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The 5 Best Day Trips From Melbourne, Australia


Modified: December 27, 2023

by Mariana Mcauliffe



Melbourne, the vibrant capital of Victoria, Australia, is not only known for its cultural diversity and bustling city life but also for its stunning natural landscapes. Situated on the southeastern coast, Melbourne offers easy access to a plethora of picturesque destinations that are perfect for day trips.


Whether you’re a nature lover, adventure seeker, or simply looking to escape the city for a day, Melbourne has something to offer for everyone. From majestic coastal drives to adorable wildlife encounters, there is no shortage of incredible day trip options to explore.


In this article, we will take a closer look at the five best day trips from Melbourne, Australia. These destinations showcase the beauty and diversity of the surrounding region and provide a refreshing break from the urban hustle and bustle.


So, without further ado, let’s dive into the list of incredible day trips waiting to be discovered just a stone’s throw away from Melbourne!


Great Ocean Road

The Great Ocean Road is a must-visit destination for nature enthusiasts and road trip enthusiasts alike. Stretching over 240 kilometers along the stunning Australian coastline, this iconic road offers breathtaking panoramic views, rugged cliffs, and pristine beaches.


Starting from Torquay, just an hour’s drive from Melbourne, the drive along the Great Ocean Road takes you through a series of picturesque towns including Lorne, Apollo Bay, and Port Campbell. While the entire journey is a feast for the eyes, there are several standout attractions that are not to be missed.


One of the most famous landmarks along the Great Ocean Road is the Twelve Apostles. These towering limestone stacks rising from the Southern Ocean create a mesmerizing sight, particularly during sunrise or sunset. Other notable stops along the way include Loch Ard Gorge, Gibsons Steps, and the London Arch.


Aside from the stunning vistas, the Great Ocean Road also provides ample opportunities for outdoor activities. You can try your hand at surfing in Torquay, take a scenic hike in Great Otway National Park, or even embark on a helicopter ride to experience the breathtaking coastal views from above.


It’s worth noting that the Great Ocean Road is not just about the journey — the towns along the way offer a delightful blend of cafes, restaurants, and boutique shops. You can stop by for a meal at one of the local seafood restaurants or indulge in some retail therapy by browsing through the unique arts and crafts stores.


Whether you choose to embark on a one-day road trip or opt to spend a night along the way, the Great Ocean Road promises an unforgettable experience that showcases the raw beauty of the Australian coastline.


Phillip Island

Located just a short drive from Melbourne, Phillip Island is a haven for wildlife enthusiasts and beachgoers. This small island is famous for its pristine beaches, abundant wildlife, and the world-famous penguin parade.


One of the main attractions on Phillip Island is the nightly penguin parade at Summerland Beach. As the sun sets, little penguins, also known as fairy penguins, emerge from the sea and waddle their way across the beach to their burrows. It’s a magical experience that allows visitors to witness these adorable creatures in their natural habitat.


In addition to the penguins, Phillip Island is also home to a diverse range of wildlife. If you’re lucky, you may spot Australian fur seals lounging on the rocks at Seal Rocks or encounter koalas in their natural habitat at the Koala Conservation Centre.


For those seeking some beach relaxation, Phillip Island has several stunning sandy beaches to choose from. Cowes Beach and Smiths Beach are popular spots for swimming and sunbathing, while Cape Woolamai is renowned for its impressive coastal cliffs and excellent surf.


In addition to its natural attractions, Phillip Island also offers other activities to keep you entertained. You can visit the Phillip Island Grand Prix Circuit, which hosts international motor racing events, or explore the historic Churchill Island Heritage Farm, where you can learn about the island’s pioneering past.


Before leaving the island, be sure to visit the Nobbies Centre, which offers breathtaking views of the rugged coastline and the chance to spot seals, penguins, and seabirds. The nearby Antarctic Journey exhibition provides a fascinating insight into the world of Antarctic exploration.


Whether you’re captivated by the penguin parade, keen to explore the island’s natural beauty, or simply looking for a relaxing beach getaway, Phillip Island has something for everyone.


