BEST OVERNIGHT HIKES WITHIN REACH OF MELBOURNE
Melbourne consistently features in lists of the best cities to live in around the world. The architecture, liberal atmosphere and great transport links make is an attractive city to dwell in. But what makes Melbourne stand out for me, is the abundance of choice for weekend getaways. Melbourne has secluded forests, coastal walks and rugged mountain paths all within easy reach of the city. Just pull on your hiking boots, grab the map, and get out of the city.
WILSONS PROMONTORY (EASTERN CIRCUIT)
The eastern circuit covers some of the most stunning coastal walking Australia has to offer. The eastern circuit is a manageable 36 and a half kilometres. Most walkers can do it in 2 or 3 days. The route has several campsites, or if you would prefer, there are some cabins available to rent.
This 20 and a half kilometre walk is one of my favourite walks in all of Australia. The walk takes in Australia’s lush vegetation, open plains and rocky cliffs. When I walked it 2 years ago, the views from Mount Sugarloaf were awe-inspiring and the morning mist which descended on Freeman’s track was eerily beautiful.
The walk itself is full of climbs and descents and could present a challenge to a novice walker, but the rewards are worth the physical exertion. I would recommend using a water filtering system on the Beeripmo Walk. The Richards Camp Site has a rainwater tank that will need filtering to make potable.
HIDDEN LAKE CIRCUIT, LAKE TALI KARNG
Tucked away in the Gippsland mountains, Lake Tali Karng is one of Melbourne’s best-kept secrets. The crystal water comes from the melted snow off the Wellington plains. As a result, only the hardiest bushwalkers would try and swim in the icy water, but the valley’s tranquillity and beauty make it a fantastic overnight hike. The route itself is just over 30 km and camping is available at Nyimba camp.
MOUNT COBBLER PLATEAU CIRCUIT
The Mount Cobbler circuit takes in the natural beauty of the Australian Alps and is rich in Australia’s flora and fauna. When I undertook the route in spring, the wildflowers were in full bloom and the path to the summit was lined with a splattering of yellow and purple. Any time of year you can enjoy the picturesque cascades, streams and impressive views over the nearby Australian Alps. The route is around 27km long and some of the campsites can also be accessed by 4WD.
CATHEDRAL RANGE, NORTH AND SOUTH CIRCUIT
The Northern and Southern circuits have a combined distance of 24km and can be completed comfortably in 2 days. The route itself takes in mighty razorback ridges, nimble flowing streams and magnificent peaks. The view from Sugarloaf is a highlight. The 2 sections can be undertaken separately as 2-day hikes. I connected them together and did the circuits in 2 days, with an overnight stop at “The Farmyard”. The campsite sits more or less in the middle of the range and makes an excellent halfway point.
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