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Best day trips from Melbourne: get outta the city

Love Melbourne, but keen to get out of the city for a day or the weekend? Luckily, Victoria has a range of different experiences on offer. Explore historic towns, immerse yourself in nature and eat your way around the state. Here are the best day trips from Melbourne and weekend getaways, to inspire you to hit the road.

Sunrise over a frost covered field, with a group of kangaroos huddled in a corner together. Easily accessible on day trips from Melbourne.
Swap out city sights for a little bit of this.

Sometimes you just gotta get out of the city.

See some ocean vistas. Make friends with ferns in lush rainforests. Chase waterfalls. Visit charming country towns. Stare at cows in a paddock. Whatever.

Melbourne is one of the most interesting cities in Australia and it’s also a great base for exploring the incredibly compact state of Victoria.

I’ve lived in Melbourne for years and regularly take the chance to stretch my legs around regional Victoria.

And why not? On any one of these day trips from Melbourne you can soak in hot springs, walk through fantastic landscapes, get up close to wildlife, dine at renowned restaurants, swim in pristine oceans and if you’re lucky, even see snow.

If you’re itching to get out of the city and immerse yourself in nature or just eat some really great food, I’ve got you covered.

Here are some of the best day trips from Melbourne.

There’s also a few options that are further afield, perfect for a weekend getaway.

1 Hour Day Trips From Melbourne

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Australian infrastructure is rather – ahem – underwhelming.

As such, you’ll see many self-drive day trips from Melbourne on this list.

If you don’t own a car, we recommend using Rental Cars to search for a good deal. You can also pick up a car at Melbourne airport when you arrive – it might be preferable as there’s no trainline into the city, just a bus.

If you’d prefer not to rent a car, I’ve suggested some Melbourne day tours where available. You’ll also find some day trips from Melbourne by train, which I thoroughly recommend – and even a couple by ferry!

Need a set of wheels before you set out on one of these day trips from Melbourne?

A person and dog stands on the top of a peak at You Yangs Regional Park in Victoria, taking in the sweeping views below.
The You Yangs are perfect for a short break from Melbourne with your dog!

You Yangs Regional Park

The You Yangs are one of the best day trips from Melbourne you can take if you want to walk through beautiful nature, but don’t want to travel too far from the city.

This park pulls in walkers, bikers and horse riders, who flock to its granite peaks.

Flinders Peak and Big Rock have panoramic views out the Melbourne on a clear day. Depending on where you are on the day, you may be able to see nearby Geelong, too.

Lace up your walking boots, bring your bike or pack a picnic, to enjoy at one of nine designated picnic spots.

Traditional Owners: The Wadawurrung People
Distance from Melbourne: Just under an hour from the city centre
Can you get there by train? No

Organ Pipes National Park

Once a volcano, it’s the basalt columns that give this park its name.

Huge quantities of molten lava were ejected from volcanoes a short distance away and flowed over the plains, forming these columns, which resemble organ pipers.

All this happened over a million years ago, so you’re now safe to drive out to the park, walk down a short but very steep hill to examine the stone columns, or enjoy a picnic with picturesque views.

Traditional Owners: The Wurundjeri People
Distance from Melbourne: Around 40 mins
Can you get there by train? No

A black plate piled with a fancy looking dessert, sits next to a piece of paper that reads 'Doot Doot Doot'. Mornington Peninsula is perfect for day trips from Melbourne.
Dessert, dessert, dessert at Doot Doot Doot in the Mornington Peninsula.

The Mornington Peninsula

One of the best day trips from Melbourne is this pretty peninsula.

Curling east of the city, it’s famous for its wineries, restaurants and the colourful beach boxes that line its strips of sand.

Head here for decent beaches, good food and relaxation.

Traditional Owners: The Bunurong People
Distance from Melbourne: So close! Around an hour’s drive from the CBD, a mere 75 kilometres.
Can you get there by train? You can get to Brighton by train, but it’s easiest to get around using a car.

Things to do in Mornington Peninsula

  • Head to Arthurs Seat – this is the highest point of the peninsula, which you can access via cable car. Head a little further in to explore the gardens and keep a look out for William Rickett’s fantastic sculptures.
  • Soak in the Peninsula Hot Springs – unwind with a good, long soak at the spectacular hot springs, followed by a picnic.
  • Go strawberry picking – in the warmer months, you can pick strawberries at Sunny Ridge Strawberry Farm and eat the wares afterwards!
  • Picnic in a sculpture park – pack a basket and head to the McClelland Gallery, where you can take in the strange and beautiful sculptures.
  • Dine out at Doot Doot Doot – here’s one for the foodies. Located at Jackalope Hotel, this hatted restaurant has a five course tasting menu and overlooks Willow Creek Vineyard.

