Planning a trip down to Victoria or want to explore your home state? Firstly make sure you come by and say hello because we live here, and second make sure to take down notes from our guide on the 12 most incredible day trips from Melbourne.

Victoria basically has it all; from world class scenic drives on the Great Ocean Road, to hundred year old Mountain Ash forests of the Yarra Valley, Victoria may be small.. but it has a lot on offer for those willing to seek it out.

The adventurous and brave come here for the winter months of skiing in the Alpine region of north east Victoria, or travel down south to the Mornington Peninsula.

In our opinion it is the greatest state in all of Australia (100% biased!) 

Read More: Explore the great state of South Australia once you’ve covered all of what Victoria has to offer

No matter your taste in season or activity, Victoria has something for everyone and is easily enjoyed on road trips from the city centre of Melbourne, or the Central Business District, CBD as we call it.

Each of these regions have been broken down into distance and time from the centre of Melbourne and they range from less than an hour to more than 2 hours away. 

To help you better plan a day trip from Melbourne we’ve also included the best activities in each region, where to stay and how to best get there. 

12 Incredible Day Trips from Melbourne 1 hour from the CBD

Table of Contents

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Safety Beach Pier right at sunset

Mornington Peninsula

Beginning in Frankston and ending in the chic & boutique village of Portsea surrounded by Point Nepean National Park, the Mornington Peninsula is Victoria’s answer to the sweltering summer days.

Forming almost one half of Port Phillip Bay, this beautiful day trip from Melbourne is one of the most popular spots for Melburnians to retreat to, or spend the weekend at their holiday houses.

Related Article: Use our guide on the best things to do on the Mornington Peninsula to plan your next interstate holiday

The world-class wine growing and making regions of Red Hill, Merricks and Main Ridge are the perfect places to spend a relaxing afternoon. 

Stunning coastline, epic surf breaks and both ocean beach and front beaches for calmer more relaxing waters, the Mornington Peninsula has some of the most unique attractions anywhere along the entire southern coastline of Victoria.

Did we mention coffee?

Morning Brew to start the day

Baked By Portsea is a cute little cafe/bakery right at the end of a service lane at the corner of Oxford and Hotham Rd on your way down to Point Nepean National Park. 

Fresh, daily baked pastries and homemade rolls are a must-here – pick yourself up a oat milk latte and enjoy the heated outdoor seating area as the sun slowly makes its way above the horizon. 

If you’re on the go and can’t hang around, they also do amazing buddha bowls, acai bowls as well as a mix of hot and cold pastries. 

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Sorrento Back Beach captured using a long exposure technique of the swirling waves hiding a rock-pool below

Point Nepean National Park

This Quarantine/military fortification turned heritage listed national park is home to an abundance of unique australian wildlife and one of the best day trips from Melbourne.

Hire an e-bike from the information centre and tour around the park exploring the treacherous coastline, quarantine station from a time gone by and walk along the coast to make this one of the best Melbourne day trips.

Kangaroos, wallabies and a variety of native snakes call this bushland home, just be careful where you tread; we saw numerous venomous eastern brown snakes. They will do their best to avoid you, so keep an eye out for moving sticks on the ground. 

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A friend capturing Pulpit Rock from a distance using long exposure techniques from the bottom of Cape Shcanck walkway

Cape Schanck

Home of the cleanest air in the world (apparently), Cape Schanck is seriously one of the most beautiful places in Victoria, and forms the southernmost tip of the Mornington Peninsula.

A half hour walk along the dirt track from the car park takes you to a long wooden staircase that winds down to the water where you can admire Pulpit Rock from the black, rocky beach below. 

The lighthouse is also the oldest lighthouse in Victoria, and is located on the other side of the staircase. 

During the winter months, Humpback Whales travel up here from Antarctica to breed and raise their calves in the warmer waters of Australia. 

Only a short trip from Melbourne, it’s one the most beautiful places to visit in Victoria and one of our favourites.

Wine at Green Olive

Our favourite winery on the Mornington Peninsula, Green Olive hosts a tapas style menu where everything is grown onsite.

