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4 Breathtaking Family-Friendly Walks near Melbourne

  • Monday 26th August 2019

 If the whole family’s keen to tread the trails, seize the motivation and plan your plodding. Here are some great walks that can be found between Melbourne and Otway to entice your gang to get striding.

Serendip Sanctuary

Stats: 61km from Melbourne, walking distance 1.1-5km.

This pedestrian-friendly place is a woodland and wetland paradise; you can see the entire sanctuary on foot using the 5km system of walking trails. It’s a hidden treasure; you can encounter wildlife, as well as a whopping 150 species of birds. Take a stroll on the popular Wildlife Walk where you can spot an Emu or Eastern Grey Kangaroo hanging out on the open grass, and if you’re lucky, you might behold a Brolga trumpeting! This oasis is all about winged-wonders; see Whistling Kites take to the sky and Yellow-billed Spoonbills paddling in the shallows. And who’s sharp enough to spot the expert-camouflaged, Tawny Frogmouth? Have a wild experience as you all walk, talk and peer into some ponds. 


Ironbark Basin Walk

Stats: 108km from Melbourne, walking distance 10.5 km.

If the family is up for a challenging adventure, this is the walk for you. Head inland to the beautifully bushed Ironbark Basin in the Great Otway National Park; the walk starts and finishes at Bells Beach Southside carpark. Make sure you plan around the tides as some parts are impassable when it’s high. Start on the Surf Coast Trail West, then take a left to drop down into Ironbark Basin. Smell the sea spray and continue your walk with a rolling-sea soundtrack. When you hit the coastal cliff section, check out the epic views of Point Addis and Bells Southside, then take the beach access to complete the circuit via the beach. This is an immersive experience; get amongst the gorgeous grasstrees and make sure to keep an eye out for majestic orchids, echidnas, birds and reptiles.


Maits Rest

Stats: 214km from Melbourne, walking distance 0.78km.

This easy-going circuit walk lets you explore one of the few pieces of sub-temperate rainforest in the area. Even though it’s a short half an hour walk, it condenses a whole lot of stunning into the experience. Walk among mountain ash trees, tree ferns as old as time and a flowing creek, and make sure you look up to take in the gigantic, 300-year-old myrtle beech trees which give the walk a mystical feel. Here’s the clincher: this is also a great place to spot glow worms, so keep a lookout at ground level when you walk the track just after dark. This is an excellent meander if you’ve got little ones with tiny attention spans, but take note – there are no toilets!


Otway Fly

Stats: 255km from Melbourne, walking distance 600m.

For a walk with a difference, look no further than Otway Fly Treetop Adventures, only 20 minutes from the Great Ocean Road. As you approach this attraction, all around you is lush rainforest and huge trees. Here, you can take your rainforest experience to a whole new height; the kids will practically jump out of their skin with excitement! For a unique perspective, take the Treetop Walk on the 25-metre-high canopy walkway. As well as offering a unique bird’s-eye view, this impressive structure can withstand 280km/hr winds, with cantilevers which hold 28 tonnes – the equivalent of 14 elephants!



And if you’re feeling adventurous, top off your day with the Zipline Tour; fly between tree platforms (known as cloud stations), connected by cables, all while you’re 30 metres in the air. This eco-wilderness adventure is a whole-family thrill and lasts around 2.5 hours. And don’t worry – during this unforgettable experience, you’re in the capable hands of our highly-trained and experienced guides. Don’t forget to book online before you go – the Zipline experience is in high demand!