No car? No worries. Jump on one of these organised tours to the Mornington Peninsula.

» Visit the Peninsula Hot Springs and Brighton Beach Boxes

Relax in thermal mineral springs, take in panoramic views from Arthurs Seat and snap a pic in front of brightly coloured beach boxes.

» Go snorkelling in pristine waters

See dolphins and seals frolic around in their natural habitat.

» Wine and dine around Mornington

Tour through the region’s renowned wineries, with a delicious lunch included at one of the venues.

Take a weekend getaway to the Mornington Peninsula:

Three people sit atop granite rock, looking out onto a view of green rolling paddocks at Hanging Rock Reserve in Victoria.
Enjoying the views at Hanging Rock.

Kyneton and Hanging Rock Reserve

If you’re keen on day trips from Melbourne that mix nature with history, here’s one for you.

Kyneton is located in Victoria’s Spa Country and has a great food scene.

Nearby Hanging Rock may sound familiar, as its the setting of a famous Australian novel, 1975 movie and recent television show (Picnic at Hanging Rock).

Walk to the top of the rock to take in the views of the surrounding region.

Traditional Owners: The Dja Dja Wurrung and Taungurung Peoples
Distance from Melbourne: It’s a little over an hour to both the Hanging Rock Summit Walk and Kyneton from the centre of Melbourne
Can you get there by train? It takes just over an hour to get to Kyneton along the Bendigo line. Hanging Rock is accessible via car.

Things to do in Kyneton and Hanging Rock Reserve

  • Eat your way along Piper Street – after a great souvenir or some good eats? Head to vibrant Piper Street and have a good poke around the vintage and boutique goods on offer.
  • Climb Hanging Rock – Hanging Rock is a semi-challenging hike (straight up), that will reward you with some magnificent views. Entry is $10 for a car, $4 if you’re on foot. Try not to slip into the space-time continuum on your way down (a joke only those who have read the unpublished last chapter of Picnic at Hanging Rock will understand. Don’t read it. Really. It’ll ruin the entire book).
  • Check out Kyneton Museum – located on Piper Street, this cute little museum is a National Trust building with changing exhibitions.
  • Explore nearby Woodend and the Macedon Ranges – Woodend is a small and charming town nearby and the Ranges offer some magnificent bushwalks. There’s enough to see you planning many more day trips from Melbourne to this part of Victoria.

Take a weekend getaway to Kyneton:

A beautiful sunset from the top of Mt Dandenong.
Sunset on top of Mount Dandenong.

Dandenong Ranges

This is one of the best short trips from Melbourne.

The Dandenongs as they’re know, are a short drive east of Melbourne’s city centre.

There’s beautiful gardens to explore, plenty of walks and if you’re lucky, you might see some native Australian wildlife.

NOTE: There is confusingly also a suburb called Dandenong, in Melbourne’s east. If you’re driving, pop one of the local towns into your GPS like Olinda or Sassafras.

Traditional Owners: The Wurundjeri People
Distance from Melbourne: Around an hour’s drive east of the city – 45 kilometres.
Can you get there by train? You can take a train to most points in the Dandenongs (Belgrave, Lilydale), but a car is the best option.

Things to do in the Dandenong Ranges

  • Take a ride on Puffing Billy – one of the most popular highlights of the area is the old steam train that runs from Belgrave to Gembrook. It’s highly popular so make sure you book your ticket in advance.
  • Visit the Dandenong Ranges Botanic GardensThis beautiful park is located right near the town of Olinda. I saw an echidna wandering around it, once.
  • Climb the 1000 Steps Memorial Walk – a 3 kilometre trail meant to depict the Kokoda Trail in Papua New Guinea, where soldiers fought and died during WWII.
  • Take in the view from SkyHigh – Head to SkyHigh to take in the view from the top of Mt Dandenong.

Take a weekend getaway to the Dandenong Ranges:

Echidnas feasting on hand-fed food at Healesville Sanctuary.
Cute little echidnas at Healesville Sanctuary.

The Yarra Valley

The Yarra Valley is one of Australia’s best known wine regions, making this an ideal destination for vino enthusiasts.

