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Make The Most Of Your 25km Radius With Melbourne’s Best Walks, Picnic Spots & Adventures

Make The Most Of Your 25km Radius With Melbourne’s Best Walks, Picnic Spots & Adventures

With Melbourne’s five-kilometre coronavirus radius expanded, a trip up Sydney Road suddenly feels as exciting a prospect as a holiday to, y’know, the actual city of Sydney. But there’s a lot more to look forward to in our newly enlarged 25-kilometre radius than a slightly different streetscape or a few new takeaway options.

With the weather warming up and no time limit on outdoor exploration, here’s how to make the most of your 25-kilometre patch.

Take a hike in beautiful bushland


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While a lot of Aussies are lucky to live nearby a park or creek, only Melbourne has the Yarra Bend Park in our backyards. The Fairfield park is Melbourne’s largest remaining area of natural bushland, supporting more than 300 native plant species and making visitors feel much further from the CBD than its four kilometres.

Take the popular Dights Falls Walk, or jog the nine and a half kilometre Yarra Bend Loop, which brings you right against the riverbank. You can also follow the Yarra north-east past the grassy Kew golf course into Warringal Parklands. Encompassing both flat parkland and lush riverbeds, the Heidelberg patch offers both the soaring red rivergums of your lockdown dreams, and the picnic flats to reunite with friends.

While the ever-popular 1000 Steps Walk in Ferntree Gully remains closed for now, the wider radius means some of us will make it to the nearby Sherbrooke Forest, which sits 40 kilometres south-east of Melbourne. Stunning mountain ash forest and a slightly cooler climate will transport you from your lockdown monotony, as will an hour on the secluded tracks snaking through the Dandenong Ranges National Park.

Pimp your picnic

With restrictions on indoor gatherings still in place, Melburnians are braving hayfever season to catch up with friends outside. For many of us, packing little more than a supermarket six-pack and a pair of sunnies seems like a big task, but help is at hand.

Natural wine favourites Diggin’ in the Cellars are offering free delivery directly to your picnic rug for folk in the Edinburgh Gardens and Carlton Gardens (reinvest that delivery fee in your anti-allergens; those Carlton plane trees are no joke).

Prahran fromagerie Maker & Monger has your hand-delivered cheese platter sorted if you’re in Melbourne’s south-east — pull up a rug in the Royal Botanic Gardens or the Fitzroy Gardens with local cheeses and Dandenong honeycomb.

Wherever you are, pay your local deli a visit before you hit the park: West Footscray’s Migrant Coffee, Fitzroy’s Morning Market, St Kilda’s Cookes Food and Windsor’s Neptune are just some of the businesses now offering luxe pick-up picnic packs.

Stretch out with a long run 


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Even Melbourne’s most sedentary gave in to a park jog when a run and a Woolies trip were the only adventures allowed, but don’t let the fact we’ can linger now stop you from giving a new running route a go.

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Try the four-kilometre waterside loop that starts at Maribyrnong’s Raleigh Road and follows the Maribyrnong River. If you’re confident and close by, the 25-kilometre Maribyrnong River Trail takes you from the city to Keilor, with paved footpaths and grass snaking alongside the river.

River views continue with the beautiful Hobsons Bay Coastal Trail between Docklands and Williamstown, which leads you waterside for most of its 10-kilometre length. Cool down with a walk through the coastal Jawbone Nature Reserve.

Good news for those who have done all of Brighton: the new radius means you can pound out different parts of the long, paved, 11-kilometre stretch of seaside track between St Kilda and Elwood. Or dodge picnickers and dog-walkers at Parkville’s expansive Royal Park, with its rugged gum trees and wide ovals — it’s much easier to navigate than the popular nearby Princes Park.

Try something new 


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Lockdown has given many of us the chance to try new activities. A silver lining of our time inside has seen us redistribute our free time, into hobbies from bread-baking to roller-skating—and just because your radius has widened, doesn’t mean that can’t continue.

If you’re missing sea air and salt spray, URBNSURF Melbourne is here to help. The two-hectare Tullamarine surfing lagoon has re-opened for surf sessions and lessons, you just need to make a booking. First-timers are welcome for low key ‘play in the bay’ sessions.

If you’re after a slightly calmer aquatic experience, GoBoat picnic boats are back on the water. Each electric boat fits eight around its picnic table, so you can cruise Southbank with your crew like your own private Arbory Afloat.

However you choose to spend your time, our new radius gives us activities abound—and a chance to pay attention to things close to home that we might not have otherwise noticed.

(Lead Image: Ain Raadik Photography / Tourism VIC)

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