The best hikes in Victoria for stunning photos, coastlines and waterfalls
08.11.2021

The best hikes in Victoria for stunning photos, coastlines and waterfalls

the best hikes in victoria
Words by Talia Rinaldo

Grab your puffer jacket, here are some of the best hikes in Victoria for this and every other weekend.

Lace up your hiking boots and let’s go. We’re lucky enough to have some of the best hikes in Victoria, including the most picturesque hiking trails that are only a stone’s throw away. Whether you’re into misty alpine forests, granite peaks, or coastal trails, you’re sure to find something that you love.

If you’ve got some free time on your hands and you feel like getting your blood pumping why not hit one of these day hikes.

When you’re done, head here for the best day hikes near Melbourne that aren’t the 1000 steps.

Flinders Peak Walk

You Yangs Regional Park

Numero uno on our list of the best hikes in Victoria and you only need one glance at the photo above to know why. Located between Melbourne and Geelong, a one hour drive will get you to the You Yangs Regional Park, where the 340-metre high granite peaks prove themselves to be one of the hottest day trips.

Perfect for those that like to hike with their pooch, the You Yang’s most popular walk is the 3.2km Flinders Peak Walk, beginning at Turntable carpark. It takes you up to the highest point of the You Yangs providing you with uninterrupted 360-degree views, but there are 450 steps standing in your way to the summit and an elevation rise of about 200 metres. That might not sound too difficult at first, but it will definitely get your blood pumping.

The moderate trail is busy on weekends and warm days, but is accessible all year round, with the carpark equipped with facilities ideal for that post-hike picnic.

Hot tip: the hike is incredible at dawn or dusk so you can see the stunning golden sky over the entire bay.

The Surf Coast Walk

Torquay

Spanning 44 kilometres, The Surf Coast Walk is an adventure that boasts total immersion in nature and the sanctuary of coastal villages within easy reach along the way. We’ve chucked it in second in our list of the best hikes in Victoria as it’s also part of the best roadtrip drive in the state.

The world-class multi-use trail is located at the start of the Great Ocean Road region from Torquay to Aireys Inlet and in its entirety, the Walk connects the coastal towns of Torquay, Anglesea and Aireys Inlet and will see you exploring the likes of Point Impossible, Bells Beach, Bird Rock, Airey’s Lighthouse, and Fairhaven.

If you’re not quite up for the 44km adventure, the walk can be split into 12 distinctive tracks, each inviting you to explore inspiring landscapes on foot or bike beyond the edge of Victoria’s beautiful Great Ocean Road.

You can find out more here.

Werribee Gorge Circuit

Pentland Hills

This little beauty is a 10km, grade three circuit hike, located in Werribee Gorge State Park and roughly an hour’s drive from Geelong, making it one of the most travel accessible among the best hikes in Victoria.

Featuring a little bit of everything – lush forest, a twisting river and if you’re lucky, a swimming hole at the end – this track starts at Meikles Point Picnic area and will keep you on your toes as you follow the Werribee River to the north-west with a mix of terrain, steep section, rock jumps and even cable climbs.

It should take you around three and half to four and a half hours, but the excellent views along the gorge rim will be enough to keep you going.

Just be wary that the river is prone to flooding so try and avoid the circuit after heavy rain – especially because we’re going into winter.

For those looking for shorter walks, there are shorter trails, but if taking the circuit make sure you come prepared and allow plenty of time and daylight – there are no shortcuts.

Find out more about Werribee Gorge Circuit here.

1000 Steps Walk

Upper Ferntree Gully

You’re not officially a Victorian until you’ve done this hike.

Forged in the early 1900s, the ‘1000 Steps’ Kokoda Track Memorial Walk climbs through the Dandenong Ranges National Park. It’s one of the best hikes in Victoria without doubt, but it’s also one of the most popular.

A place of pilgrimage for those determined to maintain their fitness, this place is usually bustling with joggers every Sunday morning, huffing and puffing their way up and down the 3km track. The path is steep and beautiful, and the steps are either hand-cut timber or big slab stone. There are little rest stops here and there along the trail if you need to take a breather.

In a nutshell, walkers love the challenge of the steep trail, locals appreciate the convenience and tourists just want a picture of a gorgeous rainforest walk. But to truly appreciate this unique place, you need to visit when it’s quiet, like mid-week.

This way you can appreciate the atmosphere of this magical rainforest and why Australian soldiers felt it was so similar to the Kokoda Track in Papua New Guinea where they fought in the Second World War.

