It’s coming to that time of the year; you know, the part where we put away the winter woollies, we say goodbye to another explosive season of AFL, we turn the clocks forward to allow for daylight savings and we start to fret that in no time at all, Christmas will be upon us – again! It’s also about this time that people are eager to get outside, to enjoy the fresh air and to work on shedding some of winter’s nasty habits – insert here ‘watching Netflix on the couch in front of an open fire whilst consuming a family block of chocolate or a bowl of warm buttery popcorn’; I think you get the picture!
Living in Melbourne’s Eastern suburbs, we are spoilt for choice when it comes to places to engage in physical activity, whilst enjoying mother nature and all she has to offer. Whether it’s walking or cycling, there’s a variety of places you can choose from, and they’re all within a 45-minute drive of Melbourne’s CBD.
1,000 Steps – Kokoda Track Memorial Walk: Upper Ferntree Gully
This walk is a round trip from the carpark. The trail spans around 4.3kms, following a creek up a beautiful valley in the lush Dandenong Ranges National Park. The first milestone is making your way to the top; a sure-fire way to get your heart rate up. Once you’ve reached the top and rehydrated, it’s time to make your way back down, and it’s on this journey that you can truly appreciate the beauty of the green surrounds. Discover more ⟫
Bellbird Dell Reserve: Vermont South
Bellbird Dell is a 17.5-hectare reserve that extends 1.4km and consists of open space, shared trails, feature ponds and picnic facilities. Enjoying a natural bushland setting, it’s a great place to explore with young children, incentivising them to keep active on bikes or foot, with the promise of time on one of the 2 fabulous children’s playgrounds that are found within the reserve. Discover more ⟫
Blackburn Lake Sanctuary: Blackburn
Those looking for an easy walk whilst enjoying natural bushland surrounds amongst local flora and fauna need look no further than the Blackburn Lake Sanctuary. It’s walking track spans 1.7km, also making it viable for young children who will enjoy feeding the ducks, as well as a stopover at the visitor centre or the playground afterwards. Discover more ⟫
Blind Creek Trail: Boronia to Wantirna South
This 11.5km trail has a shared-use path for cyclists and pedestrians whilst providing a variety of scenery from start to finish. Notable landmarks are the picturesque Tim Neville Arboretum and Westfield Knox Shopping Centre which can be spotted on the way through to its eventual end, which falls at the Dandenong Creek Trail. Discover more ⟫
Dandenong Creek Trail: Kilsyth South to Carrum Downs
49.5kms of shared use paths, crossing suburbs in the east including Bayswater, Heathmont, Vermont/Vermont South and Wantirna. The Dandenong Creek Trail connects to a number of other eastern suburb paths and trails including the Tarralla Creek Trail, Belgrave Rail Trail, Blind Creek Trail, Scotchmans Creek Trail and the EastLink Trail. The trail is appropriate for all fitness levels and there are railway stations close to either end for those who don’t want to do a return trip! Discover more ⟫
Koonung Creek Trail: Bulleen to Donvale
Following the Koonung Creek, and running alongside the Eastern Freeway, this 10km trail is popular amongst locals for running, walking and cycling. The landscape offers a mix of natural settings, indigenous bushland and open parkland. It links at either end to the Main Yarra Trail and the EastLink Trail. Discover more ⟫
Gardiners Creek Trail: Burnley to Box Hill
This trail boasts 17kms of beautiful wetland areas where ducks, birds and frogs can be found. You will travel through a number of parks and reserves, adjacent to local sports grounds where you can watch the action as you walk or cycle through.
These are just a handful of the wonderful places to keep active within Melbourne’s east, however, they’re some of the most popular with locals and visitors alike. And the best part is many of them pass popular cafes and eateries on the way, potentially providing you with the added incentive you need to get out and about! Discover more ⟫