We swam with shore crabs in a secret beach and played pirate games under red cliffs, we walked in sparkling creeks and rowed down the Yarra River…
There’s nothing better than an outdoor family adventure - but would you try 7 different adventures over 7 days??
Last holiday season we set out on a new adventure EVERY DAY and had one of the best weeks of the year!
We mixed local adventures with big trips; we visited old favourites and LOTS of new places too. We had a loose plan and voted on ‘what next’ to keep the excitement high.
Where did we go…? Read on!
Three Minute Read
Day 1: The Secret Beach
Jawbone Marine Sanctuary, Williamstown (GO WEST)
Hot Summer Day - keeping cool in a local favourite.
When the nearby beaches are crammed with noisy beachgoers, this secret little cove is a pure delight. It’s the perfect place for families and children to splash, swim, snorkel and explore.
The water is crystal clear, shallow and very calm. The sand is wonderfully soft and there’s no rubbish or smelly seaweed here - just small rockpools and a lovely cove to cool down in.
This marine sanctuary is full of life - we even saw shore crabs crawling in the shallow waters!
Spoiler alert - this lovely place is one of the trails in our Melbourne’s West Adventure Guide!
Day 2: Walk the Creek
Lerderderg Gorge, Bacchus Marsh (GO WEST)
Hot Summer Day - Day trip to an amazing Gorge
In this mighty gorge, the water flows straight from the mountains and down into the gently flowing creeks.
The water is crystal clear and SO CLEAN, the colourful pebbles glow on the riverbed, and the lush greenery and soaring rocks, make this an amazing place to visit.
We followed the walking trail from Mackenzies Flat to Graham’s Dam (20 to 30 minutes one way), crossed stepping stones, swam in the creek and had a picnic snack sitting in the dam!
TIPS: You will need water shoes as the rocks can be sharp. It can get crowded on hot days, so go early and walk towards the Dam for a quieter spot.
Day 3: The Famous Lake
Lysterfield Park, Lysterfield (GO EAST)
Cool Day - Cycle the circuit.
This HUGE Lake is completely surrounded by trees, hills and hidden trails (and a few kangaroos).
There’s a sandy beach on one corner with picnic grounds and grassy areas to sit. On the other side there are woodlands, mountain bike trails and even granite peaks to climb.
On the lake you can canoe, paddle board and kayak, and get up close to wildlife.
We rode our bikes around the 5.5km lake circuit (2 small hills) and had lunch on a hidden jetty, before wandering the lovely nature conservation area.
DAY 4: Hello Mr. Peacock
Collingwood Childrens Farm, Abbotsford (CENTRAL)
Cold windy day - Cuddles with the animals
This lovely animal and community farm is right next to the famous Abbotsford Convent and on the Capital City bike trail.
There are guinea pigs, goats, sheep, cows, horses, pigs, peacocks, geese, ducks, chickens and a veggie garden to explore! It’s open 7 days a week between 9:30am and 4:30pm and there’s a lovely cafe here too. Entry fee applies.
We patted the guinea pigs, fed the sheep, combed a cow and got up close with the goats. PLUS we saw Mr. Peacock in very fine feather.
Day 5: Rock the Boat
Fairfield Boat House, Fairfield (GO NORTH)
Perfect Summer Day - A Rowboat Adventure
It’s over 100 years old and has been entertaining Melbourne locals for just as long! Fairfield Boathouse (and Studley Park Boathouse) are full of iconic bridges, scenic trails, picnic spots and things to do! BUT if you’re going to visit the boathouse… surely you have to jump in a boat?
We hired a rowboat and headed downstream for an hour of paddling, branch ducking, scenery gazing and getting up close to the ducks on the Yarra River. It was a first for us - and we loved it!
TIP: It can be very hot rowing on the water or very cold - so choose your day wisely and cover up.
Day 6: A Secret Splash
Sweetwater Creek, Frankston South (GO SOUTH)
Hot Summer Day - Boardwalks to rainforest to creek!
Splash in the creek, wander the boardwalk, cross bridge after bridge, climb over rocks, and take the enchanted forest path all the way to the beach.
This magical South-side trail is a lovely looping walk (around 40 minutes) that takes you high up into the trees and right down to the creek - the perfect place for a secret splash! There’s even fool’s gold sparkling in the creek (if you look closely).
Day 7: The Cliffhanger
Red Bluff and Half Moon Beach, Black Rock (GO SOUTH)
Hot Summer Day - GRAND FINALE! Pirate Games Under Red Cliffs
Majestic red cliffs wrap around this cove of soft sand and crystal-clear waters. SeaStars speckle the shores, and a Bay made for snorkelling beckons beyond the perfect shallows.
In the sea, a fallen warship (called Cerberus) tells the story of battles from long ago.
This beautiful sandy beach was a magical end to our week of adventures. Our day was filled with swimming, exploring and searching for pirate gold around the red cliffs.
TIPS: There are two half-moon coves below the red cliffs - the bigger one is shown and a smaller one is just around the corner! Go early and walk past the crowds near the pier to the red cliffs (it’s quieter).