Melbourne isn’t just about urban culture and a great food scene; the city also boasts an array of places offering thrill and excitement. From abseiling to ziplining, here’s our guide to the best outdoor adventure spots in and around Melbourne.

Abseil in the City

You don’t need to travel far to conquer your fear of heights; instead, you can abseil your way down a seven-storey building in the middle of Southbank with Rap Jumping. If you’re feeling particularly daring, you can also try free-fall jumping face-forward. This jumping technique was developed by Australian Macka MacKail while serving in the Special Air Service Regiment, making this a uniquely Aussie experience.

Whichever way you choose to abseil, the Rap Jumping team will make sure you’re totally safe.

High Ropes and Ziplining Adventures in the Treetops

Enjoy being surrounded by nature while undertaking a challenging treetop adventure. There are plenty of spots around Melbourne where you can walk through the treetops on high ropes, tackle various obstacles and zoom to the ground on speedy ziplines, which is sure to keep you and your friends entertained for hours. Best of all, there are courses to suit any ability, with short and long circuits available at most locations.

To try a high ropes adventure, visit Trees Adventure Glen Harrow Park, Belgrave, or Enchanted Adventure Garden on the Mornington Peninsula. Otherwise, tie in a trip to Lorne’s Live Wire Park while checking out the Great Ocean Road. Live Wire Park also happens to include Australia’s longest zip coaster!

Hiking, Climbing and More at Werribee Gorge

If you’re seeking a place to do it all, look no further than Werribee Gorge State Park. Just an hour northwest of the city, Werribee Gorge is home to one of the best circuit trails in Melbourne. Here, you can hike through bushland, rock climb, cable climb, cross rivers, and enjoy a picnic with a view. The best part? It’s entirely free!

The Werribee Gorge Circuit walk also links to the Ironbark Gorge Track for those who want a more extreme challenge. Start at Meikles Point Picnic Area or the Ironbark Gorge Track Carpark, and be sure to admire the spectacular views on the way!

Explore the Labertouche Caves  

Did you know that there’s a cave system located barely an hour’s drive from the city? The Labertouche Caves is one of only five granite cave systems found in Victoria.

With a single entry and exit point, exploring these caves is a pretty unique adventure. After abseiling into the entrance, you will clamber over boulders, squeeze through tight cracks and explore an underground creek that has carved its way through these ancient granite rocks. You may even wade through subterranean water or catch sight of some glow worms!

Fully-guided caving adventures are available through The Adventure Merchants.

Kayaking the Yarra

For those who are drawn to water, the Yarra River system caters to a range of kayaking abilities. Beginners can make the most of the gentle flow of the Lower Yarra, starting at Docklands and heading upstream towards the Royal Botanical Gardens. Through Kayak Melbourne, you can even choose to kayak at twilight. Otherwise, head to Herring Island, where you can disembark and explore the natural surrounds and sculpture park.

Anyone wanting more than a light splash should head north to Warrandyte (about 40 minutes from the city) for whitewater kayaking. Here, you can enjoy the natural bushland surrounding the Upper Yarra while speedily navigating through grade two rapids. If you’re lucky, you might even spot a wombat or kangaroo when you finally get a moment to slow down.

Surf, Wind and Sea

If you prefer the salty sea air, head to St Kilda Beach for windsurfing or kiteboarding. Both sports harness the power of the wind to give you an exhilarating rush, all the while testing your ability to balance on your board as you take on the surf. Want to give either of them a go? The experts at The Zu Board Sports have you covered. Beginners lessons are available, and the wind in this area is gentle enough for anyone starting out.

Header image (Enchanted Adventure Garden) courtesy of Visit Victoria.