Love nature but don’t have a car? It’s a common problem for city-dwellers the world over, when  most of the time public transport is enough to get us from A to B. But when we want to swap the concrete jungle for something wilder, it can often be tricky to get to remote places without having a car, or spending half of the day trying to get there on countless modes of public transport. That’s why we’ve handpicked a range of walks and hikes that are easily accessible via public transport and require a maximum of two transport changes. We’ve split our recs into casual strolls, day hikes, and multi-day hikes so you can easily find something to suit your needs. Step out of the city and into the wilderness with our 9 hikes near Melbourne that are easily accessible by public transport.

 

Melbourne Walks For the Casual Stroller (1-3 hours)

 

1000 Steps

Where? Dandenong Ranges

Why we love it: As the name suggests, the 1000 Steps (officially the Kokoda Track Memorial Walk) is a short but steep hike winding through the luscious greenery of the Dandenong Ranges. It takes under an hour to hike up and down, so it’s perfect if you’re short on time but want to get out of the city for the morning. This trail can get pretty busy so try to get there early! If you want something a bit more challenging, you can opt to do a 10k hike to Chandler Hill where you’ll be rewarded with sweeping views of outer Melbourne with the city visible in the distance. Simply continue past the 1,000 steps to One Tree Hill, and follow the Tyson Track, Hansen Track, and Chandler Track to reach the summit.

How to access: Start at Ferntree Gully Picnic Ground. If you’d prefer a circular route, you can opt to head down the Lyrebird Trail which is a bit wider and slightly longer.

Walking distance/time: 4.3km circuit / 1 hour (up 1000 Steps and down the Lyrebird Trail)

Distance from CBD: 31km

How to get there: Take the Belgrave line to Upper Ferntree Gully Station (around 1 hour) and walk 15 minutes to the starting point.

Total time (travel + hike): 3.5hrs

 

Bayside Coastal Art Trail 

Where? Brighton to Beaumaris

Why we love it: If you’re looking for a great beach walk within close proximity to the city, this is one that you shouldn’t miss. Highlighting some of the city’s creative talents along the way, walk the beautiful coastline that inspired the work of over 40 Melbourne-based artists. There are also points of indigenous, historical, and environmental interest on this informative trail.

How to access: The Bayside Coastal Trail is easily accessible and begins at the Southern end of Elwood Beach. It finishes at Beaumaris Bay.

Walking distance/time: 17km / 3hrs

Distance from CBD: 8.5km

How to get there: Take the Frankston train line to Ormond Station (23 min), and then hop on the 630 bus to Head/Drake Street (13 min). Walk 10 minutes to the start of the trail. To get back from Beaumaris, catch the 923 bus to Cheltenham Station and take the Frankston train line back to the city.

Total time (travel + hike): 5hrs

 

Yarra Bend Park Loop

Where? East Melbourne

Why we love it: Stretching all the way from the Docklands through to the northeastern suburbs, the Yarra trail is the easiest way to escape the hustle and bustle of the city. Access this walking trail from any point and make your Sunday stroll as long or short as you wish. Try out the 9km Yarra Bend Park Loop if you prefer a circuit, or simply start and finish wherever you feel like it.

How to access: Start the loop at Bellbird Park in Kew.

Walking distance/time: 9km / 1 hr 45mins

Distance from CBD: 7km

How to get there: Catch a bus or tram to Kew to begin the loop, or simply start walking the trail from any point of your choosing.

Total time (travel + hike): 2-3 hours

 

1,000 steps Dandenong Ranges

1,000 Steps, Dandenong Ranges

 

 

Melbourne Day Hikes For the Active Wanderer (3-8 hours)

 

Plenty Gorge River Hike

Where? Bundoora

Why we love it: This trail is easy to get to yet feels worlds away from the city. The 21km hike around Plenty Gorge offers an amazing day out whatever the season. Take in the sounds of nature and spot some local wildlife (including kangaroos) as you make your way around the picturesque trail.

How to access: Start at the Red Gum Picnic Area and head in the direction of Le Page Homestead.

Walking distance/time: 21km / 5 hrs

Distance from CBD: 20km

How to get there: Ride the Mernda train line to Middle Gorge (1 hour) and walk 20 mins to the start of the trail.

Total time (travel + hike): 8 hours

 

Lorne Waterfalls Loop

Where? Great Otway National Park

Why we love it:  If you love chasing waterfalls then this is the perfect circuit for you. Passing four waterfalls alongside lush green fern gullies, there’s so much to take in. The beauty and  tranquility of this trail makes it worth the longer travel time. If you are pushed for time, there are plenty of shorter trails around Lorne including The Canyon.

How to access: Trail starts from Allenvale Car Park.

Walking distance/time: 17.4km / 5hrs

Distance from CBD: 140km

How to get there: Take a train from Southern Cross Station to Geelong (50 mins) and then board the 101 bus to Warrnambool and get off at Lorne Hotel/Great Ocean Road (1h 50 min). Walk around 2km to get to Allenvale Car Park where you will start the hike.

