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Where's Melbourne's Best Day Trip?

Home > Melbourne > Beaches | Day Trips | Parks | Questions | Walks | Lists
by Lorraine A (subscribe)
Avid trail runner, freelance writer and a mother of four with a healthy obsession for the great outdoors. Join me in my discoveries along the Mornington Peninsula and further afield by subscribing to my articles.
Published February 18th 2014


Weekend Notes writers arguably have the best jobs around, who else gets paid to write about things they've done on the weekend and get paid for it? Behind the articles though is a lot of research and travelling to continually come up with new ideas for our loyal readers and subscribers to make the most of their time on weekends.

I have been questioning myself recently, 'where's Melbourne's best day trip' and I have started by breaking it down into regions and including various activities.

My favourite day trip is to the Dandenong Ranges as it covers all bases, it's close to Melbourne, has fantastic walks, waterfalls and lush greenery, brilliant autumn colors, the cute town of Sassafrass, lots of attractions, romantic gardens and the list goes on and on. You can view my list of top things to do in the Dandenong Ranges here.



The Mornington Peninsula is an easy one hour drive from Melbourne and offers a lot of diversity. Mornington arguably has the best coffee outside of the city, Red Hill has amazing wineries, Flinders has great views across to Phillip Island, Tyabb has antiques, the Peninsula is home to some of the best golf courses, bay beaches and surf beaches, Sorrento and Portsea are the places to be seen. There really is a lot to love about the area and is probably why I call it home. View my top ten attractions on the Mornington Peninsula here.

Coastline from Flinders Golf Course


The Yarra Valley offers everything from it's world renowned wineries to snow on Mount Donna Buang in Winter, rail trail from Lilydale to Warburton, biggest chocolate shop in the Yarra Valley, native animals at Healsville Sanctuary, waterfalls and walks in Marysville. To read my top ten attractions in the Yarra Valley click here.

Donnelly's Weir, Healsville


Phillip Island has the Penguin Parade, The Nobbies (seal rocks), The Grand Prix circuit, Woolamai surf beach, the relaxed coastal town of Cowes, Churchill Island Heritage working farm. On the way down to Phillip Island is the spectacular Australian Native Garden at the Cranbourne Botanical garden, Caldermeade farm, San Remo has yummy fish and chips at the fishery co op just before you go over the bridge to Phillip Island.

You could venture out to the Great Ocean Rd but you would not have long enough to enjoy it, however, a day trip to the Ballerine Peninsula and the Surf Coast are easy day trips with travel time varying between 1hr 15 min to Torquay to 1hr 30min to Queenscliff. In Torquay visit the beaches including the famous Bells Beach, shop at the factory outlet surf shops, amongst other things that can be found here. In Queenscliff take a ride on the Bellarine Railway, stroll through the main street and look at the heritage buildings and boutique shops, scuba diving is very popular here so to is fish and chips on the beach or in the park. For more things to do in Queenscliff and surrounding towns, click here.

Point Lonsdale Lighthouse


A day trip to the Goldfields will show you a bit of early Victorian history especially in the architecture of the period buildings. In Ballarat visit Sovereign Hill, take the Ballarat Heritage Walk and whilst you're there have a look at the the cinema, it has a stunning theatre. Stroll around Lake Wendouree or the Botanical gardens. Other towns within the Goldfields region are Bendigo, Castlemaine, Maldon, Creswick and more.

Some other areas include:

Walhalla is a historic gold rush town 2 1/2 hours drive from Melbourne, it is well worth the drive if you like Victorian history. At Walhalla you can take a ride on one of Victoria's most scenic railway, take a tour of the gold mine , go on one of the many walks, stroll through the town and soak up the atmosphere of days gone by.

Walhalla Goldfields Railway


Mount Macedon has some lovely private gardens that open to the public including Tieve Tara, has good walking trails, quaint shops, Mt Macedon Memorial Cross Reserve and more.

Geelong is only an hour away from the city but offers a completely different style of CBD with a more industrial feel with lots of heritage buildings. Take a look at the National Wool Museum (it's more interesting than it sounds), Geelong Botanic Garden, the carousel, Eastern beach waterfront and bollards walk, antiques, the nearby Serendip nature reserve, a bit further away is the You Yangs National Park and for a nice cafe in an odd spot try Moorabool Valley Chocolates outside of Geelong.

Geelong Waterfront Bollards


And whilst it's not possible to write every day trip or activity into this one article I do hope it has given you a few ideas for your next day trip.

Where is your favourite day trip? We at Weekend Notes would love to know where Melbourne's best day trip is from your experiences.

Walhalla Township
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Your Comment
Everything is so picturesque and tranquil.
by Bryony Harrison (score: 4|11526) 1370 days ago
A trip up to tiny Trentham ticks all the boxes for me - great local cafe, pub and amazing walking.
by Julie Mundy (score: 3|1725) 1337 days ago
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