Stepping out: Regional Victoria’s best hikes
From the accessible to the hard core, check out these great trails around Victoria.
For four-legged friends
Have a grand day with your doggo on the Surf Coast. The ruggedly beautiful 44km Surf Coast Walk from Point Impossible to Fairhaven is easily tackled in 12 distinct sections and includes many stretches of dog-friendly track. Along the way are beaches where well-behaved hounds can roam off-leash, particularly along the long sweep of Fairhaven Beach, Torquay’s Whites Beach and around Anglesea, Jan Juc and Aireys Inlet out of peak season.
- Top tip: From December 1 to late February (plus Easter) certain beaches allow dogs only between 7pm and 9am. Before you hit the sands, check council regulations. To find pooch-friendly parks statewide, try Parks Victoria’s park locator map and tick the option for “I want to take the dog”.
For nature lovers
Stroll through the world’s largest river red gum forest and trace the mighty Murray River in the traditional Yorta Yorta lands of Barmah National Park, about 40km from Echuca. Bushwalking tracks such as the 4km Lakes Loop Track, starting and ending at Dharnya carpark, promise sightings of native critters such as grey kangaroos and koalas, along with more than 200 resident bird species including emus, spoonbills, sea eagles and parrots of every hue.
- Top tip: Maximise your chances of seeing Victoria’s wonderful native wildlife by exploring around dawn and dusk, when many species are at their most active.