They even hold their own cooking classes and guided tours up stairs above the restaurant if you feel like getting a little more hands on!

Swim at Safety Beach

Once called Shark Bay, this pristine stretch of white sandy coast is something out of an island paradise, complete with calm, relaxing crystal clear water.

Less crowded than the more popular Rye front beach, Safety Beach is actually a lot nicer and more pleasant to be in during the peak holiday season from December through to February. 

How to get there:

From the city take the Monash Freeway (M1) until you reach the EastLink (M3) turn off towards the Peninsula, and eventually join onto Peninsula Link (M11) taking you right down to Portsea. 

Best tours on the Mornington Peninsula

Dolphin & seal swim 

Meet the chef experience at Green Olive Red Hill

Point Nepean national park bike hire 

Best Places to Stay in Melbourne

There are hundreds of apartments, hotels and hostels to stay in but we do recommend going with these guys here for the very best price matching and comfortable stays.

Located in the middle of the CBD is the Grand Hotel Melbourne, a beautifully comfortable and architecturally stunning building with a lot of history and the perfect nights stay in the heart of Melbourne.

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Dandenong Ranges

Mountain Ash rainforest, lush green ferns as far as the eye can see and one of our favourite destinations to visit in all of Victoria.

This well-renowned altitude rainforest sits high in the Dandenong ranges with views from the top overlooking all of metropolitan Melbourne, including the Macedon Ranges and the CBD.

Exactly 1 hour from Melbourne CBD, one of the most iconic day trips from Melbourne will blow you away.

Kalista tea Rooms

High Tea is one the menu up in the trees, so visiting one of the tens of tea rooms in the Dandenongs high rainforest is a pleasant and unique experience.

I took my friend here for his birthday because he’s a sucker for high tea, and I have to say the experience is incredible!

We spent the morning at the Kalista tea rooms, surrounded by a flock of Cockatoos watching us devour a 3 tiered platter of cakes, pastries and coffee all morning. 

Alfred Nicholas Gardens

We visit here every-time we go into the Dandenong Ranges, a beautiful man made blackfish pond that encompasses a boathouse originally built by Alfred Nicholas back in 1929, complete with a cute white bridge, surrounded by dense, lush plant life and home to the world tallest flowering trees; the mountain ash. 

Take a walk through the forest here and take in the beautiful colours, best viewed in autumn time when the flowers and colours pop.

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General Food Store

The most popular foodie hang out in the hills is the general food store in Emerald, a bakehouse and cafe on the main street Emerald on Emerald Gembrook Rd

Early mornings are the best time to head there to smell the freshly baked bread and coffee roasted brews. 

They have an insane vegetarian menu as well, everything from a fungus among us, moroccan my socks off and save the whales veg-dishes, all supporting the local community, local businesses and ethically and sustainably sourced produce. 

Williams Ricketts Sanctuary

This pristine, peaceful refuge in a fern-clad sanctuary home to sculptures of Indigenous Australians by sculptor William Ricketts. 

His sculptures are a testament to his appreciation and respect for Australian Aboriginal culture, showcasing different indigenous Australians and native australian wildlife.

A short hike through this forest is one of the best day trips from Melbourne & a unique tourist attraction to the Dandenong Ranges National Park. 

Hike the 1000 Steps – Kokoda Memorial Track 

Get your exercise in whilst still admiring the beauty of the lush green fern forest on your hike up the 1000 steps at the top of Upper Ferntree Gully’s Kokoda Track Memorial Walk. 

A challenging but fun day trip from Melbourne, you can take these steps at your own pace, or challenge yourself as the steps become larger and your altitude gradually gains.

How to get here:

From the city take the eastern freeway until it becomes Eastlink (M3) and turn left onto Burwood Highway and continue onwards onto Mount Dandenong Tourist Rd into the foothills of the Dandenongs. 

Best tours in the Dandenong Ranges

Williams Ricketts Sanctuary tour

Half-day puffing Billy tour

Private Dandenong ranges/Yarra Valley hiking tour from Melbourne

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Early morning sunrise missions capturing the hot air baloons on their way down

Yarra Valley

Set in the pristine ancient mountain ash forest in Victoria’s North Eastern region is the Yarra Valley, exactly 1 hour from the CBD and one of the best day trips from Melbourne. 

