As much as it is all the rave to be in the city and take in all its offerings, one needs to get some peace of mind and just relax without the sound of humming cars, beeping horns, human chatter and all that city buzz. So what better way to do it than taking the best day trips from Melbourne? Melbourne prides itself on having some of the best relaxing spots just an hour or two away from the hustle and bustle of the city. If you are into hiking up mountains or dense forests, soaking in the sun on a beach, getting recharged in a spa or sipping the best Australian wines at a vineyard, then you should be heading out on one of these best day trips from Melbourne.
Now this forest has been the go-to place for lovers of nature and hikes. Those who cannot stand the city life always head off to these mountain ranges and enjoy the great outdoors. You will get to hike through Sherbrooke Forest, or cycle the Devil’s Elbow or go a notch higher and climb up Mount Dandenong for an aerial view of Melbourne. If you are with the kids, create memories by boarding the Puffing Billy, a steam train that has been around for a century and is still fully functional.
Highlights of your visit to Dandenong include interacting with kookaburras, cockatoos, crimson rosella parrots and the enchanting lyre bird, whose uncanny voice can mimic almost any sound it hears. Explore the extensive network of walking trails that wend their way through the forests that cover the gently-rolling hills, valleys and gullies of the Dandenong Ranges National Park. Discover hidden crystal springs, waterfalls and creeks.
Price: from 160 USD
Duration: approximately 15 hours
2. Mornington Peninsula Day Visit
Do you enjoy golfing? Are water activities your thing? Want to get away from it all and recharge at a spa? Well, look no further than an hour’s drive from Melbourne to Mornington Peninsula. A day visit to this town is a wholesome family getaway. Your kids will enjoy picking strawberries or getting lost in a maze. What are you waiting for? Get to packing and see for yourself.
There are close to 100 walking trails, with each one wending through some of the most scenic spots in the area. If shopping is what it takes to calm your soul then Mornington Peninsula will be your happy place. Weekend and weekday markets feature local produce and crafts by local artisans. There are some superb art galleries scattered around more than 30 villages and also shopping centers, boutique shops, gourmet food stores and antique shops.
Price: from 115 USD
Duration: approximately 10 hours
Website: Mornington Peninsula
3. Hepburn and Daylesford Springs
Apart from its hot springs, Daylesford and Hepburn have a lot more to offer for those who go to visit for the day. Walking through the magnificent architecture and shopping in the one-of-a-kind shops in the little towns will have you relaxed. Maybe you will opt to take in the wonderful art in The Convent. If not, book yourself in at one of the spas like Hepburn Bathhouse and Spa for a relaxing and rejuvenating massage or waddle in a mud bath for a whole body exfoliation session. One thing is for sure, by the time the day ends, you will be a fresh and new you.
Enjoy a game of petanque or just take in the sights at the Lavandula Swiss Italian lavender farm, where a quaint little trattoria offers splendid cuisine and sparkling lavender wine. Marvel at the beauty of majestic Trentham Falls, Victoria’s highest single drop waterfall. Travel back in time at RedBeard Historic Bakery where baking techniques of yesteryear are still used to bake wonderful organic bread.
Hepburn and Daylesford Springs
Travel time: approximately 1 hour 25 minutes drive from Melbourne
Website: Hepburn and Daylesford Springs
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4. Visit Bendigo
Escape to an artsy and creative space in Bendigo, a hubbub of art and everything creative. It is a mixture of everything art, which includes performance arts at the Capital Theatre and an array of other arts at its famous View Street. Just outside Bendigo, you will find the largest Buddhist monument known as the Great Stupa of Universal Compassion. Learn how the town of Bendigo came to be at the Central Deborah Gold Mine. From its architecture to its art, there is a lot you will get to do at Bendigo.
Travel time: approximately 1 hour 47 minutes drive from Melbourne
5. Hanging Rock - Macedon Ranges
Photo is only for illustrative purposes
Whether you choose to drive one hour or take a train to Mount Macedon, it is a guarantee that your visit to this place is going to be an enchanting and unforgettable one. Pack a picnic basket and enjoy it on the banks of Lake Sanatorium. Better yet, hike around the Hanging Rocks and get to the Memorial Cross found on the summit, a commemoration of the fallen soldiers of World War 1.
Hanging Rock - Macedon Ranges
Travel time: approximately 58 minutes drive from Melbourne
Website: Hanging Rock - Macedon Ranges
6. Sherbrooke Forest Walk
Sherbrooke Forest is found in Dandenong and you can plan a whole day traversing its vast natural heath. It prides itself in its Sherbrooke Falls, a rewarding break after walking by tree ferns and huge mountain ash trees. It is a common thing to come across lyrebirds. A few hours of the mountain air, enjoy a picnic at the many facilities provided at the Sherbrooke Picnic Area or check out Cuckoo Restaurant, Pig and Whistle Tavern or Miss Marples Tearoom for a hearty and replenishing dish for lunch or dinner.
