The Best Free Places to Exercise in Melbourne Why pound away at the treadmill when there is so much to see? Get your workout done in some of Melbourne's best parks and trails, with options for all fitness levels. Many parks have basic exercise equipment dotted around the walking tracks, so you can combine your walk with some body weight exercises.
Where do you exercise for free in Melbourne? Image: Pixabay.
Walk around the coast
Walk, jog, or do patches of both around the beach. Pick any point you like to start or finish, from Seaford to the city. The entire Bay Trail is about fifty kilometres long- far too long for one day of walking. Brighton to St Kilda is a manageable chunk, and if you time your walk correctly, you will get to see the St Kilda penguin colony in the evening. Walk on the sand for an extra challenge, or stick to the walking track and enjoy sea views. The Bayside Coastal Trail section is a particularly interesting walk; with trails mapped out in the area to see the best artwork, nature, history and Indigenous culture.
The environmental walking trail in the Brighton area is an educational (and free!) walk. Image: Bayside City Council.
1000 Steps The 1000 Steps in Ferntree Gully is a popular and challenging workout, favoured by fitness buffs and casual walkers alike. The Steps are in beautiful forest surrounds, but this is no leisurely stroll. Be prepared to sweat as you battle your way to the top.
Another walk, the Fitness Challenge steps, shares a beginning and an end with the 1000 Steps. The Fitness Challenge has three sets of steps of different lengths, and some sections without steps. I always enjoy ascending the mountain on the 1000 Steps and descending using the Fitness Challenge steps.
Once you get to the top of 1000 Steps, there are a few more walking tracks to follow.
There is a cafe at the bottom of the steps, to fuel up before your climb or to chill out after.
Albert Park Lake Perhaps the sharp climb of 1000 Steps is not to your liking. If you are looking for a picturesque and lengthy walking track without the mountain, look no further than Albert Park. The track meandering around the lake is five kilometres, and is completely flat. It is suitable for both walking and running. There are two outdoor exercise stations with the usual basic equipment.
Albert Park is a popular choice for walkers. Image: Tim Serong via Wikimedia Commons.
There is plenty to look at as you stroll around Albert Park, with the glittering lake being home to a diversity of creatures and plants. Local bird life includes black swans, ducks, coots and more.
Burnley Bouldering Wall
For something a little different, try your hands (and feet) at the free Burnley Bouldering Wall. Bouldering, a type of rock climbing where you do not climb too far from the ground, is a mentally and physically challenging activity.
The Burnley Bouldering Wall is a free, 24/7 outdoor rockclimbing wall creatively located under the M1. Image: Brianna Laugher via Flickr.
There are three artificial rock climbing walls, located under the Monash Freeway in Richmond, each with a different gradient. The climb is suitable for beginners. Wear comfortable exercise gear and remember to follow the colours to get across the wall. Find more information on the Burnley Bouldering Wall here.
Como Park Como Park, located beside the magnificent Como House, is a versatile public space which can be used for many different kinds of workouts. Walk, run, or ride around the picturesque track, use the free basic exercise equipment to challenge yourself, or recruit some friends for social sporting on the ample grassy areas. The park is popular among dog owners, so it is also the perfect place for you and pup to exercise together.
Como Park is home to a popular walking track. Image: City of Stonnington.
Maribyrnong River Trail Enjoy stunning views while you exercise at your own pace on the the Maribyrnong River Trail. The track can be used for walking, running, or cycling. Attempt the entire 28 kilometre track starting from Southbank, or tackle the smaller section within the park.
Brimbank Park is a picturesque location to walk, run or cycle. Image: Tirin via Wikipedia.
For walkers seeking out scenery, there is also a lovely nature trail at Brimbank Park, featuring remnants of historical sites and native flora and fauna.
The Tan The Tan Track, which circles the stunning Royal Botanic Gardens, is an iconic track loved by serious runners and casual walkers alike. The nearly four kilometre long circuit is equipped with distance markers and drinking taps, and is conveniently located in South Yarra. With a soft sandy surface, the track will not be too hard on your ankles and feet should you choose to run or jog.
Attempt the track, or wander through the gardens. Image: Royal Botanic Gardens.
The city's Fed Square is not only a hub of cultural activities, it also hosts free low-impact exercise classes. Tai Chi classes run every Tuesday morning, and Yoga classes run on Tuesday afternoons. The classes are suited to all fitness levels, and are focused more on stretching, posture and relaxation rather than breaking a sweat.
Kick off your Tuesday with a free Tai Chi class in the city. Image: Fed Square.
Lilydale Lake in the Yarra Ranges has an adult exercising playground with adult exercise equipment. And you get a stunning view of the lake and surrounding hills and mountains. There are no gates so this is open day and night. Free.