Melbourne is well known for its fabulous coffee and cafes, laneways, excellent theatre, fun fashion and its passion for football (and cricket and tennis….the list goes on). Then, there’s The Tan Track! A great walk.

If you would like to run jog or simply take a pleasant stroll, then head to the iconic Tan Track. It’s affectionately known as ‘The Tan’ to locals.  

Located around the magnificent Botanical Gardens, the Tan track is around 3.8klm in length.

Lower legs photographed of black sneakers with red dots on back heel, black track suit pants walking along a paved road with greenery either side of the road
Photo: Jens Mahnke 

Why Is It Called The Tan?

The origins of its name are variously said to be due to the track once being covered in tan bark or the name was due to the tan coloured stone aggregate surface.

I’ve never seen a horse on the Tan. However, a news article from 1937 mentioned ‘tall trees along the river bank and snow-white clouds forming a striking balance for three men who were exercising their ponies along the Tan Track on Alexandra Avenue’. Would a horse ride around The Tan be popular these days?

Who Seeks Out The Tan?

These days you’re more likely to see runners, ‘PWP’s (people with prams), ‘PWPAD’s (people with prams and dogs), ‘CP’s (chatter people), ‘CUP’s (catch up people), ‘CLs’  (coffee lovers) clutching the obligatory coffee, and those who just appreciate a stroll around the Tan.

Walk Around The Tan Photo: JW

How Tough Is The Tan?

Depending upon where you start on The Tan you can grimace at ‘HeartBreak Hill’  that’s around 30 metres  up Anderson Street,  or smile as you walk down Anderson Street.

Give Yourself A Treat

It’s worthwhile treating yourself to the cafe near Observatory House or you may like to wander over to Domain Road for something to eat or drink. From simple fare to fine dining there’s a cafe or restaurant to please. Your furry friend (dog, that is) may also be welcomed with a bowl of water at various cafes.

A Great Walk

The Tan is much more than a walking track, it’s a Melbourne experience!

Where’s your favourite place to walk? Let us know here

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