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Melbourne Day Trips

Melbourne is one of Australia’s largest cities and an ideal destination for day trips. With numerous attractions, it is no surprise that Melbourne has become a popular tourist destination. From the stunning beaches of the Great Ocean Road to the botanical gardens in Fitzroy, there are plenty of options to explore outside the city centre. Whether you’re looking for a quick escape from the city’s hustle and bustle or exploring some of Victoria’s most beautiful sites, here are some of the best day trips Melbourne has to offer.

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Overview of Melbourne

day trips from melbourne

Melbourne, a vibrant city known for its culture, food, and art, is also a gateway to Australia’s most beautiful natural landscapes. From stunning coastlines to dense forests, picturesque vineyards, and historic towns rich in gold rush history, Melbourne has plenty of day trip options for all travellers.

Phillip Island is a popular day trip destination from Melbourne, known for its cute and cuddly inhabitants, the little penguins. A visit to the penguin parade is a must-do experience. The Yarra Valley is another top choice for wine lovers, with its sprawling vineyards and stunning scenery. The Mornington Peninsula, on the other hand, is a perfect escape for those who want to relax and unwind in hot springs, visit seaside towns, and enjoy coastal views.

For animal enthusiasts, the Healesville Sanctuary is where you can get up close and personal with Australian wildlife. The Dandenong Ranges offer breathtaking panoramic views, stunning waterfalls, and charming villages. Mackenzie Falls and Apollo Bay are popular with hikers and adventure seekers, offering scenic routes and spectacular coastal views.

Those who love history and heritage can explore the gold rush towns of Bendigo and Ballarat, where you can learn about Victoria’s rich history of gold mining. And for art and culture enthusiasts, the William Ricketts Sanctuary is an art gallery showcasing the work of renowned sculptor William Ricketts.

Winter months are perfect for a visit to Lake Mountain, where you can ski, snowboard, and sled in the snow. Hepburn Springs is a popular spa destination for those who want to relax and rejuvenate in natural hot springs. And for beach lovers, there are plenty of options, from the pristine beaches of Wilsons Promontory, Port Campbell, and Bass Strait to the iconic Bells Beach and Ocean Grove.

Melbourne has much to offer visitors looking for a perfect day trip. Whether you want to explore the wine scene, chase waterfalls, or relax by the sea, Melbourne has something to suit all interests and tastes. So, pack your bags, plan your itinerary, and prepare for an unforgettable journey.

Phillip Island

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Escape the hustle and bustle of Melbourne with a short drive to Phillip Island, a must-visit day trip destination in Victoria that’s got everyone talking! With its diverse attractions and activities, this picturesque island has something for everyone.

One of the main attractions on Phillip Island is the Penguin Parade, where visitors can witness the world’s smallest penguins as they waddle their way to their burrows after a day of fishing in the sea. As the sun sets, crowds gather to see these adorable creatures march along the beach in their colonies, with some even getting up close and personal with the birds from a specially designed viewing platform.

But the island isn’t just about penguins; plenty of other fun things exist. One of the top activities is visiting the Koala Conservation Centre, where you can see these sleepy creatures snuggled up in their natural habitat. The Churchill Island Heritage Farm is also a must-visit, offering a glimpse into what life was like on an early Australian farm, complete with cows, pigs, and chickens.

Those who love nature take advantage of the island’s stunning coastal views. The Nobbies Centre, located on a headland overlooking the Western Port and Bass Strait, offers panoramic views of the rugged coastlines and picturesque countryside.

And, of course, only a trip to Phillip Island is complete with experiencing the adrenaline-pumping thrill of the Australian Motorcycle Grand Prix. Every year, thousands of spectators flock to the island to watch the world’s best motorcycle riders compete on one of the world’s fastest and most spectacular tracks.

Yarra Valley

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Yarra Valley is a picturesque wine region just an hour’s drive from Melbourne. Its rolling hills, sprawling vineyards, and stunning views make it the perfect destination for a day trip or weekend getaway.

One of the top things to do in Yarra Valley is to explore the vineyards and sample some of the region’s best wines. Yarra Valley is famous for its world-class Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, and Shiraz, with many wineries offering tastings and cellar-door experiences. Consider a visit to De Bortoli Wines or Domaine Chandon, both of which offer award-winning wines and stunning views of the surrounding countryside.

