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16 Best Day Trips from Melbourne 2024

20/05/2024
10 mins read
Black Spur Drive
Source: Visit Victoria

Counting down to Friday and planning an epic day trip from Melbourne this weekend? We’ve got you covered with our list of day trip ideas from Melbourne as it offers something for everyone.

Whether you’re planning a day trip as a date for a special someone or just looking for a scenic drive around Victoria, this guide is for you. Get ready to pack your bags and embark on a journey that highlights the very best of Victoria’s diverse and beautiful landscapes.

Mornington Peninsula

With its golden beaches, lush vineyards, and scenic national parks, there’s truly something for everyone. From hot springs to bakeries and beautiful walks, this spot delivers an unbeatable effort-to-reward ratio compared to the longer drive to the Great Ocean Road.

Cape Schanck boardwalk, highly rated —After having been there dozens of times, it still never fails to impress. The views are breathtaking, and if you’re lucky, you might even spot a whale gliding through the waters. It’s the perfect place to reconnect with nature and snap some epic photos.

Arthurs Seat is also a great spot to check out, especially with kids. The views from the summit are spectacular, and the Arthurs Seat Eagle gondola ride offers a fun and scenic way to see the landscape. Don’t forget to drop by the Enchanted Adventure Garden, where kids can enjoy mazes, tube slides, and treetop walks.

While you’re in the area, make sure to drop by Millers Bread Kitchen. It’s a local gem that everyone in the know raves about. Trust me, once you try their bread and pastries, you’ll understand why it’s so hyped.

Mornington Peninsula blends natural beauty with luxurious indulgences, making it an ideal getaway just a short drive from the city. Whether you’re exploring coastal towns, indulging in wine tastings, or soaking up the serenity at the hot springs and spa, this destination promises a perfect escape from the urban grind.

  • Known For: Golden beaches, vineyards, and national parks.
  • Distance/Travel Time: Approximately 75 km / 1.5 hours from Melbourne CBD
  • Google Map Link: Mornington Peninsula

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Red Hill

Technically in Mornington Peninsula, Red Hill is a hidden gem known for its vineyards, orchards, and gourmet food.

Spend your day tasting wines at local wineries, hiking the scenic trails or go through a stack of ribs at Red Gum BBQ Red Hill. The beautiful countryside and art galleries showcasing local talent add to its charm.

Red Hill is perfect for a leisurely, indulgent day trip. Enjoy the scenic beauty, sample local delicacies, and immerse yourself in the artistic culture of this charming region.

  • Known For: Vineyards, orchards, gourmet food producers, and hikes.
  • Distance/Travel Time: Approximately 85 km / 1.5 hours from Melbourne CBD
  • Google Map Link: Red Hill

Dandenong Ranges & Puffing Billy Railway

Just a short drive from Melbourne, the Dandenong Ranges offer a tranquil escape with their misty forests, charming villages, and the historic Puffing Billy Railway. Wander through the lush fern gullies and towering mountain ash trees of Sherbrooke Forest. Take a ride on the Puffing Billy for a nostalgic journey through the scenic countryside, enjoying spectacular views along the way.

Visit the quaint village of Olinda for boutique shopping and delightful cafes, or explore the beautiful Alfred Nicholas Memorial Gardens. The Dandenong Ranges are perfect for a peaceful and scenic day trip, combining natural beauty with a touch of history.

  • Known For: Misty forests, hilltop villages, and the Puffing Billy Railway.
  • Distance/Travel Time: Approximately 50 km / 1 hour from Melbourne CBD
  • Google Map Link: Dandenong Ranges & Puffing Billy Railway

Phillip Island

Phillip Island is synonymous with the adorable Penguin Parade, where visitors can watch these little creatures waddle ashore at sunset. Beyond the penguins, the island boasts stunning coastal scenery, wildlife parks, and beautiful beaches.

If you’re into the outdoors, don’t forget Cape Woolamai, a renowned spot for its large and consistent surf breaks. Most travelers don’t venture beyond the car park, but the Cape Woolamai Coastal Walk features breathtaking panoramic views and a series of compelling rock formations.

For something a little different, you can also check out the SS Speke Shipwreck at Kitty Miller Bay, it’s one of the most iconic shipwrecks in Victoria.

Phillip Island offers a perfect blend of wildlife encounters and natural beauty, making it a fantastic day trip destination.

  • Known For: Penguin Parade and coastal beauty.
  • Distance/Travel Time: Approximately 140 km / 2 hours from Melbourne CBD
  • Google Map Link: Phillip Island

Yarra Valley & Healesville Sanctuary

Renowned for its world-class wineries, the Yarra Valley is a food and wine lover’s paradise. Spend your day touring the vineyards, sampling gourmet food, and perhaps even taking a hot air balloon ride over the picturesque landscapes. The nearby Healesville Sanctuary offers visitors the chance to get up close with native animals, from kangaroos and koalas to emus and echidnas.

