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8 of our favourite must-try walks

Geelong and the Bellarine, Great Ocean Road, Mornington Peninsula, Phillip Island

Where stunning coasts, nature and wildlife are on show all of the time, why not venture out and explore near or far. There are many walks or hikes on offer. Here are our favourite 8 to start with:

Great Ocean Walk, Great Ocean Road

 

Distance: varied, extending over 110km, 6 – 8 days. Half or full day sections can be taken.

The Great Ocean Walk is a one way long distance walks extending East to West, just over a 110kms between Apollo Bay and the iconic Twelve Apostles.

The spectacular walk weaves its way through the National Park which is full of tall forests, coastal heathlands, wild rocky shores and windswept cliff tops presenting amazing views.

Apollo Bay is the starting point for the 100 kilometres of trail making up the Great Ocean Walk. With walking itineraries ranging from a stroll to 8 days, weekend wanderers and seasoned trampers can uncover breathtaking vistas exploring the Great Otway and Port Campbell National Parks.

Image: 12 Apostles Great Ocean Walk

 

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Surf Coast Walk, Great Ocean Road

 

Distance: varied, 44km. 6 – 8 days. Split 12 distinctive trails

Offering natural beauty and easy access, the 44km Surf Coast Walking track on the Great Ocean Road lets you relax and enjoy a world-class walking destination at your own pace. Explore inspiring landscapes on foot or bike on the edge of Victoria’s beautiful Great Ocean Road.

Whether you’re keen on hiking the Great Ocean Road or just going on leisurely coastal walks, the Surf Coast Walk is the trail for you. Starting from Torquay and finishing at Aireys Inlet, this trail is actually split into 12 distinct legs within the Surf Coast Shire so you can pick and choose how you break up the journey.

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Cape Woolamai Walk, Phillip Island

 

Distance: varied from 4.5km to 6.6km, 90 minutes to 3 hours

Cape Woolamai, the highest point on Phillip Island, offers spectacular coastal views and is home for up to a million shearwaters between October and April each year. This area is a hiker’s delight with an array of walks to choose from, all offering breathtaking views and scenery.

As you follow the track to the beacon, Phillip Island’s highest point, enjoy the 360-degree views on offer looking across Phillip Island, San Remo, Kilcunda and beyond. As the track starts to descend, don’t miss the stunning lookout point, just right of the track.

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Rhyll Inlet, Phillip Island

 

Distance: Mangrove boardwalk 1.2km, 45min

Rhyll Inlet is a world-renowned habitat for migratory waders, and the walking tracks in this area allow for good bird observing opportunities. The mangroves and wetlands are listed under the Ramsar Convention as having international importance. Information signs are provided along the walks. The walking tracks in this area are also suitable for bicycles.

Wander through coastal woodland and paperbark forest to the intertidal mudflats and mangrove boardwalks of Rhyll Inlet.

 

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You Yangs (Wurdi Youang), Geelong & The Bellarine

 

Distance: You Yangs Northern Range Circuit is 12.3km. Approx. 4 hours. Big Rock Walk – 3km, 1 hour return. East-West Walk – 4.5km, 2 hours return. Flinders Peak – 3.2km, 1 hour return. Branding Yard Trail – 5km, 2.5 hours return. Northern Range Walk – 3.5km, 1 hour one way Extending from the East-West Walk and the Branding Yard Trail, this walk provides some challenging steep gradients and water views.

The distinctive granite peaks of the You Yangs rise from the flat volcanic plains between Melbourne and Geelong. The You Yangs is a fantastic park for mountain biking. It has two mountain biking areas with over 50 kilometres of exciting trails catering for riders of all ages and ability.

The park is also popular for its magnificent views, birdlife and for bush walks and picnics.

 

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Brisbane Ranges, Geelong & The Bellarine

 

Distance: There are a number of options for bushwalking ranging from short walks to three-day walks.

Little more than an hour’s drive from Melbourne takes you to the state’s richest wildflower habitat. Set in a low range of mountains dissected by rocky gullies, the unusual geology of the Brisbane Ranges National Park has preserved plants that have long since vanished from other parts of the region.

This park is also popular for picnicking, scenic drives and camping.

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Flinders Blowhole Walking Track, Mornington Peninsula

 

Distance: 0.5km return.

Magnificent views can be seen of the wild surf and rocky Bass Strait coastline. There is a well-made track and a wooden boardwalk and stairway to the blowhole. Great photo opportunities exist with the blowhole on the right at the end of Elephant Rock. Little Bird Rock on the right and many birds use this as a resting place so if you are lucky you may see sea eagles soaring above.

Beware of large sea swells and slippery bluestone rocks when exploring near the blowhole.

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Point Nepean National Park, Mornington Peninsula

Distance: Quarantine Station – 1km, 30 minutes – 2 hours, Wilsons Folly Track – 1.7km, 40 minutes one way, Bay Beach Walk – 2.8km, 1 hour one way, Range Area Walk – 1.8km, 45 minutes one way, Gunners Cottage and Walter Pisterman Heritage Walk – 1km, 45 minutes return, Cheviot Hill and Harold Holt Memorial – 750m, 30 minutes, Pearce Barracks, Fort Pearce and Eagles Nest – 800m, 45 minutes, Fort Nepean – 1km, 1 -2 hours, Mornington Peninsula Walk – 100km, 1 – 2 days.

Journey to the tip of the Mornington Peninsula to Point Nepean National Park and explore the rugged coastline, natural beauty and military history of the region or cycle through this rugged coastal landscape and enjoy panoramic ocean and bay views. Explore military forts and tunnels, learn about the people who passed through the Quarantine Station – and see fascinating artefacts spanning back over 150 years.

 

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Know before you go

Conditions can change anywhere, fast, for many reasons. For the latest information on changes to local conditions, please visit the relevant park page on the Parks Victoria website.

Depending on your location, be water safe or bushfire ready in the great outdoors. Refer to the Safety in nature section on the Parks Victoria website for tips on how to stay safe.

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