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5 best day trips from Melbourne
1. Day trip to the Yarra Valley
Travelers looking to take a day trip from Melbourne often head to the Yarra Valley. The region is best known for being a center of wine production in Australia. Oenophiles can enjoy sampling the goods at wineries like Oakridge, Coombe Farm, and Domaine Chandon. Beyond wine, travelers can see points of interest like the Mont de Lancy Historic Homestead, the foodie paradise of Healesville, the Healesville Sanctuary (home to cuddly koalas), and the scenic Puffing Billy Steam Railway.
How far is the Yarra Valley from Melbourne?
The Yarra Valley is located about 70 kilometers (43 miles) from Melbourne, depending on where you’re located. On average, it takes about an hour to reach the Yarra Valley by car. From the Lilydale train station, the journey is a little over an hour. The journey by bus from Melbourne is also about an hour.
2. Day trip to the Mornington Peninsula
Leisure is the name of the game on the Mornington Peninsula, making it the perfect choice for a fun escape from the city. First thing on the agenda at “the Ninch” is to hit the beach. The peninsula’s amazing beaches are lined with colorful bathing boxes that are a hot commodity in the area. Some favorite spots are Sorrento and St. Andrews. Aside from outdoor recreation, discover the 19th-century McCrae Homestead or the museum and submarine at HMAS Cerberus for a sense of the area’s history.
How far is the Mornington Peninsula from Melbourne?
Only 75 kilometers (46 miles) from Melbourne, by car it takes around an hour to get to the Mornington Peninsula. A combination of the train and bus will get you there in just under two hours.
3. Day trip to Ballarat
Travelers who embark on an adventure to Ballarat will be swept back in time. This gold rush boomtown is best known today for the living history museum of Sovereign Hill. Walk the streets of this recreated 1850’s town and see how people lived back in Ballarat’s beginnings. Once you’ve struck it rich, the town has other fascinating points of interest. The Ballarat Botanical Gardens, Ballarat Wildlife Park, and the Art Gallery of Ballarat all warrant a look on your trip.
How far is Ballarat from Melbourne?
It will take around an hour and a half to drive the 116 kilometers (72 miles) to Ballarat by car or to take the train from Melbourne.
4. Day trip to the Great Ocean Road
Regularly called one of the most beautiful drives in the world, a day trip down the coastal Great Ocean Road should be on any traveler’s bucket list. Don’t miss the many landmarks along this famous waterside route. Snap a photo of the iconic rock stacks of 12 Apostles, rising up from the ocean, or tempt the awesome waves of Bells Beach.
How far is the Great Ocean Road from Melbourne?
The beginning of the Great Ocean Road is about 100 kilometers (62 miles) south of Melbourne in Torquay, around one hour by car. As the road itself is the attraction, you can go for as long or as little as you please. This is one day trip that really has to be done by road, so skip the train or bus for this excursion.
5. Day trip to Phillip Island
Best known for its wildlife, Phillip Island is one of the most beloved day trip destinations from Melbourne. Travelers flock to Phillip Island Nature Park to watch the parade of penguins come ashore every evening. Other than the penguins, people can also visit the Koala Conservation Center, hang ten at the popular surfer spot of Woolamai Beach (or simply admire the beach’s craggy Pinnacle Lookout), and pet the sheep at Victoria’s first farm, Churchill Island Heritage Farm.
How far is Phillip Island from Melbourne?
Leave some extra time for the 142-kilometer (88 miles) trip to Phillip Island, as it takes just under two hours by car. To get there by public transportation requires a combination of the train and bus, but the travel time is not much different.
Melbourne day trip FAQ
What is the best transportation option for my day trip?
• Melbourne day trips by train
Trains are neither the quickest nor the most affordable options for travel around Australia. Long distance train travel is a fun experience, but for day trips is probably not the best option.
• Melbourne day trips by bus
Without a personal vehicle, bus travel is the best choice for your day trip, reaching destinations the train doesn’t for only a fraction of the price. Most tour companies operate larger tours by private bus as well.
• Melbourne day trips by car
The car is king when it comes to getting around Australia and day trips from Melbourne. With a car, you can reach any destination without unnecessary stops and in private comfort.
Should I take a guided tour for my day trip
A guided tour is highly recommended when it comes to day trips around Melbourne. Don’t worry about bus schedules, gas, or navigation, and simply enjoy the trip. Trips to locations like the Yarra Valley or Mornington Peninsula benefit greatly from the convenience of a planned out itinerary and a guide’s insider knowledge.
What should I pack for my day trip?
What to pack depends somewhat on where you plan to go. Cold weather isn’t really an issue except in some specific areas, but light rain gear is a good idea any time of year. If you opt for a guided tour, they might give you everything you need for the day.
Other Sightseeing Options in Melbourne
Want to discover all there is to do in Melbourne? Click here for a full list.
What people are saying about Melbourne
Tour was great despite long hours on the bus but enough stops and toilet breaks. Bus was a bit late at the pick up and preferred pick up wasnt accommodated but was ok. Would have liked if the pick up point would have been shared a bit earlier than less than 24hrs in advance. Tour almost as desribed only instead of morning tea we were provided with juice and banana bread. Bus a bit small and felt cramped, no recline... but kind of small group (around 24) which was nice.
It was an excellent day out Peter the tour guide was on time picking us up, very informative and great fun. Puffing billys was excellent what a way to travel by train hanging your legs out the carriage. Healesville sanctury was good too and then stopped off for chocolate and ice cream at the chocolatier on the way back. Only improvements I would say is need a new tour bus and slightly longer at the train station when you get off the other end.
As a Gym Owner, I paid for six long term members as reward for their commitment to my Gym. They all were completely overwhelmed by the day. A fantastic day, well organised and planned. I will be sending another group in the near future. Dennis Armstrong
I greatly recommend this tour of Brighton beach, the Moonlit Sanctuary Wildlife Conservation Park, and the penguin parade. Very well organised, well structured day, and we had an absolutely amazing tour guide!
All good. The last attraction is very beautiful. I think Australia government should build more toilets on the way, especially from Apollo Bay to the twelve apostles rock.