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As great as Melbourne is, it’s still nice to get away from the hustle and bustle of the big smoke sometimes. So, why not take a day trip from Melbourne by car (or bus or train) to some of the surrounding attractions and sights.

day trips from Melbourne: Phillip Island coastline. Photo by The 3B's via Flickr CC.
Phillip Island coastline. Photo by 3B’s via Flickr CC.

These day trips from Melbourne are favourites amongst locals, and they are guaranteed to get you outside of the city center, cultured and into nature.

Best Day Trips from Melbourne

All of the best day trips from Melbourne are 1 hour and 30 minutes or less from the CBD. They are great day trips from Melbourne for families, couples, friends or even those flying solo!

Torquay

Drivetime from Melbourne CBD: 1 hour and 20 minutes

Torquay is the starting point of the Great Ocean Road, but if you don’t have time to take one of the best road trips in Australia then Torquay is one of the best day trips from Melbourne.

Torquay is simply oozing surf culture. Thanks in part to Bells Beach (home of the annual Rip Curl surf comp), and other great surf breaks in the area, Torquay has been dubbed the surf capital of Australia. Take some take to visit the Australian National Surf Museum to learn more about its origins in the area.

Torquay, Australia. Photo by Myjolnyr via Flickrr CC
Torquay, Australia. Photo by Myjolnyr via Flickrr CC

Visit Main Beach in Torquay and take a dip in the waters. Stroll the Surf Coast Walk, watch surfers at Point Danger and follow the path onwards to Juan Jac beach or even Bells Beach. In town, you’ll find a maze of restaurants and cafes that line the Esplanade and innards of Torquay so finding a great place to dine won’t be too difficult.

Day trips Melbourne: Bells Beach, Torquay
Bells Beach, Torquay. Photo by Charles Van den Broek via Flickr CC

Check out Bells Beach on the outskirts of town, and watch experienced surfers navigate the treacherous waters at Winky Pop surf break from the viewing platform, or jump in yourself. Then descend the staircase and take in all the glory of Bells Beach from the sand. Feel free to swim here but beware there is a big undertow!

Mornington Peninsula

Drivetime from Melbourne CBD: 1 hour

The Mornington Peninsula is one of the best day trips Melbourne has to offer. It is perfectly scenic and jam-packed with things to do. For incredible views visit Arthurs Peak, Mornington Peninsula’s highest peak. Hike the Arthurs Seat Circuit (2 km) or take the Arthur Seat Eagle Gondola to reach the top.

Melbourne day trips: Mornington Peninsula
Mornington Peninsula coastline. Photo by Lauri Väin via Flickrr CC.

Take a peek at Fort Nepean and learn about the region’s history or get lost in the Ashcombe Maze and Lavender Gardens. If relaxation is what you are in for then soak in the Peninsula Hot Springs geothermal pools or have a spa treatment.

In the Mornington Peninsula, you are never very far from the sea so do yourself a favour and check out some of the areas great beaches. Flinders Beach is great for surfing, while Safety Beach is a favourite amongst swimmers. For more beaches check here. Afterward go check out Cape Schanck, Mornington’s southernmost tip.

Melbourne day trips: Point Nepean National Park. Photo by Jochen Bullerjahn via Flickr CC
Point Nepean National Park. Photo by Jochen Bullerjahn via Flickr CC

Specialized boutique wineries are abundant in the region. Visit some of the vineyards and help yourself to a tasting. Some of our favourite Mornington wineries include Jackalope, Polperro, and Ten Minutes By Tractor (creators of Mornington Peninsula’s first organic wine).

Yarra Valley

Drivetime from Melbourne CBD: 1 hour

If you want to eat, drink and be merry than the Yarra Valley is the perfect Melbourne getaway for you, and an easy day trip from Melbourne by car since it is only one 1 hour from the CBD. The Yarra Valley was made famous by the high density of vineyards in the area.

Vineyard in Yarra Valley
Vineyard in Yarra Valley, just an hour away from Melbourne

The climate in the Yarra Valley is perfect for Pinot Noir and Chardonnay cultivation but mainstream varieties are also available. Create your own DIY wine tour around the region or join one leaving from Melbourne. But make sure it adds a stop to Balgownie Estate, we love their environmental and sustainability initiatives (our commitment to travel sustainability includes wine too!).