As you enter the picturesque valley, with its dense green bushlands, rolling mountains and sprawling vineyards, it’s hard to believe somewhere like this is accessible on day trips from Melbourne.

Alongside its renowned wine scene, there’s plenty of other exciting things to do, revolving around nature and food. Ace.

Traditional Owners: The Wurundjeri People
Distance from Melbourne: 65 kilometres, around an hour on wheels, so it also makes for an easy short break from Melbourne.
Can you get there by train? You can catch a train to Lilydale Station and take a bus to Healesville.

Things to do in the Yarra Valley

  • Pop into vineyards – there are some great wineries in this region, particularly those producing Chardonnay and Pinot Noir.
  • Visit Healesville Sanctuary – Here’s a chance to see Australia fauna up close. Grab a ticket here.
  • Take a balloon ride over the valley – if you truly want to have a memorable time, spend a morning drifting lazily in a hot air balloon over the valley, followed by a champagne brekky.
  • Pig out on chocolate – at the Yarra Valley Chocolaterie. Yum.
  • Go white-water kayaking – grade 2 rocky rapids await you in the Yarra Valley. Secure your spot in advance.
  • Chase waterfalls – you can see quite a few waterfalls on day trips from Melbourne to the Yarra Valley. Check out Olinda Falls, Sherbrooke Falls or for something a little different, the water cascades at Maroondah Dam.

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No car? No worries. Jump on one of these organised tours to the Yarra Valley.

» Book a place on a wine tour of the Yarra Valley

Taste great grapes in Victoria’s world-famous wine region.

» Take a wine and chocolate tour

Satisfy your sweet tooth on a wine tour with a side trip to a Yarra Valley Chocolaterie.

» Join a guided bike tour between wineries

Take the train to Lilydale where you’ll grab bikes and burn off the calories between renowned cellar doors.

Take a weekend getaway to the Yarra Valley:

Under 2 Hour Day Trips From Melbourne

If you don’t mind spending a bit of extra time in the car, these destinations are not too far from Melbourne, easily accessible in a day trip.

Five brightly coloured bollards, painted to look like Australian surf life-savers, located on Geelong's esplanade.

Geelong

Geelong is a waterfront city, with a strong art culture and beach scene.

The close proximity of Victoria’s second biggest city makes it a popular destinaton for day trips from Melbourne.

Its historic waterfront is really lovely in the summer and to be honest, no less fun in the winter. You can walk along the esplanade and count the iconic Baywalk Bollard characters you run into along the way.

Or head into the city and pick your way around Little Malop Street for really lovely cafes, restaurants, bars and some impressive street art.

Traditional Owners: The Wadawurrung People
Distance from Melbourne: It’s an hour’s drive along the M1 from Melbourne to Geelong.
Can you get there by train? Yes, there’s a train line running out to Geelong from Southern Cross Station. You can also catch a ferry between the two cities. This relaxing mode of transport makes for a really nice short break from Melbourne.

Things to do in Geelong

Take a weekend getaway to Geelong:

The Bellarine Peninsula

While not as popular as the Mornington Peninsula in the east, the Bellarine Peninsula has a lot to offer visitors, with far less crowds to contend with.

Pop into wineries, eat delicious food, swim in clear waters and walk through lovely small towns.

This underrated region is perfect for no-fuss day trips from Melbourne.

Traditional Owners: The Wadawurrung People
Distance from Melbourne: An hour to just under two hours, depending on where you’re heading.
Can you get there by train? You can catch a train to Geelong from Southern Cross Station and then a bus to Queenscliff. Ferries run between Portarlington and Melbourne. It’s easiest to drive around however, as many of the best things to do in the Bellarine are only accessible by car.

Things to do in the Bellarine

  • Dine out on the Q Train – this moving restaurant train travels through the heart of the Bellarine, between Drysdale and Queenscliff. Book your dining experience.
  • Visit a dog-friendly distilleryThe Whiskery welcomes pooches and their humans, serving up lunch alongside gin and whisky-based cocktails.
  • Or jam along to jazz – drink, dine and dance on the Blues Train.
  • Narana Aboriginal Cultural Centre – Learn about and see the art of this region’s first peoples.
  • Basil’s Farm – take a long lazy lunch at this beautiful winery, just outside of Queenscliff.
  • Get up close to dolphins and marine life – swim, snorkle and surf with a certified eco-tourism experience.
  • Visit Queenscliff Harbour – and catch the ferry across the bay to Sorrento.
  • Head to Point Lonsdale Lighthouse – take in views along the coast to Ocean Grove and Cape Schanck.

