Melbourne is Australia’s cultural wonderland, with plenty of fun and excitement for any traveller to enjoy. Whether you’re taking in an exhibition of masterpieces at the National Gallery of Victoria, catching a footy game at the hallowed grounds of the MCG or just enjoying fine food, coffee or wine at one of the city’s world famous cafes or bars, Melbourne is a truly magical place to visit!
But one of the things that makes Melbourne so spectacular is the wealth of amazing places located right outside, or really not that far, from the city itself. From world class surf to lush rainforests, high end wine regions and rugged landscapes, Victoria (the state where Melbourne is located) is a must-see for all travellers!
So, where are some of these stunning regions just outside of Melbourne? And what makes them totally worth the day trip?
Pick up your budget car rental from Melbourne Airport and let’s hit the road…
The Great Ocean Road
The incredible Great Ocean Road stretches on for hours, so you know there is going to be plenty of adventure along its winding roads and towering peaks. The best place to start is in Torquay, where the world famous Bells Beach is located. Numerous beaches in Torquay provide surf classes for newcomers, and other spots are perfect for experienced surfers.
Next, head on down toward the Great Otway National Park and onto Port Campbell. The Great Otway National Park is a natural gem, with plenty of lush flora and some of Australia’s most beloved animals, the koala, hanging out in them!
Port Campbell National Park is just as incredible, with the amazing rock formations of the Twelve Apostles, the London Bridge and The Arch providing some of Victoria's most spectacular natural landmarks!
The Yarra Valley
The Yarra Valley might be one of Australia’s most beloved wine regions, but it is also a gorgeous place to visit in itself, owing in part to its rolling hills and bucolic vineyards. A day trip to the Hunter Valley can be filled with all kinds of wonder: if you get there early enough you can take part in a sunrise hot air balloon ride, before getting your feet back on the ground and your taste buds ready for some of the region’s finest vintages.
Whichever cellar door (or doors!) you find yourself venturing to, be sure to try the Chardonnay and Pinot noir - the Yarra Valley is famous for them!
The Mornington Peninsula
The Mornington Peninsula is Victoria’s answer to The Hamptons or the French Riviera: a gorgeous stretch of coastline that doubles as the playground for the rich and famous. But you don’t have to be an a-lister to enjoy this wonderful part of Victoria - there are plenty of activities, beaches, cellar doors and restaurants for you to enjoy on a budget, too!
Whether you’re spending the afternoon lazing around one of the Peninsula’s delightful beaches (Mornington, Rye, Dromana, Sorrento, Portsea - the list goes on!), heading to the Moonlit Sanctuary Wildlife Conservation Park for encounters with some of Australia’s cutest creatures or heading to an elegant cellar door like those of T’Gallant, Panton Vineyard, Red Hill Estate or Mantons Creek Estate, you can trust the wine is fine and the times even finer on the lovely Mornington Peninsula!
You’re in for a treat wherever you choose
These are our top picks for great times just outside of Melbourne. Pack a car and travel to one of these most enjoyable parts of amazing Victoria - you’re in for an awesome day trip...