CVA Updates

Top 12 walks to get you in nature (and why you should totally do that this summer)

We’re not here to talk about the benefits of walking, because we’d be here all day. And we have places to explore.

But, it is important to note that walking is great for your overall wellbeing – and it’s a fantastic way to immerse yourself in nature while stretching the legs and clearing the mind. 

It’s also a great opportunity to connect with special places in your part of the country, and become informed and active nature stewards, curious and respectful of the different natural environments around us.

With that in mind, nature walks are a great addition to the summer to-do list, and we’re here to make that journey as easy as possible for you.

Australia is a wonderland for beautiful places to discover. In fact, there are probably numerous opportunities to escape into nature right here in your own backyard – from mountains to climb, beaches to stroll and rivers to cross.

Discovering new pockets of nature is vital for the local industries too, so remember to grab a coffee at the local café, lunch at a nearby winery or fresh produce from a nearby farm.

Here are a few options for your next adventure. Make sure you have your sunhat, the sunblock, your reusable water bottle and keep cup, and enjoy exploring!

 

Melbourne (Naarm)

Photo credit: Ben Perrin

1) Lysterfield Lake

Lysterfield Park is located within the traditional land of the Wurundjeri and Bunurong tribes, an easy one hour drive from Melbourne CBD, and is a great representation of what the Wurundjeri country looked like less than 150 years ago. The park is also a refuge for many native species, including more than 140 kinds of birdlife.

The lake circuit is a family-friendly 5.5kms with a flat wide gravel path, and the option to cool off in the lake afterwards. It’s also known as a popular place to spot wallabies, kangaroos, echidnas and koalas.

Find out more here

Local to support: The Orchard at Montague

What better way to end the day than by visiting a local apple orchard, with plentiful locally sourced food, fresh produce, and garden views.

 

Photo credit: Kirk J RIchards

2) Anglesea to Point Addis

A beautiful part of Wathaurong Country, this walk is a part of the Great Ocean Walk. With cliff tops, sections of beach to stroll and a few steep climbs – the views make it all worth it. It’s also a haven for wildlife on land and sea. If you’re wanting the full nature-immersion experience, you can pack a tent and make it an overnight hike too. 

Find out more

Local to support: Great Ocean Road Wellness (GROW)

This cafe and foodstore lives and breathes its values of sustainability, wholesome food and community. With a side of organic food, great coffee and locally sourced products. Enough said! 

 

Sydney (Djubuguli)

3) Bouddi Coastal Walk

A part of the Bouddi National Park, this coastal walk is a 90-min drive from Sydney CBD (so may not be the closest walking option), but it’s worth the extra hike for its sheer beauty. Imagine beaches, boardwalks and birdlife along an 8km walk with sweeping views, eucalypt forests and picnic spots to stop and take it all in.

Find out more

Local to support: Barefoot Cafe

If al fresco beachside dining with ocean views is up your alley, then you’ve come to the right spot.

 

Photo credit: Steve Monty

4) Red Hands Cave

Amidst the Country of the Dharug and Gundungurra peoples sits the incredible Blue Mountains. And within the Blue Mountains you’ll find the Red Hands Cave, where you can walk in the footsteps of First Nations people whilst taking in traditional ochre hand stencils and axe grooves of the Darug people along the way. Building up a sweat? If you detour via the Blue Pool walking track you’ll find swimming holes for a refreshing dip!

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Local to support: 2773 Glenbrook

This cafe & restaurant in the heart of the Blue Mountains is all about celebrating connection and the people who walk in their doors. So why not stop off for a wood fired pizza, ice cream or cocktail?

 

Brisbane (Meeanjin):

Photo credit: Brisbane City Council

5) Manly to Wynnum Foreshore

On the beautiful lands of The Quandamooka People sits the Wynnum foreshore – offering stunning views of the sandy hills of the Moreton Bay Islands. This 9km stroll is more of a leisurely Sunday morning pace, with a keep cup in hand and the intention to slow down and breathe in the ocean air. 

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Local to support: Pelicans Nest Cafe – It doesn’t get more quintessential than fish and chips on the bay.