No car? No worries. Jump on one of these organised tours to the Bellarine Peninsula.

» Wine taste around the bay

Experience the best of the Bellarine and Mornington Peninsula, with lunch at Jack Rabbit.

» Book onto a Bellarine Peninsula day tour from Melbourne

Sip, sniff and swirl at underrated vineyards and enjoy a lunch of local produce aboard a ferry.

Take a weekend getaway to the Bellarine:

Torquay

This seaside town has a lot to offer.

Not only is it the gateway to one of Australia’s most spectacular drives, the Great Ocean Road – it’s a destination worth visiting in its own right.

Especially if you love to surf.

Traditional Owners: The Wadawurrung People
Distance from Melbourne: Around an hour and a half travel time by car.
Can you get there by train? You can catch the Geelong line from South Cross Station and alight in Marshall and get a bus from there. It’s not the best option, as usual, car is easiest.

Things to do in Torquay

  • Hang ten – the beaches around here boast some of the best waves in Australia. Beginner? No problem. Book lessons with an experienced instructor.
  • Take to the skies – I can’t think of a more picturesque destination in Victoria to go tandem skydiving. Secure a spot in advance
  • Hit the beach – seems kinda self-explanatory I suppose! Torquays got a few beaches as well as some lovely rockpools.
  • Time your visit with the Rip Curl Pro – the biggest surfing event in Australia takes place every April.
  • Hop along to Blackman’s Brewery – quench your thirst with a tasting paddle or take a brewery tour.
  • Lace up your walking boots – trek along the Surf Coast Walk. The entire walk stretches for a hefty 44 kilometres, but you can walk shorter sections if visit on day trips from Melbourne. Check the map for more information.

Take a weekend getaway to Torquay:

Front on view of three brightly coloured trams, parked in a depot. Bendigo is ideal for a day trip from Melbourne by train.
Bendigo’s trams are far more colourful than Melbourne’s.

Bendigo

Bendigo is one of Victoria’s gold rush era cities, home to many historic buildings.

It’s a cultural highlight of the state, with many events taking place here. There’s also a stellar art gallery, which runs world-class exhibitions.

This is also one of the easiest day trips from Melbourne by train, making it an all the more appealing place to visit.

Traditional Owners: The Dja Dja Wurrung and Taungurung Peoples
Distance from Melbourne: 152kms, around an hour and 44 minute drive in the car.
Can you get there by train? Yes, through a dedicated train line leaving from Southern Cross Station. It takes just under two hours to reach Bendigo by train.

Things to do in Bendigo

  • Take a tram tour – Bendigo has a strong tram history like Melbourne. Jump onto one of the colourful trams which intersect the city to learn more.
  • Pop into the Art Gallery – this is one of Australia’s most venerated galleries and it receives many impressive exhibitions in its own right. Grab a delicious croissant at Harvest across the road, before you enter.
  • Visit the Golden Dragon Museum – during Victoria’s Gold Rush era of the 1850’s, many Chinese immigrants moved Down Under to try their luck. This museum pays homage to them.
  • Get a taste of gold rush history – in Bendigo and nearby small towns like Maldon, a town of this era that’s been almost perfectly preserved.
  • Wine and dine at Chancery Lane – this colourful laneway is home to many of Bendigo’s best bars, restaurants and cafes. Pop into The Dispensary or El Gordo
  • Feast at Masons of Bendigo – for something special, book a table at this top-notch restaurant in the city centre
  • Explore more things to do in Bendigo.
Insider Tip: Try visiting this city during one of its festivals, like the Bendigo Writers Festival.

Take a weekend getaway to Bendigo:

Two light green cocktails sit on a small table.
Cocktails at Bar Clara, Provincial Hotel in Ballarat.

Ballarat

Ballarat is a regional city not far from Melbourne and an excellent place to head to if you want to learn a little bit more about Victoria’s gold rush history.

As far as activities go, there’ll be something of interest for couples, solo travellers and families.

Traditional Owners: The Wadawurrung People
Distance from Melbourne: 116 kilometres, so it’s around 1 hour 25 minute drive to Ballarat.
Can you get there by train? Yes. There are regular trains running between Ballarat and Melbourne, which leave from Southern Cross Station. It takes around an hour and half to get there by train. One of the few easy day trips from Melbourne by train, along with Bendigo.

