Forget running on a treadmill like some kind of perpetually bored guinea pig. With the sun out, there’s a slew of places that are both perfect for getting some exercise in, as well as exploring new areas across the city. From hiking tracks to pedal-powered cinemas, outdoor gyms to free salsa dancing - we’ve got you covered.
The 1,000 Steps
The Kokoda Memorial Walk, commonly known as the 1,000 steps, is a huge staircase winding its way through the leafy Dandenong Ranges. Originally, the track was made in the 1900’s from tree trunks and ferns lining the route. Now it’s a roughly 3km walk passing through some luscious terrain, with a picnic spot situated at the top. Pack a burger for later - you’ve earned it.
Dandenong Ranges National Park, C415, Ferny Creek VIC 3786
Hiking at Werribee Gorge
Just under an hour from the CBD, Werribee Gorge is where the wilderness meats the city. The national park is a sprawling are of bushland, mountains and rivers. Perfect for first time hikers, the main circuit walk is a conveniently signed 10km trek, meandering past both rugged cliff faces and beaches alike.
Werribee Gorge State Park, Ingliston.
I’ve always liked Princes Park. It’s large enough to run around without feeling crowded, but it’s big enough to wander off somewhere around the middle to do your own thing. As well as taking in a humbling view of the city skyline, the park also plays host to barbeques and treelined walking tracks.
200-590 Royal Parade, Carlton North.
Fitness at Fed Square
The team at Healthy Lifestyle Lounge have joined forces with Federation Square to offer free fitness classes in the iconic location. The completely outdoor classes make the most of what’s on offer, so expect running up and down those precariously small steps until your heart hurts. Classes suit all levels of fitness and are tailored for people of all age and gender.
Corner Swanston Street & Flinders Street, CBD.
Basketball Courts at RMIT
Get your Space Jam on and head down to the newly refurbished open-air basketball courts, situated just outside RMIT University. Nothing is better for your overall health and wellbeing than aiming to master a slam dunk by the end of the season. Swish.
22-46 A'Beckett Street, CBD.
Outdoor Gym at Saint Kilda
You might be thinking of Muscle Beach over in California, but the outdoor ‘fitness stations’ scattered around St Kilda and Port Phillip Bay couldn’t be more different. The focus isn’t on creating a space for hulk-bros to smash out their millionth single-handed pull up and chug protein shakes, but rather offer a safe and secure selection of machines for the whole community. The equipment is designed for everyone from 12 to 120. Seeing as you’re probably somewhere in the lower end of that demographic, you should be fine. Best of all, the beach is just a short walk away.
Peanut Farm Reserve, Saint Kilda.
Free Yoga Classes at Melbourne University
Being fit isn’t just about looking after your body. Take a more holistic view and check in with your mental state too. Yoga can help with stress, mindfulness and flexibility, but most importantly - it’s completely free if you look hard enough. There are a few classes in the city, but Melbourne University’s weekly sessions don’t require any sign ups. Places are secured on a first come first serve basis, so pull out a mat and get down to it.
Melbourne University, Parkville.
Free Salsa Dancing at the Salsa Foundation
Sure, you could run your way to fitness. But why run when you can salsa? In any case, it’ll come in handy next time your boogying at Cherry Bar ’til stumps. The Salsa Foundation’s beginner classes aim to have you busting a move in just a couple of hours. Over 35,000 people have passed through their doors to learn the way of the salsa, and at least some of them have gone on to become washed up celebrities placing in third on Dancing with the Stars. If it’s good enough for Mark Holden, it’s good enough for us.
600 Little Collins Street, CBD.
Ride the Projector Bike
Fancy a film? Pedal your way through award-winning short films, documentaries and music videos, as well as feature films with Projector Bike - a custom designed three wheeled cargo bike complete with a high powered projector and stereo system. Their upcoming program will see six days of Christmas films, set to break a sweat on event the most steadfast fitness Grinch.
Image via Pinterest.