Melbourne is the most popular city in Australia and I loved my time there, I just wished I had spent a little longer, but I could only spend 7 days in the city.
I enjoyed the vibrant and hip city life; the people were so friendly and there was so much to do. I met some fabulous people along the way.
While I wandered around the city, exploring the top tourist attractions and the lesser-known locations. I also took a couple of day trips from Melbourne.
I loved the different scenery; I took a tour down the famous Great Ocean Road and flew over the 12 Apostles.
The landscape is spectacular, with these 12 rock formations sticking out of the ocean.
Yet, while the Great Ocean Road is a famous day trip from Melbourne, there are numerous day trips, where you can explore beautiful beaches, exotic wildlife, scenic drives, unbelievable hikes, wonderful landscapes and many more.
Why miss out on an adventure of a lifetime, when you could include one of these best day trips from Melbourne to your Australian itinerary.
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How to get around Melbourne
With great roads and public transport infrastructure, it is easy to travel to these best day trips from Melbourne.
You could hire a vehicle and drive, or book tickets to travel on public transport. It is quick, easy and you can travel at your own pace.
When I took a day trip from Melbourne along the Great Ocean Road, I booked a tour. All the hassle of planning and the logistics was taken care of.
The tour took me to all the important stops along the way, I even took a helicopter flight over the 12 Apostles.
Although a tour is one of the most expensive ways to travel, however it was hassle free and a great way to meet fellow travel companions along the way.
Best tours to book for a day trip from Melbourne
Here are a couple of the bestselling day trips from Melbourne that we haven’t included below.
Best day trips from Melbourne
Get out of the city and explore more regions around Melbourne, with these best day trips.
Halls Gap is around 3 hours away from Melbourne in the western districts of Victoria Australia.
The town is located in the magnificent Grampians National Park.
From the flat semi-arid countryside to the step rising mountains with their rock faces and alpine vegetation, the Grampians are amazing.
For your visit to Halls Gap, you will find no shortage of things to do in the town and the surrounding area.
Nature walks to Waterfalls, exploring lookouts and hiking are the most popular activities in the region. Some of the best waterfalls include McKenzie and Silverband falls.
Those looking for a view head to the Pinnacles with its all-encompassing views of the western districts.
You will find a number of wineries where you can try the local varieties and eat some world-class food. The local brewery, Papers, Scissors, Rock in Halls Gap serves some great craft beer and bar food while the Spirit of Punjab serves some of the best Indian food west of Melbourne.
Looking for something fun to do try the Grampians Adventure Golf, the self-proclaimed best mini golf course in Victoria.
Further afield you can explore Stawell and even some of the silo trail.
How to get there: You can drive, alternatively a train from Melbourne to Halls Gap
Distance: 250 km, nearly 3 hours by car
Contributed by Mark from Wyld Family Travel
Lakes Entrance is the capital of the Gippsland lakes located 322 kilometres east of Melbourne.
The 90 Mile Beach runs parallel to the lakes system allowing you to access both the lakes and the ocean.
Lakes Entrance is aptly known because it is the only place on the coast that the ocean meets the lake via an entrance. This makes Lakes entrance a hot spot for ocean creatures.
You will regularly see seals and Dolphins. The Burrunan Dolphins are not found anywhere else on Earth besides the lakes system of Gippsland.
Walks along the waterfront, dinners in local seafood restaurants and drinking wine at the Wyanga Park Winery are perfect for a weekend away.
The Lakes are popular for boating, fishing and all types of water sports. There are day cruises that can take around the Gippsland lakes or even up to the winery.
The other nearby towns on the lakes system to visit include Metung and Paynesville. The famous Raymond Island Koala walk is easily accessed from Paynesville.
You will be able to find plenty of things to do in Lakes Entrance on your romantic weekend away
How to get there: You can drive, or catch the train from Melbourne to Lakes Entrance
Distance: About 320 km and nearly 4 hours journey by car
Contributed by Bec from Travels in Gippsland
Yarra Valley is one of the best day trips from Melbourne, especially for wine lovers. It was the first wine-growing area in Australia and has been making wine since 1838.
Yarra Valley is now home to 70 wineries that produce mostly Chardonnay, sparkling wine, and Pinot Noir.
This gorgeous wine tasting area lies a little over an hour’s drive from Melbourne. You can opt to rent a car and drive yourself, hire a driver, or go on an organized tour. I highly recommend taking a tour as it was a no-stress way to visit multiple wineries and you will not have to plan anything.
The main attraction of Yarra Valley is its wineries. However, there are also a couple of popular breweries you can visit as well that serve some great food options.
Another major highlight in Yarra Valley is the Yarra Valley Chocolatierie. Here you can sample some delicious homemade chocolate, eat some ice cream, or grab some of their chocolatey desserts. You can also opt to eat there as well.
Another popular stop is the Yarra Valley Dairy, which produces some fresh and delicious cheeses. Some of the best cheeses I have ever had came from the Yarra Valley Dairy.
Yarra Valley is the perfect day trip from Melbourne for couples or a group of friends. It is a great mix of delicious food and drinks.
