Day Trips from Melbourne

Melbourne is an incredible city located in Victoria, Australia. However, it is also the gateway to exploring the rest of the state. You can easily access everything from the Great Ocean Road, to the Gold Fields from Melbourne. Read  about some of the best day trips from Melbourne below. 


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Day Trips from Melbourne

Ballarat Day Trips


Ballarat is one of the biggest Victorian towns outside of Melbourne, and is also a fantastic family destination. In fact, one of the best day trips from Melbourne to learn about the history of the area. Specifically, Ballarat provides incredible insight into the Gold Rush of the 1850s that sparked some of the first immigration to the area. Ballarat is easily accessible via V/Line Trains from Southern Cross Station, and also by car.

To learn more about the Gold Rush, I recommend:

Sovereign Hill – An open-air museum focusing on the Gold Rush. During your visit, you will be able to pan for gold, explore trades and artisans, dress up for an 1850s portrait, and also go on a mine tour. Tickets can be purchased for AUD$49* per adult, and can be booked in advance through the Sovereign Hill website.

Eureka Centre – A museum dedicated to the Eureka Stockade of 1854. This was a significant event in Victoria’s history from which miner’s rights were drastically improved. The Centre also provides a fantastic visitor guide for you to learn more about the history of the event as well as its impacts on Ballarat and Victoria. Tickets can be purchased at the door for AUD$6*.

Other things to explore in Ballarat include:


Lake Wendouree – Opt to either walk the 6km loop trail of the lake, or hire a paddle boat. Paddle boats can be rented at the lake for AUD$12* per 20-minutes. 

Ballarat Botanical Gardens – Located next to Lake Wendouree, the gardens are some of the most beautiful in the state and are divided into four distinct regions. The Robert Clark Conservatory also houses an incredible display of flora throughout the year. Entry to both the Gardens and Conservatory are free to the public.

Ballarat Revealed Walking Tour – A self-guided walking tour through the centre of Ballarat. Ballarat Revealed’s tour will take you through Ballarat’s history, from the Gold Rush up until the present day. Start on the corner of Sturt Street and Grenville Street and read through the resources whilst you explore.

Dandenongs Day Trip

Dandenong Ranges

The Dandenong Ranges is a luscious region located just East of Melbourne. Enjoy incredible hiking in the area, as well as train rides and historic towns on this day trip.

For great hiking in the Dandenongs, I recommend:

Kokoda Trail Memorial Walk – Home to the 1000 Steps trail. This walk provides is a fantastic memorial to those Australian’s who fought in World War II, specifically on the Kokoda Trail in Papua New Guinea. The area is free to access, and I especially recommend visiting early in the morning before parking fills up. Alternatively, take the train to Upper Ferntree Gully Station and walk to the base of the trail.

Sherbrooke Forest – Home to the magnificent Sherbrooke Falls. Take the Sherbrooke Falls Walking Track to access the falls. This is also a great place to enjoy a picnic lunch. To see the rainforest at its most beautiful, make sure to plan your visit after a rainy day. You will see the falls at their strongest as well as the steam rising from the ferns around you. This trail is accessible by both train and bus from the city. 

Other things to explore in the Dandenongs include:

Puffing Billy Railway – A great alternative to see the rainforest without hiking. Ride the historic steam train from Belgrave to Menzies Creek for only 25-minutes each way. This is a great option, as you will be able to visit Lil Toot Cafe in Menzies Creek. Enjoy a traditional Devonshire tea here for AUD$12* with your train ticket. Further upgrades to consider on a longer excursion include either a grazing box or the first-class dining experience. Train tickets must be booked online in advance, from AUD$40*. Puffing Billy also departs from Belgrave Railway Station, accessible by train from the city.

Daylesford Day Trips


Daylesford is a picturesque town located just North of Melbourne. It is known for its high standard of food and accommodation, as well as being one of the best wellness destinations near the city. Daylesford is easily accessible by car and hence makes for one of the best day trips from Melbourne. 

Some of the best things to do in Daylesford include:


Hepburn Bathhouse and Spa – The best and most well known spa in the area. Hepburn Bathhouse and Spa is a sanctuary where you can enjoy spa treatments and mineral bathing as well as wellness massages. To make the most of the facility, I recommend booking the Day Retreat Package. This will allow you to enjoy one service from both mineral bathing and spa treatments. This package can be booked online for AUD$295*, and will take around half a day.

Convent Gallery – Named the most beautiful art gallery in Australia. Convent Gallery is absolutely unmissable on a visit to Daylesford. This magnificent 19th century convent is home to both a gallery and museum. The building is a destination itself, and you can easily spend a few hours exploring the seven gallery spaces here. Tickets can be purchased at the door for AUD$10*.

Lavandula Swiss Italian Farm – Mediterranean-style lavender farm located just outside of Daylesford. I recommend taking one of the history tours here to learn more about the farm. The grounds also house La Trattoria Eatery & Bar which serves up some of the most delicious toasties. Entry is just AUD$5* upon arrival, which allows you to spend as much time exploring the grounds as you wish.

Sunday Market – The market makes it worth timing your visit to fall on a Sunday. Here you will be able to explore over 130 stalls selling both local delicacies and handicrafts. The market runs everyday Sunday morning, just near the Wombat Botanical Gardens.

One of the best short hikes in the area includes:

Hanging Rock – Hanging Rock Trail is a nearby hike that provides fantastic views over the region. Stop on your way back to Melbourne for a short 2km hike to the top. Bring some of your snacks from the market to have a sunset picnic at the top!

