Melbourne is an incredible city but nothing beats packing a picnic and preparing a banging playlist to set off on a road trip and escape the chaos of city life. If you can drag yourself away from the vibrant CBD, you will be rewarded with stunning views, unforgettable landscapes and wildlife in abundance thanks to these famous day trips from Melbourne.
After spending 7 months in Australia’s cultural capital, our favourite way to spend a weekend was to pack up the car and tick another Melbourne day trip off our bucket list – with this guide sharing 16 of our favourites.
From the world-famous Great Ocean Road to hiking in the stunning Grampians National Park, wine tasting in the picturesque Yarra Valley or penguin spotting on Phillip Island, these Melbourne day trips will not disappoint. Whether you’re backpacking on a budget, visiting Australia on honeymoon or looking for a family day out – there is a Melbourne day trip to suit all types of travellers and budget
DAY TRIPS FROM MELBOURNE: TRANSPORT OPTIONS
Rent a Car
Most Melbourne day trips on this list are not accessible with public transport (although we will mention if they are.) For this reason, we recommend renting a car and found the cheapest rental to be from Skyscanner. Many people don’t realise you can use Skyscanner to also compare car rental not just flights. We used Skyscanner a few times for car rental in Australia, including for our Cairns day trips in the North, and could not fault the service (or price!) Don’t forget to pack your road trip essentials to ensure a smooth, stress free drive!
Although being Scottish we are used to driving on the left and Daz has over 10 years of driving experience, we completely understand driving abroad is not for everyone. For this reason, lift sharing is a great way to enjoy these Melbourne day trips but with someone else in the driving seat.
Not only is it a more environmentally friendly travel option as you can travel in a full car but you’ll also save money as you can split the fuel and/or rental costs. It also means you don’t have to stress over sat navs or navigate driving on the left – get someone else to do that for you and meet some new people along the way.
If you’re in a hostel, you can simply ask around, or we found the best way to find lift shares is via Facebook groups such as:
Day Tours from Melbourne
Finally, if renting a car or sharing a lift isn’t possible (or last night’s hangover is just too bad to drive at all) join one of the many day tours from Melbourne instead. There are endless companies and vendors who offer day trips, from bus tours with 20+ attendees to wine tours with a private car.
We have selected our favourite (and most recommended) day tours from Melbourne alongside each day trip idea to give you an idea of cost, time etc for booking your own. Our favourite websites for booking day tours from Melbourne are:
- Get Your Guide: The first place we look for Melbourne day trips as this site has the BEST deals & shows customer reviews
- Klook: If we can’t find on GYG we search on Klook – also available in Asia too!
- Experience Oz: Not always the cheapest but you earn points/discounts towards your next booking with every day trip you book so the savings can add up!
THE BEST DAY TRIPS FROM MELBOURNE
As mentioned we spent 7 months living in Melbourne and each weekend was spent exploring the surrounding area. We were fortunate to have friends who had lived in Melbourne for nearly 20 years who also recommended hidden gems as well as the usual highlights. We have included these local tips as well as our own tips, to ensure your day trips from Melbourne are as safe, stress free but epic as possible!
1. GREAT OCEAN ROAD
How to get to The Great Ocean Road from Melbourne
The Great Ocean Road is 244km (one way) stretching from Torquay to Warrnambool. Many people class the Memorial Arch the official start of the Great Ocean Road which is 1.5 hours drive from Melbourne.
If you only have one day to do a Great Ocean Road trip, only drive as far as Port Campbell which takes 4.5 hours from Melbourne, then drive the inland route home which takes around 3 hours. The most famous Great Ocean Road stops are only 5 minutes apart so you can fit in many within a short time.
Highlights of The Great Ocean Road
- Koalas at Kennett River
- Loch Ard Gorge
- 12 Apostles
- Memorial Arch
- Apollo Bay
- Camping on Great Ocean Road
Why you will love this Day Trip
Kicking off our guide with one of the most famous day trips from Melbourne – The Great Ocean Road. Stretching 244 km to Warrnambool you will be treated to stunning views of the rugged coastline as well as wildlife such as the koala capital of Kennett River and the beautiful seaside towns of Torquay, Lorne, Apollo Bay and Port Campbell dotted along the way.
The first time we visited Great Ocean Road we did it as a day trip from Melbourne – setting off at 6 am and stopping at just the highlights such as Bell’s Beach in Torquay, The Memorial Arch, Twelve Apostles and Loch Ard Gorge.
Ideally, to make the most of this world-famous road trip we would recommend our Great Ocean Road itinerary which includes the best route for completing it in one day and over 20 stops if you want to complete it over two days. We also share the best FREE campsites and places to eat along the way as well as a detailed map of all highlights.