Home to incredible wineries and estates, a Gin distillery and of course hot air ballooning, the Yarra valley is the perfect weekend getaway destination.

Best wineries of the Yarra Valley

There are over 70 different wineries in this vast rolling hill landscape, so it’s best to come to terms with the fact that you won’t be seeing them all. 

Some tour companies offer drivers to take you between a few local wineries, meaning you can indulge and have fun!

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Otway fly treetop adventures located in the Otway National Park

Or if you prefer, you can get a cheap, reliable car hire here. 

Wake up at sunrise to catch the morning mist with a bottle of champagne to greet the day.

Some of the best wineries in the region

Zonzo Estate – Popular, eloquent vineyard specializing in weddings and italian food

Boat O’Craigo – Intimate, relaxed outdoor setting with thoughtful and delicious drops

Coldstream Hills – Prime views overlooking the Yarra Valley and world class pinot noir

Hot air ballooning

For the adventurous and daring, book a flight over the Yarra Valley Ranges in a once in a lifetime experience hot air balloon ride.

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Drive the Black Spur

This historic Mountain Ash forest is home to the largest flowering trees in the world and an iconic Australian road trip. If you plan on visiting just for the Black Spur you are driving one of the worlds most sought after roads and a great day trip out of Melbourne.

Located just outside of Healesville, this 36km stretch of windy bitchumen connects Healesville to Marysville, flowered with ferns on both sides. 

Yarra Valley Chocolaterie and ice creamery

Free chocolate tastings and an all day cafe are set on 16 hectares of farm land that sits on top of an orchard and wetlands, showcasing over 300 different varieties of hand crafted chocolate.

We always choose the dairy-free options of their chocolate and ice-creams – they’re oh so good! 

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A resting Koala at Healesville Sanctuary, the perfect day trip from Melbourne

Healesville wildlife sanctuary

See Australia’s favourite animals like Koalas, Kangaroos, Echidnas, Wallabies and much more.

We are normally opposed to certain wildlife experiences, however there is an animal hospital on site that looks after injured wildlife and prepares certain species for reintroduction back into the wild.

Hike through one of the best places in Victoria and stroll amongst the native flora and fauna on this incredible day trip just outside of Melbourne. 

Best places to stay in the Yarra Valley

Balgownie Estate basically has it all, a winery and cellar door to a day spa and premium suites, whilst sitting in the rolling hills of Victorias prestige wine country.

Forget me not cottages is nestled right next door to the Californian Redwood Forest in Warburton East making this a mythical and magical place to stay for the night as you place yourself in prime position easily accessible to the rest of the Yarra Valley

How to get here:

Take Eastlink outbound and take Maroondah Highway turning left on Victoria road in a northerly direction.

Best tours in the Yarra Valley

Yarra Valley balloon flight & winery tour

White Water rafting down the Yarra

Ultimate Yarra Valley winery tour


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Melbourne CBD Skyline shot from the ledge of the Yarra River at night

Melbourne CBD

The beating heart of Victoria and the capital city (former most liveable city in the world) Melbourne is the home of a pumping nightlife scene, a foodies heaven for eateries and wineries, hidden inner city laneways and alleyways full of art and culture.

Flinders st station

Probably the most iconic and widely recognisable landmark in the CBD is Flinders St Station. Built in 1854 and once the world’s busiest railway station, this yellow tinged architectural feat is a popular meeting point for locals and tourists and often acts as a starting point for many melbourne tour groups.

Athenaeum Theatre

 Not something you hear of everyday but as locals it’s one of our favourite places to visit in Melbourne mainly due to the history and cultural significance of the theatre.

Founded in 1839 it is Melbourne’s oldest cultural institution which is clearly visible once inside this gorgeous building. Original preserved hardwood floors and folding chairs, this two-storey theatre hosts a variety of musicals, comedy shows, piano recitals and everything in between. 