 

6) Warrie Circuit 

Nestled within the Springbrook National Park, on the lands of The Bundjalung and Yugambeh Peoples is the lush 14km Warrie Circuit Walk. Scattered with waterfalls and with plenty of shade for those warmer summer days, it’s a perfect hike for those who like to be rewarded with sprawling views from the top. Be careful after periods of heavy rainfall, there are many bountiful creek crossings which may need time to dry out!

Find out more

Local to support: Dancing Waters Cafe: Reward yourself by stopping at this delightful cafe which specialises in a seasonal menu, with plenty of vegetarian and vegan options.

 

Hobart (Nipaluna):

Photo credit: Andrea Schaffer

7) Organ Pipes Circuit, Mount Wellington (kunanyi)

There’s a reason Mount Wellington / kunanyi is so popular for a day hike – because its 9km circuit is a wonderfully diverse way to stretch the legs and immerse yourself in all the beauty the mountain has to offer. From historic ruins to alpine forest and summit views, there’s something for everyone! 

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Local to support: Lost Freight Cafe

It’s never too early to take a break when exploring a mountain, and what better way than at this funky shipping container with great coffee and food, and lovely owners!

 

Photo credit: Vernon Fowler

8) Pelverata Falls

These grand falls sit in the Huon Valley, on the lands of the Nuenonne People. The falls themselves are often drier in the summer months, but the rugged cliffs and spectacular gorge scenery are just as great year round. Soaking in the scenery of the rolling farmland, pockets of rainforest and eucalyptus-dominated bushland makes this 6km walk a local favourite. 

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Local industry to supportFrank’s Cider House

What better afternoon refreshment than a locally produced crisp apple cider? Frank’s is a part of Tasmanian history, with the apple orchard being in full swing for more than 100 years. It’s a must-stop after a day soaking up the falls.

 

Adelaide (Kaurna Country)

9) Waterfall Gully to Mt Lofty

Stretching across the lands of the Kaurna and Peramangk people from the Waterfall Gully to the Adelaide Hills this 7.8km walk is family friendly with a well made path and cafe at both ends. Starting at spectacular falls and ending with stunning views, this short and sharp walk is popular for both leisurely strollers and those looking to get the heart rate going with a dose of HIIT training.

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Local to support: Utopia @ Waterfall Gully

Whether you’re looking for a pre-walk caffeine hit or a place to grab a bite to eat afterwards, Utopia’s century old tearoom is set amongst native gardens and is the perfectly wholesome spot.

 

10) South Para Grand Hike, Para Wirra

Para Wirra is an important meeting place for the connecting three first nations of the area, and this 8.5km circuit follows the ridgeline of Para Wirra with amazing views of the Barossa Valley along the way. The most popular viewing opportunity being the spectacular Devil’s Nose lookout itself.

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Local Industry to support: Tenafeate Creek Wines: What better way to keep the glass half full after a lovely hike than by visiting a local winery.

 

Perth (Mooro):

11) John Forrest Heritage Trail 

This heritage trail is a part of the John Forrest National Park, one of Australia’s oldest conservation areas and a part of the ancient country of the Whadjuk Nyoongar people. If you have time to walk the entire 41km of the trail, you’ll be rewarded with scenic views whilst strolling through quaint communities. You can also opt to do day parts of the trail, or you can bring a bike (which technically is no longer a walk, but we’ll allow it!)

Find out more

Local to support: Glen Forrest Gourmet

Whether you walked the entire 41km, or a section of the heritage trail – you deserve a break afterwards! Glen Forrest Gourmet is the perfect family owned and run cafe to find refreshments. Hot tip: the scones and muffins are raved about.

 

12) Kitty’s Gorge Walk Trail

If you’re looking to soak up the sights further away from the hustle and bustle of the city, Kitty’s Gorge Walk is a great option. On the original lands of the Noongar Aboriginal people and weaving around the waters of the Serpentine River, this gorge-ous walk is 16km return and explores lush forests and wonderful waterfalls. The best bit? The turn around point is the magnificent Serpentine Falls.

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Local Industry to support: Cafe on the dam

Keen to continue the water views after your hike? Look no further than Cafe on the dam, with its outdoor verandah seating overlooking the Serpentine dam itself. You’ll also find art from local artists and local handcrafted items, if you’re thinking of taking more than just memories home.