If you are a fan of camping in Australia we would highly recommend camping on the Great Ocean Road to truly immerse yourself in the epic surroundings and make the most of your road trip. We found a koala above the roof of our campervan during our time at Kennett River and even found a camping ground 5 minutes drive from the 12 apostles so we were one of the first people there at sunrise! It’s also an excellent way to save money during your road trip as there are many free campsites on Great Ocean Road which means you can take your time and explore the route – both the coastal drive and inland to see the hidden Great Ocean Road waterfalls.
Great Ocean Road Day Tours from Melbourne
- This award winning full day eco-tour from Melbourne offers a small, personalised group that will cover all the Great Ocean Road Highlights. Includes pick up from Melbourne, a local guide and free Wi-Fi onboard to post all your beautiful pics from your Melbourne day trip. More Details & Booking Here.
- Avoid the crowds with this later sunset tour which showcases the Great Ocean Road highlights at the most stunning time of day. Offering a later departure from Melbourne you can admire the sun set over the 12 Apostles as well as live commentary of the infamous shipwreck coast.
2. THE SEASIDE TOWN OF LORNE
How to get from Melbourne to Lorne
To reach Lorne it is a 2 hour drive from Melbourne along the Great Ocean Road.
Highlights of Lorne
- Teddy’s Look Out
- Erskine Falls
- Bottle of Milk Cafe
Why you will love this Day Trip
Although Lorne is a stop on the Great Ocean Road, we loved our time here so much we would highly recommend spending an entire day in the area. Lorne is the perfect day trip from Melbourne as it’s only a 2 hour drive and offers relaxed seaside vibes with some of the best waterfalls, walks and accommodation in the region.
One of the most popular things to do in Lorne is a visit to Teddy’s LookOut which offers sweeping views of the Great Ocean Road. It was during our visit here, where we saw our first ever koala in the wild – simply waddling across the street in Lorne! We also recommend the nearby Erskine Falls which are a spectacular 30 metres high and best of all, there’s no lengthy trail to reach them – the viewing platforms are mere minutes from the car park.
For food in Lorne we recommend the hipster haven of Bottle of Milk which alongside delicious burgers and ice cold beer, they serve barista coffee through a hole in the wall – a necessity for any Melbourne day trip! End your day at Lorne Visitor Centre which is home to the Great Ocean Road story, a fascinating, free exhibition which explains the history of the road.
Lorne Day Tours from Melbourne
Most Great Ocean Road day tours from Melbourne stop in Lorne for lunch but will not offer the opportunity to explore the area fully. It is however possible to reach Lorne via public transport and opt for a DIY tour.
Take the train from Southern Cross to Geelong then the 101 bus to Lorne Visitor Centre (approx. 3 hours total). From Lorne Visitor centre you can visit the Great Ocean Road story then explore Teddy’s lookout (30 minute walk) or hitchhike to Erskine Falls – around 15 minute drive.
We took hitchhikers back with us after our visit to Erskine Falls and with it being one of the most popular Great Ocean Road waterfalls, finding a friendly driver shouldn’t be too difficult.
3. THE GREAT OCEAN ROAD WATERFALLS CIRCUIT
How to get from Melbourne to the Waterfalls
From Melbourne to the first waterfall (Currawong Falls) is around 1 hour 50 minutes. Hopkins Falls is the last on the route, around 3 hours drive from Melbourne.
Highlights of the Waterfalls
- Erskine Falls
- Upper & Lower Kalimna Falls
- Beauchamp Falls
- Stevensons Falls
- Camping at Beauchamp Falls
Why you will love this Day Trip
From bus tours to helicopters, there are SO many day trips from Melbourne that offer views of the Great Ocean Road but very few which venture inland to explore the stunning Great Otway National Park and its abundance of spectacular waterfalls.
Even if you opt to venture just 10 minutes inland, you will discover the numerous Great Ocean Road waterfalls. Within the seaside town of Lorne alone there are over 10 waterfalls within 10km so like the Atherton Tablelands waterfalls in Cairns, there are many within a short distance meaning you can fit as many or as little as you wish within one day.
Due to the lush rainforest of the Otway National Park, the waterfalls offer a stunning change of scenery from the rugged coastline and the perfect excuse to stretch your legs after the long drive, or simply a perfect picnic spot away from the crowds. We found 17 Great Ocean Road waterfalls within a 3 hour drive of Melbourne, some of which are just a 10 minute walk from the car park, others which require a 3 hour trail, so check our guide to plan your day trip.
Alongside picnic facilities (and much needed toilet stops) many waterfalls have campsites nearby. A few favourites are Beauchamp campground and Sharps Campground which is just a 20 minute walk from Sheoak Picnic Area (the starting point for many waterfalls in the area) all of which are FREE campsites on Great Ocean Road. This means you will not only get to enjoy crowd free waterfalls but also a head start against the tour busses travelling from Melbourne!