Federation Square

Directly adjacent to Flinders St Station is ‘fed square’, a cultural gathering hub with a few cafes, restaurants and a large outdoor entertainment area complete with projector screen with a full outdoor concert style set-up. 

Fed Square draws the crowds every year for the Australian Open Tennis Tournament where patrons can watch the matches on the live TV, as well as any major sporting event Australia competes in worldwide.

Queen Victoria Market

The largest open air market this side of the southern hemisphere, Queen Vic market officially opened in 1878, covering 7 hectares making it one of the few remaining open air markets from the Victorian Era.

Hidden Laneways

For visitors to Melbourne, you could literally spend days travelling the 40 hidden laneways & alleyways in search of local street art, artisanal coffee shops and mysterious gems of Melbourne. 

The most famous of all being Hosier Lane, Hardware lane and Centre lane

Cafe Culture

Do you love coffee? Then forget about Colombia, Melbourne has one of the best coffee scenes anywhere in the world. Of course we don’t grow any coffee in Australia, but our roasting methods and blends have become something of an independent culture in Melbourne in particular.

As a coffee lover, this is the best thing about Melbourne for visitors and locals alike, our top favourites in the city would be Higher Ground and Hardware Societe Katherine Place. 

Botanic gardens

One garden to rule them all.

The Royal Botanic Gardens sits just outside the city centre of Melbourne and serves as both a daytime leisurely stroll for lovers & friends, as well as a running track encircling the gardens known locally as ‘The Tan’.

More than 3800 species of plants across 38 hectares of land, The gardens have been a part of Melbourne for 175 years. 

Best tours in Melbourne

Spirit of Melbourne 2 hour cruise and dinner

Bike tour through the iconic Melbourne CBD

Werribee Open Range Zoo pass 

Best places to stay in Melbourne

Novotel Hotel Group have based themselves in many cities around Melbourne including the CBD. Slightly more modern and elegant service it’s a great place to base yourself while you explore the city.

The Grand Hotel is one of Melbournes oldest and most iconic hotels, originally serving as the home for one of Victorias most well known residents John batman. Originally named She Oak Hill today it serves as a Victorian Era comfort hotel with excellent service and positioned in the heart of the CBD.

Day trips from Melbourne 1-2 hours away from CBD

The Great Ocean Road

Related Article >> Here’s our latest guide to the greatest things to do when on the Great Ocean Road

In our opinion, one of the best places to visit in Victoria and home to such a diversity of natural wonders and seaside towns, it’s no wonder the great ocean road is the hottest ticket in Victoria.

Fair warning, to fully explore the entire coastline and the Great Ocean Road you will need more than a day, so it helps if you pick one spot to visit completely and stick to that, otherwise you can very easily spend a whole 2 weeks here.

This 243 heritage listed stretch of seaside road starts in Allanwood and ends just outside of Warrnambool, winding through the mountains of the Great Otway national park along the Barwon South western coast of Victoria. 

What makes the Great Ocean Road one of the best day trips from Melbourne is the old growth temperate rainforest on one side, with the raging current of the southern ocean on the other, keeping the landscape cool year round.

You can check out a whole list of waterfalls in the Otways using this guide here

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Erskine Falls, one of many waterfalls you can discover along the Great Ocean Road

Chase the waterfalls

Nowhere else in Victoria will you find a more densely populated area of waterfalls than in the Great Otway National Park. The best waterfalls in Victoria live here and are best visited during the winter months when the falls are full bodied and flowing, like a good glass of wine!

14 minutes outside of Lorne is Erskine Falls, a 30m high waterfall that cascades down into the fern gully below, viewable from a boardwalk below. 

Driving from Apollo Bay, 45 minute outside of town, you can find the most photographed waterfall in all of Victoria, Hopetoun Falls, and for good reason. This beautiful waterfall is situated deeper into the gully with ferns lining the Aire river on either side. You can view the falls from the upper platform or walk down the 200 steps to the boardwalk below, a 1 km round trip. 

Beauchamp falls sits just before Hopetoun, 12 minutes outside of Apollo Bay and just outside the entrance to the Great Otway National Park. 

