City hikes are becoming a bit of a habit for me. When the weather’s nice I set aside an afternoon on the weekend to go for a long walk around Melbourne. I usually base my hikes around places to eat that I wouldn’t normally visit, i.e. it takes me approx 1.5 hours to walk to Mister Nice Guy Bakeshop so I ‘hike’ there, eat delicious things and ‘hike’ back.
It’s currently my favourite way to get moving, enjoy the sun and explore the city. I’ve walked East to West for a bakery, North to South for Prahnan Market turkish delight but my favourite walk so far was last weekend to the Abbotsford Convent and then up the Yarra River.
Here’s me before my last ‘city hike’. Please note the HAT (stay sun safe!) and backpack because carrying a water bottle, book and a hayfever worth supply of tissues in a handbag for 3-4 hours is a bit of a drag…
My questionable fashion choices aside, back to the walk. Starting in Collingwood I headed east through the suburbs before reaching the Yarra River.
Just when I’d thought I’d gone bush I turned a corner and was greeted by some horses frolicking in a paddock and the impressive grounds of the Abbotsford Convent.
The gardens around the Abbotsford Convent are beautiful and filled with blooming flowers.
Formerly one of Victoria’s largest convents with a questionable history (‘wayward’ women were sent to the convent’s Magdalen Asylum in the 1920s) the grounds are free to explore and include cafes, bar, bakery and galleries.
I was there in time to see the print exhibition Near Neighbours.
Lentil As Anything also calls the convent home and was packed with a looooong line but some very yummy looking food walking out the other end.
Just one of the Lentil As Anything locations (check their website for the others) the cafe runs as a not for profit organisation where diners pay whatever what they feel the food is worth. All proceeds go towards supporting community organisations and services.
Heading out of the convent and past Collingwood Children’s Farm I stopped by Dwight Falls before continuing north along the Main Yarra Trail.
Finally the Yarra turned away and I was back in the suburbs with some charming graffiti greeting me.
Of course it’s not a ‘city hike’ without some snacks and the chai at Northcote’s Barry was well needed.
The Shrine of Remembrance is my next ‘city hike’ and then a route including pub pit stops which my housemates have assured me they’ll join me on.
If you know any suburbs that are lovely to walk through, please let me know!