Waterfall Day Trips from Melbourne
Due to the nature of the trails and with so many side by side, it is easiest to drive yourself. There are also great free camping grounds near some of the falls if you truly want to switch off from the outside world and witness these beautiful waterfalls at sunrise or sunset – our Otways waterfalls guide explains more.
4. THE DANDENONG RANGES
How to get from Melbourne to Dandenong Ranges
It is a 50 minute drive from Melbourne to Dandenong Ranges.
Dandenong Ranges Highlights
- Puffing Billy Steam Train
- Sky High Restaurant
- Miss Marple’s Tearoom
- Sherbrooke Falls
Why you will love this Day Trip
The Dandenong Ranges were one of our favourite day trips from Melbourne for one reason – Puffing Billy Steam Train. Although many would prefer to go hiking in the Dandenongs, for us sitting onboard the world’s oldest surviving steam locomotive was the best way to view these magnificent mountains.
The journey goes from Belgrave to Gembrook through luscious fern gullies and towering rainforest. You can also opt for afternoon tea options or even a murder mystery tour onboard.
From the Puffing Billy Station in Belgrave, it’s a 10 minute drive to a delightful gem known as Miss Marple’s Tea Room. If (like us) you’ve been travelling Australia a while and crave some homemade scones and a proper cup of tea, an afternoon here is like visiting Grandma – cotton tablecloths and floral tea cups included.
Another culinary gem in the Dandenongs is Sky High – which as the name describes is an award winning bistro on top of Mt Dandenong peak, offering stunning views of the region. Finally to work off those scones explore one of the numerous hikes and trails in the area such as Sherwood Forest which is home to crimson rosellas and cockatoos or Sherbrooke Falls Walk among many more.
The Best Puffing Billy Day Tours from Melbourne
- Not only does this tour include a ride through the stunning Dandenong Ranges on the famous Puffing Billy steam train, but includes a traditional Devonshire Tea and spit roast lunch as well as a visit two beautiful wineries (plus tastings) in the neighbouring Yarra Valley. Book Here.
- This day tour from Melbourne leaves from Federation Square on a comfortable, air conditioned coach where you will then enjoy a ride on Puffing Billy steam train followed by traditional Devonshire Tea and homemade scones. Booking & Details Here.
5. SPOT PENGUINS & KOALAS ON PHILLIP ISLAND
How to get from Melbourne to Phillip Island
Although an island, it is possible to drive to Phillip Island thanks to a connecting bridge. The drive is around 140 km and takes around 1 hour and 45 minutes from Melbourne.
Phillip Island Highlights
- Penguin Parade
- Koala Sanctuary
- Seal Rocks
- Smiths Beach
- Nobbies Centre
Why you will love this Day Trip
Alongside the region’s stunning natural landscape, Phillip Island is one of the best Melbourne day trips for wildlife lovers as koalas, penguins and seals all call this little island home.
One of the most popular things to do on Phillip Island is visit the Penguin Parade, where visitors can witness penguins waddle on to the shore each night around sunset. The experience is completely natural so there may be dozens of penguins, there may be only a handful. There is specially designed seating and viewing platforms which allow epic views of this natural phenomenon but also help to avoid overcrowding on the beach, minimising distress to the penguins.
One of the main reasons we loved our Phillip Island day trip from Melbourne, was our visit to the Koala Conservation Centre. We promote responsible travel and would never recommend visiting zoos or animals kept in captivity so loved the conservation centre’s approach and ethos.
The koalas are entirely free to roam as they please and waddle from one gum tree to the next, just as they would in the wild. The only difference is there are raised boardwalks for the public which make it easier to spot the koalas as you are slightly higher up.
There is also the opportunity to experience ‘Koala Eco-Explorer Tour’ with a local ranger who offers more insight into the life of these Australian icons. We also spotted numerous wallabies, echidnas and possums and enjoyed the interactive exhibits which offer more information on wildlife in the region.
Finally end your day trip with a walk on the beautiful Smiths beach or a visit to the free Nobbies Centre which boasts an impressive boardwalk that offers breathtaking views of the coastline. You will also spot seabirds and even little penguins as they are prone to rest up nearby.
Nearby you will find Australia’s largest fur seal colony, across Bass Straight at the aptly titled “Seal Rocks.” If you book one of the Phillip Island day trips from Melbourne many include a wildlife cruise to view the seals close up alongside the penguin parade and koala conservation centre.
Best Phillip Island Day Trips from Melbourne
- During this 12 hour day trip from Melbourne you will experience Moonlit Sanctuary Wildlife Conservation Park and Churchill Island historic farm. There is also opportunity to visit Cape Woolamai and the Nobbies, before visiting the world famous penguin parade on Summerland Beach. The tour includes lunch, tea, coffee and biscuits as well as a friendly informative guide and all entrance fees as well as transport to and from Melbourne. Book Here.
