Melbourne, Victoria is a perfect base site for an extended hiking trip. With access to tons of great trails, rejuvenating areas where people can relax, and plenty of city-based activities to round out a vacation before or after an excursion, it stands out even among other Australian destinations frequented by outdoor adventurers. Below, we’ll expand on these ideas, covering not only the pure hiking opportunities around Melbourne, but also what makes the city such a perfect destination overall.
1. Access To Several Trails
The Melbourne area is home to some of the best overnight hiking trails in Victoria. Beeripmo Walk and Wilsons Promontory (Eastern Circuit) are just a couple of the awesome overnight hikes in the Melbourne area that Trail Hiking has covered before, but which we’ll briefly recap here.
Beeripmo Walk is about 221km from Melbourne and is a spectacular overnight hiking trail. The hike is one to two days in duration, and is 20.6k in length. The trail is something of a challenge, but offers great views of the surrounding Mount Cole and Buangor State Park areas. Other beautiful sights along the path include views of Mt. Langi Ghiran, the Grampians, and the Western Plains. The trail is arranged such that you can enjoy these sights by way of a leisurely, scenic walk.
Wilsons Promontory (Eastern Circuit) is roughly 225km from Melbourne. This beautiful hike is two to three days in duration, and 36.5km in length. It explores stunning beaches, and is pretty enough that it has been nominated as one of the best hikes in the state. Wilsons Promontory is also one of the least crowded areas on the Prom, where you can enjoy a variety of wildlife, secluded beaches, and beautiful waters in relative peace and quiet.
2. Access To Mid-Hike Relaxation
Beeripmo Walk and the Wilsons Promontory hike both have excellent places to relax your tired legs mid-hike. Specifically, Beeripmo Campground is a picturesque forest retreat, while Sealer Cove Campground and Refuge Cove Campsite are secluded circular beaches along the Wilsons Promontory route.
Beeripmo Campground is the closest campsite to the halfway point of the Beeripmo Walk. The site is 200km northwest of Melbourne in the Mount Cole State Forest. Nestled in the natural bush-land setting, it’s secluded but still accessible to any and all passing hikers. All the facilities are free and include camp tent pads, fireplaces and pits, toilets, and refillable rainwater tanks. The campsite is flat, and sits high on the plateau, offering a restorative place to relax your weary hiking legs as you admire the magnificent Eucalyptus forest and take advantage of the aforementioned facilities.
Sealers Cove Campground is 9.5km into the Wilsons Promontory hike and is the natural camp after day one on the trail. The grounds are situated on the eastern coast of the promontory, and are comprised of a scenic circular cove with placid waters, soft sands, brush shrubbery, and shaded grounds. By that description alone you can only imagine how nice it can be to relax there after a first day walking about.
Refuge Cove Campsite is 14.7km into the hike, and serves as camp after day two. This camp is situated at the southern end of the cove, is encircled by dense foliage, and is conveniently close to the waterline. One important note is that advance booking is required for this lodging area (though basic restroom facilities and water access are accessible).
3. Access To In-Town Activities Between Hikes
Melbourne is also the perfect base for an extended hiking trip because the city offers exciting and entertaining activities for the days in between or after your hikes. For example, to begin with, Melbourne is the self-proclaimed sports capital of the world, featuring a wide array of different sports, a dense event schedule, and a fan culture comprised of everything from flag waving, to chanting, to betting.
Depending on when you’re in the city, you may get a chance to witness Aussie Rules football, rugby, cricket, horse racing, golf, or even basketball – not to mention major annual international events like the Australian Grand Prix and Australian Open! Local fans and tourists alike attend these events live and watch them in sports bars around town, and many take advantage of Australia’s betting sites to put a personal stake in the action as well. How you enjoy the sporting scene is up to you, but suffice it to say taking in some of this activity makes for a nice way to break up an adventure- or hiking-based trip.
If sports aren’t your thing, Melbourne also happens to be a very easy city to simply explore and relax in without exerting too much energy (or working your tired legs). The first thing that comes to mind in this regard may be the City Circle Tram, which is a free tram that takes people around the city. It’s become one of the most popular tourist attractions in town, and effectively offers a free tour for which you need only sit still and look out the window.
There are also great open-air bars and restaurants all around the city, which can be the ultimate places to relax during your in-between days. In the end, nothing quite beats sitting at a Melbourne bar or café admiring the city, enjoying nice weather, and sipping a refreshing drink after a few days out on the trails.