A day trip from Melbourne is the best way to get away from the hustle and bustle of the city. If you’re looking for a winery tour, a road trip, or a national park to explore, Victoria has plenty to offer. These one-day getaways are exactly what the doctor ordered, so get out there and explore Melbourne’s stunning backyard.
There’s so much for you to explore on day trips from Melbourne, Victoria
Beautiful beaches, unusual fauna, resort towns, and stunning wilderness areas are all within a few hours’ drive of Melbourne. The Great Ocean Road is one of the country’s most stunning scenic drives. It is less than 200 kilometers from the city, as are the beautiful Grampian National Park, the glittering white-sand beaches of Wilsons Promontory, and the rocky Dandenong Ranges.
Additionally, many of these city getaways have wildlife. At Phillip Island, penguins may also parade up a beautiful beach. In the national parks, you can also see colorful parrots, wild kangaroos, and wombats.
Victoria’s exquisite seaside resorts enchant visitors with their tiny shops, art galleries, and award-winning restaurants, aside from the great natural beauty that is only a short drive from the CBD. History buffs can explore an old gold rush village. In the winter, skiers and snowboarders can carve up the slopes of Mount Buller. It is less than a three-hour journey from Melbourne.
10 Best Day Trips From Melbourne, Victoria
The Great Ocean Road: Australia’s most stunning road
The Great Ocean Road, around 200 kilometers from Melbourne, is one of Australia’s most stunning stretches of coastline and a must-see on a road trip. The route from the city follows towering coastal cliffs and the surf-thrashed beaches of Port Campbell National Park, where the Twelve Apostles, or rock pinnacles, loom above a churning sea.
Other attractions of the Great Ocean Road are the wind- and sea-sculpted granite formations of Loch Ard Gorge and London Arch.
Mother Nature’s might is on full show here. To get a bird’s-eye view of this stunning coast, also known as the Shipwreck Coast, board a helicopter. While in the area, you may walk along the koala-rich Kennett River, and look for kangaroos and wallabies in Great Otway National Park. Also, get a bird’s-eye view of the forest at Otway Fly Treetop Adventures. It includes a treetop walk and zipline tour.
Are you a fan of surfing? Along the trip, visit the Surf World Museum in Torquay and look for massive waves at the famed Bells Beach. Many beaches near Torquay also accept dogs, and a handful allows leash-free romps. This makes this one of the greatest day trips from Melbourne with dogs.
The Great Ocean Road is difficult to beat for Melbourne road trips by automobile. You’re in luck if you’re wondering how to get there without a ca. This full-day adventure also includes a hike in Great Otway National Park, koala sightings along the Kennett River, and a stop at Apollo Bay. Optional extras include a 15-minute helicopter ride above the Twelve Apostles.
The Penguin Parade on Phillip Island: The best day trip from Melbourne, Victoria
Phillip Island, around 140 kilometers from Melbourne’s city center, is a popular destination for nature enthusiasts. At the Phillip Island Nature Park, tourists congregate along the beach at dusk to see cute penguins walk up the beach.
You can visit some of the surrounding animal parks before the “Penguin Parade”. The Koala Conservation Centre allows visitors to see koalas in their natural habitat. Hand-feed kangaroos and wallabies at Phillip Island Wildlife Park, or take a stroll along the Nobbies, a boardwalk that surrounds the headland’s seabird gardens and offers stunning views of the coast. Little penguins frequently rest here, and silver gull chicks can be seen in the spring.
Stop visiting the free Nobbies Centre and browse the educational displays for more information on the area’s ecosystem.
Seal Rocks, Australia’s largest fur seal colony, is located across the Bass Strait. Bring binoculars to observe the seals up close, or take a wildlife cruise. This is one of the top Melbourne day trips for families because of the educational opportunities and wildlife sightings.
The Phillip Island Penguin Highlights Day Trip from Melbourne is an easy way to view this popular tourist site. This full-day tour also includes animal viewing at Maru Koala and Animal Park, the Nobbies, and the world-famous Penguin Parade.
Don’t miss the Mornington Peninsula for your day trip from Melbourne
The picturesque Mornington Peninsula, a 90-minute drive from Melbourne, is a popular coastal vacation from the city. This great slice of real estate is surrounded by the ocean on one side and Port Phillip Bay on the other, and it is home to calm coves, quaint settlements, and rocky shores.