- What better way to explore Phillip Island than by boat! Admire thousands of seals up close at Australia’s largest fur seal colony whilst cruising Phillip Island’s scenic coast which is also visited by dolphins, birds and penguins. This 2 hour cruise also includes tea, coffee and cake – what more can you want?!
- Looking for an evening day trip from Melbourne? This tour includes transport from Melbourne CBD, leaving later in the day allowing you to witness the penguins waddle to their beds in the evening before a comfortable coach journey home with free Wi-Fi to upload your pics from the day.
6. THE GRAMPIANS NATIONAL PARK
How to get from Melbourne to the Grampians National Park
It is a 3 hour drive from Melbourne to the Grampians National Park. However, once there the main attractions are close so it is easy to tick them off within a day trip from Melbourne and make it back before bedtime. We would recommend camping at Hall’s Gap, to make the most of your day as it was one of our favourite campsites in Australia.
Grampians National Park Highlights
- MacKenzie Falls
- Hall’s Gap
- Boroka Lookout
- Reed Look Out
Why you will love the Grampians
Although 260 km away, the Grampians National Park is one of the best day trips from Melbourne as it offers rugged scenery, stunning hikes, wildlife in abundance and the most beautiful waterfalls.
For exploring the National Park there are various options – whether an avid hiker or simply love a good photo opportunity, attractions such as The Pinnacle and the Balconies will not disappoint. Although Reed Look Out will disappoint as SO many idiotic instagrammers hang off the ledge in search of that famous insta-snap that the area is now barricaded. You can enjoy the views but won’t have access down on to the rock (and should call-out any blogger or visitor risking their life to do so!)
We also loved Boroka Look out and arrived early in the morning when the entire national park was covered in a thick cloud blanket, making us feel as if we were on top of the world. After a quick breakfast in the campervan, the cloud lifted and the views were spectacular – best of all no hike was needed, the viewing platform is mere minutes from the carpark.
Finally, the Grampians in the waterfalls could rival those of the Great Ocean Road we mentioned earlier. A few of the most popular are MacKenzie Falls which are Victoria’s tallest waterfall, Beehive Falls and Fish Falls. After all that exploring you will have worked up an appetite and the Grampians are an ideal place to be hungry as the area is famed for its olives, cheese and meats.
Finally, we recommend visiting Brambuk the National Park & Cultural Centre to learn more about the Aboriginal culture in the area and where to find traditional rock art. They even offer accommodation for backpackers as well as activities such as a bushfood discovery walk and didgeridoo workshop!
Best Day Tours from Melbourne to the Grampians
- This Grampians day tour from Melbourne covers everything mentioned above plus some extras we didn’t have time for. The day trip includes hike from Wonderland Turntable to the Grand Canyon as well as MacKenzies falls & Reeds Lookout. Plus the bonus Silverband Falls as well as the benefit of a local guide and mini bus from Melbourne with aircon and Wi-Fi. All for an excellent price – book here!
- This day tour from Melbourne ticks all the major highlights mentioned above. It leaves the CBD before stopping at the historic town of Beaufort for morning tea, followed by Brambuk Aboriginal Culture Center, then a picnic lunch at Hall’s Gap with the kangaroos before an afternoon at the famous Boroka Lookout, The Balconies and Mackenzie Falls. All for an amazing price which includes transport, park fees, lunch & morning tea!
7. YARRA VALLEY
How to get from Melbourne to Yarra Valley
It takes less than an hour to get from Melbourne to Yarra Valley by car. You can also take public transport, if you take the train from Southern Cross to Lilydale (approx. 1 hour) then the bus from Lilydale to Healesville (around 30 minutes.)
Yarra Valley Highlights
- Domaine Chandon
- Four Pillars Distillery
- Yarra Valley Dairy
- Rochford Wines
- Healesville Sanctuary
- Yarra Valley Chocolaterie
Why you will love a Yarra Valley Day Trip
Our day trips from Melbourne so far have been very nature and wildlife focused, the Yarra Valley on the other hand are for those who love wine, chocolate, gin and cheese. That’s likely every person we’ve ever known. Yes, the scenery is stunning but unlike the other Melbourne day trips, no hiking boots are needed. Just come prepared with a kind friend to be the driver (in our case, Loz’s boss) and plenty pennies to throw at the incredible wine and treats you are about to devour.
Although the region is home to over 150 wineries, during our Yarra Valley day trip we squeezed in 4 wineries, one dairy, a brewery and a gin distillery which was not a bad effort for a day’s work. Our pace was very chilled and we did wine samples in each as well as lunch and a flight of both beers and gin.
It was ideal as a small group of three (one driver and us two drunks) where as with a larger group we wouldn’t have managed to fit as much in. We left Melbourne at 10am and we were home by dinner – you can read more about our day in Yarra Valley here.