After visiting the sanctuary, explore the beautiful gardens, art galleries, and charming villages in the Yarra Valley. Whether you’re looking to indulge in fine dining or simply enjoy the stunning scenery, the Yarra Valley and Healesville Sanctuary make for a delightful day trip from Melbourne.

  • Known For: Wineries, gourmet food, and native wildlife.
  • Distance/Travel Time: Approximately 60 km / 1 hour from Melbourne CBD
  • Google Map Link: Yarra Valley & Healesville Sanctuary

Warburton

If being surrounded by trees is your thing, Warburton is calling your name. We love it for its lush forests and stunning autumn trails, this charming town is perfect for a day of exploring.

Source: Visit Victoria

The scenic Yarra River meanders through Warburton, providing perfect spots for picnicking and unwinding. For a unique experience, head to the Alpine Trout Farm where you can try your hand at fishing.

The drive there is an adventure in itself, much like the famous Black Spur Drive, one of Victoria’s most scenic drives, with Mt Donna Buang in view and maybe even a dusting of snow if you’re lucky.

Warburton is also dotted with cute tiny houses, perfect for a cozy stay. With peaceful vibes and delightful local cafes and shops, Warburton is an ideal mix of adventure and relaxation, making it the perfect day trip from Melbourne.

Source: Visit Victoria
  • Known For: Lush forests, scenic walks, and the Warburton Rail Trail.
  • Distance/Travel Time: Approximately 76 km / 1.5 hours from Melbourne CBD
  • Google Map Link: Warburton

Marysville

For a change of scenery, head to Marysville, a beautiful town known for its breathtaking waterfalls, scenic hiking trails, and serene atmosphere.

Marysville’s serene beauty and artistic flair make it a wonderful destination for a relaxing day out. Enjoy a peaceful stroll along the trails, or take in the local art scene at the Marysville Community Art Space.

  • Known For: Scenic walking trails, waterfalls, and Bruno’s Art and Sculpture Garden.
  • Distance/Travel Time: Approximately 98 km / 1.5 hours from Melbourne CBD
  • Google Map Link: Marysville

Daylesford

Daylesford is your go-to for chill vibes and serious spa pampering! Think beautiful autumn leaves setting the scene for a totally instagrammable getaway. This town isn’t just pretty—it’s packed with artisanal shops, quirky galleries, and those iconic mineral springs that promise major relaxation and rejuvenation.

Why not wander through the magical Wombat Hill Botanical Gardens, or treat yourself to a foodie feast at one of the local gourmet spots? Trust me, a day trip here from Melbourne is perfect for anyone looking to dial down the stress and soak up some serenity.a

  • Known For: Known for its spa country, mineral springs, and artisanal shops.
  • Distance/Travel Time: Approximately 115 km / 1.5 hours from Melbourne CBD
  • Google Map Link: Daylesford

Macedon

Not far away from Daylseford, Macedon is a delightful destination that has plenty of things to do. Renowned for the stunning Hanging Rock and its beautiful gardens. The iconic Hanging Rock offers breathtaking views and a chance to explore the natural beauty that inspired the famous novel and film, “Picnic at Hanging Rock.”

After exploring the rock, visit the Macedon Ranges for their picturesque landscapes and charming wineries. The area is perfect for a relaxing day trip filled with scenic walks and delightful food and wine experiences.

  • Known For: Hanging Rock and beautiful gardens.
  • Distance/Travel Time: Approximately 65 km / 1 hour from Melbourne CBD
  • Google Map Link: Macedon

Castlemaine

Castlemaine is a gold rush gem with history that’ll have you feeling like you’ve stepped back in time, but with a modern twist. The town’s got seriously cool vibes with its old-school architecture and buzzing arts scene. Stroll through the historic Castlemaine Botanical Gardens or hit up the local art galleries and studios showcasing killer talent.

Source: Visit Victoria

The food and wine scene here is next level, with heaps of cafes and restaurants to check out. Castlemaine mixes rich history with contemporary cool, making it a day trip from Melbourne that’s anything but boring.

  • Known For: Gold rush history, architecture, botanical gardens, and art museums.
  • Distance/Travel Time: Approximately 120 km / 1.5 hours from Melbourne CBD
  • Google Map Link: Castlemaine

Ballarat & Sovereign Hill

Step back into the gold rush era with a visit to Ballarat and Sovereign Hill. This historic town offers a fascinating glimpse into Victoria’s rich past with attractions like Sovereign Hill, where you can experience life as it was during the 1850s gold rush. Wander through the recreated streets, try your hand at gold panning, and watch historical reenactments.

Beyond its historical allure, Ballarat boasts beautiful botanical gardens, vibrant art galleries, and a burgeoning foodie scene. It’s a wonderful blend of old and new, making it an engaging day trip for history buffs and modern explorers alike.

