From beaches to breweries, there are so many amazing things on offer in the regions surrounding Melbourne.
Whether you’re travelling with family, or searching for a romantic weekend away, this list of the best day trips from Melbourne has you covered.
Only a short 90 minute drive from Melbourne lies Victoria’s wellness wonderland. Daylesford is known for its natural mineral springs and abundance of spa centres.
When travelling here, you should head to the Daylesford Day Spa. Located in a beautiful two-story heritage building, it offers anti-stress treatments, massages, facials and pamper packages all using organic Australian products.
After a day spent relaxing and pampering, a trip to the Lake House Restaurant will finish off the trip right. The Lake House won two chef hats in 2020, and their menu features fresh, seasonal dishes. The kitchen works closely with local suppliers, and runs their own dairy farm where they also produce their own fermented sourdough. The restaurant’s large windows offer unparalleled views of the treetops and nearby lake.
If you’re planning on travelling in March, Daylesford is home to the country’s biggest rural pride event. The Chill Out Festival draws a massive crowd every year, and is a celebration of love in all its forms.
Phillip Island is the perfect day trip for families and nature lovers. Only two hours from Melbourne central, the island bursts with iconic Aussie wildlife including Little Penguins, seals, koalas and whales.
To get up close with these wonderful animals, families can join Wildlife Coast Cruises. They will take you 2km off the coast of the island to see Australia’s largest fur seal colony. You’ll get closer than you ever thought possible, all while learning more about these stunning creatures. And, if you want even more of an animal fix, you can head down to the beach at sunset to watch the Phillip Island Penguin Parade, where Little Penguins run along the sand to their nests each night.
Beyond animal experiences, families will find so much more to see and do. Tour the chocolate factory, surf the beaches and race at the Phillip Island Go-Karts. Finally, finish off your day by heading to the San Remo Fisherman’s Co-Op, where you can enjoy fresh, mouthwatering fish and chips on the beach. The Co-Op only uses produce straight off the boats, and puts on a Pelican Feeding Show every day at midday.
Food and wine lovers will rejoice at the abundance of vineyards and cellar doors on offer in the Yarra Valley, only one hour away from the capital.
With so many incredible wineries to choose from, we suggest joining the Australian Wine Tour Company, who will take you on a tour of some of the best producers in the region, from boutique wineries to household names. Aside from the chance to sample a range of fragrant wines, the tour also includes a delicious lunch and plenty of photo-worthy views.
The Yarra Valley might be known for its wine, but there’s so much more on offer, such as unique farmgate experiences. At CherryHill Orchards, you can try cherry picking and sample 30 different varieties of cherries. Don’t forget to pack a picnic to properly enjoy the amazing property, or stop by the on-site food trucks for a delicious meal over live music.
No trip to the Yarra Valley would be complete without stopping at De Bortoli Wines, one of the biggest family-owned wineries in the country. Visit the cellar door for a delicious tasting, or head to their contemporary Italian restaurant for a bite to eat after a long day of exploring.
An hour from Melbourne you will find the Dandenong Ranges, the perfect place to get out and about in nature. Any trip here should start at the Dandenong Ranges National Park, which features the famous 1000 steps. The steps are an important historical landmark associated with the Kokoda Track Campaign and veterans from WWII. The park also features Sherbrooke Falls, only a short walk from two popular picnic spots. After rain, the waterfall flows strongly through the forest of Mountain Ash, stringybark and tree ferns. You may hear the sounds of lyrebirds, or spot a wallaby in the brush.
All this walking will definitely work up an appetite. A short distance from the rainforest is Micawber Tavern, a local favourite from almost 100 years. This Bistro and Beer Garden serves up hearty pub food and weekend roasts all year round. They also feature live local music, and even have comedy nights
The Mornington Peninsula is the perfect coastal holiday destination. Travelling 90 minutes from Melbourne, you can enjoy swimming and surfing at the perfect beach getaway.
Bayplay Adventure Tours host several ocean experiences in the Peninsula including snorkelling with sea dragons, kayaking to the dolphin sanctuary and diving in the bay. They cater to all swimming abilities, and welcome anyone who wants to set their heart racing on an experience like no other.
The Mornington Peninsula is also a foodies paradise, with so many breweries, award winning restaurants and local producers. It’s hard to go wrong when looking for somewhere to eat, but Rare Hare is a standout. Here, you can purchase a packed picnic featuring the best grazing selection from the surrounding region and enjoy your meal on the banks of the Jackalope Lake. Or, dine indoors at their restaurant, which serves delicious wood-fired pizzas and top-notch wine while overlooking the surrounding hills.
Ballarat is a historical oasis only 90 minutes from the city.
The first stop on any trip to this rural town should be Sovereign Hill, a living museum telling the story of the gold rush after gold was initially discovered here in 1851. Visitors can try panning for treasure, and explore the outdoor museum which features working machinery and costumed performers. History buffs will also love the Eureka Centre, which commemorates the Eureka Stockade of 1854. It is the home of the Eureka Flag, and takes visitors on a journey back in time.
If you’re looking for somewhere to eat, check out the 1816 Bakehouse, an artisan sourdough bakery which serves homemade pastries, bread, pies and delicious sandwiches.
To discover the best day trips from Sydney, click here.
Travel to Melbourne
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