Our highlights were:
- Yarra Valley Dairy: You can purchase homemade cheese, chutneys, homebakes, jams etc as well as dine in – the perfect pairing for your wine purchases!
- Yering Station: A winery established by Scottish brothers in 1838 and one of the most beautiful wineries we’ve ever set foot in
- Domaine Chandon: For the sparkling wine fans we also had a delicious cheese board here and the surroundings are 5 star.
- Rochford Wines: SUPER busy (the restaurant is particularly popular) but amazing wine, so good we bought 2 bottles
- Four Pillars: A contemporary gin distillery famed for its pioneering shiraz gin which was EPIC
- Buckleys Beer: Super chilled brewery who also gave us complimentary nibbles with our flight of beers
- Innocent Bystander: A stunning contemporary winery with the friendliest staff & artisan pizza on site. We loved their funky merch as much as their wine and VERY nearly got a box shipped it was that good.
If you are planning a Yarra Valley day trip from Melbourne, we’d also recommend Healeseville sanctuary home to Australian icons such as kangaroos, wallabies and koalas as well as TarraWarra Estate, a winery come restaurant come gallery and also Yarra Valley chocolaterie & ice creamery for a final sweet treat. As its only an hour from the city, a Yarra Valley day trip is super accessible and trust us, once you’ve been once you’ll want to return again and again!
Best Yarra Valley Day Tours from Melbourne
- This Tour offers a full day gourmet tour where you can enjoy the region’s finest food and wine. Perfect for those who don’t want to drive as not only does the tour include transport from Melbourne CBD but you’ll also stop for lunch at Rochford Wines (as mentioned above) before continuing to Yering Station (also mentioned above) before stopping at the chocolaterie for dessert and returning back to Melbourne – all for an incredible price!
- How does a day of wine, chocolate and cheese sound? To us, it sounds like one of the best Melbourne day trips as not only can you indulge in some of the finest produce in the region but all within the stunning backdrop of the Yarra Valley. This tour includes 3 winery tastings, cider tastings as well as lunch including a cheese & fruit platter as well as transport from Melbourne CBD.
8. TAKE THE FERRY FROM QUEENSCLIFF TO SORRENTO
How to get from Melbourne to Queenscliff
It is around 90 minutes drive from Melbourne to Queenscliff. You can also take public transport which takes 2 hours 45 minutes. Take the train from Spencer Street to Geelong, then Geelong to Ward Road before an 8 minute walk to Queenscliff.
Highlights of Queenscliff / Sorrento
- Marine National Parks
- Ferry Ride
Why you will love this Day Trip
For an unforgettable day trip from Melbourne, the small coastal town of Queenscliff will not disappoint. Located on the Bellarine Peninsula, you can enjoy stunning seaside strolls or even the Bellarine Railway before hopping on the ferry to Sorrento on Mornington Peninsula.
The picturesque ferry ride lasts only 40 minutes but allows you to see two of the regions most beautiful peninsulas in one day trip. You will also sail passed three Marine National Parks as well as the likelihood of dolphins who frequent Melbourne’s Port Phillip Bay.
Once in Sorrento, one of the best ways t o explore the marine life of Port Phillip Bay is on this 3 hour snorkel tour, where you can swim with wild bottlenose dolphins and Australian fur seals, as well as native sea dragons.
Alongside specially designed observation decks and spacious lounge areas, there is also a children’s play area and outside viewing areas on the ferry to soak up the refreshing seaside air.
Adult tickets are only $13 for a one way ticket with concession and family discount tickets available. We took our campervan on the ferry (for around $60) which allowed us to camp on Mornington Peninsula before continuing our road trip back to Melbourne.
The ferries leave from Queenscliff Harbour and Sorrento Pier every hour starting from 7am and then every hour until 6pm, so you will have the entire day to explore and enjoy the stunning scenery.
9. RELAX AT DAYLESFORD & HEPBURN SPRINGS
How to get to Daylesford from Melbourne
Located around 115km from Melbourne, it takes around 1 hour 20 minutes to drive to Daylesford. It takes around 2 hours 15 minutes to reach via public transport, firstly taking the train from Spencer Street to Woodend Station (1 hour) then Woodend to CFA/Bridport St (45 minutes) followed by a 20 minute walk to Daylesford.
- Wombat Hill
- The Convent
- Trentham Falls
- Lake House
Why you will love this Day Trip
It’s no secret that during our travels we LOVE a spa day. From the world famous Blue Lagoon in Iceland, to the quirky hops hot tubs of a beer spa in Prague to the largest thermal spa in Europe – some may say spa days are our favourite hobby.
So you can imagine our delight when we heard one of the most popular day trips from Melbourne was Daylesford, the spa capital of Australia. What better way to escape the bustle of the city than a day spent in soothing mineral springs and wellness centres being pampered from head to foot.