Things to do in Ballarat

  • Head out to Sovereign Hill – an open air museum depicting life during the gold rush. Buy tickets in advance here Even better, visit in winter to experience their Winter Wonderlights festival.
  • Visit the Botanic Gardens – Ballarat has gorgeous botanic gardens. A highlight is ‘Prime Minister Avenue’, a pathway lined with busts of every PM Australia has had.
  • Drop into Ballarat Art Gallery – this is the oldest regional art gallery in Australia and gets some pretty impressive exhibitions, as well as boasting a really neat permanent collection.
  • Step back in time at Krayl CastleBook your ticket here.
  • Visit Lal Lal Falls – these falls are located about 20 minutes from Ballarat and are said to be the birthplace of Bunjil, an ancestral being in local Aboriginal lore. Head there in winter or early spring for optimal flow and in the afternoon/evening for photos.

Take a weekend getaway to Ballarat:

A country pub sits behind a statue of a man on a horse.
Daylesford is a place worth visiting.

Daylesford and Hepburn Springs

Looking for day trips north of Melbourne?

Enter Victoria’s Spa Country for a bit of rest and relaxation.

This area makes a great day trip from Melbourne for couples as there’s something inherently romantic about it!

Traditional Owners: The Dja Dja Wurrung People
Distance from Melbourne: 112kms from the CBD, around 1hr and 20 mins by car.
Can you get there by train? Yes. You can catch a bus onto Daylesford from Ballan Station, which is on the Ballarat line.

Things to do in Daylesford and Hepburn Springs

  • Soak all your worries away at the Hepburn Bathhouse – try the full spa experience at the Bathhouse.
  • Go boutique shopping in Daylesford – Daylesford is full of interesting little shops, worth checking out.
  • Stuff yourself full of delicious food – eat your way through the wares in both Daylesford and Hepburn. I recommend Cliffy’s Emporium, Wombat Hill House, Daylesford Cider Co and Sault for a special occasion.
  • Explore nearby Clunes – located half an hour away from Daylesford, this historic town front often pops up in movies (like Mad Max and Ned Kelly). It’s also Australia’s only Book Town and holds a yearly literature festival.

Take a weekend getaway to Daylesford and Hepburn Springs:

The main street of Warburton in the autumn. A person stands by traffic lights, waiting to cross the road. This season is perfect for day trips from Melbourne to just about anywhere in Victoria.
Warburton in autumn.

Warburton

This beautiful town is one of Melbourne’s best kept secrets.

While people tend to head on to the Dandenong Ranges, Healesville or elsewhere in the Yarra Valley, Warburton packs a bunch for nature enthusiasts.

Hike, bike and take in the beautiful of this beautiful town.

Traditional Owners: The Wurundjeri People
Distance from Melbourne: Just under an hour and half drive from Melbourne
Can you get there by train? Catch a train to Lilydale, then the 683 bus to Warburton. It’s around a two-hour journey, so car is better. Or you can pedal along the Rail Trail from Lilydale to Warburton, if you feel so inclined!

Things to do in Warburton

  • Visit in autumn – this town has beautiful autumn foliage, so a well-timed trip could work in your favour.
  • Bring your bike – pedal to the metal along the Warburton Rail Trail.
  • See tall trees – at the Warburton Redwood Forest.
  • Check out La La Falls – it’s an easy 3.2km walk through forest to these lovely falls.

Take a weekend getaway to Warburton:

2+ Hours Day Trips From Melbourne

You’ll spend a little more time in the car, but these day trips from Melbourne are worth going the distance.

In fact in some instances, the road trip is part of the fun, as you curl alongside the ocean and through mountainous backcountry.

Sunset over limestone stacks in the ocean - the Twelve Apostles along Victoria's Great Ocean Road.
The Twelve Apostles on the Great Ocean Road.

The Great Ocean Road

Stretching from the towns of Torquay to Allansford, the Great Ocean Road is one of the most scenic drives in Australia – indeed the world!

Built by returned soldiers from the Great War, it’s dedicated to those killed in WW1, making it the longest War Memorial in the world.

Today you can travel along the southern tip of mainland Australia and take in the many sights along the way.

Sections of the road are doable in day trips from Melbourne, but it’s worth taking a weekend to drive the road properly.

