11 great walks to keep you healthy during Covid-19
Looking for ways to keep moving as Covid-19 (Coronavirus) enforces physical distancing into our everyday lives? Here are some great country walks (or large parklands) where it should be easy to escape the crowds.
So whether you already love bush walking, you’re missing the gym or your regular sports team training has been canned - here are some great, lesser-known Victorian walks where you can get some good kilometres into your legs.
Just remember: stay home if you’re feeling unwell, keep the recommended 1.5m distance from other walkers, thoroughly wash your hands with soap for 20 seconds before and after using any shared facilities, and take your own water bottles rather than use communal drinking fountains at this time.
Need locations closer to home? Try searching our Walking Maps site for 'Walks Nearby' or search by your area. We've also got some great walks listed by local council area here.
Take care Victorian walkers!
Photo: #10 Myrtle Gully creek circuit (Julia Romaneix)
Find some breathing space
Click on the name of the walk to see the location, photos and route description.
1. Frankston beach and creek walk (5.5km)
Everyone knows Frankston, south of Melbourne, is on the Bay; but not everyone knows about this great creek trail. Begin this walk along a boardwalk adjacent to the beach, then head to the start of the Sweetwater Creek trail for some peace and tranquility. You’ll be completely surrounded by greenery, with only the sounds of the creek flowing over the rocks below for company. Also try: Our 7km Safety Beach walk is not far away and is one of the Mornington Peninsula’s lesser-known bay beaches (and it’s dog friendly too!)
2. Emu Bottom adventure walk (5.4km)
Sometimes the best roads are the ones without a road. This walk near Sunbury takes you where the cars can't, using an unmade road reserve and a drainage reserve to create a loop walk connecting three parks. The trail moves through a variety of woodland and grassland areas, takes a glimpse of Victoria's oldest homestead, and finishes with a stroll along the quite lovely Jacksons Creek. There is a good chance of seeing kangaroos around Albert Reserve if the weather is cold, overcast, or at the start or end of the day.
3. Melville's Lookout, Wirrate (10km loop walk)
Enter Victoria's largest remaining box-ironbark forest. Marvel at the diverse population of fascinating grass trees. Your destination is bushranger Captain Melville's Lookout. Getting to the Lookout and back has local and natural history tales to tell. Strathbogie Shire to the noth of Melbourne is in Victoria's tablelands region. The area has lots of great options for walkers but no headline-grabbers (yet!)
4. Anderson to Kilcunda walk, Bass Coast (13km)
This is a long walk however you can do one half, taking in just the rail trail between Anderson and Kilcunda Coastal Reserve, or focusing on the Kilcunda coastal end of the route described here. This lovely walk is set back from the coast, but if it’s coastal views you’re after the nearby George Bass Coastal Walk is a beauty! It's a 15km return walk, but again you can just do half.
5. Flynns Beach historic jetty walk, Phillip Island (2.5+ km)
We love this beach walk because while it’s popular with surfers it’s not a swimming beach, so expect to have the sand mostly to yourself rather than dodging beach umbrellas and the like – even in summer! It’s also a great spot for beachcombing with little ones, and while our map is a 2.5km walk you can make this one as long as you like. Here’s another great walk at Phillip Island, the 8km Cape Woolamai loop.
6. Anakie Gorge walk (8km return)
This is one of our newer walking maps created by Victoria Walks’ staffer Duane. This walk, in the Brisbane Ranges, combines interesting history with natural beauty not too far from the more popular You Yangs National Park. The Anakie Gorge is steep and rocky, making for picturesque views with dry forest and high escarpments. However the path itself, following a stream bed along the valley floor, is not particularly hilly. There are a number of short rock hopper crossings of the streambed and regular seating along the walk.
7. Cora Lynn Cascades walk, (5.5km return)
The Cora Lynn Cascades may not be the most spectacular falls in the Otways, but they are certainly beautiful. And the fact they are not a major tourist attraction means you can avoid the crowds you might find at some others. The walk takes you through beautiful rainforest, dominated by tall gum trees, but also featuring a lot of tree ferns and other plants and trees not found in drier inland forests. Although the forest in this area was logged many years ago (remarkably, government logging in the forests that now form the Great Otway National Park only ended in 2008), some very large old trees remain on this walk.
8. Queenscliff Dune Walk, (3.5km+)
If you’re looking for a great walk to do with kids we can highly recommend this walk that follows a bush track towards Point Lonsdale. Queenscliff is just inside the entrance to Port Phillip Bay on the Bellarine Peninsula. Make the walk a little longer by heading down to the beach afterwards. Also try: the gorgeous Edwards Point walk is not far away.
9. Bryce’s Flat to Breakneck Gorge, (8km return)
This is a great half-day walk for locals or visitors to the Daylesford and Hepburn Springs area, giving you a good taste of the surrounding bushland in a peaceful gully. Please note Parks Victoria is currently upgrading the Blowhole Visitor Site on this walk. Also try: A great nearby walk Victoria Walks staff completed in March 2020.
10. Myrtle Gully creek circuit (9km), Toolangi
A lush rainforest-style walk through tall Mountain Ash before heading down into Myrtle Beech rainforest. A couple of small creek crossings and some areas of dense coverage immerses you in the Australian bush so you can forget about life’s troubles for awhile!
11. Gilberts Gully trail, Marysville (2.2km)
There are lots of great shorter walls in the Yarra Valley National Park north east of Melbourne but this lovely loop is lesser-known than some of the others, such as Steavenson Falls. But given it’s a shorter walk you may want to do Gilberts Gully and then this trail from the town of Marysville to the Falls.
Bonus walk! Churchill National Park history walk (6.3km) Rowville
For something a little different try this lovely National Park loop located on Melbourne’s south-east metropolitan border. It’s not just a lovely walk in a natural setting, but history buff Ray Peace has created this map incorporating lots of facts about the area and its settlment. Another view.
Can't escape the city?
Victoria's streets are eerily quiet this week so you may find there are plenty of places you can get out for a good walk without rubbing shoulders with potential virus carriers (otherwise known as people!)
But if you want oodles of green space or quiter walking trails we recommend these rambling metropolitan parklands or more hidden gems:
Royal Park, Parkville
Plenty Gorge walk, South Morang
Westerfolds Park, Templestowe
Wilson Reserve, Ivanhoe
Jells Park, Wheelers Hill
Braeside Park walk, Dingley Village
Point Ormond to Brighton coastal walk (popular but there's plenty of room on the beach if needed!)
Williamstown to Jawbone Coastal reserve
Brimbank Park, Keilor
Point Cook Wetlands walk