Although there are 72 mineral springs in the area, if you don’t fancy a spa day there is still so much to see including the 32 metres high Trentham Falls and beautiful Wombat Hill Botanical Gardens which perch on top of an extinct volcano. Here you will also find The Convent – a picturesque venue for afternoon tea with a gallery and chapel on site.
All that rest and relaxation will also have you worked up an appetite, so end your day trip from Melbourne with a visit to one of the region’s best eateries including the Lake House, Galley Diner or the Boathouse among many other amazing restaurants in Daylesford.
Best Daylesford Day Tours from Melbourne
Want to truly relax with your own private driver? Your group can book this Daylesford day trip from Melbourne which includes a luxurious vehicle exclusively for your group, 2 course lunch with a beverage at the Lake House, Entry to the Convent Gallery, Morning Tea and local guide.
10. WILSONS PROMONTORY
How to get from Melbourne to Wilsons Prom
It takes just under 3 hours to drive from Melbourne to Wilsons Promontory.
Wilsons Prom Highlights
- Squeaky Beach
- Loo-Errn Track
- Lilly Pilly Gully
Why you will love this Day Trip
Nicknamed “the prom” Wilsons Promontory is one of our favourite day trips from Melbourne as it offers such unique trails, views and wildlife that one day won’t feel nearly enough time!
Situated on the southernmost point of the mainland, the rugged landscape is a photographer’s dream and after a day trip to Wilsons Prom you will definitely want to take advantage of the numerous campsites. Tidal River campsite and Stockyard Camp are the main camping locations, however there is a Summer ballot which books out up to a year in advance as the area is popular with local families. If you have plans of camping on Wilsons Prom, plan well in advance.
Although we only had one day on Wilsons Prom we managed to squeeze in many highlights this included the natural phenomenon of Squeaky Beach, Lilly Pilly Gully and the stunning Loo-Errn Track which is a boardwalk suitable for all ages and abilities. For the more adventurous, head to Mt Oberon and complete the one hour hike for one of the best viewpoints in the entire National Park or if you’re up for the challenge complete one of the overnight hikes in the area.
The main reason Wilsons Prom is one of the most popular Melbourne day trips is thanks to the abundance of wildlife in the area. We were delighted to see emus in the wild for the first time, but you will also have the opportunity to spot wombats, birds and kangaroos.
Best Wilsons Prom Day Tours from Melbourne
- This is one of the best Wilson Prom day tours from Melbourne for value. It includes transport from Melbourne CBD on a spacious, air-conditioned bus as well as informative commentary throughout the excursion. As well as admiring the scenic views you will have the opportunity to enjoy some of the excellent hiking tracks such as Lilly Pilly Gully, Mt Bishop and the stunning Squeaky Beach as mentioned above. Best of all, after a tiring hike you can sit back and relax as your driver takes you home past some of the most stunning scenery in Victoria. Book Here.
- For just a few extra dollars this day tour from Melbourne also includes your lunch. You will have the opportunity to explore Wilsons Prom on your own but also with a guide on hand to answer any questions. Whether you want to hike to the top of Mount Oberon or Mount Bishop or simply relax on the stunning beaches, this tour caters for all and guaranteed a day to remember before taking you back to the city by 6:30pm. Book Here.
11. SILO ART TRAIL
How to do the Silo Art Trail from Melbourne
The Silo Art trail stretches over 200km. The nearest Silo to Melbourne is Rupanyup Silo by Julia Volchkova which is around 3.5 hours drive from Melbourne.
Highlights of the Silo Art Trail
- Brim (the first Silo artwork)
- Sheep Hills Silos
- Nullawi by Smugl
Why you will love this Day Trip
Although Melbourne is famed for its street art, the Silo Art Trail is considered Australia’s largest outdoor gallery offering some of the best artwork in the country with farm silos providing the canvas. The majority of works are by Melbourne based street artists such as Smug, Adnate and Rone.
The entire trail is over 200km and connects Brim (home to the first silo artwork) to neighbouring towns such as Lacelles, Rosebery, Rupanyup and Sheep Hills. Not only is it one of the best Melbourne day trips for art lovers, but the perfect way to explore rural towns which are off the beaten track.
Whether you want to view all the artworks or find a favourite one the Silo Art Trail, Victoria offers an unforgettable day trip from Melbourne.
12. ENJOY THE SNOW AT MOUNT BULLER
How to get to Mount Buller from Melbourne
From Melbourne to Mount Buller is a 3 hour drive.
Mount Buller Highlights
- Mt. Buller Alpine Village
Why you will love this Day Trip from Melbourne
Three words – SNOW IN AUSTRALIA. We did promise unforgettable day trips from Melbourne, but I bet you were not expecting the opportunity to ski or snowboard!?