Yarra Valley

If you’re a lover of wine, gourmet food, and stunning countryside, then a day trip to the Yarra Valley is a must-do when visiting Melbourne. Located just an hour’s drive from the city, the Yarra Valley is a picturesque region famous for its world-class wineries, charming cellar doors, and breathtaking scenery.


One of the highlights of the Yarra Valley is its wine production. The region is renowned for its cool-climate wines, particularly Chardonnay and Pinot Noir. A visit to the Yarra Valley offers the opportunity to explore a variety of boutique wineries, indulge in wine tastings, and learn about the winemaking process from knowledgeable experts.


Aside from wine, the Yarra Valley is also a food lover’s paradise. You can sample local produce at the numerous farm gates and artisanal food shops scattered throughout the region. From freshly picked berries to handmade cheeses and chocolates, there’s a delectable treat to suit every palate.


For those seeking a more active experience, the Yarra Valley offers plenty of outdoor activities. You can embark on a scenic hot air balloon ride and admire the region’s rolling hills and vineyards from above. Or lace up your hiking boots and explore the beautiful trails in the Dandenong Ranges, which offer breathtaking views and opportunities for wildlife spotting.


One of the iconic landmarks in the Yarra Valley is the Healesville Sanctuary, a bushland haven for native Australian wildlife. Here, you can get up close and personal with kangaroos, koalas, wombats, and a range of other fascinating animals.


If you’re a lover of culture and art, be sure to visit the TarraWarra Museum of Art, which showcases contemporary Australian artwork in a stunning architectural setting. The museum is surrounded by beautiful vineyards, providing the perfect backdrop for a leisurely stroll.


Whether you’re a wine connoisseur, a foodie, or an outdoor enthusiast, a day trip to the Yarra Valley promises a delightful escape from the city and a chance to explore the beauty and flavors of the Australian countryside.


Wilsons Promontory National Park

For nature lovers and outdoor enthusiasts, a day trip to Wilsons Promontory National Park is a must when visiting Melbourne. Located at the southernmost tip of mainland Australia, this pristine national park offers breathtaking coastal views, stunning hiking trails, and an abundance of wildlife.


Wilsons Promontory, also known as “The Prom” by locals, boasts a diverse range of ecosystems, including sandy beaches, rugged mountains, and dense forests. With over 80 kilometers of walking tracks, there are plenty of opportunities to explore the park’s natural wonders.


One of the most popular hiking trails is the Mount Oberon Summit Walk, which offers panoramic views of the surrounding landscapes. The summit is particularly breathtaking at sunrise or sunset, providing a mesmerizing display of colors over the ocean and the coastline.


If you prefer a coastal experience, a visit to Squeaky Beach is a must. This unique beach is famous for its fine quartz sand, which squeaks under your feet as you walk. It’s a perfect spot for picnics, beachcombing, and even swimming during the warmer months.


Wilsons Promontory is also home to a wealth of wildlife. Keep an eye out for kangaroos, emus, wombats, and a variety of bird species as you explore the park. You may even spot seals basking on the rocks or dolphins frolicking in the waters along the coastline.


For those who want to spend more than a day in the park, Wilsons Promontory offers camping facilities and cabins. Falling asleep to the sounds of nature and waking up to the crisp morning air is an experience like no other.


Before leaving the park, be sure to visit the Tidal River Visitor Centre, where you can learn more about the park’s history, flora, and fauna. The knowledgeable staff can provide helpful tips and information on the best trails to explore based on your interests and fitness levels.


Wilsons Promontory National Park is a haven of natural beauty and tranquility, providing the perfect escape from the city. With its stunning landscapes, diverse wildlife, and rewarding hiking trails, a day trip to “The Prom” is an experience that will leave you in awe of Australia’s natural wonders.


Mornington Peninsula

Just a short drive from Melbourne, the Mornington Peninsula is a charming coastal region that offers a perfect blend of stunning beaches, picturesque vineyards, and natural hot springs. This popular day trip destination is known for its relaxed vibe, breathtaking scenery, and a wide range of activities to suit every taste.


