Best day hikes and nature trails in regional Victoria

Wirrawilla hike

RACV Staff

Posted June 21, 2023

From mountain views in Mount Buller to rainforest trails near Healesville, experience the natural beauty of Victoria's flora and fauna on 11 of the latest, safest and exciting nature walks. 

Drive for a few hours from Melbourne and you can be near pristine beaches, luxurious waterfalls, snowy mountains, or tranquil rainforests. We really are the lucky country.

A great way to experience our great outdoors is by going on a hike, day trek, or casual stroll outside of the city. From coastal walks to family friendly day hikes, fabulous dog trails and great picnic spots, there are always new pockets of nature waiting to be discovered. 

Alongside our pick of the best walking trails outside of Melbourne, nine new hiking trails were launched around Victoria in the last year. 

So, whether you’re looking for spectacular waterfalls or brand new breathtaking mountain views, there’s something for all kind of trekkers. 

Please note: Visitors should check the area website for latest information on road, hike and seasonal closures before embarking on any trail. 

Best nature walks in regional Victoria

For critter spotting

Barmah National Park – near Echuca

Length: 4 km

Time: 1 hour 45 minutes

Stroll through the world’s largest river red gum forest along the Murray River in the traditional Yorta Yorta lands of Barmah National Park, about 40 km from the town of Echuca.

The Park's Lakes Loop Track promises 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.

Flat Spur Walk - Mount Buller

Length: 6.5 km 

Time: 2 hours and 30 minutes

Whether you’re visiting the mountains for the magnificent ski season or just looking to enjoy Mother Nature in all seasons, don’t miss the chance to experience the Flat Spur Walk trail in the Mansfield State Forest when it arrives.

Located just over three hours from Melbourne, the multi-use trail has been designed for both walkers and horse riders, with future plans to connect to attractions and accomodation. 

Tip: If you're planning to do the walk in the winter months, be careful of snow and ice forming on the path. Take your time, slow down, and stop to smell the snow gums.

New trails 

Herman's Hill – Rainbow

Length: 2.7 km

Time: 45 minutes

While there may not be a pot of gold waiting for you at the end, walk the new and improved Herman’s Hill trail in Rainbow. Half an hour from the Grampians, the new walking trail includes upgrades like interpretive signage and bench seats, and is perfect for day hikers looking to get off the beaten track – literally. 

A quieter walk of short and steep sandy hills, the trail is peppered with natural vegetation, plants, and birds, culminating in the magnificent views atop Herman’s Hill lookout. 

Wirrawilla Rainforest Walk – Toolangi

Length: 1 km

Time: 14 minutes

Just 25 minutes from the great food and wine of Healesville lies Toolangi, home to a National Forest, and the seventh-largest tree in Australia - the Kalatha Giant.

Toolangi is also home to the newly developed Wirrawilla Rainforest Walk. 

A shorter trail for those just looking for a stroll amongst the bush and birds, this relaxing route takes hikers through luscious ferns and leafy gum trees, trickling Myrtle Creek waters and natural greenery. 

Latrobe River Walk, Noojee Trail, Toorongo Falls Linking Track – Noojee

Length: 6.3 km

Time: 1 hour 40 minutes

Just two hours east of Melbourne lies the linked hiking track in Noojee, a town in Gippsland surrounded by dense bushland west of Mt Baw Baw. An Aboriginal word meaning ‘contentment’ or ‘rest,’ the Noojee walking trail is best enjoyed this way, when stopping to take in the waterfall and rainforest views.

While this linking track is not entirely new, upgrades mean the trail has reopened for avid hikers who can enjoy the soothing forest hike and walk across the Noojee Trestle Bridge. 

Keppel Lookout Trail - Yarra Ranges

Length: 11 km

Time: 3 hours 30 minutes

On the outskirts of Marysville lies the Keppel Lookout Trail, a circuit encompassing breathtaking views of the great Australian outdoors, including waterfalls, wildlife, Lake Mountain, and the Cathedral Ranges on this day hike from Melbourne. 

The hike is best done anti-clockwise, and is considered strenuous and slippery in parts, but worth it for the spectacular panoramic reward upon reaching the Keppel Lookout platform. 

Make a holiday out of it with a stay at the nearby RACV Healesville Country Club & Resort.


The peaceful Wirrawilla Rainforest Walk, Toolangi. Image: Visit Victoria.
The Noojee Rail Trail. Image:
The breathtaking mountain views of the Keppel Lookout Trail. Image: Visit Victoria.
There are almost 200 national bird species at Barmah National Park. Image: Visit Victoria.

