Now that we’re all back out on the road and just before the decent weather in the southern parts of Australia comes to an end, if you’re in Melbourne and looking to escape for a little while, we’ve put together three guides for three places that are worth considering.
1. Brisbane Ranges National Park
Only about a one hour drive to the west of Melbourne, between Geelong and Ballarat, are the Brisbane Ranges.
Here, you’ll feel as though you’ve gone deep into the outback when you see the rich red dirt that’s covered in a dry Eucalyptus forest teaming with other native plants and wild life.
The Brisbane Ranges National Park is relatively small when you compare it with the Grampians or Great Otway National Park, but it’s wildly diverse and packed with hiking trails that allow you to explore every part of it by foot.
There are dozens of hiking trails, some take several days to complete and have hikers campsites along the way, where-as most walks can be completed on a day-trip. The Ted Errey Nature Circuit that incorporates Anakie Gorge Walk is brilliant, although we’ll let you take a look at the guide for more details and imagery.
Other than the hikers only campsites, you’ll find two drive-in campgrounds inside the national park, Friday’s and Boar Gully Campground. Both campgrounds have hiking trails going past them and are neat with well maintained facilities, although they’re far different from each other. Friday’s in more-or-less one large site that’s split into multiple areas and is more family-friendly, where as Boar Gully is a bit more spread out with bush between the individual campsites, giving a sense of privacy.
The Brisbane Ranges National Park is an ideal place for a bush walk where you’ll get a harsh and dry experience that’s totally different to other hiking trails in Victoria. It’s perfect for a quick day-trip from Melbourne or a great nearby location for a weekend if camping.
2. Surf Coast Walk
The Surf Coast Walk covers 44 kilometres of the coastline near the start of the Great Ocean Road, about one-and-a-half hours to the south-west of Melbourne.
As it is a long trail and probably further than you’d like to walk in one day, you can park at one of the dozens of places worth visiting and knock-off a section at a time.
The walk gives a great mix off calm child friendly beaches to rough surf beaches with huge waves, several forest walk and plenty of opportunities to get incredible views from vantage points that are on top of the different cliffs along the way.
It’s a world class hiking trail where you’ll see loads of surfers and the chance of spotting some wildlife, including Wallabies and Kangaroos, Koalas, Dolphins and if it’s the right time of the year, the occasional group of Whales will be migrating past.
If the Brisbane Ranges and Surf Coast Walk aren’t far enough from Melbourne and you have a bit more time to get away, then a trip to Tasmania might be just what you’re looking for.
The west of Tasmania is isolated and quiet with dense rain forests, rugged rocky mountain ranges and remote beaches. The eastern half of the island is more populated with plenty of placers to stay, especially along the coast line that has dozens of pristine bays and beaches.
Whether you’re looking to get away far from other travellers or indulge at a resort, from remote hiking trails and backpacker accommodation to luxury hotels that are either in built-up areas or hidden away in the mountains, somewhere in Tasmania will be just right for you.