Important Notice: Before you book a trip internationally we recommend getting travel insurance. There is always a chance things could go horribly wrong and the last place you want to find yourself is on a plane back home. We personally use World Nomads Travel Insurance for all our travel needs; they’re reliable, cheap, and afford fantastic coverage.


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Great Otway National Park Californian Redwood Forest

Great Otway National Park

The southernmost tip of the Western coastline of Victoria is the Great Otway national park, a vast landscape home to Cape Otway lighthouse station, the Californian Redwood Forest and a variety of beautiful waterfalls. 

Whilst not technically within 2 hours of Melbourne, we’ve placed it here to help you plan your holiday whilst in this beautiful region out west.

Take Lighthouse Rd all the way down south to the lighthouse station for incredible views of the southern ocean and if you’re lucky enough, the winter months see migrating pods of whales from Antarctica; keep an eye out for the newborn calves following their mothers closely.

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The 12 Apostles are best viewed from the boardwalk platform giving you 180 degree views

12 apostles and Loch Ard Gorge

No ‘day trips from Melbourne’ list would be complete without visiting one of the most spectacular places in all of Victoria, the 12 Apostles in Port Campbell National Park

Officially only 4 or 5 left due to erosion and strong winds and currents, the remains of sandstone cliffs that jut out from the southern ocean just off the water’s edge are incredible sights at any time of day, though we recommend sunrise and sunset for breathtaking colours of golden hour. 

You can take a scenic helicopter flight over the apostles most times of the day or view them from the boardwalk accessible from the 12 Apostles information centre to cap off an ultimate day drive from melbourne.

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Loch Ard Gorge on the Great Ocean Road at sunset- shot on the Fujifilm XT2

The picturesque passage of Loch Ard Gorge was named so after the ship Loch Ard that ran into shallow waters and coral, sinking just off the coast; the two cliffs that face each other are named after the two survivors, Tom and Eva. 

These are undoubtedly the most popular attractions of the Great Ocean Road and millions of visitors flock here each year just to catch a glimpse of this natural wonder. 

Gibson Steps are another tourist attraction on the Great Ocean Road, but a well kept secret. Secret steps can be found at the bottom of the carpak at Gibson Beach, a short 500m east of the 12 Apostles boardwalk; giving you views of Gog and Magog. Officially not part of the 12 Apostles, they can be viewed from the beach or steps, or from facing east at the top of the 12 apostles lookout. 

Explore the chilled surf side towns

Many people come here just to have a coffee and watch the waves form the many coastal towns on the great ocean road.

Torquay is one of the most popular towns, home to many aussie surfing legends and a great place to learn how to surf, grab a cup of coffee or enjoy a breakfast at one of the many cafes and restaurants on the main strip on the Esplanade. 

Venture into Lorne, the biggest seaside town on the southwest coast and try the coffee at Moons Espresso bar, the best coffee in Lorne. We stayed here a few years back at the Lorne Bay view apartments  where a flock of friendly cockatoos were happy enough to be fed bananas I was eating at the time! The Ripcurl surf competition is held here every year as well as the Falls Festival on New Year’s Eve. 

End of the road – Warrnambool 

Although not officially part of the great ocean road, Warrnambool is a great addition if you want to go a little further out past Allanwood, the perfect place to recoup before you begin the journey back east.

Best activity on the Great Ocean Road

The winter months of Warrnambool at Logan’s beach whale nursery are famous for large pods of Humpback whales and southern right whales in the Logans beach whale nursery. 

Best day trips on the Great Ocean Road

Great Ocean Road day trip from Melbourne

12 Apostles explorer package

Private Express Experience at the 12 Apostles

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Cape Woolamai Beach the other side of the Pinnacles – a photographers dream location on Phillip Island

Phillip Island

Phillip island is the perfect island getaway for Melburnians seeking a bit more chill and distance from the hustle and bustle of Melbourne, making it the perfect day trip from Melbourne.

Worth the 1hour and 50 minute drive from the CBD, by-passing the Mornington Peninsula and just before heading into Wilsons Promontory, here you will find beautiful surf beaches, a colony of fairy penguins 32,000 strong and incredible southern ocean landscape thats home to a variety of wildlife, including snakes, penguins, sea birds and wallabies. 