Snobs Creek Falls Walk - near Eildon

Length: 100 m 

Time: 20 minutes

The stunning upgrades in Victoria’s lakeside town of Eildon is one for those who want to go chasing waterfalls

Rather than being named after those who turn up their nose, ‘snob’ was an old English term meaning ‘bootmaker,’ and was named after a man of the profession nearby. 

Leading hikers on a short trail to a steel viewing platform of the magnificent Falls, walkers can also take in the variety of ferns, forest animals, and fungi views amongst the splendid soundtrack of nature. 

Mt Hedrick Lookout Walk - near Maffra

Length: 7.1 km

Time: 2 hours 15 minutes

Maffra, a Gippsland town 220 km from Melbourne, is known for its scenic tree-lined streets, 19th century architecture, and now, the Mt Hedrick Walk. 

The trail forms a gateway to Victoria’s fabulous High Country, providing sights of rainforest landscapes, lyrebirds, orchid flowers, and sweet valley views. There is a version of the trail that takes you through the scenic reserves to a hilltop lookout – just remember proper hiking shoes, as it can get slippery in the rain! 

Reid's Tramline – Powelltown

Length: 6 km 

Time: 2 hours 25 minutes

Jus 90 minutes out of Melbourne is Reid’s Tramline, a day hike that passes through luscious rainforest, Little Yarra River, and Powelltown itself, all whilst walking along the historic tramline in the area. 

The trail in theoutskirts of the Yarra Valley has over 70 species of plants, and hundreds of different animals including wombats, laughing kookaburras, swamp wallabies, the Crimson Rosella, and Superb Lyrebird. 

Rubicon Heritage - near Eildon

Length: 4 km

Time: 1 hour 

The new walking trail has been created to allow Victorians to explore the state’s first hydro-electric Rubicon Power Scheme, built right here in Rubicon Valley, two hours north-east of Melbourne. 

The hiking spot previously had limited public access, but is now a way to showcase the area’s rich history, including ash trees in the forest, rebuilt trestle bridges that had been destroyed due to bushfires, forest tramways, and the Victorian Heritage listed Rubicon Scheme. 


Take in the Falls from an elevated viewing platform at Snobs Creek. Image: Visit Victoria
The Rubicon Scheme started 100 years ago, and was the first state-owned hydroelectric scheme to generate electricity in Australia. Image: Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning.
The hiking trail at Wilson's Prom has access for everybody. Image: Supplied.

Accessibility-friendly trails

Loo-Ern Track – Wilson's Prom

Length: 1 km 

Time: 17 minutes 

To make nature more accessible for all, Parks Victoria has a number of TrailRider all-terrain wheelchairs and beach wheelchairs available to rent in parks around the state.

The Loo-Errn Track in breathtaking Wilsons Promontory was designed with accessibility in mind. The 1 km wheelchair-friendly loop departs from the Tidal River carpark, forging through thriving wetlands and swamp paperbark forests.   

For coastal trekkers

Two Bays Trail – Mornington Peninsula

Length: 26 km  

Time: 8 hours one-way

Two Bays Trail is one of the longest continual tracks on the Mornington Peninsula, and is not for the faint of heart.

Starting at Dromana, this well-kept route, signposted with a blue wren symbol, climbs up to stellar bay views at Arthurs Seat before descending through peaceful bushland in Mornington Peninsula National Park, past Bushrangers Bay to the lighthouse crowning Cape Schanck.

It is at least eight hours one way, and finishes up just a few minutes drive from the RACV Cape Schanck Resort.  

Remember: Safety first 

When hiking, it’s important to be prepared and know your limits when it comes to your individual skill level.

Before leaving 

Make sure to let someone know where you are going, and when you plan to return. It is also wise to check the weather, and plan around the heat. 

Ensure you are bushfire aware, and that you have checked the latest conditions for the place you are travelling to.  

Dressing and packing

You will need to be wearing sensible footwear, and have materials for your hike - a charged mobile phone, printed map if you will be in areas out of range, enough water and snacks, a first aid kit, and materials for the weather, such as sunscreen or a raincoat.  

On the trail

Take rests in the shade when needed, and make sure to drink plenty of water. Keep a look-out for animals like snakes on certain trails, and keep mindful of your entry and exit points.  

Stay on the marked tracks, as going off trail can damage vegetation, Indigenous artifacts, and animal habitats.

Always remember to take all rubbish with you and leave the nature as beautiful as you found it. 


Ready to test our Victoria’s new hiking trails? 
Make a weekend out of it with a stay at an RACV Resort →