An early morning in Barwon Heads is always inspiring. But I’m not just talking about the sunrise, although the river does provide a spectacular backdrop for those.
From before the sun comes up, energetic and motivated people of all ages and abilities are everywhere – walking, riding, running, surfing or boot-camping towards their best selves. It’s a sight to see, and a great motivator to dust off my own runners every now and then.
Barwon Heads has some of the best spots to sweat it out or for a leisurely stroll. From quiet and mysterious trails through Moonah forests, to expansive stretches of sand alongside renowned surf breaks.
Here are my top five spots for a walk or ride:
- The Bluff
This is my usual stroll before or after work most days. It takes in some of Barwon Heads most iconic views.
Start at the bridge, stroll along the river towards the Bluff, sneak around the renowned At The Heads restaurant and meander along the promenade. If you’ve got the energy, it’s worth climbing the stairs once you reach the Bluff and continuing up the path to be rewarded with breathtaking and invigorating views over Thirteenth Beach or back across the river to Ocean Grove.
- The River
At the end of Sheepwash Road you’ll discover a section of river popular with fishermen and locals looking for a quiet wander. To the right is a walk I often take with my children, who love to stop and spot the mud crabs crawling alongside the boardwalk. Take this stroll for a spot of quiet reflection – there’s something meditative about the kayaks and birds drifting down the river here.
- Moonah Park
Start at the same spot above – but turn left. Follow the road until you see the signage for Moonah Park – a gorgeous, easy stroll through, you guessed it, surrounded by Moonah trees. This is a perfect spot for picnics, easy walking and some peaceful R&R.
- The Clifftops
If you follow the path from the top of the Bluff you’ll find yourself winding out and up onto Thirteenth Beach Road. The views continue to be mesmerising, and while it’s only a short path, it can still take longer than you expect thanks to the many vantage points to stop and take in the views. Whatever the weather, you’re sure to see surfers out in the water.
- Village Park
This is a fun spot for families, with sporting fields, playgrounds and walking trails to explore. My kids and I love to ride our bikes around the network of paths in the Moonah tree forest. I’ve spent many hours of my life searching for the Gruffalo in this particular patch of woodland.