park Lake is an ideal place for a walk. A round trip is about 5km, best enjoyed at sunset.

17. Werribee Gorge State Park Circuit Walk

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Werribee Gorge State Park is a real adventurer's park — it's rugged and hilly, and pretty great for bushwalking and rockclimbing. For great views of the gorge, take the 10km Circuit Walk. But take note: this is only for those up for a challenge. You'll need to do some steep climbs and a bit of cable walking along the rocks — so make sure you go prepared.

18. The Tan

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A classic Melbourne activity. No matter what time you decide to hit the 3.8km track round the Botanic Gardens — the lights stay on from 5.30am until midnight — you're bound to see countless people running, walking or just strolling along.

19. Plenty Gorge Park

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Take a drive out to the northern suburbs and get lost for a few hours in Plenty Gorge Park. Park your car at the Yellow Gum Recreational Area and take the short 3km walk to Blue Lake: an old quarry that's been filled with water.

20. Organ Pipes National Park Trail

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If you've got a car, take it for a drive along the Calder Freeway. About half an hour out of the city, you'll hit Organ Pipes National Park. The round-circuit walk will take you up to the Organ Pipes (an impressive pipe-like rock face believed to have been created by lava flow) and give you some great views of the Keilor Plains. Great if you've got a few hours to spare.

21. Hanging Rock

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Love a good view? You only have to go an hour out of the city to get one. Climb the walking paths up Hanging Rock to get an uninterrupted view over the Macedon Ranges.