If you are searching for Melbourne day trips between June and September, Mount Buller needs to be top of your list. As one of Australia’s most popular ski resorts, it offers 300 hectares of snow fields suitable for all abilities from beginners to cross country enthusiasts, gentle slopes to black diamond chutes. There are 24 lifts ready to transport you to the snowy peaks and experience a part of Australia very few people realise exist.
If you are not a fan of the slopes, there is still plenty to do on your Mount Buller day trip including browsing the shops, cafes and spas in the picturesque alpine village which is reminiscent of a European ski resort.
This Mt. Buller guide covers everything you need to know from costs to accommodation, what to bring for your day trip and even money saving tips!
Best Mount Buller Day Tours from Melbourne
If you time your Melbourne day trips well, you can book this Mt.Buller tour which allows you to explore the snow, ski or simply relax in the cooler climate without having to organise a thing! Let your tour guide show you the sights and drop you back at your accommodation all for a one-off fee. Book Here (depending on season.)
13. MORNINGTON PENINSULA
How to get from Melbourne to Mornington Peninsula
From Melbourne to Mornington Peninsula is only a 1 hour drive from Melbourne, but allow 90 minutes to reach the peak of the peninsula. It is also possible via public transport which takes around 1 hour 40 from Melbourne to the town of Mornington. Firstly take a train from Flinders Street to Frankston (1 hour 4 mins) then take a bus from Frankston to Mornington.
Mornington Peninsula Highlights
- Peninsula Hot Springs
- Millionaire’s Walk
- Arthur’s Seat
Why you will love a Mornington Peninsula Day Trip
Mornington Peninsula is one of the most affluent areas in the region and a few hours here is a fun way to learn how the other half live – especially, if like us you’re visiting in a campervan! There are so many things to do in Mornington Peninsula to suit all budgets so don’t panic – you don’t need to be rich to enjoy a day trip here.
With the ocean on one side and Port Phillip Bay on the other, it’s understandable why the rich and famous flock to the peninsula for its prime real estate. So much so, you can even do the “Millionaire’s Walk” a 5km clifftop trail which has been nicknamed by locals as it passes some of the most striking architecture in the area. We also loved visiting the beaches below with the picturesque bathing houses and jetties which house many a yacht or sailboat during the Summer.
The stylish town of Sorrento will entice those with good taste thanks to its high end boutiques and posh eateries. If Sorrento leaves your bank balance suitably drained one of the best free things to do is head to Point Nepean National Park and enjoy the many hiking trails or bushland walks.
A further reason we recommend a Mornington day trip from Melbourne is for a relaxing visit to the Peninsula Hot Springs. As a tip, we recommend booking the first slot of the day as you will be treated to crowd (and child) free springs and be able to watch the sunrise as you relax in the natural pools. Later in the day they become MUCH busier with tour groups also joining, so a sunrise dip is the perfect time to visit.
End your day with sunset at Arthur’s seat and it’s famous “Eagle” cable car. Although the journey only lasts 15 minutes from the base at Dromana to the summit of Arthurs Seat, after our experience in Sentosa, Singapore, we have learned cable cars are NOT our thing. It does appear however, that they are very much Australia’s thing with what felt like the entirety of Victoria visiting the same day as us. Arthurs seat was so busy in fact we couldn’t park and had to leave without stopping by.
If it’s also incredibly busy during your day trip or if you also fear cable cars we know a fabulous alternative – Pt Leo Estate. Not only is it one of the most renowned wineries in the region but it is also home to 135 hectares of landscaped grounds exhibiting over 60 towering sculptures.
Best Mornington Peninsula Day Trips from Melbourne
- Not only does this day tour include entry fees and 3 hours at Mornington Peninsula Hot Springs, but also lunch and tasting at a local winery, a visit to the famous Sunny Ridge strawberry farm with the possibility to pick your own and transport to and from Melbourne CBD! Book your Melbourne day trip to Mornington Peninsula Here.
- If the Hot Springs don’t sound like your idea of fun or you’re just a little braver than us, why not book this day tour from Melbourne instead which includes the scenic Arthur seat where you can enjoy the gondola ride as well as visits to Portsea and Sorrento, the strawberry fields, wine tastings and a tapas lunch!
14. ENJOY THE SEASIDE IN GEELONG
How to get from Melbourne to Geelong
It takes 1 hour to drive from Melbourne CBD to Geelong but also the same time if you opt to travel via public transport. You can take a train from Southern Cross Station straight to North Shore Station in Geelong, taking approximately 1 hour. You could also visit Geelong as part of your day trip from Melbourne to Queenscliff.
