With perfect autumn walking weather approaching it’s time to pull out your comfy shoes and look for a walk that is just right for you.
Whether it’s a short stroll, a wander in an urban park or a more rugged adventure you’re looking for, Victoria’s parks and reserves have hundreds of options.
And we’re busy adding to the list, with a planning and construction underway on a mix of multi-day hikes and day walks to help you get into nature. Not only are these projects connecting people with parks, they’re injecting millions of dollars into local economies, creating jobs and supporting healthy, resilient communities.
From the Grampians to Gippsland
For those out East there’s a special new trail on Raymond Island, near Paynesville in Gippsland. The perfect place to spot one of the resident koalas or sit around the new yarning circle, this 1.7 kilometre loop trail on Tatungulung country was created last year and offers access to the banksia forest in the Gippsland Lakes Reserve.
Yarning circle on Raymond Island
Or maybe the stunning Grampians Peaks Trail is more your style. Stretching 160km from the northern most tip to the southern end of the park, you can choose your own adventure by walking the whole way or just a short section. Further improvements to create more ways to access the track are also being undertaken soon.
Hikers on Grampians Peaks Trail
Coming ’round the bend
This year and beyond, there will be even more walking experiences to look forward to around the state.
In Melbourne’s east, new all-abilities shared-use trails are coming to Jells Park, to be followed by a new trail route at parklands we’re creating between Forest Hill and Vermont . Or stop off at Wattle Park where the kids will soon be able to enjoy the all-abilities nature-based playscape while the fitness nuts jog or walk the upgraded 3.25 kilometre track.
If it’s the fresh air of the hills you love, or you’re a garden fanatic, the soon-to-be opened Chelsea Australian Garden at Olinda in the Dandenong Ranges is a must for a wander around. See renowned landscape designer Phillip Johnson’s award winning ‘Australian Garden’ replicated on a grand scale, showcasing sustainable design and supporting biodiversity with over 400 native plant types – including many rare and endangered species.
Meandering along the Plenty River in Melbourne’s north will soon be approximately 19 kilometres of trail connecting Doreen in the north to University Hill (Bundoora) in the south, as well as 5km of secondary trails. Enjoy the views from one of the five new lookouts and feel a million miles away from the city on a quiet river bend. The Plenty Gorge Park upgrades will also include accessible toilets, new play spaces and more. The trail will be built in stages and will progressively open to the community from late 2023.
Improving connections is big part of track upgrades and offering better experiences. The Gipps St Ramp will soon make it possible to cycle along the popular Main Yarra Trail from Melbourne’s north east suburbs to the city. Replacing the steep steps in Abbotsford with an elevated, curling walkway along a river environment is a big undertaking that will be worth the wait for cyclists, wheelchair users and families with prams.
Creating outstanding long distance walking experiences is also achieved by linking existing or extending tracks in various parks around the state.
Connecting existing tracks in the Alpine National Park will, in time, result in the iconic Falls to Hotham Alpine Crossing being extended to a 57 kilometre long distance track. And in future you’ll be able to walk the length of the Murray River as existing trails are connected through the ambitious Murray River Adventure Trail project.
If it’s the coast you’re dreaming of then you can look forward to the current seven kilometre George Bass Coastal Walk in Yallock-Bulluk Marine and Coastal Park being extended to a 32 kilometre long distance ocean walk from San Remo to Cape Patterson.
View of Yallock-Bulluk Marine and Coastal Park
With autumn offering great walking weather, check out these top tips for enjoying a safe hike and find ideas about where to walk.
Stay tuned to find out more about these projects as they progress.