Great Ocean Road Day Trips

Great Ocean Road

The Great Ocean Road is perhaps one of the most iconic day trips from Melbourne. Starting from Torquay, this 243km stretch of road weaves along the surf coast to Allansford. There are so many small towns and sights to see along the way. Either rent a car or book an organised tour from Melbourne to experience this area.

My recommendations for the Great Ocean Road include:

Loch Ard Gorge  – A hidden cove towards the end of the Great Ocean Road. Loch Ard Gorge is one of the most famous sights on this trip. You will be able to see the foamy waves crash against the yellow cliffs in the background. Loch Ard Wreck Lookout provides views over the beach, which is also accessible from the main path. 

12 Apostles – Victoria’s most famous landscape. Despite only eight Apostles still standing, this stop is one of the most famous in Victoria. These towers are the result of erosion along the coast from the strong surf. Specifically time your visit for sunset to witness one of the best in the world. Trust me, it’s absolutely worth the hype. Note that this is one of the longer day trips from Melbourne, so make sure to plan ahead for the day.

Great Otway National Park – A rainforest haven along the Great Ocean Road. The Otway Ranges are a great place to stop and explore during the long drive. In fact, one of the best ways to see the area is from above. Otway Fly Treetop Adventures has an incredible 1.9km treetop walk that allows you to see over the National Park. Tickets can be purchased online for AUD$24.75*. If you’re feeling adventurous, they also offer a 2.5-hour zip-line tour that will get your adrenaline pumping.

Lorne – Stop for lunch at the seaside town of Lorne. There are some incredible restaurants as well as cafes to try here. However, I recommend recently-opened Sydney favourite: Totti’s. Fuel up on some delicious pasta for the road ahead. It is worth booking a table in advance via the Merivale website, as this place is always in high demand. 

Mornington Peninsula Day Trips

Mornington Peninsula

The Mornington Peninsula is a stretch of coast located just South of Melbourne. There is so much to explore on the Peninsula and you could easily spend a few days here, being one of the closest day trips from Melbourne. From hiking and hidden beaches to luxury hotels and restaurants, there will be something here for everyone.

My top recommendation for a relaxing morning here is:


Peninsula Hot Springs – A hidden oasis with a focus on wellbeing. The Peninsula Hot Springs is one of the most relaxing ways to spend a morning in the area. Housed here are over 70 different spa experiences. If fact, the Hot Springs almost deserve their own place in the best day trips from Melbourne. I recommend exploring the Bath House. Specifically, the Hilltop Pool has incredible views over the area, and the Turkish Hammam steam bath is an incredibly relaxing experience. Book the Revitalise Bath House Bathing Package for AUD$70 to spend the morning exploring the endless geothermal pools. 

More recommendations for the Mornington Peninsula include:

Rocky Creek – Strawberry Farm tucked in the hills of the Peninsula. Visit Rocky Creek Strawberry Farm during the summer months to see the strawberry season. The farm offers a u-pick experience where you can roam the fields, filling your basket with hand-picked strawberries. The experience costs AUD$12* per adult, and is fantastic for a sunny day. 

Cape Schanck – Southernmost point of the Mornington Peninsula. A great spot to seek sweeping views of the Victorian coastline at any time of year. In fact, you can visit the top of Cape Schanck Lighthouse for the best panorama. Nearby Bushranger’s Bay Walking Track is one of the best hiking trails in the area. This 2.6km trail will take you along the coast to Bushranger’s Bay, where you can spend the afternoon exploring the rock pools along the beach.

Arthur’s Seat – For more incredible views over the Mornington Peninsula. Arthur’s Seat is the highest point in the region, and provides incredible views over Port Phillip Bay. On a clear day, you will even be able to see Melbourne on the horizon. The easiest way to get to the top is by riding the Eagle. This is an aerial gondola that takes around 15 minutes each way. Bring a picnic lunch to sit back and enjoy the views from the top. Tickets can be purchased online or at the base for AUD$29.50* per adult. 

Phillip Island Day Trip

Phillip Island

Phillip Island is a huge land mass located a few hours South-East of Melbourne. The area is home to some of the best places to spot wildlife and incredible beach views. It is one of the more underrated day trips from Melbourne, but well worth exploring.

Some of the best Phillip Island activities include:


Penguin Parade – Phillip Island is most famously known for its Little Penguin colony. The Penguin Parade is a boardwalk that opens each night for visitors to view the penguins returning to their burrows from the ocean. Note that it can get incredibly cold down here at night, so make sure to bring lots of layers to stay warm. Tickets should be booked online in advance for AUD$30* per adult.

Koala Conservation Reserve – A treetop koala oasis. The Koala Conservation Reserve is an incredible treetop boardwalk where you will be able to spot koalas hiding among the eucalyptus trees. The walk is only 800m, but allow extra time for wildlife spotting. Tickets can be purchased online for AUD$15*.

Cape Woolamai – Most scenic coastal views on Phillip Island. In fact, this is one of the most famous surf beaches in Australia despite it being dangerous for swimmers. The Pinnacles Walk is a great day hike where you will get to see a 4.5km stretch of coastline. Alternatively, sea kayaking is an amazing way to explore this coast. In fact, Pioneer Kayaking offer 3-hour Cape Woolamai Coastal Tours for AUD$99*. This will allow you to explore the hidden beaches and caves, as well as spot some marine life if you are lucky!

*Please note that all prices are current as of the publication date of this post.

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