Our most densely populated state, Victoria, has 36 National Parks including the 646,000 hectare Alpine National Park linking to Kosciuszko National Park to create Australia’s largest natural area (rivalling Kakadu).
The parks in the north west of the state tend to be too hot to be visited from November to March and the eastern forested areas are prone to bushfire during the same months. Walking during Winter in the Alps is impractical, so timing is all important.
Australian Alps Walking Trail – At 680km, the full walk takes 6-8 weeks to complete. Not for the faint hearted, why not try The Great Walhalla Alpine Trail the first 40km in 2 days?
Bicentennial National Trail – the 5,330 km trail enters Victoria at Tom Groggin on the Murray River and ends at Healesville in the Dandenong Ranges.
Great South West Walk – 250km circuit begins and ends at Portland
McMillans Walking Track 200km from Melbourne to Omeo
Wilderness Coast Walk – 151km from Cape Conran (Vic) to Pambula (NSW)
Wilsons Promontory Circuit – 40km- Known as ‘The Prom’ to locals, it embraces 50,000 hectares of coastal wilderness on mainland Australia’s southernmost tip. The many well-marked trails traverse empty beaches and eucalypt forest, heath and swamp, cool rainforest gullies and rocky mountain tops
The Croajingolong National Park has two coastal walks
Howe Wilderness Walk – 46km (4 days) from Mallacoota Inlet up the coast across the NSW border to Bunyip Hole, Cape Howe
Wilderness Coast Walk – 41km (3 days) from Wingan Inlet to Mallacoota
In the Coopracambra (local Aboriginal for kookaburra) National Park
there’s a 4 day trek, Genoa River Gorge Walk, covering 84km.
Some of the oldest trees in the state can be found at Errinundra National Park. The Mt Ellery Walk takes a couple of hours and is 4km.
The most spectacular scenery can be found in the Snowy River National Park. Both the Gelantipy Plateau Walk and Little River Gorge Walk are about 3 days duration each. There are few facilities so you do need to carry enough food and water.
There are about 3 “short” walks within the Alpine National Park. The most notable being The Man From Snowy River Film Set Walk starting at Circuit Road and finishing at Craig’s Hut, Clear Hills. Clear Hills provided the opening and closing scenes in the movie.
The Mt Howitt Circuit is a great introduction for walkers new to overnight treks in the Victorian Alps. Plenty of variety and great views
Mt Buffalo Walk in the Mt Buffalo National Park is a short half hour walk with fantasic views over the Mt Buffalo plateau and east to the Victorian Alps. Hundreds of other walking opportunities can be found in this Park.
Australia’s southernmost extremity, Wilson’s Promontory, provides two 4 day treks – Northern Circuit and Southern Circuit. You will need a permit.
Other walking spots within 100km of Melbourne:
Lake Eildon & Fraser National Park
Cathedral Range State Park
Lake Mountain Alpine Reserve
Grampians National Park