Traditional Owners: The Wadawurrung, Eastern Maar and the Gunditjmara Peoples
Distance from Melbourne: The official start of the Great Ocean Road (near Torquay) is 103 kilometres from the centre of Melbourne, or around 1 hour and 20 minutes. The entire road spans 243 kilometres. Take the M1, which bypasses Geelong for quicker access.
Can you get there by train? You can’t travel road itself by train, but you can access places along the road (like Apollo Bay and Torquay) by train or coach.

Things to do on the Great Ocean Road

  • See the Twelve Apostles – limestone stacks along the dramatic cliff face.
  • Visit the Cape Otway Rainforest – a beautiful rainforest along the road, with plenty of wildlife to see.
  • Spot native Australian wildlife – this award-winning eco-tourism experience is located in Apollo Bay. Secure a ticket now
  • Check out the lighthouse at Airys Inlet – the setting for Aussie TV show ‘Round the Twist’.
  • Soak in hot springs – at Deep Blue Hot Springs in Warrnambool.

Klook.com

No car? No worries. Jump on one of these organised tours to the Great Ocean Road.

» Great Ocean Road day trip from Melbourne

Tour this scenic stretch of road on a comfortable van.

» Reverse tour of the Great Ocean Road from Melbourne

Avoid the crowds by driving back along the Great Ocean Road, from the 12 Apostles to the Memorial Arch.

» Private tour of the Great Ocean Road from Melbourne

Gather a group for your own guided tour of the road’s most-loved sights.

Take a weekend getaway to the Great Ocean Road:

Insider Tip: The Great Ocean Road is a lot quieter in the cooler months, but no less beautiful. In fact, winter travel in Australia is very underrated.
Looking out onto Cape Woolamai on a cloudless blue sky day.
As you can see, Phillip Island’s beaches are pretty ugly.

Phillip Island

Phillip Island is a popular day trip from Melbourne, but those wanting more can easily take two days to explore what the region has to offer.

The main drawcard is the cute Little Penguins that toddle up the Penguin Parade after a long, hard day’s fishing.

However, there’s also beautiful beaches, lovely wineries and plenty of other sites to experiences.

Traditional Owners: The Bunurong People
Distance from Melbourne: 142 kilometres. It takes just under two hours to get to Phillip Island from Melbourne.
Can you get there by train? Not by train. Getting to Phillip Island via car is the easiest way.

Things to do on Phillip Island

  • Penguin Parade – the most popular attraction on the island by far is seeing the Little Penguins waddle their way ashore for the night. It can book out so make sure you get your ticket well in advance.
  • The Nobbies – check out The Nobbies for dramatic views south into the ocean.
  • Churchill Island – visit this nearby island to check out its historic farm and local wildlife. Get your ticket here.
  • Take a cruise – see seals in the wild at Australia’s largest fur seal colony. Book a spot on a tour.
  • Panny’s Chocolate Factory – those with a sweet tooth will enjoy visiting this chocolate factory, where you can take a tour or stop for a delicious treat.

Klook.com

No car? No worries. Jump on one of these organised tours to Phillip Island.

» Book onto a Phillip Island tour from Melbourne

Have a guide lead you around the island to see its native inhabitants, including the Little Penguins.

» See the Brighton Beach Boxes and Penguin Parade

This tour will take you to two of Victoria’s best attractions on the same trip.

» Experience Phillip Island and nearby French Island

Pair Penguin Parade with a trip to isolated French Island, accessible only via ferry.

Take a weekend getaway to Phillip Island:

Lake Mountain

Here’s a pretty exciting option for day trips from Melbourne – time it right and you may get to see snow!

Lake Mountain is the most accessible part of the Alpine region from the city.

In the warmer months, the area is popular with cyclists and hikers.

In the cooler months, it turns into a winter wonderland, with all kinds of snow play on offer.

Traditional Owners: The Wurundjeri and Taungurung Peoples
Distance from Melbourne: 2 to 2.5 hours, depending on traffic.
Can you get there by train? No, only car. As it’s a resort, it costs to enter. The prices change seasonally – check their website before you go.

Things to do at Lake Mountain

  • Bring your bike – or hire one there for an off-road or road cycling adventure.
  • Go for a hike – on nature walks or tackle some mountain trails.
  • Take a tube run – down the 100m inflated tube or zip through the treetops on the flying fox.
  • All sorts of snowplay – go cross-country skiing, tobogganing down a slope or don the snowshoes for a winter walk.

Take a weekend getaway to nearby Marysville:

3+ Hour Day Trips From Melbourne

You can take day trips from Melbourne to explore these areas if you’re short on time, although they are probably best visited over a midweek or weekend getaway.

