Eleven of regional Victoria’s best hidden hikes
05.10.2020

Eleven of regional Victoria’s best hidden hikes

WORDS BY TEHYA NICHOLAS

Reconnect with mother earth along some of Victoria’s most underrated (and beautiful) hiking trails.

As springs yawns towards summer and our legs demand stretching post-lockdown, there’s never been a better time to lace-up those hiking boots and wander through the great outdoors. From pristine, isolated beaches to towering Mountain Ash rainforests, regional Victoria is bursting with scenery to take your breath away – and thanks to the sheer volume of hikes, a few are yet to be discovered by the masses.

Whether you’re an experienced hiker looking for your next challenge, or just fancy a picturesque stroll under a canopy of ferns, these hidden gems cater to every taste and experience level.

Start preparing that scroggin, here are some of our state’s best undiscovered hikes.

Point Addis and Bells Beach Loop – Point Addis Marine National Park

Distance: 11.3km loop
Time: 2-3 hrs
Grade: Easy/Moderate
Start/Finish: Southside Car Park

Wander along the rugged coastal cliffside and rolling sandhills dotted with wattle on this delightful trail. Well-marked with details about Indigenous plants and history, you can be sure to spot some native flowers ripe for a Kodak moment. Be sure to plan your hike so that you won’t be walking along the beach at high tide.

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Zen time.. ✨ #pointaddis #surfcoastwalk #gorhsummer #penation

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Mason Falls Circuit – Kinglake National Park

Distance: 16km loop
Time: 3.5 hrs
Grade: Moderate
Start/Finish: Mason Falls Car Park

Mason Falls and Mt Sugarloaf lookout are the highlights along this picturesque trail. Ideal for a beginner hiker looking for some more experience, the track features some sturdy inclines and declines sure to get the heart pumping. Can get a little muddy during the cooler months, so spring/summer is recommended.

Den of Nargun Circuit Walk – East Gippsland

Distance: 5km loop
Time: 1.5 hrs
Grade: Easy/Moderate
Start/Finish: Den of Nargun Picnic Area

Tucked away in the Mitchell River National Park, this track is a must-see if you’re exploring East Gippsland. Expect to find panoramic views of the national park, river access, lush gully trails and the piece-de-resistance: the Den of Nargun, where legend has it, a half-stone, half-human creature lives.

Wilhelmina Falls and Boroondara Track – Murrindindi River Natural Features and Scenic Reserve

Distance: 13.7 km loop
Time: 4.5 hrs
Grade: Moderate
Start/Finish: Murrindindi Road Car Park 

Situated in the northern end of Toolangi State forest, this track traverses along the Murrindindi river towards the cascading Wilhelmina waterfalls. With a huge variety of Eucalypts, birds and mammals, you’re in for a bushwalking, animal-spotting treat. 

Chute Road and Mt Macedon Circuit – Mount Macedon Regional Park

Distance: 8.4 km loop
Time: 3 hrs
Grade: Hard
Start/Finish: Bawden Road 

A challenging hike not too far from Melbourne – this one can get muddy thanks to the higher altitude and cooler temperatures at Macedon. This trail features some gorgeous wild flowers and looks especially charming when misty. Prepare to feel like a woodland creature.

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If you’ll be heading up, down, over or around #mountmacedon this weekend on local bushwalking trails, don’t forget to take heed of recent reminders from @visitmacedonranges and @parksvic to park your vehicle in designated areas and avoid locations that are already very busy – this will ensure your vehicle is not blocking road access for other road users and emergency services vehicles. Perhaps also make some time to check out @victoriapolice’s great bushwalking safety guide via the link in our bio too so as to ensure you’re heading out into the wilderness with all you need to enjoy a safe and enjoyable adventure. 📸 credit to talented local photographer @adam.neylon for this lovely capture of the walk to the Camel’s Hump lookout.

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Moonlight Link Track Loop – Mount Worth State Park

Distance: 9.7 km loop
Time: 3.25 hrs
Grade: Moderate
Start/Finish: Moonlight Creek Picnic Area

For those with an adventurous spirit, this is the track for you. It’s unlikely you’ll see another human face but you may make a couple of new leech friends. Don’t be deterred however, because this track is sure to get your heart pumping and soul soaring. Keep an eye out for unique fungi and take sturdy footwear! Oh and maybe some salt.

Two Bays Walking Trail – Boneo and Cape Schank

Distance: 11.6km (out and back)
Time: 3.5 hrs
Grade: Moderate
Start/Finish: Bushrangers Bay Picnic Area

A spectacular coastal walk best enjoyed during low tide. You’ll follow a sandy path up towards Cape Schank where you may just spot some kangaroo and other wildlife. On the weekends this one can be a little busier, but during the week the feeling of isolation and awe is sure to capture you. 

Keppel Lookout and Steavenson Falls Loop – Steavenson Falls Scenic Reserve

Distance: 10.3 km loop
Time: 3.5 hrs
Grade: Moderate
Start/Finish: Kings Road Car Park

A light and gentle climb through a stringybark and Mountain Ash forest that offers some of the best views of Marysville and the Cathedral Range State Park. There’s a fairly steep ascent to Keppel Lookout that will test those thighs, but the view is a hundy percent worth it.

Mount Dandenong Trail – Dandenong Ranges National Park

Distance: 9.3 km loop
Time: 3.5 hrs
Grade: Hard
Start/Finish: One Tree Hill Picnic Ground

One of the longest and most challenging walks in the Dandenong Ranges, this one is for the experienced hiker. Traversing the Ranges on the western slope, this track includes three steep sections intersecting the mountains, as well as many wide, formed tracks. Pack water and snacks!

Note: This one is in Melbourne, currently still in lockdown. While not regional Vic, it’s definitely a hike worth checking out when allowed to do so.

Cliff, Woodland and Quarry Tracks – Phillip Island Nature Park

Distance: 9 km loop
Time: 2.5 hrs
Grade: Moderate
Start/Finish: Woolamai Beach Surf Club

Sweeping coastal views are the highlight along this track. Walking along the cliff-hugged beach you’ll be sure to feel like the only person left on earth. From the clifftop, the choppy seas below make for some incredible photographs. There is little shade along the track, so bring your bucket hat.

Tongue Point Walking Trail – Wilsons Promontory

Distance: 11.7 kms loop
Time: 3.5 hrs
Grade: Moderate
Start/Finish: Darby River Car Park / Darby Saddle

Okay this one isn’t exactly hidden, but because it’s so far away, it’s always pretty quiet. The Prom is an outdoor wonderland with just about everything on offer: lush forests, incredible coastline, thriving coastal vegetation. And Tongue Point trail captures it all. Suitable for most ages and fitness levels, the track is well-maintained and takes you through Cotters beach, Darby Swamp, Vereker Range and so much more. Not to be missed if you’re up for a longer drive.

 

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