Cape Woolamai

A sunset dip at Cape Woolamai surf beach might be the thing you need late Sunday afternoon.

One of the coolest places to visit in Victoria sits just after the entrance to Phillip island as you cross the bridge connecting San Remo and Phillip Island.


Visit the Nobbies

Probably our favourite part of Phillip Island and the furthermost southwestern tip of the island is the Nobbies Centre. Wildlife is the name of the game down here, as it supports a extensive list of species both native and non-native to Australia.

From here you can see Fairy Penguins nest under the boardwalks, migratory birds that fly here annually from Antarctica, Humpback Whales and Southern Right Whales travel here with their young, and Australia’s largest colony of Australian fur seals

Take the free boardwalk tour along the dramatic rocky coastline and learn all about the history of the Nobbies and the part it plays in wildlife conservation. 

Don’t miss the Penguin Parade

Most famously known for the Fairy Penguins making their return voyage home onto the shores of Phillip Island having been out to sea hunting, this popular Melbourne tourist attraction brings thousands of people annually to witness this incredible event.

The Penguin colony is 32,000 strong and is a protected species under legislation by the Victorian Government, assisted by Parks Victoria

It’s definitely a must to activity on Phillip Island and is certainly one of the top reasons to visit Phillip Island. 

How to get here
Best day tours from Melbourne

Penguin Parade Day trip from Melbourne

Whale watching tours in Phillip Island

Heli-flight above Phillip Island

Best place to stay in Phillip Island

After spending the day exploring Philip Island why not check in to the SilverWater Resort on the island.

They have a solar heated outdoor pool, sports courts and restaurants this is the perfect place to rest and recline after a day trip from Melbourne.

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Daylesford & Macedon Ranges during the autumn season North East of Victoria

Daylesford 

Just 90 minutes north-east of Melbourne in the foothills of the Great Dividing Range is a town revered for rejuvenation and healing, Daylesford.

Originally inhabited by the Dja Dja Wurrung people thousands of years ago, then the Swiss-Italian migrants who came over in the 1850s for the gold rush boom, to what it is today; an architecturally preserved rural city and a perfect day trip from Melbourne.

In the highlands of central Victoria, Daylesford is one of the prettiest places to visit in Victoria. Fill your day with strolls around Wombat Hill Botanic Gardens and enjoy lunch at the Wombat Hill house.

To Melburnians, Daylesford is known as a foodie’s heaven with a rich gastronomic presence and locally sourced produce making it the perfect day trip from Melbourne.

Lake Jubilee

Recommended by a friend, best to get to this lake at sunrise or sunset to catch the early morning fog that drifts across the glass-like lake, watching the morning birds sing and glide across the water.

A short boardwalk on one side is perfect for viewing the lake and taking some time out to enjoy the scenery. Peacocks and Peafowls are known to reside here so keep your eyes peeled for these incredibly stunning birds. 

Lake Daylesford

Built in 1929, a 25 minute trek around this beautiful man-made lake complete with boat house and restaurant is the perfect way to spend the afternoon in Daylesford.

We visited both during the day and night, luckily enough we came here on a new moon and planned to shoot some astrophotography here. 

Brunch at Pancho

We highly recommend visiting Pancho on your day trip to Daylesford if you love good coffee, hipster vibes and a chill atmosphere.

Of all the day trips from Melbourne, for the best coffee out of Melbourne it would have to be here at Pancho.

This two story cafe leads you upstairs via a spiral staircase, decorated with lush green plants everywhere you look set against exposed brick veneer walls making this such a dream to eat at. 

Highest waterfall in Victoria

Visit the highest single drop waterfall in all of Victoria in the town of Trentham,a short 20 minute drive out of Daylesford.

Technically speaking the waterfall is only viewable and accessible from the boardwalk at the bottom of the track, with barriers preventing you from going further down due to unsafe and unsteady rock faces..always approach with caution. 