Exterior of the Dal Zotto cellar door, a small green cabin-type building with a red door.
Dal Zotto, one of the many wineries in the King Valley.

The King Valley

This region of Victoria is one of my favourite Melbourne weekend getaways.

Sweeping views, gourmet food and delicious Italian wine is what you expect from this part of the state, with a side of bushranger history.

Although it’s not quite as accessible via a day trip from Melbourne as the Yarra Valley, this wine region will delight – particularly if you’re a fan of prosecco.

Traditional Owners: The Yorta Yorta and the Taungurung Peoples
Distance from Melbourne: It’s 260 kilometres to Milawa, which is around where the Prosecco Road starts. Expect a three hour drive to get there.
Can you get there by train? No, driving is the best and easiest option.

Things to do in the King Valley

  • Drive down Prosecco Road to sample the wares on offer – an influx of Italian wineries led to the development of the sparkling wine Prosecco in this region. Check out Brown Brothers, Dal Zotto and Pizzini’s, to quench your thirst.
  • Explore the Ned Kelly Trail – learn about Australia’s most notorious bushranger and others who made their mark on this part of the state.
  • Pedal to Produce – take an easy cycling tour, to sample the region’s best gourmet food.
  • Stock up on cheese – at the Milawa Cheese Company. They offer free tastings!

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Where to stay in the King Valley:

A vibrant mural of a young Aboriginal boy, by Melbourne street artist Matt Adnate.
A mural by street artist Adnate in Benalla.

Benalla

Another highlight of Victoria’s High Country, this enigmatic town is a mecca for art lovers.

Not only is it home to over 60 murals by renowned street artists, it holds its own yearly street art festival, where visitors can watch painters and muralists at work.

Traditional Owners: The Yorta Yorta People
Distance from Melbourne: It’s around a 210 kilometre trip, taking just over two hours to get there. Easy!
Can you get there by train? Yes! Hop on the train to Albury via Seymour from Southern Cross Station.

Things to do in Benalla

  • Attend the Wall to Wall Festival – Benalla’s annual Street Art Festival covers a weekend in April, where artists from all over the world descend upon the town to cover its walls with bright, colourful murals.
  • Stroll through the Benalla Art Gallery – this beautiful gallery is housed in a modernist building, within the town’s botanic gardens.
  • Check out a silo art trail – one of Victoria’s two silo art trails is located in this region – Benalla is the gateway to this particular public gallery, which takes under two hours to complete.
  • Visit the Winton Wetlands – one of the works of art on the trail is located in these wetlands, so why not make a day of it?

Where to stay in Benalla:

Footsteps on the sand by a beach in Wilsons Promontory National Park
A day trip to The Prom is great fun.

Wilsons Promontory National Park

‘The Prom’ as it is colloquially known, is home to dense bushland, amazing walks, an array of wildlife and gorgeous beaches that will utterly put Melbourne’s metro beaches to shame.

It makes for an ideal weekend getaway from Melbourne for those aching for a little peace and quiet – you’ll find just that in this part of the state.

Distance from Melbourne: 230 kilometres, so it takes around three hours to drive there by car.
Can you get there by train? No, car or by tour group.

Things to do in the Prom

  • Stroll along Squeaky Beach – The Prom’s most famous beach is named so, because rounded grains of quartz make a squeaking sound when you wander across the sand.
  • Go for a bushwalk – if you’re a hiker, The Prom will keep you busy, with hikes such as Tongue Point Walk. Serious walkers will want to do the Great Prom Walk, a 35.5 or 52.8 kilometre route that can take up to four days.
  • See Australian wildlife in the… well, wild – if you want to see Australian fauna in their natural habitat, here’s your chance to do so.
  • Take a dip in the water – this Marine National Park has 17 kilometres of protected mainland coastline and is home to all kinds of marine life. Make sure you check which beaches are best to swim in before you go.

Where to stay in the Prom:

The Best Weekend Getaways From Melbourne

Now you know the places in regional Victoria that make the best day trips from Melbourne.

Let’s cover a few places that are a bit further to drive to, but make for a perfect weekend getaway (or long weekend… or midweek!).

A glass of mulled wine sits on a wooden table. The text overlay on the glass reads: Alpine Nature Experience. In the background are glamping tents in the snow, on Mt Hotham, a great weekend getaway from Melbourne.
Glamping in the snow on Mount Hotham, a perfect weekend getaway in Melbourne in winter or summer.

