Stunning beaches, picturesque towns, unique wildlife, and arresting scenery – you’ll find all this and more, tucked in the south-eastern corner of Australia, just a few hours’ drive from Melbourne. If you’re keen to explore outside Victoria’s vibrant capital, try these best day trips from Melbourne.
One of Australia’s most spectacular winery regions and a haven for food-lovers, the Yarra Valley enchants visitors with its gorgeous natural landscapes, fantastic local produce and friendly wineries. Take a scenic drive to the heart of the region and sample luxurious boutique wines from the Balgownie Estate, DeBortoli and Yering Station. Bask in spectacular views as you sip on outstanding and distinctive wines from artisan winemakers such as Coldstream Hills, Giant Steps, Innocent Bystander, St Huberts, Yering Farm, TarraWarra Estate or Punt Road Wines. Sample scrumptious handmade cheeses and artisan wines at the famed Yarra Valley Dairy. A trip to the Yarra Valley is a spellbinding experience you will not soon forget.
Stretching 550 kilometres along the southern coast of Victoria, the Great Ocean Road boasts some of the most world’s most jaw-dropping scenery. Savour the panoramic vistas of Australia’s dramatic coastline as the scenery transforms gorgeous hinterland to huge, rugged limestone cliffs, tranquil coves and stunning beaches, adorned by charming seaside towns and hamlets. Stroll along sandy beaches and explore magnificent waterfalls. Marvel at the soaring forests of Port Campbell National Park, the wind and sea-sculpted rock formations of Loch Ard Gorge and London Arch, and the world-famous Twelve Apostles towering above a roaring sea.
Tucked just two hours’ drive from Melbourne’s city centre and home to one of the largest wild fairy penguin colonies in the world, Phillip Island is the perfect getaway for wildlife lovers. At sunset, enjoy the sight of wild fairy penguins wading up from the sea to waddle across the beach and return to their nesting burrows on the sand dunes. At Phillip Island Wildlife Park, enjoy close encounters with Australia’s unique wildlife, including kangaroos, Tasmanian Devils, emus, koalas and wallabies. Experience a piece of Victoria’s heritage at the historic Churchill island, where you can enjoy a relaxing stroll through the fragrant cottage gardens and heritage buildings from the 1850s. Indulge at the Chocolate Factory or enjoy laidback family fun exploring the maze and playing mini golf at A Maze N Things.
Relive the 1850s gold rush era and learn about Australian history at Sovereign Hill in Ballarat. This family-friendly living history museum themed around life in a 1850s gold rush town brings working exhibits to life with costumed characters to create an interactive family adventure. The town (built on the original site of the town) is filled with places to explore and experience life 1850s-style, including old-timey shops, original Victorian houses, stage coaches, and steam-driven machinery. On the streets and in the theatre, you’ll be entertained by costumed goldfields characters. Interact with goldsmiths, artisans, wheelwrights, candle-makers, and confectioners. Gain a glimpse of what it was like to live here by taking an underground tour of the gold mines or try your hand at panning for gold.
Relax in laid-back luxury at Melbourne’s answer to the Hamptons. Surrounded by the ocean on one site and Port Phillip Bay on the other, the Mornington Peninsula is the perfect place to unwind, touring the tranquil coves and picturesque villages like Sorrento, Portsea, Blairgowrie, Flinders and Rye. Breathe in the enlivening fresh sea air while enjoying delicious local cuisine by the beach or enjoy a luxurious and restful time at Peninsula Hot Springs, a natural hot springs and day spa centre. If you love the outdoors, explore the beach trails and rugged bushland at Point Nepean National Park. For a cosmopolitan adventure, weave in and out of Sorrento’s beautiful local cafes, high-end boutique shops and art galleries. If you’re a wine or food lover, escape to the Mornington Peninsula Hinterland for the gorgeous scenery and to enjoy gourmet delights at the local boutique wineries.
Grampians National Park (affectionately dubbed ‘The Grampians’) is a beloved destination for outdoor explorers, food lovers, wine and history enthusiasts. Renowned for its majestic, rugged mountains, spectacular waterfalls, wildflowers, wildlife and stunning heritage-listed rock art sites, the Grampians is the ideal place to discover the fascinating local Aboriginal history, boasting an astounding 86% of all Aboriginal rock art in Victoria. Visit one of the five rock art caves open to the public, feast on traditional bush-tucker at the Brambuk bush foods cafe and learn about the fascinating Jardwadjali and Djab Wurrung Aboriginal cultures at Brambuk Cultural Centre. Spend the day exploring walking trails through majestic mountain ranges, dazzling waterfalls and forests brimming with unique native flora and fauna. Revel in awe-inspiring views from the Boroka, Reed and Mount William lookouts.
Keen for a more laid-back adventure? Delight in the world-class local wine by hopping from winery to winery. Get your art fix at MOCO Art Gallery and Ros McArthur’s studio.
Keen to explore the best day tours that Melbourne has to offer? Contact Hughes Limousines on 1300 615 165 and hire one of our luxury chauffeured vehicles to take a tour to these stunning regions of Victoria today.