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Top after-work walks in Melbourne

Take advantage of summer’s extended daylight and catch some rays after work while you can. Here are some great places to step out in the city’s heart.

Royal Park

At 170 hectares, Royal Park is the largest green space in the city. It’s also the only one dedicated to Australian natives. Most of the flora is indigenous to Victoria – though we still love the plants sourced from across the nation. Plus the park’s combination of grassland, wetland and bushland means you can spot more than 250 different bird species while you’re here. 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 Walks

The Queen Victoria Gardens is the starting point for this self-guided Secret Gardens walk [PDF 521KB], which is free to download. This six-kilometre hike continues through Kings Domain before ending in the Royal Botanic 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.
People walking along a path under trees in a park

Queen Victoria Gardens

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 by 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. It inclines about 30 metres over a distance of 300 metres, so it’s a good workout even at walking pace.

An aerial shot of a large green park

Guilfoyle’s Volcano

Walks with history and liquid refreshment

Combine fresh air and exercise with a bev or two on a post-work walking tour. The Beer Lovers’ Guide to Melbourne walk departs at 6pm Thursdays. From the city’s boozy early years to its recent love affair with small breweries and laneway bars, you’ll learn lots. Don’t worry about getting light-headed – there’s food too.

Looking for more walks?

Explore the city on foot with these self-guided Melbourne walking itineraries. Try ‘On the waterfront’, a picturesque route along the Yarra River. ‘A walk in the park’, past cathedrals and the nearby gardens. Or  the Aboriginal Melbourne walk, which reveals the city’s First Nations heritage and culture.