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Must-do walks in Melbourne

Now that you’re able to go for an outdoor ramble, rediscover the walking trails on your doorstep.

Fitzroy Gardens’ fountains and fairies

This quiet, green oasis on the edge of the CBD beckons you for a lunchtime stroll. Melburnians all know Fitzroy Gardens‘ avenues of elm trees, gracious sculptures and fountains. But don’t miss the stream running through the park’s southern section though. It’s surrounded by a semi-wilderness. Full of ferns and rainforest plantings that form an ornamental grotto. Wander over to the Conservatory for spectacular floral displays. Then stop by the mini model Tudor village, and Fairies’ Tree for a shot of nostalgia.

Carlton Gardens greenery

Best known as the home of the Heritage-listed Royal Exhibition Building, the Carlton Gardens is a destination in itself. Stroll among the 19th century formal gardens and among the mature European trees. Watch ducks gliding across the ornamental lakes. And don’t miss the Victorian-era Hochgurtel Fountain and circular French Fountain.

A large heritage building in an open garden

Carlton Gardens

Secret Gardens walk

Up for an urban hike? The Queen Victoria Gardens is the start of the self-guided Secret Gardens walk [PDF 520KB]. Free to download. This six kilometre wander takes you through Kings Domain. See an Aboriginal burial stone, Victorian monuments and the iconic 50s Sidney Myer Music Bowl. Plus lots of calming green along the way. Before finishing up in the Royal Botanic Gardens.

Royal Botanic Gardens

Dating back to 1846, the gardens are made for wandering. Wander around the ponds and by Guilfoyle’s Volcano cacti sanctuary. There’s always some freshly bloomed flora to see at the Royal Botanic Gardens. Fern gully’s three lush meditative spaces are a must. Perfect for solo contemplation. Breathe in the green surroundings in a suspended swing chair. Explore the sheltered Grotto, and a Japanese-inspired Moss Garden. Sit atop stone seats and unwind before the central ‘mother stone’ fountain. Curious? Find out Six things you didn’t know about the Royal Botanic Gardens.

Two people walking down a path in a public gardens

Queen Victoria Gardens ponds and pools

Head down to this lovely formal greenspace, mere minutes from Flinders Street Station. You know the Queen Victoria Gardens’ big floral clock, but have you found the hidden pond? John Olsen’s playful bronze frog statue leaps out. While a petite waterfall splish-splashes away. Ponder the grand old statues, and pause in the rotunda to watch the ducks on the ornamental pool.

Looking for more walks?

Download more self-guided Melbourne walking itineraries, to get a dose of the outdoors on foot. Try ‘On the waterfront’, a picturesque route along the Yarra River. And ‘A walk in the park’, past cathedrals and the nearby gardens. Or ‘Aboriginal Melbourne’, which reveals some of the city’s Indigenous heritage and culture.

A walking trail next to a river

Birrarung Marr