&noscript=1" /> 5 Day Trips From Melbourne Every Nature Lover Must Do

5 Day Trips From Melbourne For Nature Lovers

4 mins read

Steavenson Falls

There’s an adventure waiting for you just a short drive from Melbourne.

We’ve done the exploring for you and collated these 5 day trips for every nature-loving Melbournian.

1. Macedon Ranges: Volcanic Waterfalls and Short Hike

Trentham Falls heavy flow
Trentham Falls. Photography by: @rosiebartle
  • Time from Melbourne: 60 – 90 minutes
  • Direction: North
  • Best Season to Visit: Autumn

Just an hours drive from Melbourne, the Macedon Ranges region holds the highest single-drop waterfall in Victoria: Trentham Falls. Plunging from a 32-metre drop, it really puts on a show after heavy rain. Jump back in the car for a further half hour to visit Turpins Falls too. In the warmer months of the year, these waterfalls are likely to dry up; but, no need to worry as Turpins Falls serves as a huge swimming hole (compulsory Speedo’s and inflatable swan).

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Heading South back towards Melbourne, stretch the legs on the Hanging Rock Summit Walk. A 2-kilometre hike plus time to explore the rock formations and snap the scenic view at the top should take you around 90 minutes.

Last stop, the township of Macedon. The picture-perfect aesthetics change with the seasons here – drive up Mount Macedon to catch snow in Winter or visit Honour Avenue and the pine plantation for a sensational display of Autumn Colours.

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If there’s still daylight left, make a quick stop at the Organ Pipes National Park on the way back to Melbourne.

2. Phillip Island: A Rugged Coastline and Shipwreck

The Pinnacles Phillip Island
Tha Pinnacles, Cape Woolamai. Photography by: @brodyexplores
  • Time from Melbourne: 90 minutes
  • Direction: South-East
  • Best Season to Visit: Summer

Just a 90-minute road trip South you’ll make the cross from the mainland onto Phillip Island. To make the most of this day trip you should check the local tide times as the Forrest Caves and SS Speke Shipwreck are best explored on low tide.

The Forrest Caves break the stereotype, they’re not underground but rather beach-side on the Southern shore. Take the cruisy 700 metre walk down onto the beach to hang out inside the caverns. The SS Speke ran aground in 1906 not far from Kitty Miller Bay. Most of the ship was destroyed on impact but what’s left is a gem for photography.

The Pinnacles are yet another natural wonder that you must-see on Phillip Island. A dramatic seascape worthy of a postcard or that next Insta photo you’ve been waiting for – we recommend sunset. Also, why not make the most of your time at Cape Wooalamai and send it down the Phillip Island Sand Dunes?

3. Mornington Peninsula: Cliff Jumping and Rock Pools

Blairgowrie Jumping Rock
Blairgowrie Jumping Rock. Photography by: @mattcharlesworth
  • Time from Melbourne: 90 minutes
  • Direction: South
  • Best Season to Visit: Summer

Head South-East around the bay towards the Mornington Peninsula, Melbourne’s Summer hot spot. Take the fastest route to the London Bridge Lookout in Portsea (90 minutes from Melbourne) and spend the day slowly exploring your way back up the Peninsula. Enjoy the golden glow from the many rock formations and dip the toes in to test the temperature for later.

Next stop, arrive early to beat the crowds at the Blairgowrie Jumping Rock. Take on the daring 7-metre cliff jump or splash about in the turquoise rock pool. Either way Bridgewater Bay is just one of those places you have to see for yourself.

Go searching for rock pools near the Cape Schanck Lighthouse. A 6-kilometre return hike to Bushrangers Bay will take you off-the-beaten-track to find a number of naturally occurring pools. Or, take the steps down onto the pebble beach from the lighthouse and navigate around to the right past pulpit rock until you find picturesque rock pools at Cape Schanck.

Lastly, catch the sunset at the Mt Martha Pillars en route back to Melbourne.

4. Yarra Valley: Giant Trees and Steavenson Falls

Steavenson Falls in Marysville, Victoria
Steavenson Falls, Marysville. Photography by: @mattcharlesworth
  • Time from Melbourne: 90 – 120 minutes
  • Direction: North-East
  • Best Season to Visit: Spring

The drive from Melbourne towards the Yarra Valley becomes very interesting at the 90-minute mark. Weave beneath giant Mountain Ash trees on the famous Black Spur. Arrive early enough and with some luck, witness a thick layer of fog sweep through the forest. Park at Dom Dom Saddle nearing the end of the drive to stretch the legs and experience the native trees on foot.

Continue another 15 minutes until you reach the town of Marysville. Steavenson Falls and Keppel Lookout are the absolute highlights here that you must see. There is a bottom and a top viewing platform at Steavenson Falls due to its sheer size. Keppel Lookout offers stunning, mountainous scenery towards the Cathedral Range. Make individual drives to each or loop them in a 14 kilometre hike.

Gather the crew and enjoy the scenic drive back down to Melbourne.

5. Noojee: Rolling Hills and Waterfall Circuit 

Toorongo River
Toorongo River. Photography by: @mattcharlesworth
  • Time from Melbourne: 90 – 120 minutes
  • Direction: South-East
  • Best Season to Visit: Spring

Mt Cannibal is a hidden gem that lies just a stone throw from the extension of the Monash Freeway en route to Noojee. Just under an hour from Melbourne, this 2.6 kilometre circuit offers a first look at Gippsland’s rolling hills and rich soil.

Push on for a further 45 minutes to arrive at the Giant Trestle Bridge just shy of the Noojee township. Standing at an impressive 20 metres tall and 100 metres long, it’s the only one of its kind in Victoria. Snap your pics and appreciate the serenity, it’s time to hop back in the car.

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Drive-by the township of Noojee to continue on the Mt Baw Baw Tourist Road and follow signs to Toorongo Falls. Trudge around the 2 kilometre circuit to witness the picture-perfect Toorongo Falls and its smaller cousin Ampitheatre Falls. It can get pretty muddy after rain but that’s all part of the fun right?

Be sure to visit The Trail to find more hidden gems in Melbourne and surrounds.

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Matt Charlesworth is the co-founder of Humble Trail, an independent publisher born from a passion to showcase Australia's natural wonders. With a love for outdoor adventures, Matt has spent countless weekends surfing at Phillip Island and dreaming of van conversions for ultimate Australian explorations. Though he has stepped back to allow a dedicated team to lead, his spirit of adventure and dedication to connecting people with the beauty of Australia continue to inspire the content and vision of Humble Trail.

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