Day hike in the west, Altona Meadows to Williamstown

75 Ailsa St S, Altona Meadows VIC 3028

Day hike in the west, Altona Meadows to Williamstown

75 Ailsa St S, Altona Meadows VIC 3028

Staff Pick
5 h 24 m
21.58 km
Hard

A fantastic 22 km walk taking in creeks and wetlands that feed into Port Philip Bay. This walk links Skeleton Creek to Bay Trail West, past Laverton, Cherry and Kororoit Creeks to Williamstown Beach.

Day hike in the west, Altona Meadows to Williamstown

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Summary

A fantastic 22 km walk taking in creeks and wetlands that feed into Port Philip Bay. This walk links Skeleton Creek to Bay Trail West, past Laverton, Cherry and Kororoit Creeks to Williamstown Beach.

Description

Starting in Altona Meadows, this walk follows Skeleton Creek as it heads towards Port Phillip Bay. Cross at the first pedestrian bridge across the creek and walk on the Seabrook/Point Cook side of Skeleton Creek for approximately 4 km. Where the path forks, turn left and cross Cheetham Wetlands footbridge which joins "Bay Trail West". On a clear day you can see the city skyline. Keep heading towards the city skyline for the entirety of this walk.

Bay Trail West leads into Truganina Park. Take the path that veers right and go up the 100 Steps to Federation for fantastic views from the top of the hill. The creeks, waterways and coastal parks provide important habitats for birds and other species and this walk passes significant Ramsar protected habitat for migratory birds. On a clear day, there are excellent views of the city, the Dandenongs and the You Yangs.

Return back to the Bay Trail West and continue to Laverton Creek and along the Altona Beach esplanade. From Altona, the Bay Trail West continues towards Cherry Creek, Altona Coastal Park, Kororoit Creek, Paisley-Challis Wetlands, Jawbone Marine Sanctuary and Williamstown Beach.
Please note that the path that intersects Kororoit Creek causeway floods after heavy rains. Do not attempt to cross if the footpath has been submerged.

This walk on walking paths and most of it is far from the noise of road traffic. Look out for speedy cyclists that share the path with pedestrians.

TRANSPORT
This walk is public transport accessible.
Aircraft Station to Skeleton Creek starting point 12 minute walk (900 metres). Please be careful and aware of speeding cars as you cross the road.

If you would like to shorten the walk, there are alternative train stations at Westona, Seaholme and Williamstown Beach.

ESSENTIALS
Although the walk can be taken in either direction, we recommend starting at Skeleton Creek and heading east. There are no amenities (public toilets, water and cafes) in the first half but plenty in the second half of the walk between Altona and Williamstown.
Set off with sufficient drinking water and snacks to keep your energy up.
Drinking water is available at Bruce Comben Reserve, Truganina Park and several places along the beach esplanades from Altona onwards.
Wear sun protection and be sun smart as there are long stretches without any shade.
Kororoit Creek is prone to flooding. Do not attempt to cross if the footpath has been submerged.

DOGS
This walk covers important habitats for wildlife. Dogs must be on-leash on all sections of this walk except designated off-leash areas. See Hobsons Bay off-leash locations .

Thank you to Christopher Creed and Ann Darioli for sharing their birdlife photography.

LogoThis map was supported by Melbourne Water Liveable Communities, Liveable Waterways incentives program.
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Points of Interest

1. Explore the west!

With four creeks, wetlands and coastline galore, this is a great walk to connect to nature in the west!

2. Skeleton Creek Trail

This walk starts on Skeleton Creek at the Ailsa Street South Playground.

3. Cross at the first footbridge

Cross Skeleton Creek at the first bridge and take a moment to look for birdlife. Egrets, spoonbills, ibis, herons and swap hens are regularly seen here.

4. Looking towards the bay

Phragmites is a native reed that flourishes in Skeleton Creek.

5. Phragmites and creek views

Phragmites (reeds) and grasses in the creek bed provide important habitat from frogs and other critters.

6. Turn left at the bridge

Turn left and take the pedestrian bridge back over Skeleton Creek.

7. Cheetham Wetlands

The bridge provides great views of Cheetham Wetlands and the Port Phillip Bay. Popular with birdlife, too!

8. Saltmarshes, lagoons and CBD views

Cheetham Wetlands is a vast collection of wetland ponds and lagoons, both man-made (from a former saltworks site) and naturally occurring.

9. Heading towards the city skyline

A large expanse of parkland and wetlands with bay and CBD views.

10. Veer right

Take the path that veers right.

11. Truganina Park, 100 Steps to Federation

Follow the She-oaks to the 100 Steps to Federation.

12. View from the hill

The 100 Steps of Federation hill is the highest point between Melbourne and the You Yangs and provides expansive 360-degree views.

13. Birds of prey

Nankeen kestrel and black-shouldered kite seen from Truganina Park. Photo by Christopher Creed

14. Laverton Creek

Heading towards the Laverton Creek bridge.

15. Picnic spot with a view

If you're looking for a picnic or bird watching spot, detour off the sealed path along this newly opened track. Fantastic views of the spit and salt marshes.

16. Laverton Creek footbridge

Cross the wooden footbridge to the Truganina Explosives Reserve and past remnants of a rail track that transported explosives to the creek.

17. Pelicans

Laverton Creek and Truganina Park are teeming with birdlife at dawn and dusk. Photo by Ann Darioli.

18. Esplanade, Altona

From the esplanade onwards, there are plenty of public toilets, drinking water fountains and playgrounds available.

19. Sculpture and the pier

Crabs, sea dragons, snapper and locals on the Altona esplanade.

20. Superb Fairy-wren

Fairy-wrens are a common sight along most of this walk. Photo by Christopher Creed.

21. Cherry Creek

Foot bridge over Cherry Creek with CBD towers in the distance.

22. Altona Dog Beach

Dogs must be on-leash in all areas of this walk except the designated off-leash areas. See Hobsons Bay dog info below.

Find out more

23. Kororoit Creek

Urban grit and nature! The Kororoit Creek winds its way to the bay via the petrol refineries.

24. Path prone to flooding!

After heavy rain, the footpath over Kororoit Creek is prone to flooding. If there has been heavy rainfall, check conditions before heading off.

25. Wetlands

Jawbone Conservation Reserve

26. Bird hide

Popular with birders and photographers, the hides allow great views of shorebirds.

27. Listen to the frogs!

The loud frog chorus sounds like a healthy wetland ecosystem behind Williamstown High.

28. Williamstown Beach

At Williamstown Beach there are options for shops and cafes as well as an alternative end point - Williamstown Beach Station.

29. Final leg

The final, windswept, leg leaves the esplanade through to parkland and Point Gellibrand.

30. Williamstown Station

All aboard for the train ride home.


Features

Public Transport Public Transport
Drinking water available Drinking water available
Public toilets Public toilets
Nature trail Nature trail
Lake, creek, river Lake, creek, river
Park / Garden Park / Garden