Adelaide to Melbourne: The Best Hikes Near Melbourne Airport

Updated Sep 4, 2023

Whether you’re traveling to Melbourne for work or for pleasure, this city is always a good idea. But when the hustle and bustle of Melbourne becomes a bit more than you wished for, or if you simply want to see some of the world’s best hikes, there’s several great hiking areas that aren’t far from the airport or the city center.

Below you’ll find information on what these hikes have to offer, and how to reach them from Melbourne Airport. Some hikes are only a short 30-minute drive, while others are great for day trips that offer hours and hours of beautiful adventure.

5 Best Hiking Areas near Melbourne Airport

These are the five best hiking areas near Melbourne Airport. Some are a short drive away, while others are farther. No matter which you pick, we’re sure you’ll have wonderful day outside.

  • Organ Pipes National Park
  • Craigieburn Forest Park
  • The Great Ocean Walk
  • Woodlands Historic Park
  • The Grampians National Park

Organ Pipes National Park 

Named after its astounding basalt columns known as “organ pipes” that are made from volcanic activity, this national park provides scenic, easy-to-moderate hiking trails for all types of hikers. The Valley Walk is the most popular hiking trail and it takes about 1.25 hours to complete. It’s quite busy, so visit early in the morning if you want to avoid the crowds.

Only a 26-minute drive from the Airport, follow the directions below to get to the hiking trail from Melbourne Airport: 

  • From Arrival Drive merge onto Sunbury Road / C743 / M2 
  • Follow Sunbury Road / C743 towards Bulla for 8km, specifically Diggers Rest Road / Loeman’s Road in Bulla
  • Merge onto Calder Fwy, M79
  • Keep on Organ Pipes Road to Thompsons Road 
  • Organ Pipes National Park will be on your left

Craigieburn Forest Park

If you are looking for moderate or hard hiking trails, Craigieburn Forest Park has something for you! The Helicopter Hill Track is the most popular hike, and one of the hardest offered. At 3.5 miles roundtrip and 1,443 feet of elevation gain, it’s hard work but you’re rewarded with incredible views upon making it to the top.

There are around 7 ‘Hard’ trails, 8 ‘Moderate’ trails, and 1 ‘Easy’ trail in this Forest Park. As you walk you will move through various woodlands and grasslands with mountain views and lots of birds and smaller animals. It takes about 30 minutes to get to Craigieburn Forrest Park from Melbourne Airport – follow the directions below. 

  • Follow signs for Sunbury Road / C743, Oaklands Road & Craigieburn Road to Highlander Drive in Craigieburn for about 15.6 km or 18 minutes
  • Continue onto Highlander Dr. until you see signs for Craigieburn Forest Park 

The Great Ocean Walk

While the Great Ocean Walk is going to be a day trip experience, it is certainly worth it. This trail is actually a 60.3-mile long out and back trail that takes eight days to complete. This would be an incredible thru-hiking experience, or you can simply hike portions and soak in the incredible views of the southern Australian coast. You could also drive the Great Ocean Road, which is Australia’s most famous coastal journey.

You can choose from a variety of hikes and different accommodations to suit your travel plans. Along the way, you are bound to see Koalas, beaches, rainforests, coastal cliffs, and more. The Great Ocean Walk is around 2 hours and 40 minutes away from Melbourne Airport – follow the directions below to get there: 

  • From Arrival Drive take Tullamarine Fwy / M2
  • Follow signs to Tullamarine and take exit 16 – 17 to Tullamarine Fwy / M2 
  • Take M1 to Conns Lane in Birregurra for approximately 1 hour and 24 minutes or 132 km 
  • Take C119 to Great Ocean Road / B100 in Apollo Bay for approximately  1 hour 5 minute or 68.6km
  • The Great Ocean Walk will be on your left 

Woodlands Historic Park

Filled primarily with easy hiking trails, Woodlands Historic Park provides scenic Victorian views with plenty of green open space to rest and rejuvenate. There are around 10 trails within the park, with the longest being the Woodland Historic Park loop at 12.8 miles long. Because the terrain is mostly flat, it makes for perfect trails to bike on if that suits you best. This park is only a 10-minute drive from Melbourne Airport – follow the directions below:  

  • From Arrival Drive head Northwest towards Taxi La
  • Turn left onto Centre Road 
  • Use the left 2 lanes to merge onto Sunbury / C74 / M2 via the ramp Sunbury Road 
  • At the roundabout, take the 3rd exit onto Oaklands Road / State Route 58
  • Turn right onto Somerton Access Road 
  • Woodlands Historic Park will be on the right 

The Grampians National Park

The Grampians National Park is going to be another day trip from Melbourne Airport, but one that surprises and amazes you as it’s filled with just about everything you could wish for in a hiking experience: mountains, wildlife, waterfalls, history, and a range of hiking levels for the beginner and the experienced. There are also overnight hikes, as well as fun activities to pursue like kayaking, canoeing, or fishing at one of the park’s many rivers. Approximately 3 hours from Melbourne Airport, you can follow the directions below to get there easily: 

  • From Arrival Drive take Tullamarine Fwy / M2
  • Follow signs for Tullamarine and take exit 16 – 17 from Tullamarine Fwy / M2. 
  • Take National Highway M8 to Barkly St / C2222 in Arat for approximately 2 hours or 197 km
  • Follow signs for Mt Victory Rd / C2222 in Bellfield 
  • Take a left into Grampians National Park 

Getting to Melbourne Airport

There are a few things to keep in mind if you are traveling from Adelaide Airport to Melbourne Airport, in particular. While Adelaide Airport is not the largest airport, it can be quite costly when booking flights and finding airport parking at this airport. Luckily enough, there are some tips to minimize your expenses and ensure your trip is off to a seamless, convenient start before and upon arriving in Melbourne. 

To find the best rates on flights from Adelaide Airport to Melbourne Airport, Skyscanner is a great website to view and compare flight rates and duration times offered by different airlines. After planning your flights, it’s not a bad idea to book your Adelaide Airport parking. Flyparks allows you to compare airport parking rates for various off-site parking providers that are generally less expensive than official airport parking in Adelaide. Not to mention, off-site providers generally offer complimentary shuttle services to make up for the short drive to the airport. 

You can find rental cars all around Melbourne Airport, and you can find some cheaper rates for them if you book your car at least a week before your arrival date. Some of the cheapest car rentals at Melbourne Airport are typically Bargain Car Rentals, Alpha, and Budget. 

Final Thoughts

Now that you know some of the best hiking trails in Melbourne, and how to get there conveniently from Melbourne Airport, you have just about everything you need. There are, however, a few hiking essentials we have gathered so you can be fully prepared for your hikes – rain or shine.

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About the Author

Hey there!

We are Derek and Ashley of Know Nothing Nomads. Whether it is hiking, camping, climbing, or just generally being outside, we love it. We are so happy that you have found our little blog and hope that you stick around a while.

Safe Travels,

Derek and Ashley


Know Nothing Nomads

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