But Yarra Valley isn’t just about wine; there are plenty of other attractions to explore. The region is home to some of Victoria’s best farm-to-table restaurants, where you can enjoy fresh and locally sourced produce while soaking up the stunning views. TarraWarra Estate is a must-visit, offering art and wine experiences, with a museum boasting an impressive collection of Australian contemporary art.

For those who love the great outdoors, Yarra Valley has plenty to offer. Hike the trails of the iconic Yarra Ranges National Park, which offers breathtaking views of the Yarra Valley below. Visit Healesville Sanctuary to get up close and personal with some of Australia’s most iconic wildlife, such as kangaroos, wombats, and the elusive platypus.

Finally, a trip to Yarra Valley is only complete with a visit to the Yarra Valley Dairy. This artisan dairy produces some of the best handmade cheeses in the country, with a range of flavours and textures to suit every palate. Sample some of the cheeses on site and take some home to enjoy as a tasty souvenir of your trip to Yarra Valley.

Mornington Peninsula

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Located just an hour’s drive from Melbourne, Mornington Peninsula is a stunning coastal region that offers visitors a wide range of attractions. Whether relaxing on the beach, exploring the coastline, or indulging in local wine and produce, Mornington Peninsula has something for everyone.

Get swept away by the stunning beaches of Mornington Peninsula, a true gem in Australia’s coastal crown. With over 30 beaches, you will find one that suits your style. Some of the most popular include Sorrento Back Beach, a rugged beach perfect for experienced surfers, and Dromana Beach, a family-friendly spot with calm waters and picnic facilities.

If you’re looking for adventure, why not explore the coastline by sea kayak? Plenty of operators offer guided tours that take you up close to the stunning cliffs, rock formations, and marine wildlife of Mornington Peninsula.

For those who prefer to stay on dry land, there are plenty of scenic walks to enjoy. The 100-kilometre Mornington Peninsula Walk takes you through some of the region’s most breathtaking landscapes, from rugged coastlines to lush forests and rolling hills. Make sure to bring your camera, as there are plenty of opportunities for stunning photos along the way.

Of course, a trip to Mornington Peninsula would only be complete with sampling some of the local wine and produce. The region is home to over 50 wineries and several artisanal food producers. Some of the top wineries to visit include Ten Minutes by Tractor, which offers stunning views along with its award-winning wines, and Pt. Leo Estate is a newer addition to the scene, quickly gaining a reputation for its impressive art collection and wines.

Bellarine Peninsula

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The Bellarine Peninsula is a hidden gem just an hour’s drive from Melbourne. This stunning region offers visitors a range of attractions, from its beautiful beaches and picturesque coastal towns to its rich history and world-class wineries.

One of the biggest draws of the Bellarine Peninsula is its stunning coastline. With over 50 kilometres of pristine beaches, there’s something here for everyone. Families will love Ocean Grove Main Beach’s calm waters and picnic facilities, while surfers should head to Thirteenth Beach for some of the best waves in the region. Other must-visit coastal towns on the Bellarine include Portarlington, with its historic pier and delicious seafood, and Queenscliff, which boasts delicious cafes, boutique shopping, and an active fishing industry.

History buffs will also find plenty to enjoy on the Bellarine Peninsula. The region played an important role in Victoria’s maritime history, and visitors can explore the historic Fort Queenscliff and the Queenscliff Maritime Museum, where they can learn about the rich history of the area’s maritime past. Meanwhile, the nearby town of Drysdale offers visitors the chance to step back in time and explore the historic Drysdale Railway Station and Bellarine Rail Trail.

Those looking to unwind and indulge in some of the region’s world-class food and wine will be satisfied too. With over 20 wineries, the Bellarine is fast becoming known as a top wine region, with standout wineries, including Oakdene Vineyards and Jack Rabbit Vineyard, which offer incredible views and delicious wines. Foodies will also love the region’s thriving dining scene, with highlights including eateries such as the award-winning Merne at Lighthouse, which focuses on locally sourced, seasonal ingredients.

Great Ocean Road

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Stretching along the stunning coastline of Victoria, the Great Ocean Road is one of Australia’s most iconic road trips. This scenic route is around 243 kilometres, with breathtaking ocean views and rugged cliffs. From the world-famous Twelve Apostles to the lush rainforest of the Otway National Park, the Great Ocean Road offers a unique experience that will take your breath away.

