It is pretty special that you can experience the dramatic coastlines of the Great Ocean Road, sip world-class wines in the Yarra Valley, discover the historic beauty of Daylesford, and take in the laid-back summer days at the Mornington Peninsula and Wilson’s Prom, all within three hours on a Melbourne day trip.
When the weekend or that eagerly anticipated public holiday arrives, it can be difficult to decide where to go for a day trip in Melbourne.
Are you a beach person, or do you love old towns and delicious food?
National parks, gold rush towns and sandy beaches are only a few of the places in Victoria where you can get away from it all and still be close to the CBD.
These 10 Ultimate Melbourne day trips will provide you with inspiration and are ideal for a day trip to escape the stress of the city.
Tidal River, Wilson’s Promontory is one of the best kept secrets in Australia, and has joined the list of popular Melbourne day trips. The ‘tidal’ river meets the sea at Norman Bay and is adjacent to the Tidal River Campground. With its boulder-lined riverbank, the tea tree-stained river is a great place for families, or to go canoeing or kayaking.
The 3 hours drive to Wilson’s Prom from Melbourne is well worth it, to see the stunning landscape within this national park.
You’ll witness incredible sea views, plenty of Australian wildlife and take your pick of the 10+ beaches on offer. Make the most of it and leave early, to ensure you have plenty of hours at Tidal River and the surrounding beaches.
When choosing where to go for a day trip in Melbourne, The Macedon Ranges are a popular choice. Located at the southern end of Victoria’s Great Dividing Range, The Macedon Ranges feature many natural and cultural attractions.
Situated only one hour northwest of Melbourne, Macedon Regional Park and the small towns and villages throughout the Ranges are perfect for a day trip from Melbourne.
Enjoy a picnic at one of the six picnic grounds. The Harbison Picnic Ground has free electric barbecues, shelters and toilets. Days Picnic Ground has great space for both small and larger groups, while historical Sanatorium Picnic Ground is an ideal location for smaller groups with easy access to the Sanatorium Lake Eco Trail.
There are also countless scenic drives and spectacular lookouts. The many sealed and unsealed public roads allow you to take in the stunning scenery of the park by car. Some unsealed roads are subject to seasonal closures. All vehicles must be registered and drivers/riders licensed.
You can even ride a horse on some trails through the park or enjoy a bush walk on the Macedon Ranges Walking Trail as it weaves in and out of the park.
Autumn is a real highlight in this part of Victoria, with the change of season creating spectacular colours in the surrounding towns and villages of Macedon and Woodend.
If you visit to The Grampians National Park, you will find untamed mountain ranges, breathtaking displays of wildflowers, and several Aboriginal rock art sites.
The Grampians are a group of five stunning sandstone ridges that stretch from north to south. The eastern side of the ridges have steep, rocky slopes, while the western side has softer edges. The striking peaks and valleys are made from earth movements raising and tilting the strong sand stones.
There are several magnificent waterfalls and lookouts with breathtaking sweeping views. For a short trip to see some spectacular views, add The Grampians to your list of ultimate Melbourne day trips.
One of the best Melbourne day trips, is the Surf Coast in Victoria. The striking beginning to the Great Ocean Road spans the Wadawurrung and Eastern Maar peoples’ territory from Torquay, via Anglesea and Aireys Inlet, along to Lorne.
As the name implies, surfing is popular down here. The world-renowned Rip Curl Pro surfing competition is held annually at Torquay, the birthplace of surfing in the country. For more skilled surfers, Bells Beach and Jan Juc are popular, and towering cliffs offer ideal vantage points to watch the action.
There are also plenty of top rated restaurants, nearby wineries, shopping and beaches, perfect for families for swimming and taking in the coastal breeze.
Sorrento on the Mornington Peninsula is a popular holiday destination, with many of the real estate in the area mainly owned by wealthy families. The beach side town offers a wide selection of clothing, home décor, antiques, toys, books, surf wear, and more.
Sorrento also offers top rated dining options to suit any preference or budget. The village is only a short stroll from pubs, restaurants, cafés, and gourmet foods.
There are many different types of accommodation available in Sorrento, including B&Bs, motels, hotels, serviced apartments, backpackers, and vacation homes with views of the sea, countryside, or the village centre.
Visiting Sorrento really feels like you are getting out of town, with the ease of shopping and dining options readily available, it’s one to add to your list.
Tuck yourself away in front of an open fire in the Yarra Valley to indulge in life’s great gifts of food, wine, and spectacular scenery.
Take your pick of wineries and learn where Victorian wine growing started. Sample the wines, take a tour and devour a meal as you discover the regional passion for food, with fresh local produce matched to the wines in vineyard restaurants.
The Yarra Valley is perfect for taking one of the many Melbourne tours, or build your own day trip and travel through rolling hills strung with vines, secluded natural valleys set against blue mountain backdrops and lush greenery.
A former gold mining town, Castlemaine is situated in a valley at the intersection of three creeks, halfway between Ballarat and Bendigo.
Located in the Goldfields area of Victoria, Australia, Castlemaine is a town approximately 130 kilometres north-west by road from Melbourne
Constructed on the Dja Dja Wurrung’s land, Castlemaine started out as a gold rush boomtown in 1851 and grew into a significant regional hub. On December 4, 1965, it was formally declared a city, however the population has since declined.
There are lots of fun things to do, for singles, couples, and families, like hiking, exploring botanical gardens, and visiting historical places and buildings, as well as shopping for antiques and collectibles.
Many people visit Hepburn and the surrounding towns of Clunes, Creswick, Daylesford and Trentham to join the thriving community of artists, healers, gardeners, writers, and musicians, to unwind in the healing natural waters of Hepburn Springs, on the ancestral territory of the Dja Dja Wurrung people.
The Hepburn Springs are teeming with health-promoting minerals. At Hepburn Springs Mineral Springs Reserve, sample several mineral mixtures from vintage pumps and pipelines.
At a nearby spa or wellness centre, with these health-promoting minerals, take in some beauty therapy, massage, and hydrotherapy at the exquisitely refurbished Hepburn Bathhouse & Spa, founded in 1895.
A visit to Hepburn for some ultimate relaxing and pampering is truly one to add to your Melbourne day trips list.
Lorne and Erskine Falls
Erskine Falls is a short drive from the popular seaside town of Lorne. It is among the most well-liked and conveniently located waterfalls in the Otways.
The 30-meter waterfalls are visually appealing as they cascade into a pool below. Reaching the first overlook, which offers a breathtaking view of the falls, is a short stroll. The second lookout is more of a difficult trek down steps, but the view from the lovely fern valley makes the effort worthwhile.
If you visit Lorne, you’ll discover some great restaurants, shopping and good surf breaks on the front doorstep. Lorne is the ideal place for a day trip from Melbourne, when taking in the start of the Great Ocean Road in one day.
Situated around 80 kilometres south-east of Melbourne, the Mornington Peninsula is home to the highest peak in the region, Arthurs Seat.
The rural area of Arthurs Seat comprises of farms, large properties and scenic view points. The Arthurs Seat Eagle or the Enchanted Adventure Park are great attractions for the family for ultimate views and taking in the surrounding areas.
Arthurs Seat is picturesque place to visit, with only a short drive to the beach and stunning views of the peninsula and beyond.
There are a lot more day trips from Melbourne, and this list is only a start for those not familiar with outer Victoria, and are having trouble deciding where to go for a day trip in Melbourne.
Victoria really is beautiful, and to make the most of your trip, day tripping in Victoria from October to April are the best times to visit.