Beautiful views from Sugarloaf Reservoir Lookout
Beautiful views from Sugarloaf Reservoir Lookout

If wine isn’t your thing, don’t fret! There are plenty of non-wine options as well, like the Meletos Ciderhouse and Brewery that offers a perfect tasting paddle of 4 beers/ciders of your choice, the White Rabbit Brewery with their large selection of Belgian Style beers, or Hargreaves Hill who takes creating sustainable, award-winning beers very seriously.

Local produce is huge in the area so afterward check out Yarra Valley Dairy shop for something savory then pop over to the Yarra Valley Chocolaterie and Ice-creamery for something sweet. Oksana fell in love with their Chocolate Tea!

Yarra Valley Dairy Shop
Yarra Valley Dairy Shop

If you want to get outdoors try a round of golf at one of the many courses in the valley, book a Segway Tour, or spend some time cycling or hiking one of Yarra Valley’s great trails.

The Yarra Valley offers one of the most unique activities that day trips Melbourne offers with Hot Air Ballooning! The views are nothing short of amazing.

Phillip Island

Drivetime from Melbourne CBD: 1 hour and 30 minutes

Get out and amongst nature on a day trip to Phillip Island. If there is one thing you must do on the Phillip Island, it is the Cape Woolamai circuit. It perfectly showcases Phillip Islands rugged beauty and takes you along the beach, atop cliffs, and through the forest. There is another great walk at The Nobbies Visitor Centre.

Melbourne day trips: Woolamai beach, Phillip Island
Woolamai beach, Phillip Island. Photo by Aaron Fellmeth via Flickr CC.

The short scenic boardwalk, at the Nobbies, takes visitors to the ‘blowhole’ and past Seal Rocks, Australia’s largest fur seal colony. Although you’ll have to bring a pair of binoculars to see the seals from shore. For a more up close encounter, join an eco-boat tour.

Otherwise, check out Forrest Caves at low tide, bathe at the beaches, or go surfing. There is lots of great surf breaks on Phillip Island. The break at Woolamai should be reserved for advanced surfers but Smith Beach and Surf beach breaks are typically fair game for beginners.

Melbourne day trips: Phillip Island coastline. Photo by The 3B's via Flickr CC.
Phillip Island coastline. Photo by 3B’s via Flickr CC.

When it comes to day trips from Melbourne for families, Phillip Island is a favourite. Partly due to Phillip Islands ‘Penguin Parade’. Come sunset hundreds of these little critters scuttle back from the ocean, to their homes on the foreshore of Summerland Beach. To see the natural spectacle up close buy tickets here. All the funds go back into conservation efforts on the island.

Want to see koalas? Stroll the treetop boardwalks at the Phillip Island Koala Conservation Centre. Wallabies? Wild wallabies are typically seen hopping around the islands at dusk and dawn, so be wary when driving at this time.

Melbourne day trips: wild wallaby at Phillip Island
Wild wallaby at Phillip Island

These day trips Melbourne offers are truly unique and a great escape from the city! We wouldn’t be surprised they turn a weekend getaways instead.

Bonus: Other Day Trips Melbourne Offers:

If you have more time and are able to get away for longer, consider exploring these destinations located 2-3 hours away from Melbourne.

  • Daylesford and Macedon mountain ranges
  • Bendigo
  • Echuca
  • King Lake & Murrindindi Nature Reserve
  • Ballarat
  • Dandenong Ranges
  • Mount Buller

BEFORE YOU GO: Don’t forget travel insurance

We can’t stress enough the importance of travel insurance, especially in a country like Australia.Whether you just plan to explore the cities, do a little bit of hiking, or go extreme (think surfing, scuba diving, or ever skydiving), being protected on your travels is an irreplaceable peace of mind.We learned about the importance of travel insurance the hard way and now we never travel without coverage.

Get a quote through our recommended insurance provider, World Nomads.

What are your favourite day trips from Melbourne? Are there any day trips from Melbourne that we missed?

Read Next: 8 Best Melbourne Weekend Getaways

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