How to get there: Drive, Tour
Distance: About 40 km and a little over 1 hour to drive.
Recommended tours: Full day Yarra Valley Wine experience with lunch
Contributed by Francesca from Homeroom Travel
Other great Yarra Valley tours:
Daylesford is a lovely easy day trip from Melbourne and is often called the spa capital of Victoria (and even Australia!).
Daylesford is only a one-hour drive from Melbourne so you’ll have plenty of time to explore this quaint little city situated at the foothills of the Great Dividing Range.
Having your own car is the easiest way to get to Daylesford, however, there are busses going there as well.
There are lots of things to do in Daylesford, from relaxing in one of the many spas, exploring the lovely city center and its beautiful historic buildings or having a picnic at Lake Daylesford.
If you happen to visit on a Sunday, you are in luck! Daylesford Sunday Market is one of the most popular markets in Victoria and with good reason. With 90+ vendor stalls selling everything from delicious local produce to clothing, art and souvenirs you’ll be spending at least an hour or two here.
Getting hungry? Head to Cliffy’s , one of the most beloved places for lunch (and also breakfast or brunch).
For dinner, Harvest Café is a good option and if you are looking for a fancy restaurant there is no better place than the Lake House Hotel.
If you do plan to spend the night in Daylesford, Daylesford Hotel is a great and very affordable place to stay.
How to get there: Drive, public transport
Distance: 110 km and nearly 1 and a half hours by car,
Contributed by Lotte From Phenomenal Globe Travel Blog
Grampians National Park
Looking for waterfalls, hiking and a retreat in the wilderness? The Grampians National Park is the day trip for you. Head off early and choose a day hike or a mix of driveable panoramic scenic lookouts to make the most out of your time here.
For hikers, there is a huge variety of fantastic hikes, such as the Hollow Mountain Walk, Pinnacles Hike or Mount Abrupt.
Alternatively, The Balconies is an easy, 1km hike with amazing panoramic views over the landscape below.
Baroko Lookout, pictured, is another must-do that’s only a few minutes from the carpark. And in Winter, there are plenty of snowy escapes such as Mt William, where you can enjoy an unexpected Australian Winter Wonderland.
Waterfall chasers won’t want to miss Mackenzie Falls, a highlight in The Grampians. Follow the staircase down to the falls (it’s only a 2km return walk, but fairly steep), and enjoy walking over the stepping stones in front of the 35-metre tall falls.
This day trip isn’t for the faint-hearted, it’s a 3-hour drive from Melbourne. Thankfully, in my experience the drive was the best part. Driving back to Melbourne at dusk, I saw hundreds of kangaroos as the sun set. I also saw emus and a brown snake in the park too!
How to get there: Car or tour
Distance: Nearly 260km and about 3 hours driving
Contributed by Cassie from Cassie The Hag
Other Grampian National Park tours:
Phillip Island is located around two hours from the city centre of Melbourne and makes for the perfect day-trip for all types of travellers.
It’s a beautiful spot to enjoy nature and see Australia’s incredible wild-life.
Phillip Island is known for its penguins, of course, which you can most commonly encounter in the evenings. You could also take a boat tour to see seals or even whales.
Phillip Island is also fantastic for hiking and exploring. The coastline is quite beautiful with plenty of opportunities for swimming or relaxing. Definitely stop by Maru Koala and Animal Park to see Koalas and other wildlife up close.
This is a very environmentally conscious park which is animal-friendly and more of a sanctuary than a zoo.
Another great activity to try on Phillip Island is to try surfing or kayaking. This area is fantastic for water sports and there are opportunities for both experienced and beginner surfers around the island.
After an exciting day of activities you should stop by the Churchill Island Farmers Market. Come here for fantastically fresh produce and plenty of snacks and foods to try.
Afterwards make sure to visit the Phillip Island Winery for some much-needed drinks and maybe even a bottle or two to take home.
How to get there: Car or tour
Distance: About 140km and nearly a 2 hour drive.
Contributed by Victoria from My Australia Trip
Travelling with children? You may also want to consider doing these 5 days out in Melbourne with kids.
Other great Phillips Island tours:
The Great Ocean Road
The great Ocean Road is not only one of the best road trips to take in Australia, but is the most famous day trip from Melbourne.
Wind down the open road, with beautiful landscape, until you finally reach the highlight, the 12 Apostles.
The 12 Apostles are rock formations juting out from the ocean.
There are plenty of stops along the way, to take epic photographs of the landscape and the ocean crashing against the shore.
You can easily take public transport, but this takes all the fun out of a road trip. But in our opinion, a tour is more favourable. It is stress free, with all the stops and driving taken care of.
You can book one of The Great Ocean Road tours here:
Melbourne is a fun packed city to visit, but so are these best day trips.
Get involved in nature, relax on a sandy beach, learn some history and so much more.
Oh, I loved just getting out seeing and experiencing something different, with different landscapes. You really need to include one of these best day trips from Melbourne to your itinerary.
What was your favourite day trip from Melbourne? Is there a specific place you can’t wait to explore? Just let us know, by leaving a comment below.
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