  • Known For: Gold rush history and historical intrigue.
  • Distance/Travel Time: Approximately 115 km / 1.5 hours from Melbourne CBD
  • Google Map Link: Ballarat & Sovereign Hill

Geelong & Werribee

Geelong, a coastal city just a short drive from Melbourne, offers a range of waterfront attractions, art galleries, and nearby wineries. Stroll along the Geelong Waterfront, where you can enjoy beautiful views, public art, and a variety of cafes and restaurants. Visit the National Wool Museum for a unique insight into Australia’s wool industry and its importance to the country’s history.

On your way to Geelong, stop by Werribee, home to the Werribee Open Range Zoo. Experience an African safari, seeing giraffes, zebras, and rhinos up close in a naturalistic setting. Also, explore the historic Werribee Mansion and its beautifully manicured gardens. Combining both destinations makes for a diverse and engaging day trip.

  • Known For: Waterfront attractions, art galleries, nearby wineries, and an open-range zoo.
  • Distance/Travel Time: Approximately 75 km / 1 hour from Melbourne CBD
  • Google Map Link: Geelong & Werribee

Great Ocean Road

The Great Ocean Road is one of Australia’s most iconic coastal drives, spanning 243 kilometres along the southeastern coast. Starting in Torquay, this scenic route takes you through charming seaside towns, lush rainforests, and dramatic cliffs, offering breathtaking views at every turn. The Twelve Apostles, a collection of limestone stacks rising majestically from the ocean, is one of the main highlights.

In addition to its natural beauty, the Great Ocean Road is home to quaint towns like Lorne and Apollo Bay, where you can savour fresh seafood and take leisurely coastal walks. Whether you’re catching waves at Bells Beach or hiking through the waterfall-filled Great Otway National Park, this day trip perfectly blends adventure and relaxation.

  • Known For: Breathtaking coastal drive and iconic rock formations.
  • Distance/Travel Time: Approximately 243 km / 3 hours from Melbourne CBD
  • Google Map Link: Great Ocean Road

Mount Buller

Mount Buller is the go-to spot when you think of catching some snow near Melbourne. Sure, seasoned skiers and snowboarders might rave about Hotham, but Buller’s still got plenty to offer for a killer day trip from Melbourne.

In winter, you can shred the slopes with some skiing, snowboarding, and even snowshoeing. When summer hits, Buller transforms into an adventure playground with epic hiking trails, mountain biking, and scenic chairlift rides. The village has all the vibes with cool accommodations, tasty eats, and fun spots to hang out.

It’s probably at the upper limit of what you’d call a day trip if you’re self-guided due to the long drive and windy roads. But if you’re up for the journey, Mount Buller is a solid pick for an awesome day out, no matter the season.

  • Known For: Ski resort, winter activities, and summer outdoor activities.
  • Distance/Travel Time: Approximately 208 km / 3 hours from Melbourne CBD
  • Google Map Link: Mount Buller

Wilsons Promontory

Wilsons Promontory, affectionately known as “The Prom,” is a stunning national park featuring pristine beaches, lush forests, and diverse wildlife. The Prom has plenty of hiking and walking trails that offer panoramic views of the coastline and bushland. Take a walk to Squeaky Beach, known for its white quartz sand that literally squeaks underfoot, or hike up Mount Oberon for an unparalleled view of the park.

The Prom is an ideal destination for nature lovers and outdoor enthusiasts. Whether you’re snorkelling in the clear waters of Refuge Cove or enjoying a peaceful picnic surrounded by natural beauty, Wilsons Promontory offers a true escape into the wild.

  • Known For: Pristine beaches, forests, and wildlife.
  • Distance/Travel Time: Approximately 225 km / 3 hours from Melbourne CBD
  • Google Map Link: Wilsons Promontory

Bendigo

Bendigo is a city rich in gold rush history, boasting magnificent architecture and vibrant cultural attractions. Visit the Bendigo Art Gallery, hop on the vintage tram, and explore the Central Deborah Gold Mine. The city’s lively food and wine scene enhances its charm, offering plenty of cafes, restaurants, and local wineries to enjoy. And I bet you my bottom dollar you didn’t know there’s even a stupa in Melbourne!

Wander through the beautiful Rosalind Park, featuring lush gardens, a cascading waterfall, and the historic Bendigo Conservatory. Bendigo’s rich history and contemporary attractions make it a compelling day trip destination from Melbourne.

  • Known For: Gold rush history, art galleries, and tramways.
  • Distance/Travel Time: Approximately 150 km / 2 hours from Melbourne CBD
  • Google Map Link: Bendigo

Justin Ng

Hi, I’m Justin, I’m passionate about photography, love being outdoors, and have recently picked up running – mostly running away from my problems. When I’m not tinkering with the latest tech products, I’m out exploring Victoria and Australia, capturing its beauty through my lens.

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