Get into nature without a car
Wednesday 2 February, 2022
Living in Melbourne means it is usually easy to get around on foot, bike or on public transport. For many reasons, not all of us have access to a vehicle – but that shouldn’t stop you from getting into nature.
There are lots of fantastic urban parks around Melbourne where you can get active, relax or enjoy a picnic with family and friends without needing to travel far thanks to public transport.
We’ve put together a list of parks around Melbourne that are easily accessible by public transport.
Get there by tram or bus
Located just 3 km from Melbourne on Bunurong Country, Albert Park is practically walking distance from the CBD.
There are transport stops all around Albert Park, so whether you’re headed for a walk around the lake, for a swim at the Melbourne Sports and Aquatic Centre (MSAC), or to play or watch a match of local cricket or footy, you can get there with ease.
Albert Park is a great place to stop for a picnic or exercise around the lake. There are nine picnic areas dotted around the park to choose from. If you didn’t BYO picnic food there are plenty of food options within the park. By the lake you’ll find the Boatshed Café or Carousel. Visitors to MSAC can enjoy a post swim feed at Sir Albert Café.
In February 2022, there is even more reason to head to Albert Park for a picnic. The park will receive new picnic tables at the Rakali and Black-duck playgrounds as part of the early works for the Urban Parks Active Wellbeing Program. Further improvements, including upgrades to the toilets, carpark, carousel boardwalk and picnic areas will also be delivered as part of this program later this year.
- Take the number 96 Tram between Brunswick and St Kilda Beach. This route has stops along the Canterbury Road side of the park, where you can access the sports fields and the lake. The tram stops right along the side of the park.
- Take the number 12 Tram between Victoria Gardens and St Kilda. This route has stops along Albert and Canterbury Roads on the north-west end of the park, where you can access the Melbourne Sports and Aquatic Centre. The tram stops right outside the park.
- Take any of the number 16, 3, 3a, 5, 6, 64 or 67 Trams. These trams all have several stops along St Kilda Road where you can access the golf course, playground and the lake. Note, you’ll have a short walk from the tram and will need to cross the road between St Kilda and Queens Roads.
- Take any of the number 600, 922 or 923 buses and get off at St Kilda Station/ Fitzroy Street to access the southern end of the park where there are several sports fields.
- Take the 606 bus between Fishermans Bend and Elsternwick and get off at Armstrong Street/ Richardson Street in Middle Park to access the western side of the park where there are sports fields and the lake. Note, you will have to walk about five minutes, including crossing the road at Canterbury Road to reach the park entrance.
- Take the 245 bus between Clifton Hill and Elsternwick and get off at St Kilda Junction/ Punt Road in Windsor to access the south-east corner of the park where there are sports fields and lake access. Note, you will need to cross the road at St Kilda road to enter the park.
Get there by bus or ferry
Located in the south-west pocket of Port Melbourne on Bunurong Country, Westgate Park is a hidden gem underneath the West Gate Bridge in the heart of industrial Melbourne.
Once you step inside it’s easy to forget you’re just a stone’s throw away from the concrete jungle and one of the country’s busiest ports.
Summer is the best time to visit the park if you want to catch its famous pink salt lake! The lake colour changes pink in response to high salt levels, high temperatures, increased sunlight and little to no rain during the summer months.
The park is also home to Lyn Moore’s Earth Series Sculptures, which are made from natural materials and are featured along the park trail.
The park features a picnic area, two lakes – one saltwater and one freshwater, shared-use trails and is great for birdwatching.
- Take the 235 bus from the City or the 606 bus from Elsternwick and get off at the last stop at Fishermans Bend/ Wharf to enter at the northern side of the park.
- Take the 237 bus from the City and get off at the last stop at Sardine Street/ Lorimer Street. Note, this route is about a 10-minute walk from the park entrance.
- If you’re coming from the west, the Westgate Punt is a ferry service that runs between Scienceworks in Spotswood and Lorimer Street Low Landing in Port Melbourne. Note, the stop is about a seven-minute walk to the park entrance. Check the Westgate Punt website for up to date schedules and ticket information.
Get there by bus
Located next to the Yarra River in Templestowe on Wurundjeri Country, Westerfolds Park is part of the Yarra Valley Parklands in Melbourne’s north.
There are several picnic areas in the park to enjoy a picnic or barbecue with friends or family. The Westerfolds Ridge Picnic Area is closest to the bus stop and has barbecues, picnic shelters, picnic tables and a playground nearby.
While you’re at the park you can take a peaceful walk along the Westerfolds Loop Track. This will take you past the old manor, woodlands and picnic areas. If you’re lucky you might spot some kangaroos or wombats along the way.
In February 2022, Westerfolds Park will receive new picnic tables as part of the early works for the Urban Parks Active Wellbeing Program. Further improvements, including upgrades to the toilets, playground, trails and the Ridge and Porter Street picnic areas will also be delivered as part of this program in 2023.
- Take the 293, 281-293 combined, 901 or 902 buses and get off at Westerfolds Park/ Fitzsimons Lane which is right out the front of the carpark for the Westerfolds Ridge Picnic Area.
Point Gellibrand Coastal Heritage Park
Get there by train or bus
Located in Williamstown on Bunurong Country, Point Gellibrand Coastal Heritage Park has a rich history as the site of Victoria’s first permanent settlement and seaport.
Here, you can retrace Ned Kelly’s steps along Battery Road, take a look at the Timeball Tower and imagine what Melbourne would have looked like back in the day.
The park is a great place for a day out for a picnic or barbecue or a leisurely stroll along the foreshore (even better with an ice cream) to enjoy the views of Port Phillip. The kids will also have a great time on the playground at the southern end of the park and there is plenty of birdlife around for keen birdwatchers to enjoy.
In 2022, works will commence to repair or reconstruct the historic seawall at the park as part of the $21 million Urban Parks Active Wellbeing Program which is delivering upgrades at 21 parks across Melbourne.
- Take the Williamstown line from the city and ride the train to the end of the line at Williamstown Station. The park entrance is right next to the station.
- Take the 471 bus between Sunshine and Williamstown and get off at Williamstown Station/ Ann Street. The park can be accessed from Ann Street or Hanmer Street.
Things to know before you go
This information regarding public transport routes was sourced from Public Transport Victoria (PTV) and is up to date at the time of writing.
If you’re planning on heading out to get your dose of nature in one of these parks via public transport, always remember to check Public Transport Victoria’s website or app to plan your journey and be aware of any delays or schedule changes.
Some of the routes mentioned will require visitors to cross busy or main roads to enter the park after getting off public transport. Always use pedestrian crossings where possible, look both ways before crossing the road and only cross when and where it is safe to do so.