One of the major highlights of the Great Ocean Road is the Twelve Apostles, an incredible natural wonder that attracts tourists worldwide. Located in the Port Campbell National Park, these towering rock formations rise majestically from the ocean floor, creating a truly stunning sight. For a breathtaking view, visit the lookout platforms during sunset or sunrise.

Nature lovers will also revel in the Great Otway National Park, a lush rainforest where you can explore various hiking trails. You can marvel at the majestic waterfalls and spot frolicking koalas or colourful birds. For a more personalised experience, consider staying overnight in a cozy cabin surrounded by nature.

Another must-visit attraction is the quaint seaside town of Lorne, full of charming cafes and restaurants. You can also indulge in water activities such as surfing, kayaking, and fishing.

One unique feature of the Great Ocean Road is the Loch Ard Gorge, a historic shipwreck site that is now a popular tourist destination. You can explore the cave and enjoy the dramatic coastal scenery and fascinating shipwreck stories.

For a dose of history, head to the Memorial Arch, built in memory of the Australian soldiers who served in World War I. The arch is an iconic landmark that symbolises the hard work and sacrifice of the soldiers who helped build the road.

To combine culture and scenery, visit the Narana Aboriginal Cultural Center. It provides an opportunity to learn about traditional Indigenous culture, including artifacts, storytelling, and bush tucker.

Daylesford and Macedon Ranges

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Daylesford and Macedon Ranges are Victoria’s most charming and picturesque regions. Just an hour’s drive from Melbourne, these day trip destinations offer an escape from the hustle and bustle of the city and a chance to relax and rejuvenate in the stunning natural surroundings.

Daylesford is known for its natural springs and spa culture. Visitors can soak in the rejuvenating waters at one of the many-day area’s spas or public mineral springs. The town also has a thriving arts and culture scene, with galleries, theatres, and music venues showcasing local talent. Foodies will also love the town’s gourmet restaurants, wineries, and farmer’s markets, featuring locally-grown produce and artisanal products.

Macedon Ranges, on the other hand, offers a scenic escape with plenty of outdoor activities. The region is home to stunning national parks, including Hanging Rock and Macedon Regional Park, where visitors can hike, bike, or horseback ride in the beautiful bushland. There are also plenty of options for nature lovers, with bird-watching, wildflower spotting, and scenic drives offering breathtaking views of the area’s countryside.

The region is also known for its thriving food and wine scene. Visitors can indulge in handcrafted wine and cider at the many wineries and cellar doors or sample gourmet local produce at the farmer’s markets and artisanal food shops.

Daylesford and Macedon Ranges offer exclusive accommodations ranging from charming bed and breakfasts to boutique hotels and spa retreats for those looking to combine their love of nature with luxury. And with plenty of events and festivals year-round, there is always something new and exciting happening in these magical regions.

Whether you’re seeking relaxation, adventure, or both, Daylesford and Macedon Ranges are the perfect day trip destinations for those looking for a change of pace from city life.

Grampians National Park

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Grampians National Park is a stunning natural wonder in western Victoria, just a few hours’ drive from Melbourne. This national park is a must-visit for outdoor enthusiasts and nature lovers, as it offers a wealth of scenic beauty and iconic Australian wildlife.

Grampians National Park is known for its panoramic views and rugged landscapes, which make it a hiker’s paradise. Visitors can embark on various hiking trails, from easy to challenging, offering breathtaking views from the park’s impressive peaks and rocky outcrops. Some of the most popular hikes include The Pinnacle, Mackenzie Falls, and Mount Rosea.

In addition to hiking, Grampians National Park is also an excellent place for rock climbing, with various climbing routes suitable for all experience levels. The park also has several impressive rock formations, including the famous Balconies and the Elephant’s Hide.

Nature enthusiasts will enjoy abundant wildlife, including kangaroos, wallabies, echidnas, and emus. Bird watchers can spot various birds, including colourful parrots and the majestic wedge-tailed eagle. Grampians National Park is also home to several endangered species, such as the brush-tailed rock wallaby and the southern brown bandicoot.

Grampians National Park offers a range of camping grounds for those looking to stay overnight, from basic campsites to more luxurious options like cabins and lodges. There are also plenty of opportunities for day trips, with quaint towns and picturesque wineries in the surrounding area.

