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.
Planning a Trip in the time of COVID?Keep in mind that information found in this article may have been impacted by travel restrictions and other closures. Double check opening hours, tour providers and hotel status before you go. And don't leave your home without travel insurance! If you are looking for an insurance provider that covers COVID-19, we recommend SafetyWing. Get Medical and Travel Insurance starting at just $40/month and you can sign up even if your trip has already started!
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!
Drivetime from Melbourne CBD: 1 hour and 20 minutes
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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).
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.
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!).
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
- King Lake & Murrindindi Nature Reserve
- Dandenong Ranges
- Mount Buller
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