One of the best spots on the Mornington Peninsula is elegant Sorrento, the site of the state’s first mainland European settlement. Heritage buildings, high-end shops, boutiques, and cafés await your discovery. Enjoy the seaside views and explore Australia’s luxury vacation houses along “Millionaire’s Walk,” a five-kilometer clifftop walk over Port Phillip Bay between Sorrento and Portsea.
Besides, hiking is popular on back beach routes and in the harsh bushland at Point Nepean National Park near the peninsula’s tip. Other attractions in the vicinity also include a gorgeous ferry trip between Sorrento and Queenscliff, dolphin tours, Peninsula Hot Springs, and the opportunity to swim with wild bottlenose dolphins and seals.
Grampians National Park for nature-lovers
Grampians National Park features breathtaking views of waterfalls, vibrant spring wildflowers, rock formations, and rough crags. It is around 260 kilometers from Melbourne.
This park will appeal to avid hikers in particular, but anybody can appreciate the stunning view from its many panoramic lookouts. The park, known as “Gariwerd” by the Aboriginal people, also houses traditional rock art. At Brambuk, the National Park & Cultural Centre, you may learn more about the park’s nature and rich history.
The picturesque MacKenzie Falls, Victoria’s tallest waterfall; Beehive Falls, with its fern-fringed rock pools; Fish Falls; and the panoramic lookouts at the Pinnacle and the Balconies are also popular attractions in the Grampians. Drive to Reeds and Boroka lookouts as well.
There is plenty of wildlife. Kangaroos, wallabies, emus, and echidnas live here, and friendly marsupials are frequently seen.
Other popular outdoor activities besides hiking include abseiling and rock climbing on Mt. Arapiles’ faces, fishing and paddling in the park’s lakes and rivers, quad biking, and horseback riding. If you plan on staying overnight, Halls Gap is the park’s entrance and an excellent place to start. Bring a camera, and wear strong hiking boots.
The Grampians is also a renowned gastronomy destination. Take advantage of the superb eateries and fresh local food, such as olives, cheeses, and meats.
Also, Wilsons Promontory National Park
Wilsons Promontory National Park, affectionately known as “The Prom” by locals, is the state’s largest coastal wilderness region and a nature lover’s and photographer’s paradise. It is located on the southernmost tip of the Australian peninsula, approximately three hours from Melbourne’s metropolitan center. It’s a lengthy journey for a day excursion, but the breathtaking beauty of pristine beaches, cool-climate rainforests, and craggy granite peaks is well worth the effort.
Highlights include guided bushwalks, Giant Rock’s granite rock formations, Squeaky Beach’s white quartz sands, Lilly Pilly Gully, and Whisky Bay’s sea-sculpted rocks. The park is also recognized for its diverse native species, which include wombats, emus, kangaroos, and a variety of birds.
Outdoor aficionados will have enough to do. Scenic hikes crisscross the bushland, ranging from one-hour strolls to multi-day expeditions. The one-hour trek up Mt. Oberon’s summit provides one of the park’s outstanding views of the Tidal River and the shore. Divers can explore the marine national park’s underwater realm. Swimming, fishing, canoeing, camping, and bird viewing are some of the other activities available. Strong hiking boots are strongly advised.
The Yarra Valley and the Dandenong Ranges: a wonderful weekend getaway
For more than a century, the Dandenong Ranges and Yarra Valley have been popular weekend getaways for well-to-do Melburnians. This day excursion has something for everyone, from nature and wildlife to charming villages, delicious food, and a thrilling ride on a classic train.
Begin the day with a magnificent drive through the Dandenong Ranges, located approximately 40 kilometers east of Melbourne. Hiking through rainforests of mountain ash trees to relaxing cascades in the lovely fern-filled Sherwood Forest is possible here. At Grants Picnic Ground, you may also hand-feed native birds such as crimson rosellas, cockatoos, and galahs. Nearby attractions include the Alfred Nicholas Memorial Gardens and the William Ricketts Sanctuary.
Board the 100-year-old Puffing Billy steam locomotive in Belgrave and explore the artisan stores. In storybook-cute villages such as Olinda, a green thumb’s joy with the wonderful Dandenong Ranges Botanic Gardens and Cloudehill Nursery and Gardens, you may also unwind with a Devonshire tea.