Cape Otway

Nestled on the southwestern coast of Victoria, Cape Otway is a breathtaking natural wonder you cannot afford to miss. The area is known for its pristine beaches, rugged cliffs, and lush forests, making it the perfect destination for a day trip or a weekend getaway.

One of the main attractions of Cape Otway is the lighthouse, which stands tall on a cliff overlooking the Bass Strait. Built in 1848, the lighthouse is an iconic structure that has played a significant role in the area’s maritime history. Visitors can climb to the top of the lighthouse for a spectacular panoramic view of the ocean and the surrounding landscape.

But Cape Otway has much more to offer than just the lighthouse. The area is home to diverse flora and fauna, including the iconic koala. Visitors can stroll through the forests and spot these adorable creatures in their natural habitat.

For those looking for more adventure, Cape Otway is also an excellent spot for surfing, hiking, and fishing. The rugged coastline offers some of the best surf breaks in the region, while the forests are crisscrossed with stunning hiking trails that showcase the area’s natural beauty.

Cape Otway has that covered if you’re looking to relax and unwind. The area is home to some of the most beautiful beaches in Victoria, with crystal-clear waters and pristine white sand. Visitors can spend a lazy day soaking up the sun, swimming, and enjoying a picnic on the beach.

Cape Otway is not just a natural wonder but also steeped in history. The area played a significant role in the early days of European settlement in Victoria and is home to several historic sites that offer a fascinating glimpse into the past.

Lake Mountain

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Lake Mountain is one of Victoria’s most popular day trip destinations, known for its breathtaking alpine scenery and diverse outdoor activities. A mere 2-hour drive from Melbourne, Lake Mountain is a must-visit for anyone who loves the great outdoors and is seeking an escape from city life.

One of the main attractions of Lake Mountain is its ski resort, which offers a range of winter sports, including skiing, snowboarding, and tobogganing. With over 37 kilometres of cross-country ski trails, Lake Mountain is a paradise for skiers of all levels. Even if you’re a beginner, you can still enjoy the fun of skiing with assistance from the professional trainers available on-site.

But Lake Mountain is not only a winter destination – it is equally wonderful to visit during the warmer months! During the spring and summer, the mountain transforms into an emerald green oasis, with beautiful wildflowers and bushland blooming all around. The area boasts several hiking trails that take you through pristine forests and offer breathtaking views of the mountains and valleys.

Lake Mountain is also known for its abundance of Australian wildlife, which includes kangaroos, wallabies, and even the elusive wombat! Visitors can take a guided tour to spot these amazing animals in their natural habitat and learn about their behaviour and habits.

For those craving adventure, Lake Mountain offers plenty of adrenaline-fueled activities such as mountain biking, high ropes courses, and a flying fox. If you want to slow things down, there are also opportunities for fishing, picnicking, and taking strolls around the mountain’s idyllic lake.

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Popular day trip destinations from Melbourne include Phillip Island, known for its penguin parade; the Yarra Valley, famous for its vineyards and wineries; Mornington Peninsula with its stunning beaches; the Bellarine Peninsula for its coastline and wineries; the iconic Great Ocean Road; Daylesford and Macedon Ranges for spa and relaxation; Grampians National Park for hiking and wildlife; Cape Otway for its lighthouse and beaches; and Lake Mountain for skiing and outdoor activities.
Yes, many of these destinations offer opportunities to see Australian wildlife. Phillip Island is famous for its penguins and koalas; Healesville Sanctuary in Yarra Valley is great for encountering native animals; and Grampians National Park is known for its diverse wildlife, including kangaroos, wallabies, and birds.
The Yarra Valley and the Bellarine Peninsula are both renowned for their wineries. They offer a range of wine-tasting experiences and cellar-door tours, with the Yarra Valley being particularly famous for its Chardonnay and Pinot Noir.
Nature lovers can enjoy hiking in Grampians National Park, exploring the scenic Great Ocean Road, visiting the lush rainforests of Otway National Park, and enjoying the beaches and coastal walks on the Mornington and Bellarine Peninsulas.

Lake Mountain is an excellent winter destination near Melbourne. It offers skiing, snowboarding, and tobogganing. In the warmer months, it becomes a hub for hiking, mountain biking, and wildlife watching.

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