Winter hikes in iconic bushland
Winter is a great time of year to experience the rugged beauty of nature and a variety of hiking trails in parks across the state. Keep an eye on the weather forecast, pick a dry day and take your wet weather gear (just in case). Choosing a good hike that has the scenery, distance and challenges you’re looking for is an important first step. Hiking in winter can be even more exhilarating with the clean, crisp air and you won’t have the same level of crowds on popular trails (and easier to get a carpark).
Spending time in nature can help you become more active, reduce stress levels, recover faster from illnesses and injuries and foster social connections that contribute to physical and mental well-being. Whether you’re a local or a visitor to the area, there’s a winter hike that’s right for you. We’ve put together some of our favourites below.
Mornington Peninsula National Park – Two Bays Walking Track, 8.9km.
Part of a larger 26km walk, this section passes Arthurs Seat and snakes through varied vegetation including eucalypt forest, tea-trees, ferns and open grasslands.
Hepburn Regional Park – Argyle Springs walk, 3km.
Start from the Hepburn Mineral Springs Reserve for this meandering forest walk. At the end, visitors are rewarded with a drink from the Argyle Spring mineral water pump.
Langi Ghiran State Park – Reservoir walk, 5km.
A steady walk that departs from the picnic area then follows a creek past an old reservoir and stone water-race to a pleasant scenic lookout.
Little Desert National Park – Mallee Walkers Camp to Horseshoe Bend Campground, 13km.
One of many excellent options in this remote national park, the walk follows a sandy track through varying vegetation to the banks of the tranquil Wimmera River.
Budj Bim National Park – Crater Rim walk, 2km.
From Lake Surprise Picnic Area, take this elevated walk around the rim of a dormant volcanic crater that is now filled with water. Many spots along the track provide wonderful views.
Lower Glenelg National Park – Great South West Walk, up to 250km.
From hardwood forests to the mighty Southern Ocean, walk short sections or the entire 250km loop, which offers 14 campsites along its length.
Great Otway National Park – Madsen's Track Nature Walk, 1.2km.
At Melba Gully, take this 35-minute loop through a world of ancient, mossy trees and cool fern gullies. Visit at night and try to spot glow-worms.
Wyperfeld National Park – Discovery Walk, 8km.
From Wonga Campground, walk to Devils Pools then cross sand dunes and pass through Mallee tea-trees into redgum woodlands surrounding Lake Brambuk.
Kings Billabong Park - Bird Hide Loop Walk, 4km return.
A boardwalk through a stunning billabong and wetlands that are home to hundreds of water birds and many types of parrots.
Kinglake National Park – Shelley Harris Track, 3.5km return.
Leaving from Jehosaphat Gully Picnic Area, enjoy ferns and mountain ash trees, and look out for the holes in the track made by burrowing crayfish.
Heathcote-Graytown National Park – Viewing Rock Circuit Track, 2.7 km.
Enjoy a picnic and sweeping views over Heathcote from Viewing Rock, then take a loop track to see the historic Heathcote Powder Magazine and a small cave.
Kooyoora State Park – Long Rock Walking Track, 5.3km.
Head-off from the picnic area or campground for magnificent views, remarkable rock formations and rock pools. To finish this walk people can visit nearby Melville Caves.
Cathedral Range - Northern Circuit - spectacular seven- kilometre ridge of sharply upturned sedimentary rock. Tracks ranging from easy allow visitors to explore and climb the peaks to enjoy views of the forests and farmland in the valley below.
Warby-Ovens National Park – Mt Glenrowan, 9km.
Rejoice in the best views of the Ovens and King Valley, and the Victorian Alps. Excepting a steep section at the beginning of the track, the walk is moderate-to-easy.
Chiltern Mt-Pilot National Park – White Box Walking Track, 8.5km.
This meandering walk winds through ironbark, stringybark, grey and redbox forests and takes in the historic Golden Bar Mine and Cyanide Dam.
Mt Samaria State Park – Wild Dog Falls and Lookout, 1.5km.
A short walk to the top of the waterfalls from where you can enjoy views over Lake Nillahcootie and across to the Strathbogie Ranges.
Cape Conran Coastal Park – Estuary View Trail, 3km.
Leave from the Yeerung River Bridge for a walk past heathland, banksia forest, rainforest, and then across a creek before arriving at the beach.
Tarra Bulga National Park – Corrigan Suspension Bridge, 1.2km.
Walk this impressive suspension bridge, which stretches through the rainforest canopy and presents views of the lush fern gully on the forest floor below.
So dust off your hiking boots and take in the crisp, clean winter air as you hike through some of Victoria's most iconic bushland this winter.
Hiking tip: download the latest park maps from the Avenza app. This free app allows you to access maps offline and shows your location via GPS. All park maps from Parks Victoria are free (charges may apply to maps from other providers). Alternatively, look for a Parks Victoria Information Board in the car park and take a photo of the park map before you set-off. You never know when it may become handy!
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