Address: Grants Picnic Ground, Kallista, VIC 3791
Travel Time: approximately 45 minutes drive from Melbourne
Website: Sherbrooke Forest
7. Hike the scenic route at Grampians National Park
Australia is home to many beautiful natural attractions that travelers from all over the world come to explore. Many people are fond of Sydney, and Melbourne, but avid adventurers know that there are so many more hidden gems to be explored when in Australia. Those who have flown into Melbourne can take a road trip or plan a day trip to Grampians National Park. Just 260 km (161 miles) from Melbourne proper, this is a must-see for hikers and trekkers alike, much of the most picturesque rock formations can be found in these parts. Other beloved outdoor activities that visitors can try out in Grampians National Park include abseiling, rock climbing, fishing, and canoeing to name a few.
Hike the scenic route at Grampians National Park
Address: Victoria, Australia
Contact: +61 3 5361 4000
8. See exotic wildlife up front and center at Wilson Promontory National Park
Another road trip away from Melbourne is the Wilson Promontory National Park. This beautiful piece of the landmass is shaped like a long wedge that extends far out into the ocean and is popular for being in the tip of the southernmost spot on mainland Australia. It’s also a great spot to hike for those adventure seekers looking to do more nature exploration in this part of Straya. Wilson Promontory is also frequented by travelers and locals for its rich native wildlife and exotic fauna like the emus, wombats, and their national animal, the kangaroo. Those who wish to just be more disconnected from their busy lives can escape to this gorgeous park and spend the day just connecting with nature.
See exotic wildlife up front and center at Wilson Promontory National Park
Address: Wilsons Promontory VIC 3960, Australia
Website: Wilson Promontory National Park
Opening hours:8:30 AM to 5:00 PM, Sundays to Mondays
Contact: +61 131963
9. Visit the charming Meditteranean-inspired town of Lorne
Another great day trip to consider is just 138km (85.7 miles) from the city proper of Melbourne, at the charming little town called Lorne. This underrated piece of land is located in the stunning Loutit Bay where many of its seaside resorts are frequented by travelers from all over the world. This small town boast similarities to the Mediterranean ambiance in its own natural aesthetic. Gear up for some awesome water sports and activities at Lorne like swimming and surfing. Settle back inland and have a cup of joe in some of Lorne’s best cafes or visit a skatepark to enjoy some light people watching. Take a day or two at Lorne and bask in its unique aura.
Visit the charming Meditteranean-inspired town of Lorne
Address: Lorne, Great Ocean Road, Victoria, Australia
Wine lovers ahoy! Yarra Valley is the place to be if you love drinking wine, not to say that non-wine-drinkers cannot enjoy the best of Yarra Valley, because all are welcome. It does not matter whether you are just visiting Melbourne or are a local, you can plan a getaway to Yarra Valley.
There are many vineyards that you can have a winery adventure at, like the Moët & Chandon’s house where you will get to learn about the history of Domaine Chandon while sipping on a crisp sparkling wine. Not only that, but you can also ride in a hot air balloon as the sun rises over the valley while enjoying a lustrous breakfast with champagne.
An expert guide will be on-hand to help you through the intricacies of wine and keep you company throughout the day as you sample some of the best products of Australia’s premier wine growing region. Enjoy a sumptuous lunch at the Balgownie Estate winery restaurant or some other similar venue if that’s not possible during the time of your visit. And relax amidst the spectacular views offered by Yarra Valley.
Yarra Valley Wine and Winery Tour from Melbourne
Duration: 8 hours
Phillip Island is famous with Melbourne residents thanks to its magnificent coastal roads and assortment of sea animals such as seals and penguins. Many always make a point of going to The Nobbies and stroll on one of the many boardwalks. You also have the opportunity to be among the penguins living on the beaches. If the sun is out, you can go for a swim, a fun session for the whole family.
If you did not pack a picnic basket, you can enjoy the many delectable dishes served at restaurants such as Rusty Water Brewery Restaurant. Phillip Island is also where you will get the Koala Conservation Center, where you will get to meet koalas and interact with them, something your kids will definitely love doing.
Phillip Island Australian Wildlife Viewing Tour from Melbourne
Duration: 9 hours 30 minutes
Escape the city hustle
There is a reason why Melbourne city dwellers are always found at the above places every weekend. As a foreign visitor, take a leaf from them and take one day or two from your vacation to check out these places for an amazingly impromptu memory.
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