- Botanical Gardens
- Old Geelong Gaol
- Buckley Falls
- The Waterfront
- Eastern Beach
Why you will love this Day Trip from Melbourne
Geelong is not only the second largest city in Victoria, it is one of the best day trips from Melbourne for those looking for a seaside retreat to remember. Firstly, head for the Waterfront which is the gem of Geelong, attracting many prestigious awards as well as being known as one of Australia’s most beautiful waterfronts. From helicopter to Harley Davidson rides there are many ways to explore the curved art deco boardwalk, waterfront and beautiful Eastern Beach.
Along the waterfront you will also spot the iconic Baywalk Bollards which are a series of sculptures depicting characters related to Geelong. Starting in Limeburners Point, the trail features over 100 statues from Eastern Beach and the Botanic Gardens, through to the central waterfront precinct, along Western Beach to Rippleside Park. Download the Geelong Arts and Culture Trails App where you can find an image and description of who each one is to help guide your trail.
One of the most popular things to do in Geelong is explore the impressive natural beauty of the area. Visitors of all ages will enjoy the scenic Buckley Falls which offers easy walking trails for families as well as picturesque waterfall views. Alternatively, head to the Geelong Botanic Gardens for a relaxing picnic surrounded by region’s finest flora and fauna.
15. DISCOVER HISTORIC BALLARAT
How to get from Melbourne to Ballarat
From Melbourne to Ballarat is around 1 hour 25 minute drive. It is also accessible via public transport. Take the train from Southern Cross Station to Ballarat Station and it takes the same time, 1 hour 25 minutes.
- Hop Temple
- Sovereign Hill
- The Gold Museum
- Ballarat Art Gallery
Why you will love this Day Trip
If like us, you’re a fan of a colder climate, Ballarat will prove one of your favourite Melbourne day trips as it’s one of the coldest places in Australia due to its Southern, inland location.
The city is famous for the gold rush in the 1800s and to this day gold can still be found here. To learn about the fascinating history of Ballarat, your day trip should start at Sovereign Hill – a recreation of the gold mining township from the 1860s. Young and old will enjoy spending hours here from the costumed characters to panning for your own treasure there is so much to see and learn! Your ticket also allows access to the nearby Gold Museum (accessible via the free Gold Rush Express) which showcases interactive exhibits and findings from the Eureka Rebellion.
Art lovers will love the Art Gallery of Ballarat as it is the oldest provincial gallery in Australia and showcases Australian icons as well as international artists.
After a morning of gold digging & gallery visiting enjoy a well earned drink at Hop temple. With over 19 craft beers on tap (plus 200 in stock) and a delicious menu to match, beer lovers will not be disappointed. For those with a beer fear, opt for a scrumptious cocktail instead and if you time your visit well you’ll be treated to live music.
Best Ballarat Day Tours from Melbourne
- This Ballarat day tour includes transport from Melbourne as well as entrance to Sovereign Hill where young and old will enjoy learning about the Gold Rush and life in the 1800s. This tour also includes a guide so you can ask endless questions and discover endless facts about historical Ballarat.
- Alternatively, this Ballarat day trip from Melbourne includes the fascinating Sovereign Hill and Gold Museum as well as entry and guided tour of Ballarat Wildlife Park for the animal lovers.
16. THE MACEDON RANGES
How to get from Melbourne to the Macedon Ranges
The Macedon Ranges are one of the best Melbourne day trips as its only a one hour drive from the city, but you will feel worlds away!
Macedon Ranges Highlights
- Hanging Rock
- Camels Hump
- Macedon Ranges Art Trail
- Mount Macedon
Why you will love this Day Trip
The Macedon Ranges are one of the most popular day trips from Melbourne because in just one hour you can escape the chaos of the city and be surrounded by tranquil, mountainous scenery. Even better if you can time your day trip in Winter to experience the snowfall that covers the ranges like a dusting of icing sugar.
The first stop (and most popular photo opportunity) is Hanging Rock otherwise known as Mount Diogenes. This unique volcanic formation located nearby Woodend and Mount Macedon is a natural phenomenon not to be missed.
Nearby is Camels Hump which is the highest peak in the Macedon Ranges, offering superb views of the region. Like Hanging rock, it is a mamelon (a volcanic structure created over six million years ago when lava forced through a small vent in the earth’s crust.) The Camels Hump to Days Picnic Ground hike is a leisurely 1.8km and only takes 30‐40 minutes one way.
Alongside the striking natural beauty of the area, there are numerous galleries, exhibitions and activities to be found along the Macedon Ranges arts trail which connects local artists to visitors from all over the world. You can join a guided tour or discover the latest events here.
Melbourne is (and always will be) one of our favourite cities in the world, but hopefully these Melbourne day trips have inspired you to hop in the car (or bus) and escape the urban life for some spectacular nature and relaxation. Have we missed your favourite day trips from Melbourne off our list? Let us know in the comments, we’re always looking for excuses to return!