Melbourne is one city in which the journey can very easily become the destination, so pull on your most fashionable trainers (it’s still Melbourne, darling) and head out for a stroll.
While there are plenty of guided walking tours on offer that traverse the inner city, our selection of the best self guided Melbourne walks will take you a little further afield. Enjoy!
Oozing character from every grungy pore, St Kilda is one of the most popular and accessible tourist precincts outside of the city centre (just jump on the number 96 tram from Bourke Street). Start at O’Donnell Gardens and make a loop up Acland St and the Esplanade to take in iconic landmarks including Luna Park, the venerable Palais Theatre, St Kilda Pier, Catani Arch and the St Kilda Sea Baths. Take some time out along the way to wiggle your toes in the sand.
While you’re in the ‘hood, it’s an easy 6km walk from St Kilda to Port Melbourne along the gorgeous Beaconsfield Parade foreshore. Enjoy views across Port Phillip Bay on your left and heritage beachfront residences on your right. Get a coffee fix along trendy Bay Street or take a closer look at the Spirit of Tasmania at Station Pier.
A leisurely walk around wonderful ‘Willie’ offers a generous helping of heritage buildings, parks and gardens, and there’s even the opportunity for a dip (depending on the weather!). On a 4km loop you’ll take in the charming Williamstown Botanic Gardens, numerous historic buildings, the fascinating Timeball Tower and views across picturesque Hobsons Bay.
From hipsters to historians, everybody wants a piece of Fitzroy. It’s also one of the most culturally significant parts of the city in terms of Indigenous heritage. Follow the Fitzroy Aboriginal Heritage Walking Trail (marked by bronze plaques) along Gertrude and Smith Streets.
Southbank is the most popular entertainment precinct in the city and also provides the venue for a delightful riverside stroll. Starting from the Arts Centre, head down the stairs and follow the Yarra Promenade along the riverside with the many cafes, restaurants and bars on your left. You’ll pass numerous pieces of public art and the Crown Casino Entertainment Complex. Once you clear Spencer Street you’ll spot the historic tall ship Polly Woodside. Keep walking along the newly revitalised South Wharf Promenade which salutes Melbourne’s colourful maritime past.
Do you have any suggestions to add to our list of the best self guided Melbourne walks? We would love to hear from you. Please leave a comment below.
Additional images: Bigstock
Julietta Henderson is a Melbourne-based travel and feature writer. Originally planning to visit London for six months, she ended up staying for ten years and now divides her time between her home in Australia and several months of the year in the UK, Italy and France. Julietta has travelled extensively through Europe, North America, Indonesia, New Zealand, Australia and Russia, and believes the keys to a great travel experience are an open heart, an open mind and an open-ended ticket.