Find out more here.

Ironbark Basin Walk

Great Ocean Road

This beauty makes up park of the aforementioned Surf Coast Walk and is a must if you’re looking for something a little shorter but equally as stunning as the whole hike.

Taking you from Bells Beach to Point Addis, this walk is about 8.2km and will see you venturing inland through the sheltered forest of the Ironbark Basin in the Great Otway National Park. It’s a pretty well-formed track with short, steep hills, steps and sandy surfaces and you’re guaranteed to get views over a sweeping basin that runs all the way down to the coast. If you’re lucky, you might spot a few echidnas too.

Take time to discover more about the traditional Aboriginal lifestyle on the Koorie Cultural Walk and check out the spectacular views from one of three Point Addis lookouts.

Find out more here.

Point Nepean Walk

Portsea

The stunning Point Nepean Walk takes you right to the tip of the Mornington Peninsula in Point Nepean National Park, providing a whole lot of wow factor for any day-hiker.

The 14.5km, grade 3 walk provides some of the best views from Bunurong Country across to Queenscliff and Port Phillip Bay Heads, while also providing a glimpse into Australia’s rich wartime history.

The full walk is relatively flat and should take around three or four hours to trek along the coastal and bush tracks to the tip of the Mornington Peninsula and pass (and explore) the old Quarantine Station, World War Two military defences and Fort Nepean.

While undoubtedly at its best on a calm sunny day, the ever-changing sights will be impressive in all conditions.

If you’re coming from Geelong, we recommend jumping on the ferry (with your car) to cut your travel time down while elevating your day-tripping experience.

You can find out more here.

Keppel Lookout and Steavenson Falls Loop

Steavenson Falls Scenic Reserve

Hailed as the jewel in the crown of hiking in the Marysville area, this near-on 15km hike takes in some amazing views of the surrounding Marysville area via Keppel Lookouk, as well as some of the main attractions in town – Steavenson Falls and parts of the Steavenson River.

For those that just love chasing waterfalls, but have travelled up to Erskine just that one too many time, Steavenson Falls is one of Victoria’s highest waterfalls and it well worth checking out. The hike starts at the Steavenson Falls car park while a light and gentle climb through a stringybark and Mountain Ash forest will offers some of the best views of Marysville and the Cathedral Range State Park.

There’s a fairly steep ascent on a rough dirt track to Keppel Lookout that will test those thighs, but the view is a hundy percent worth it. The Keppel Lookout marks the halfway point on the hike, where you can then begin your descent down back towards Falls Road.

It’s a bit of travel to get there if you’re coming from Geelong (near three hours), but we’re sure those seeking adventure won’t be fussed!

You can find out more here.

Bushrangers Bay Walking Trail

Mornington Peninsula

Located merely an hour out of Melbourne’s CBD, this six-kilometre hike has become a favourite for day-hikers in the area and makes it onto our list of the best hikes in Victoria due to its beauty and proximity in equal measure.

Named after two escaped convicts, the bay comprises of a sandy beach surrounded by basalt cliffs. This serene location is contrasted by the dark and brooding headlands and wild waves that often crash onto jagged rocks guarding the entrance to the bay.

Arguably one of the best coastal views in all of Victoria, the hike starts from the Cape Schanck car park and take you on a coastal clifftop walk that as excellent views over the sea and rocky bays as well as the spectacular Cape Schanck and its lighthouse. Cape Schanck is at the most southern tip of the Mornington Peninsula at the meeting of Bass Strait and Western Port, making for a truly sensational photo opp.

Swimming is not recommended at this site as the beach is unpatrolled and often hazardous due to strong rips and large waves.

Allow about four hours for this hike and make sure you’ve packed your bag with water and snacks.

Find out more here.

Point Roadknight

Anglesea

If you’re looking for a little less time consuming option among the best hikes in Victoria but one that’s equally as beautiful and worthy of a day trip, this 3.1km walk that takes you from Anglesea to Point Roadknight.

From the convenience of the Anglesea township, rise up to the bluff and back down to idyllic Point Roadknight Beach, where you’ll enjoy panoramic views back across the township, river and ocean, making the climb worth your effort.

It’s pretty well-formed and there are no steps, making it perfect for cycling if you’d prefer to jump on the bike.

Make a day of it and explore all the best of Anglesea while you’re there.

You can see the route here.