Get out and explore beyond the city with these incredible day trips from Melbourne.

The 12 Apostles, Victoria

Melbourne is Australia’s cultural hub, a vibrant city of incredible art, music, delicious food and the world’s best sporting calendar.Yes, we say so with the utmost confidence. While cities like Adelaide, Hobart and Sydney have their own charms on offer, none of them quite rank with the fun and excitement of The Garden City.

One of the things that makes Melbourne such a special place to visit is its close proximity to a diverse array of rural locations. From a stunning coastline to forested valleys and towering clifftops, Melbourne is a daytripper’s delight.

Here are some of the incredible day trips you can take from the city of Melbourne, and why they’re all worth it in their own special way.

The 12 Apostles, Victoria

Wine and dine at these foodie destinations close to Melbourne

Loving Melbourne’s food and wine? Then don’t miss out on these top foodie destinations you can enjoy on a day trip from the city.

  • The Yarra Valley

    The Yarra Valley is a beautifully charming and tranquil wine region just 30km from the Melbourne CBD. Revered as one of Australia’s world class wine regions, it is home to some of the finest Chardonnay and Pinot Noir this proud winemaking nation exports. It is the perfect place for a day trip of cellar door tastings as well as hikes through charming pine forests.

  • Mornington Peninsula

    There’s more than one world-class wine region on Melbourne’s doorstep. And if you like your food and wine experiences complimented by stunning beaches and natural hot springs, there is only one place you can go. Pack your daypack and head to the Mornington Peninsula.

    Located just a little over an hour from Melbourne, the Mornington Peninsula is home to more than 60 wineries. Many cellar doors offer wine tastings where you can sample your way through the local fresh Chardonnays and fruit Pinot Noirs.

    But even if wine is not your thing, there are still plenty of reasons to enjoy a day trip to the Mornington Peninsula from Melbourne. Relax and rejuvenate at the Mornington Peninsula Hot Springs, soak up the natural beauty of one of the many beaches along the peninsula or take a colourful photo with the iconic bathing boxes. There is something for everyone!

  • The 12 Apostles, Victoria

    Marvel at Victoria’s stunning coastline on these beachy day trips from Melbourne

    While Melbourne is not famous for it’s sun, you can still get plenty of sand and sea on these day trips to the coast near Melbourne.

    • Wilsons Promontory

      Wilsons Promontory has long held a special place in the hearts of Aussie travellers, and it has since become a world famous hotspot for tourists eager to enjoy its stunning surroundings.

      Despite its magnitude, there is plenty you can do in Wilsons Prom on one day, including chilling back at one of its expansive beaches or heading up to Mount Oberon for one of the Southern Hemisphere’s richest sunsets. Be sure to keep an eye out for the abundant wildlife that calls the area home including kangaroos, wallabies and wombats!

    • The Great Ocean Road

      We couldn’t write this list without including the Great Ocean Road, Australia’s answer to California’s Pacific Highway or Italy’s Amalfi Coast. The Great Ocean Road is dotted with stunning beaches, world class surf, stylish towns and tranquil stays.

      You can plan the ultimate day trip from Melbourne to any of the quaint towns along the Great Ocean Road, such as Lorne and Apollo Bay. Other top stops along this scenic drive include Kennett River, where you can spot wild koalas dozing in the trees, and the Otway Rainforest for a walk amongst the world’s tallest flowering tree.

      But the reason most people take a trip along the Great Ocean Road is the 12 Apostles in Port Campbell National Park. These limestone rock formations are one of the area’s most recognisable attractions, and well worth the early start needed to make the trip in one day.

    The 12 Apostles, Victoria

    Get back to nature with outdoor adventures near Melbourne

    Whether you like hiking, skiing or just enjoying the mountain air, there is plenty to enjoy in the mountain regions north of Melbourne.

    • Mt Buller

      Perched up in the Australian Alps, Mount Buller is an outdoor lover’s dream day trip destination all year round. But it’s in winter that the mountain resort really comes alive.
      Once the first snow falls in the winter, Mount Buller becomes a hive of activity. Skiers and snowboarders from all over the country flock to one of the best ski resorts in Australia.

      But it’s not just expert skiers who will have a good time. Even if you’re seeing snow for the first time, Mount Buller has everything you need to enjoy a day out on the snow. You can hire clothing and equipment, book ski or snowboard lessons or just play in the snow!

    • The Grampians

      The Grampians are unlike anywhere else in Australia: a sprawling landscape of majestic lookouts, cascading waterfalls, rugged peaks and Indigenous culture. A visit to the Grampians is always complete with awe-inspiring views and tranquil hiking trails, making it a real favourite for people looking for some open space and serenity.

    The 12 Apostles, Victoria

    Observe Victoria’s wildlife on these day trips for animal lovers

    From cute koalas to pudgy penguins, view Aussie animals in their natural habitats (or close to it) at these wildlife havens near Melbourne.

    • Phillip Island

      Who can resist the chance to see adorable little penguins in the wild? If you’ve seen videos of these waddling seabirds as they come ashore and want to know where you can see if for yourself, you’re in luck. A colony of little penguins makes their home on Phillip Island, which is just a short trip from Melbourne.

      Besides the island’s most famous residents (we’re talking about the penguins, not the Hemsworths), there are heaps of fun activities to fill a day on Phillip Island. Head to a chocolate factory, explore the rugged coastline along one of the island’s walking trails or observe some of the other wildlife found on the island at the Koala Conservation Reserve.

      But once the sun begins to sink, it’s time to head to Summerland Beach. The little penguins make their way back to shore after sunset. And you can watch as they waddle along the beach and into the dunes back to their nests. It’s an unforgettable experience and one not to miss while you are in Melbourne!

    • Healesville

      Located within the Yarra Valley, Healesville offers all the great wining and dining opportunities of the popular wine region. But for animal lovers, there is one reason you should make a trip to Healesville – the Healesville Wildlife Sanctuary. Here you can observe and interact with some of Australia’s cutest and most illusive native animals including platypus, Tasmanian devils and koalas.

    The 12 Apostles, Victoria

    Brush up on your history at these historical destinations

    Step back in time to immerse yourself in the olden days with these two incredible experiences.

    • Ballarat

      If you’ve fallen in love with Melbourne’s charming colonial architecture, then be sure to plan a day trip to Ballarat. This gold rush town is easily accessible by train from Melbourne and offers the chance to experience Victoria’s goldrush history in the flesh.

      Wander through town to admire the goldrush era buildings and visit the Eureka Centre to learn all about this defining period of Victoria’s history. Then make your way to Sovereign Hill, where you can truly immerse yourself in life on the goldfields in 1850s.

      The Dandenong Ranges

      Located less than an hour from the city, the Dandenongs are one of Melbourne’s easiest day trip destinations to reach. Once you arrive, you’ll be amazed by the verdant forests of towering eucalypts and lush tree ferns.

      While you explore this dense greenery, you may hear an old fashioned “choo choo” sound. The historical Puffing Billy is a preserved steam train that snakes its way through the Dandenongs, past the quaint villages of the ranges. Climb aboard for an unforgettable journey through this picturesque region just outside of Melbourne!

      Related article: What can you do in Melbourne for 3 days?

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