The Alpine Region

Cooler weather isn’t an excuse to stay cooped up at home, or limit your trip to the city.

Rug up and get out to Victoria’s beautiful Alpine region. There’s a heap to do in this part of the state, no matter what the weather.

Traditional Owners: The Taungurung People and the Gunaikurnai People
Distance from Melbourne: It’s around 325 kilometres to Bright, one of the biggest towns in the region. It’ll take around three and a half hours to get to the edge of the Alpine Region and another hour or so to drive into the heart of it.
Can you get there by train? There are bus services which will take you to Mount Hotham and Mount Buller during the snow season. However, a car is your best option when navigating this part of Victoria.

Things to do in the Alpine Region

  • Get into snow-based activities – head to Mount Hotham, Mount Buffalo, Falls Creek or Mount Buller to snowboard, ski, or nestle up beside a roaring fire with a good book and warm beverage.
  • Explore the town of Bright – a cute town within the region, known for its flurry of autumn and spring colours.
  • Have a soak in the Onsen Spa in Dinner Plain – soak amongst the snow in this Japanese-inspired outdoor Onsen.
  • Drive the Great Alpine Road – another fantastic scenic drive in Victoria, although it can get quite snowy on the road!

Where to stay in the Alpine Region:

One of the giant murals on the Silo Art Trail, by artist Kaff-eine.
Kaff-eine’s amazing mural in the town of Rosebery.

Grampians (Gariwerd) National Park and the Silo Art Trail

One of the state’s premiere national parks, Gariwerd (its Aboriginal name) is home to some dramatic landscape – great craggy rocks offering spectacular views, bush walks and stacks of waterfalls.

Further afield is the state’s first Silo Art Trail, a must-see for lovers of public art.

It’s pretty hard to see the entire trail in a weekend, but you could see a handful of the giant murals over a one or two day period.

Traditional Owners: The Wotjobaluk, Jaadwa, Jadawadjali, Wergaia and Jupagulk Peoples
Distance from Melbourne Around three hours drive (the Silo Art Trail is a bit further out) – around 260 kilometres.
Can you get there by train? No, both are only accessible by car.

Things to do in the Grampians

  • Go for a bushwalk/hike – the Grampians are made for walking, with all sorts of trails and hikes available, for many different levels of fitness. One of the most popular walks is The Pinnacle hike.
  • Check out the original Silo Art Trail – this region of Melbourne is home to the original Silo Art Trail, starting with artist Guido van Helten painting a now famous mural onto a silo in the small town of Brim.
  • Learn about Aboriginal culture at Brambuk – the Aboriginal Cultural Centre in Gariwerd is pretty amazing and well worth a visit.
  • Visit MacKenzie Falls – the Grampians is full of spectacular waterfalls and MacKenzie Falls is iconic. The walk there is fairly unchallenging at around 40 mins and there’s a cool lookout as well.

No car? No worries. Jump on one of these organised tours to Gariwerd.

» Take a day trip from Melbourne to Grampians National Park

This hiking day tour will see you tackle two moderately challenging tracks.

» Grampians National Park Wilderness Escape Tour from Melbourne

Take in spectacular views and learn about the local Aboriginal culture of the area.

Where to stay in the Grampians:

Where to stay on the Silo Art Trail:



Booking.com

Where would you go on a short break from Melbourne?

There you have it – some of the best day trips from Melbourne and some excellent and adventure-filled weekend getaways. I hope you’re feeling inspired to get out and explore the state of Victoria!

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Check out these great options for weekend trips from #Melbourne. Gorgeous natural parks, beautiful beaches, cute and historic towns and plenty of food to feast on. See some momentous public art, go for a bushwalk and check out native Australian wildlife in their natural habitat! #Victoria may be Australia's second smallest state, but it has so much to offer both visitors and those who call the region home. / Day trips from Melbourne / #Melbourne / #VisitVictoria / #SeeAustralia / #Australia /

Note: Some of these day trips from Melbourne will take you to the traditional lands of our Aboriginal peoples. We’ve acknowledged whose Country you will be walking on when we can. We invite you to learn more about Australia’s Indigenous history and pay respects to the Traditional Owners of the lands you visit.

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One Comment

  1. Great ocean road is the best place to enjoy the holidays on the weekend. The best part is that you can take your own cooked food and take along with you to enjoy at the ocean side.

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