Feel the need to stretch those legs after a long day? Here are some great places to step out in the city’s heart.
At 170 hectares, Royal Park is the largest green space in the city. It’s also the only one dedicated to Australian natives, with most of the flora indigenous to Victoria. The park’s combination of grassland, wetland and bushland means you can spot more than 250 different bird species. A highlight is the Trin Warren Tam-boore wetlands in the park’s north-west corner, where waterbirds thrive. The trail takes about 90 minutes, though with all the birds, reptiles and info to take in you could spend hours!
Secret gardens walk
This free, 4.2km self-guided walk follows the ring of lush parkland surrounding the city. If you've just knocked off work in the city, start at the end of the route in Alexandra Gardens. Then wind your way through seven green spaces, including Queen Victoria Gardens, Birrarung Marr and Fitzroy Gardens. You’ll see everything from an Aboriginal burial stone to Victorian-era monuments and the 20th century Sidney Myer Music Bowl. And, of course, some of Melbourne’s loveliest natural features.
Docklands Harbourside Art Trail
Sure, you’ve seen the cow-up-a-tree sculpture, but did you know there are dozens of public works dotted around Docklands? Discover them all on the Docklands Harbourside Art Trail with a map from the Melbourne Visitor Hub at Town Hall. Or get the free app (available for iPhone and Android) and hear commentary from several artists, including Sally Smart and RONE. The trail splits into three themed 2.5 km sections: ‘real and unreal’, ‘the dynamic earth’, and ‘you, us and them’.
Royal Botanic Gardens
Established in 1846, the Royal Botanic Gardens is among Australia’s most beautiful and diverse parks. From lush fern gully and the ornamental lake to the cacti-covered Guilfoyle’s Volcano, there’s plenty to discover. Extend your walk (or come back another day) with a stroll around the Tan. This broad path surrounding the gardens is fairly flat, except for one challenging section: the Anderson Street hill. Train up and get ready for Run the Tan, on in April.
Street art walks
Get your art fix outside with a solo stroll following the City of Melbourne’s street art walking guide. Discover the best of Melbourne’s world-renowned street art scene as you explore the ever-changing gallery walls of Hosier Lane and beyond. The artwork is as changeable as Melbourne’s weather, so you'll always see something new. The walk is self-guided, so you can take your time and snap a few pics along the way.
Looking for more walks?
Explore the city on foot with these self-guided Melbourne walking itineraries. Try the 'Yarra discovery trail', a picturesque route along the Yarra River. Explore the ‘heart of the city walk’, winding through hidden laneways and past beautiful boutiques. Or follow the Aboriginal Melbourne walk, which reveals the city’s First Nations heritage and culture.
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