Outdoor Activities in Melbourne
Information on the facilities in the Melbourne metropolitan area for outdoor activities, including walking, hiking and cycling...
Melbourne's climate is famous for its changeability - the phrase "four seasons in one day" is often used to describe the weather here.
Despite the weather being unpredictable, particularly in spring and summer, outdoor activities are very popular and go hand in hand with the city's love of sporting events and the outdoors.
There are several places in regional Victoria where it is possible to go mountain biking.
Kinglake National Park is to the northeast of Melbourne. It was devastated by fires during the 2009 Black Saturday bushfires, but has slowly started to reopen again in certain areas over the last few years. The Bowden Spur Mountain Bike Area was opened in June 2012 and is a 2 Km downhill mountain bike trail; the first of three trails that will eventually be opened here. This trail is only recommended for experienced bikers and is located on Bowden Spur Road, approximately 200m from the intersection of the Kinglake-Whittlesea Road in Kinglake Central.
The You Yangs Regional Park is 25 Km west of Werribee, around 40 minutes from Melbourne and accessible only to those with their own transport. There are two designated mountain bike trails in the park, both of which are suitable for riders of all ages and abilities. The park is open from 08:00-16:00 all year round.
- See the Business Directory, Cycling & Mountain Biking
Popular cycle rides
There are several websites with information on cycling trails, and maps of Melbourne's most popular cycling routes, including:
Hiking and Walking
Melbourne and the surrounding areas have plenty of walking and hiking routes. As with any outdoor activity, it is important to remember that temperatures during the summer months can be very high, so plenty of sunscreen and water is advisable.
There are several walking groups in and around Melbourne which arrange walks and hikes throughout the year.
- For information on walking and hiking in and around Melbourne, including popular routes: Click here
- See the Business Directory, Walking, Hiking & Climbing
Melbourne Bushwalkers: One of Victoria's most active bushwalking clubs, with a full programme of activities throughout the year ranging from regular Sunday walks to week-long trips. Suitable for all levels of bushwalking and hiking experience.
Melbourne Women's Walking Club: For women walkers of all ages, the club includes both metropolitan and country members. Activities include day walks, backpacking, base camping and trips that include accommodation.
Walking Club of Victoria: A bushwalking club catering for men, women and families of all ages. Activities include bush walks, suburban walks, base camp walks and overnight pack-carry walks.
Watersports in Melbourne
Surfing is a very popular activity across Australia, especially in Victoria where stretches of coastline are famous for their perfect surfing conditions. The water does get cold during the winter months so a wetsuit is advisable.
Some of Victoria's most popular surf spots include the Great Ocean Road, Philip Island, Mornington Peninsula and Bells Beach near Torquay which hosts the annual international Rip Curl Pro surf competition. There are surf schools located along the Great Ocean Road and the Mornington Peninsula; usually equipment is available for hire.
There are several locations around Port Phillip Bay where it is possible to go kite surfing, two of the most popular being Port Melbourne and St Kilda. Several local organisations offer kite surfing lessons and equipment hire
Windsurfing is another popular water sport in Melbourne with Port Phillip Bay being an ideal location. Both Middle Park and Elwood beaches are popular spots.
- See the Business Directory, Surf Clubs & Lessons
There are plenty of horse riding and equestrian centres around Melbourne and regional Victoria including Werribee, Bangholme, Peacedale and Greenvale. Mornington Peninsula is also a popular place for horse trail rides.
- For more information on tour operators who offer trail rides around Victoria: Click here
- See the Business Directory, Equestrian: Horses & Riding
Almost every suburb in Melbourne has a playground suitable for children.
- For information about playgrounds in and around Melbourne: Click here