The Mornington Peninsula is blessed with beautiful beaches along its coastline. Whether you’re looking for a quiet spot for a seaside picnic or a vibrant beach for swimming and water sports, you’re sure to find the perfect stretch of sand to suit your needs. Popular beaches include the family-friendly Dromana Beach, the surf haven of Gunnamatta Beach, and the beautiful and secluded Sorrento Back Beach.


For wine enthusiasts, a visit to the Mornington Peninsula’s vineyards and cellar doors is a must. The region is renowned for its cool-climate wines, particularly Pinot Noir and Chardonnay. You can embark on a wine tasting tour, sample delicious local produce, and learn about the winemaking process from passionate vintners.


One of the unique attractions of the Mornington Peninsula is the Peninsula Hot Springs. Nestled in a picturesque landscape, these natural mineral-rich hot springs offer a rejuvenating and therapeutic experience. Soak in the warm waters, indulge in a relaxing spa treatment, and immerse yourself in the tranquil surroundings.


The Mornington Peninsula is also a haven for outdoor enthusiasts. With an extensive network of walking and hiking trails, you can explore the region’s stunning national parks and coastal reserves. The Point Nepean National Park is a popular choice, offering breathtaking coastal views, historic military fortifications, and an opportunity to spot wildlife.


For wildlife lovers, a visit to the Moonlit Sanctuary Wildlife Conservation Park is a must. Here, you can get up close and personal with a wide range of Australian animals, including kangaroos, koalas, and even the elusive Tasmanian devil.


Before leaving the Mornington Peninsula, take some time to explore the charming coastal towns and villages that dot the region. From the boutique shops and galleries of Sorrento to the vibrant cafes and restaurants of Mornington, there’s plenty to discover and savor.


The Mornington Peninsula offers a delightful escape from the city, with its natural beauty, culinary delights, and relaxing activities. Whether you’re seeking adventure, relaxation, or a bit of both, a day trip to this stunning coastal region will leave you refreshed and rejuvenated.



Melbourne, Australia’s vibrant capital, is not only a city bursting with culture and urban attractions but also a gateway to breathtaking day trips. From scenic coastal drives to picturesque national parks, Melbourne offers a wide array of destinations that showcase the natural beauty and diversity of the surrounding region.


The Great Ocean Road stands as a testament to the awe-inspiring beauty of Australia’s coastline. With its stunning cliffs, pristine beaches, and iconic landmarks like the Twelve Apostles, it is a must-visit day trip from Melbourne.


Phillip Island is a paradise for wildlife enthusiasts, with its famous penguin parade, fur seal colonies, and opportunities to encounter unique Australian animals in their natural habitats.


The Yarra Valley, just a short drive from Melbourne, offers a haven for wine lovers and food enthusiasts. With its world-class wineries, gourmet food offerings, and idyllic countryside, it is the perfect destination for a day of indulgence and relaxation.


Wilsons Promontory National Park, located at the southernmost tip of mainland Australia, captivates visitors with its pristine beaches, hiking trails, and abundant wildlife. It is a haven for those seeking a connection with nature and an escape into wilderness.


The Mornington Peninsula entices visitors with its stunning beaches, renowned vineyards, and natural hot springs. Whether you’re seeking relaxation or adventure, this coastal region offers a perfect blend of activities and experiences.


These five day trip destinations near Melbourne provide a glimpse into the natural wonders and diverse landscapes that Australia has to offer. From the stunning coastal vistas to the charming wineries, each destination promises its own unique adventure.


So, whether you’re a nature lover, a wine connoisseur, or simply looking to escape the city for a day, Melbourne has a plethora of day trip options waiting to be explored. Embark on these unforgettable journeys and immerse yourself in the beauty and wonder of the Australian landscape.


Plan your day trips, pack your bags, and get ready to embark on an adventure that will leave you with memories to last a lifetime.