Not far away, the Yarra Valley is a foodie’s paradise, with fresh produce, first-rate eateries, and the opportunity to try handmade farmyard cheeses at Yarra Valley Dairy. Do you adore animals? Visit the famed Healesville Sanctuary to witness native Australian animals and birds, which is one of the top things to do in this region.
Lorne: one of Australia’s favorite seaside resorts
Lorne, on lovely Loutit Bay, some 138 kilometers from Melbourne’s city center, has long been one of the country’s favorite coastal resorts. This charming tiny town, nestled between Otway National Park and the Great Ocean Road, offers an irresistible blend of Mediterranean culture, seaside elegance, and natural beauty.
There will never be a dull moment here. Swimming and surfing at the long, golden beach, with its neighboring cafés and skatepark, are popular activities, as is casting a line off the local pier for fish such as trevally and whiting. The pier also houses the fish co-op, where you can purchase the fresh catch of the day. Tourists enjoy shopping in boutiques, bookstores, bakeries, and galleries.
Teddy’s Lookout, located five minutes from town, provides stunning views of the shore and the Great Ocean Road. Erskine Falls, surrounded by thick ferns and eucalyptus trees, is another famous site in the area.
During peak vacation seasons around Christmas, this tiny village is overrun with tourists, so plan ahead of time if you wish to stay overnight.
Ballarat’s Sovereign Hill: Unmissable day trip from Melbourne, Victoria
In a living museum on Sovereign Hill in Ballarat, visitors may relive the exciting 1850s gold rush days. This recreated gold-mining village is one of Ballarat’s greatest attractions, located around 110 kilometers from Melbourne. You may observe goldsmiths and craftspeople at work in Victorian-era homes and stores, explore an underground gold mine, and even pan for gold. Costume crew, stagecoach rides, and spectacular music and light show complete the historical adventure.
The Australian Gold Rush was centered in the town of Ballarat. Tour the historic structures, heritage buildings, and old churches in town to learn more about this significant period in Australian history.
Art Gallery Ballarat, including works by Gold Rush painters; the stunning 40-acre Ballarat Botanical Gardens on the banks of Lake Wendouree; and Ballarat Wildlife Park, are among the attractions. Ballarat also has award-winning restaurants, so make sure to end your visit with a wonderful lunch.
Skiing on Mount Buller in winter
In the winter, rain generally implies snow in the mountains, so if the weather isn’t cooperating with your city activities, you may play in the adjacent snowy peaks. Skiers and boarders may hit the slopes of Mount Buller, one of Australia’s best ski resorts, roughly a three-hour drive from Melbourne, from early June to late September (depending on snowfall).
With 22 lifts bringing guests to 300 hectares of skiable terrain and three terrain parks, Mount Buller has the most extensive lift system of any Victorian resort. The resort caters to advanced skiers around 35% of the time, but it also has many runs for beginners and intermediates. Cross-country skiers have access to nine kilometers of routes.
The village is a fun spot to hang out for non-skiers. Relax in the baths, shop in the stores, or take the kids to the toboggan parks at the resort. This is an excellent trip for families searching for their first snow experience, as well as experienced skiers and boarders looking for a winter city break.
Hanging Rock Reserve: a mysterious place for you to explore!
Hanging Rock Reserve, rich in mystery, is a magnificent natural hideaway in the Macedon Ranges. The gigantic 105-meter-high extinct volcano, now eroded into columns less than an hour northwest of Melbourne, was the setting for Peter Weir’s renowned film, Picnic at Hanging Rock, based on Joan Lindsay’s novel.
The rock is also a significant Aboriginal landmark, and it is said to have been a haven for bushrangers during the Gold Rush. Even if you’re unfamiliar with the mythology that has caught the imagination of many Australians, Hanging Rock Reserve is a stunning location for a picnic or a trek in the fresh eucalyptus-tinged air.
The round-trip climb to the top takes about 50 minutes, with plenty of secret nooks to crawl into and stunning views of the countryside along the way. Other hiking trails that wind through the reserve can also be explored. Look out for animals such as wallabies, kangaroos, koalas, echidnas, and wombats.
Few cities are better suited for day trips than Melbourne. Then why not spend a day visiting Melbourne’s gorgeous surroundings? Through this article, we showed you the 10 best day trips from Melbourne, Victoria. Please give your feedback by leaving a comment below!