Melbourne escape-artists are spoilt for choice when it comes to a weekend adventuring. Check out our five best overnight hikes near Melbourne and get out there!
Whichever direction you decide to throw a metaphorical stone from the CBD, it’s likely to land on either a secluded forest trail, a wild and rugged coastal track or plop into a remote mountain stream that’s teeming with fish.
With the help of expert Victorian hikers who’ve conquered more trails than most of us have had hot dinners, we’ve simmered down the plethora of options to bring you, five absolute pearler, overnight hikes near Melbourne. Special thanks to Darren from Trail Hiking and Neil from Bushwalking Blog.
Best Overnight Hikes Near Melbourne and Around Victoria
1. Mt Howitt and the Crosscut Saw
Distance: 14km return
Duration: 2 days
Distance from Melbourne: 322km
The overnight hike to Mt Howitt is one you might just have all to yourself.
The trail meanders up and down through snow gum wetlands, past the stunning and cosy Vellejo Gantner Hut (for emergency overnight use only), before summiting Mt Howitt.
From here you can head back the way you came and started climbing along one of the most stunning ridgelines in Victoria’s High Country, the Crosscut Saw. Find a clear and flat place to lay your tent, making sure to tightly secure it (it gets windy up here!) and positioning it for the perfect sunrise wake up call.
Campsite: This one is up to you! Find a nice flat spot, protected from the wind to peg in your tent. There’s space near Vellejo Gantner Hut if you get stuck! There’s a toilet there, plus you can access fresh water from the nearby stream.
2. Beeripmo Walk
Duration: 1-2 days
Distance from Melbourne: 221km
The Beeripmo Walk represents a challenge for the more experienced bushwalker, this rewarding two day walk winds through cool fern gullies and tall forests, taking in views across the surrounding hills of both Mount Cole and Buangor State Park.
The track offers extensive views of Mt Langi Ghiran, the Grampians to the south towards Mt Cole and the Western Plains. The track is well defined and signposted and the walk has been designed for those seeking a relaxing walk with time to take in the beautiful surrounds.
Campsite: This walk starts at Richards campsite. The closest camp to the halfway point is Beeripmo campground. Here you’ll find toilets and a rainwater tank which you can use to refill water bladders (make sure you boil or use a filtering system). The campground is quite pleasant, with about 10 sites with their own fire pits nestled amongst the eucalypt forest.
3. Mount Cobbler Summit
Distance: 8km return
Duration: 2 days
Distance from Melbourne: 319km
Although short in length the hike to the summit of Mt Cobbler in Alpine National Park is worth an overnight trip. Camp by the reflective Lake Cobbler the night before and wake early to summit the mountain with the sun!
The hike up Mt Cobbler is rocky in sections and nearly all up hill, but once at the top the trees drop away and a stunning rocky outcrop comes into view. From here you have a 360 degree views of layers and layers of mountains running off in each direction. The hike takes around two hours return, but allow a bit more time for brekky and sunrise watching on the summit.
Campsite: Lake Cobbler campground – Camp right by this picturesque alpine lake the night before the hike. There’s also a campground around three-quarters of the way up the mountain as well.
4. Cathedral Range North & South Circuit
Duration: 2 days
Distance from Melbourne: 117km
With upturned sandstone peaks and razorback ridges (and just two hours north-east of Melbourne) Cathedral Range is one of the greatest mountain ranges in the state.
Start from Jawbone car park and head up a few kilometres of dirt vehicle track to find the start of Canyon Track and ascend Sugarloaf Peak. From there, make your way along Razorback Ridge to The Farmyard campground.
The second day sees you follow the ridgeline all the way to Little Cathedral at the north end of the range, and then descend to follow Little River Track and Saint Bernards Track back to your car!
Campsite: The park’s best known for its two popular day-hikes, the northern and southern circuits, but these can easily be linked together with an overnight stay at The Farmyard, a campground in a saddle, roughly in the middle of the range.
5. Lake Tali Karng – Hidden Lake Circuit
Duration: 2 days
Distance from Melbourne: 301km
The views and landscape of Tali Karng and its surrounds are so magnificent it’s easy to appreciate its special cultural significance.
With a depth of up to 50 metres and fed by the Snowden and Nigothoruk Creeks and the melted snow that runs off the Wellington Plains, the water in the lake is very cold. Tali Karng is a hidden jewel nestled deep in the mountains of Gippsland and this hike offers you an opportunity to explore deep into the heart of the valley.
Campsite: Camping is available at Nyimba Camp, the campground high above Lake Tali Karng, just near the trail that shoots down steeply to that hidden lake. There are toilets available but please note that camping on the shores of the lake isn’t permitted.
Feature photo thanks to Jamie Humby