Total time (travel + hike): 12 hours

 

West Coast Wetlands Walking Track

Where? French Island

Why we love it: Giving you a taste of island life just a few hours from the city, French Island is a wild landscape formed of rocky shores, sandy beaches, mangroves and salt marshes. This beautiful hike climbs up to the Pinnacles 60m above sea level, with expansive views of the wetlands and Phillip Island in the distance.

How to access: Start at Fairhaven Campsite and head east along the Pinnacles Track.You’ll need to walk around 5km via an inland walking track to get to Fairhaven Campsite.

Walking distance/time: 9.6km/3 hours 15 mins return.

Distance from CBD: 81km

How to get there: Take the train to Frankston (1h 8min), then change and catch another train to Stony Point (45mins). From Stony Point you can hop on the 10-minute ferry to Tankerton Jetty on French Island. Feel free to explore the beautiful coastline, but note that the only way to access Fairhaven Campsite from the Jetty is via the inland track .

Total time (travel + hike): 9-10 hours

 

Sheoak Waterfall in the Great Otway National Park

Sheoak Falls, Great Otway National Park
Credit: parks.vic.gov.au

 

Melbourne Multi-Day Hikes For the Adventure Seeker (2 days+)

 

Lilydale to Warburton Rail Trail

Where? Yarra Valley

Why we love it: This is one of the most accessible two-day hikes near Melbourne, following a straightforward path along a historic railway line. Winding through the beautiful Yarra Valley, this picturesque hike has many natural and historical points of interest dotted along the way. It’s an easy way to spend a couple of days switching off from city life.

How to access: Start the trail behind Lilydale Railway Station.

Walking distance/time: 38km/8+ hours

Distance from CBD: 37km

How to get there: Take a train from Flinders Street to Lilydale Railway Station (1h 7min).

Total time (travel + hike): 2 days 

 

The Dry Diggings Track (part of the Goldfields Track)

Where? Daylesford to Castlemaine

Why we love it: The Goldfields Track is a bushwalker’s paradise, weaving through historic landscapes and towns that are deeply connected to the Victorian gold rush era. All stops on this epic 200km track are easily accessible by public transport. There are so many incredible tracks and distances to choose from, from short day hikes to multi-day adventures. The Dry Diggings Track is an exhilarating 3-4 day hike exploring forests, gullies, and creeks, with plenty of elevation to get the heart rate up. Other multi-day options include the Wallaby Track and the Leanganook Track, but you can easily complete shorter sections of the track for an exciting day hike.

How to access:  Walk 30 minutes from Daylesford Station to Lake Daylesford where the track begins.

Walking distance/time: 60km

Distance from CBD: 100km

How to get there: Catch the Bendigo train at Southern Cross and change at Woodend (1hr) to get a train to Daylesford (45min). Getting back from Castlemaine is even easier, simply hop on the Bendigo train back to Southern Cross (1h 35min). 

Total time (travel + hike): 3 long days or 4 short days

 

Mornington Peninsula Circular

Where? Mornington Peninsula

Why we love it: There are countless enjoyable walks to enjoy in the Mornington Peninsula – so why not combine them all in one huge adventure? This circular loop combines 4 of the most popular trails in the area. You’ll hike through a range of terrain from bushland and remote beaches to rugged cliffs and lush national parks. Depending on your pace, you could finish this walk in 4 days, but we’d recommend 5-6 to fully enjoy it and take in the beauty of this Victorian gem. The Mornington Peninsula has lots to offer day hikers too,  but do note that many areas are inaccessible by public transport. Check out the Bay Trail if you can’t commit to an extended trip.

How to access: Walk 5 minutes from the bus stop to the starting point of the Two Bays Walking Track.

Walking distance/time: 100km

Distance from CBD: 70km

How to get there: Take the train to Frankston from Flinders Street (1h 7min) and then take the 788 bus to Dromana Foreshore Reserve/Point Nepean Rd (50 mins).

Total time (travel + hike): 5-6 days

 

Lighthouse cliff view on the Two Bays Walk

Two Bays Walk, Mornington Peninsula
Credit: parks.vic.gov.au

 

We hope we’ve inspired you to get out of the city with our best hikes near Melbourne accessible by public transport. Whichever city you live in, let us know your favourite local hiking trail in the comments or over on Instagram. Browse our range of hiking gear to get ready for your next adventure.

About The Author

Darcy Smith

Darcy is an outdoor lover from the east coast of Scotland who is trying out life in Australia. Having travelled through much of Europe and Asia, her favourite place in the world remains the Scottish Highlands. Darcy loves hiking, camping, bulldogs, brunch and sunsets.

2 Responses

  1. Seb

    Great breakdown and those snaps are pretty dreamy. Adding a few of these to our list next time we’re in Melbourne. Thanks guys.

    Reply

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