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Walking Through Victoria
 
victoria walkingThe vast range of walking tracks in Victoria means that you have so much to choose from that you could literally be walking for years. There is everything in this magical state from long walks alongside the Great Ocean Road to the hidden beauty of the Dandenong Ranges and the Yarra Valley. This truly is the perfect way to combine the ultimate camping and walking holiday in one of Australiaís prettiest regions.

The drive to Apollo Bay in your car hire Melbourne will reward you some stunning views and will also lead you to the walk of a lifetime. Spanning 91 kilometres, the Great Ocean Walk is right up there with amazing challenges. For those who don't think they could quite handle the whole 91 kilometres, can enjoy the walk in stretches, from climbing the cliffs through to the inland forests and back onto the sandy beaches that stretch on and on to the famous twelve apostles. There are lots of camping grounds along the entire coastline if you choose to stay a while to make the most of the spectacular scenery.

If this walk isnít long enough for you, try the ultimate Great South West Walk, which is located in the Lower Glenelg National Park. At 250 kilometres in length, you can walk to your heart's content and enjoy some of the state's most loved trails. Most visitors prefer to drive between the walks, because there are close to twenty shorter tracks that will take you to most of the well known attractions in the park. The area between Bridgewater Lakes to Portland includes magnificent coastal scenery, with whale sightings often occurring from the headlands. From Portland to Moleside you can soak up the thick forests and rivers, as well as a number of pretty campsites and picnic grounds. Canoe along the Glenelg River and then head to back to Discovery Bay for an entirely unique perspective of the area.

The Dandenong Ranges are a favourite place for locals and tourists alike to trek and this is for many reasons. Essentially the diversity of walking and cycling tracks available throughout the ranges and valley are what draws people in. These beautiful ranges are situated only an hourís drive from Melbourne, and the drive alone will no doubt take your breath away. A trip to the SkyHigh Mount Dandenong Observatory will introduce you to a panoramic view of the ranges, and the Grants Picnic Ground, which offers the Hardy Gully Nature, is great place to enjoy a family picnic.

The Yarra Valley is not only known for its magnificent wines; it also boasts some incredible walks. The Beeches trail takes you into another world, with majestic ancient beech trees towering above you and a pleasant stream trickling beside you adding to this natural beauty. The Mt Lofty walk can be found along the Yarra River, and offers fantastic views of the valley and ranges. The Lake Mountain Summit Walk requires higher fitness levels, but the rewards are worth every step, as it boasts four fantastic lookouts at the top. Head to the Mount Donna Buang Skywalk to discover its famous lookout tower at the Rainforest Gallery. This entire region will take your breath away. The two hour drive here is also just as enjoyable and will take you past the national park that stretches from Healesville to Warburton.

The best time to visit the Grampians National Park is during the months of Spring, because this is when the Beehive Walk comes to life. The park is easily accessible via the Glenelg Highway and the scenic drive takes around three hours. There is a wide diversity of options here, with over a million visitors a year flocking to enjoy the natural beauty and tranquil atmosphere of the park. Another easy walk is to MacKenzie Falls, with a lovely picnic area nearby making it ideal for the whole family.

Victoria is an ideal destination for the avid bushwalker, with an abundance of walking tracks, rainforests, national parks and scenic lookouts just waiting to be discovered. There are plenty of easy trails close to Melbourne and the majority are easy to reach by car, making them perfect for a day trip with a picnic basket. A rental car is the ideal choice to combine the freedom of self drive with the flexibility of a walking holiday, and with an endless list of choices, what more could you want?

Christine Barton




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