If you've walked the streets of your suburb one too many times and tested every playground within walking distance, it may be time to start looking further afield.
Here's some of our favourite pram-friendly hikes that you can find around Melbourne or just a few hours out!
- Birrarung Marr Walk, Melbourne
- Mullum Mullum Trail, Ringwood
- Merri Creek Trail, Fitzroy North
- Point Nepean Walk, Mornington
- Emerald Lake Park Loop, Emerald
- Domino Rail Trail, Trentham
- Pinnacles Lookout, Phillip Island
Distance: 2km // Difficulty: Easy
Take in all the Melbourne icons, art and history in a single short walk.
Begin at Flinders Street Station, cross through Fed Square and head down to the Yarra where the path is unsealed but flat. There's plenty of art to spot along the way, including Aboriginal art installations and contemporary sculptures.
Allow plenty of time for the kids to enjoy the playground - we recommend getting a coffee from In A Rush in Fed Square and bringing snacks along because you'll be there a while.
The walk ends at the MCG, where you can either loop back and follow the river back to the city or you can take a longer walk through Yarra Park, then Fitzroy Gardens.
Parking: Fed Square car park, accessible via Russell St or Batman Ave [Map Link]
Playgrounds: includes 1 playground stop
Distance: 5.5km // Difficulty: Easy
This feels like a country walk, just much closer to home. The trail is mostly sealed so you can bring a coffee and know that it's not going to spill in your pram’s cup holder.
Spot birds and the occasional kangaroo, enjoy the tranquility of the creek and feel smug knowing that you’re out enjoying nature while not too far away, other people are stuck in traffic.
The trail is 5.5kms but there's a few playgrounds along the way so bring snacks and prepare to spend most of the day alternating between walking and pushing a swing.
Parking: Corner Conos Ct and Park Reserve [Map Link]
Playgrounds: 3 playgrounds along the way
Distance: 8km // Difficulty: Easy, but long!
Close to the city, accessible by public transport and plenty to see: there’s a reason that so many Melbourne parents head here.
As you’d expect, the trail follows Merri Creek with plenty of bridge crossings along the way. Keep a look out for the resident tortoises and if you want to teach the kids a lesson in patience, get them to try and spot a platypus. We recommend starting in Fitzroy North grabbing yourself a coffee at Taiyo Sun joining the trail and finishing in Coburg, where there’s a picnic area and playground. The map below features the full Merri Creek trail but we think the Fitzroy to Coburg offers the best experience, hopefully you can have someone meet you at the other end! If you are aiming for a round trip you could turn around at Jones Park where there is a playground and public toilet. Jones Park is about 30 minutes along the track.
Tip: In summer, pack the swim nappies because the Coburg pool is also at along the trail, about an hour and 15 minute walk!
Parking: Miller St and surrounds (street parking only) [Map Link]
Playgrounds: 2 great playgrounds
Distance: 6km // Difficulty: Medium
Add a bit of Australian history to your hike. Walk to the very tip of Mornington Peninsula and breathe in the sea air as you overlook the entrance to Port Phillip Bay. Along the way, you can see the Quarantine Station, Harold Holt memorial and Fort Nepean.
Walk to Fort Nepean along pram friendly Defence road or take the wide, compacted Coles Track for ocean glimpses. that some historical sites aren’t pram friendly; bring along a carrier if you’re planning on exploring these areas, but older kids will love walking through the tunnels.
The walk is paved, but steep and exposed to the sun so sunscreen and a hat is essential. Try not to look at the shuttle bus as you push the pram up the hill - the hike is part of the fun!
Parking: Quarantine Station
Playgrounds: no playgrounds, but the tunnels are just as great.
Distance: 3km // Difficulty: Easy
There’s no shortage of hikes in the outter east, but we chose this one because it’s a little more manageable while still beautiful. Lots to see with bushland, parks and lakes. If you are lucky you will also see the Puffing Billy Steam train!
You can also stop in or journey through Emerald for a coffee and a snack or make a picnic date of it with some FUNCH DIY snack balls!
Parking: Emerald Lake paid car park [Map Link]
Playgrounds: 2 playgrounds
Distance: 11km // Difficulty: Easy
As the name suggests, this 11km hike follows an old rail line near Daylesford. Swing by RedBeard Bakery for a coffee then start at the train station and let the railway tracks guide you. It starts a bit bumpy, but quickly becomes a flat and easy walk.
Along the way, you’ll cross old wooden bridges and leave the railway line to walk through tree-lined tracks. Keep your eyes peeled for birds, kangaroos and possibly an echidna ambling across the track. The trail ends at Lyonville, so relax and maybe enjoy a pub lunch at the Radio Springs Hotel before looping back.
Bonus: this trail is dog-friendly
Parking: Trentham Station, Victoria St [Map Link]
Playgrounds: no playgrounds - this one is entirely about the hike
Distance: 4.2km // Difficulty: Easy
Once you’ve seen those adorable penguins, backtrack to the eastern end of Phillip Island. The Pinnacles Lookout follows the coast from high on the cliffs. You’re truly out in the elements so bring your pram’s rain cover, sun cover and any other cover that came with it.
Along the way, you may spot nesting Shearwater birds, wallabies and possibly even an echidna so keep your phone handy for any quick photos.
Then, as the name suggests, this hike ends overlooking the pinnacles - a rock formation at the very end of the cliff that has been battered by the sea to create a cluster of pinnacles.
From there, you can either head back to the carpark or continue on the full Cape Woolamai Loop to take in more of Phillip Island’s coastline.
Parking: Woolamai Surf Beach Parking, Woolamai Beach Rd
Playgrounds: No playgrounds, but you could build sandcastles at the beach
Melbourne's Pram-Friendly Hikes
We recommend that you start each hike with plenty of water and snacks for yourself and the kids. Our personal hiking favourites are our Funch baby purees, which are easy to add to the lunch box as you get ready to leave the house, and protein balls to keep everyone's energy up for the whole day.
Have we missed your family's favourite outdoor adventure spot from the list? Let us know by commenting below and be sure to follow us on Facebook and Instagram for more tips!