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Top 5 Family Day Trips in Victoria

Home > Melbourne > Beaches | Day Trips | Family | Lists | Playgrounds
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 August 25th 2015
Make the most of your time together
Mills Beach, Mornington

Some of the best day trips we have taken the children on have been spur of the moment decisions to visit a region with no plans other than to stop wherever takes our fancy. The things we discover along the way are a surprise and more often than not we learn new things, discover natural attractions and unearth some of the most memorable destinations.

However, sometimes it's nice to have plans so both you and the children have something to look forward to after a long week at work or just for a change of scenery. Here are my top 5 picks in no particular order.

McKenzie Reserve playground, Yarra Glen

1. The Yarra Valley is not just a world renowned wine region but it's also a great place to explore with children. Take the bikes and ride the Lilydale - Warburton rail trail, visit the ever popular but slightly overwhelming when busy Yarra Valley Chocolatrie, our two favourite playgrounds 1). Bollygum playground at Kinglake 2). McKenzie Reserve at Yarra Glen, Take a walk around or enjoy a picnic at the Sugarloaf Reservoir. Shop at the Yarra Glen Racecourse market, take a train ride on the Yarra Valley Railway at Healesville, see Australian wildlife at Healesville Sanctuary, stroll Alowyn Gardens, eat at the Beechworth Bakery in Healesville, explore the natural beauty on the 2.5km Badger Wier circuit walk, in the Yarra Ranges visit Mount Donna Buang in the snow or for more ideas in the Yarra Valley, click here.

Walhalla Railway

2. Walhalla may sound like an unusual choice for children but it offers the most amazing history lesson for primary school plus aged children in a way that is hands on, visual and easily understood. A tour of the old goldmine was a surprising hit with our children as was a ride on the historic railway. What I love about this town is how well preserved it is and how passionate the locals are to showcase the history and the town to visitors. From the 1st - 30th of August each year is the Walhalla Vinter Ljusfest where lights and sound bring life to the town in winter. For more information read my full review here.

3. Sorrento - Queenscliff on the ferry is a fun way to spend a day out with the family and see the Peninsula from a different perspective with great views of the cliff top mansions in Sorrento and Portsea, the Quarantine Station and Fort Nepean, The Rip, Bellerine Peninsula and if you're lucky you may also spot a pod of dolphins on the 40 minute crossing. I suggest leaving the car at Sorrento, not only to save a bit of money but because the stroll between the ferry and the township is nice. Try timing your visit to coincide with the Queenscliff market and the Heritage railway which are both only a few hundred metres from the ferry terminal and well worth a look. Enjoy fish and chips from 'Queenscliff fish and chip shop' and eat it in the park overlooking the water. Another popular place is the Rolling Pin Bakery but there are many options available with several cafes and restaurants to suit all tastes and budgets. And of course pack the bathers and sun screen for those sunny days.

Enchanted Maze, Arthurs Seat

4.The Mornington Peninsula has a lot to offer and is only an hours drive away from Melbourne's CBD. With beautiful scenery, bay beaches on one side and surf beaches on the other it offers a diverse landscape to discover. Some of our families favourite things to do on the Peninsula include picnics at Seawinds Gardens, visiting local markets, enjoying bush and coastal walks such Bushrangers Bay, Fingal Beach, Baldry's Crossing and the Red Hill Rail Trail to name a few. For a special day out the Enchanted Maze is always a winner as is the Peninsula Hot Springs. The best playgrounds can be found at Sorrento, Rye, Flinders (recently renewed) and the also new rejuvenated playground at Schnapper Point in Mornington. As for more best attractions on the Mornington Peninsula, click here, or for free attractions, click here.

The Nobbies

5. Phillip Island is an easy drive from the CBD and is a fun summer day trip. Some things to do include visiting the Churchill Island Heritage Farm which also hosts a monthly farmers market, take a tour of Panny's Amazing World of Chocolate, Penguin Parade, Koala Conservation Centre, The Nobbies, and Phillip Island Grand Prix Circuit to name some of the most popular attractions. For cheaper alternatives that are no less fun such as having a BBQ at Cowes and making the most of the beautiful beaches, taking a stroll along one of the many coastal trails, visit the Erehwon Point playground and looking around the local markets is always interesting. On the way home you may enjoy a stop over with the kids at the Caldermeade 'cow' Farm to pat baby animals, watch the cows being milked or just for milkshake.

Bollygum Park, King Lake

If you have any family friendly suggestions for day trips please feel free to share it with us at WeekendNotes.
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Why? Family friendly day trips
When: All year round
Where: All over Victoria
Cost: Cost varies, check links for details.
Your Comment
A terrific summary Lorraine. I must get to the Walhalla Railway, I have been meaning to go for some time.
by Gayle Beveridge-Marien (score: 4|10580) 2837 days ago
Is there reasonable priced accommodation for us to take 2 grandchildren.
by Nette (score: 0|5) 2837 days ago
Who knew Victoria is this stunning.
by Sherry (score: 2|480) 2832 days ago
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