Lavandula swiss italian farm

Get your slice of Europe at the Swiss-Italian Lavender and Olive farm, 10 minutes north of Daylesford to enjoy the picturesque lavender fields and olive farm set on the backdrop of a rustic cobblestone courtyard.

Or enjoy a lavender styled champagne at La Trattoria.

How to get here

Head west out of the city along the Monash freeway, merge onto the Western Ring road and continue along the Western Freeway. Continue just outside Ballarat and turn right at the C141 exit along the Ballan-Daylesford rd towards Dayelsford.

Best Day Trips from Melbourne 2+ hours away 

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Wilsons Promontory

One of the best places to visit in Victoria is also the furthest southern tip of the state, almost 3 hours south of the CBD.

One of the best day trips from Melbourne will leave you feeling like you’re in the Bay of Fires in Tasmania.

Wilsons Promontory, or “The Prom” as we call it, is a long day trip from Melbourne but worth the view when you finally arrive.

You come here for Wilsons Promontory National park, where you can choose a mix of airbnbs outside the park, or overnight hikes and camping at both Tidal River campgrounds or deeper within the park. 

Unique to Wilsons Prom is a Tidal river wilderness cruise that comes very highly rated.

Hike the ‘Prom’

day trips from Melbourne

This is a little tricky considering you’re on a day trip from Melbourne, but if you ensure you have an early wake up call, the Mount Oberon Summit hike is a 7km easy-medium hike to the summit sitting t 558m altitude with 360 degree views of the national park, beginning at the Telegraph Saddle carpark.

Sunrise and sunset views are incredible from the summit but make sure you bring a torch as it will begin to get dark quickly, and wildlife love to venture out at this time. 

See the sparkling turquoise waters of Norman Bay, Little Oberon bay as well as, Picnic Bay and Whisky Bay. 

Other Wilsons Promontory day hikes and activities include

Lilly Pilly Gully Circuit trek

Big Drift Sand Dunes &

Squeaky Beach

Spot the wildlife at the ‘Prom’

For your daily dose of Australian wildlife there’s no better place to see them all than right here in the national park.

Number 1 rule for driving around is to take it slow and keep watch; Kangaroos, emus, echidnas, koalas, snakes and lizards all share the same habitat and use the roads as crossing points so drive slowly, carefully and always call animal rescue if you unfortunately hit wildlife. 

Warrnambool

READ MORE: Here’s our handy guide to more great things to do in Warrnambool

A whale watchers delight positioned just after the end of the Great Ocean Road outside of Allanwood is one of the best day trips from Melbourne and a personal favourite of ours. 

If you’re up for the 3.5 hour drive along the coast from Melbourne CBD there’s a plethora of things to do in Warrnambool

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Cape Woolamai beach watching the waves go by on a cold chilly day – shot on the Fujifilm XT2

Logans Beach Whale Nursery

During the winter months of June through to September Logans Beach Whale Nursery in the southern ocean, a large sheltered lagoon off the coast hosts a migratory pod of Humpback whales and Southern right whales on their journey from Antarctica to breed and raise their young.

If you’re really lucky, you might be able to spot Orcas at times; very rare but not impossible. 

A long wooden boardwalk gives viewers plenty of room and space to sit for hours watching the whales pass by, breach and tail slap..one of the highlights on the great ocean road trip from Melbourne. 

Tower Hill Wildlife Reserve

Victoria’s only non-active volcanic crater now turned lake is home to an assortment of furry wildlife including Kangaroos, Wallabies, Koalas and Echidnas.

A short 20 minute drive outside of Warrnambool town can find the most incredible views from anywhere in the city, overlooking the southern ocean bay..you’ll just need binoculars to make out anything this far!

Port Fairy

This picturesque fishing village west of Warrnambool is one of the best day trips outside of Warrnambool if you have the time.

Hosting the 4 day annual Port Fairy Folk Festival, Port Fairy has so much to offer tourists; like the Port Fairy lighthouse on Griffits island at sunrise, exploring the region and whale sightings off the coast. 

How to get here

The easiest way to get to Warrnambool is taking the Monash Freeway M1 west towards Geelong, and after merging onto the Hamilton Highway you eventually re-group back onto the Princes Fwy and take it straight into Warrnambool.

There is an alternative route along the Great Ocean Road but this will extend your stay by up to 6 hours if you stop at very point.

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Boroka Lookout, Halls Gap, The Grampians national park – image courtesy of Shutterstock (image licensed)

The Grampians

Drawing hikers and adventure trail blazers from all over the world, the Grampians National park is known for world class hikes and trails, stunning natural rock formation, challenging rock climbing activities and the most densely populated region of ancient aboriginal art anywhere in southern Australia. 

Divided into the northern, southern and central Grampians, this significant cultural landscape is known to the aboriginal people as Gariwerd, of whom the Indigenous Australians have inhabited for thousands of years.

Take a hike down to Mackenzie falls, hike to the summit of Mount William, the highest peak in the Grampians National park, one of the many day hikes around Halls Gap, Baroka Lookout or The Pinnacles. 

I took Laura here the very first time she visited me in Melbourne and is still one of my favourite day trips from Melbourne for more than one reason !

Mackenzie Falls

One of Victoria’s largest waterfalls and one that flows all year round, take a day hike to this beautiful natural landscape on a 2km round trip down 260 steps, just don’t swim in the lake; hidden tree stumps, branches and other unknown objects may be potentially dangerous. 

The Pinnacles Walk

This 4.2km, 90 minute round trip day hike provides some of the best views in all of the Grampians National park.

Begin your hike at the Sundial Car park with a good set of shoes and a camera at hand ready to soak i the views from the top via Devils Gap. 

Southern Grampians

If you prefer to stay away from the crowds and see the best sights in the Grampians then you need to head towards the southern grampians into Dunkeld; the gateway to Mount Abrupt, Mount Sturgeon and the Piccaninny

Heading to Mount Williams, the highest point in the Grampians is accessible via a short drive from Halls Gap, or an even longer and more scenic drive from Dunkeld. 

Tackle the 40km overnight hike from Major Mitchell Plateau or the truly remote experience of the fortress or Mount Thackeray hike.  

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Mount Feathertop – image courtesy of Shutterstock (image licensed)

Alpine Region: Bonus Getaway

The Alpine Region of Victoria is arguably the longest and most scenic day trip from Melbourne. Being one of the most diverse and varied landscapes from snow capped mountains of Hotham and Buller, the cross-country skiing fields of Lake Mountain, the Alpine Region deserves the title of the best places to visit in Victoria. 

Most Victorians flock to the snowy mountains every year to ski and board Victoria’s high country slopes, and whilst we pale in comparison to places like New Zealand and Thredbo of ACT, our appetite for powder is curbed enough!

Mount Hotham

4.5 hours north east of the city is the most popular and certainly largest of the snowy mountains of Victoria and our personal favourite and recommendation for the snow season.

Of the 3 main snow mountains it is the highest and so offers the best views from the top when skiing down the mountain. 

One of the longest day trips from Melbourne, this road trip is best tackled with a great collection of road trip songs on spotify, a bag of vegan chips and good friends.

Mount Buller and Lake Mountain

Other quality mountains to experience are both Mount Buller and Lake Mountain.

Interestingly enough like most mountain ranges, there is a mere 50km that separates mount hotham and buller as the ‘crow flies’, however the drive will take you 272km of road and 3 hours and 39 minutes to drive! 

Lake Mountain is more relaxed and family friendly where you can get your kids to learn how to snowboard for the day, or try cross-country skiing for the first time with a little over 35km of tracks.

Do you feel confident to go on a day trip from Melbourne?

There is so much to see and do here in Melbourne and across regional Victoria, hopefully this article has helped answer some of the questions you have about where to go and what to see in and around the centre of the city.

Leave a comment below and tell us what your favourite place to visit is in Victoria, if it’s on the list, fantastic! If not, we’d love to know what your favourites are!

Chris and Laura acknowledgesAboriginal people as the First Peoples and Nations of the lands and waters we live and work upon and we pay our respects to their Elders past, present and emerging. We acknowledge and respect the deep spiritual connection and the relationship that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people have to Country.

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