Melbourne is an exciting city with many attractions, activities, and tours to explore. Whether you’re looking for a day tour to get the most out of your vacation or a full-fledged excursion through the city, Melbourne has plenty of trips. From guided tours and hop-on hop-off bus rides to themed excursions and sightseeing trips, there is something for everyone in Melbourne.
Day Tours from Melbourne
Melbourne is a bustling city with plenty to offer, but sometimes you need a break from the hustle and bustle of city life. Luckily, Melbourne is surrounded by breathtaking natural wonders, scenic drives, and charming towns that are just a short day’s trip away. Here are some of the best day trip tours from Melbourne that will whisk you away from the city and into the beauty of the Australian countryside.
The Great Ocean Road is one of Melbourne’s most popular day trip destinations. This 243-kilometre coastal drive is famous for its stunning ocean views, limestone cliffs, and unique rock formations like the Twelve Apostles. Other popular stops include Bells Beach, Lorne, and Apollo Bay. If you’re feeling adventurous, you can even take a helicopter ride over the coastline to get a bird’s eye view of this stunning region.
The Yarra Valley is a must-visit for those who prefer wine over surf and sand. This wine region is home to over 70 wineries, including renowned vineyards like Balgownie Estate and De Bortoli. Most wineries offer wine tastings and cellar door sales, but some provide immersive experiences like cheese tastings and grape stomping.
If you’re looking to spot some native wildlife, the Phillip Island Penguin Parade is a must-see. Every evening at sunset, hundreds of Little Penguins waddle up the beach to their burrows, creating an adorable spectacle that will surely leave you smiling. If you have more time, you can also explore the rest of Phillip Island, home to abundant wildlife like koalas, kangaroos, and seals.
Another popular day trip destination is the Dandenong Ranges, where you can immerse yourself in nature and explore quaint towns like Olinda and Sassafras. The region is known for its breathtaking scenery, including towering mountain ash trees, colourful gardens, and cascading waterfalls like Mackenzie Falls.
These are just a few of Melbourne’s many day trip tours. Whether you’re looking for coastal views, wine tasting, or a close encounter with furry koalas, there’s a day trip destination that is sure to delight and inspire you. So what are you waiting for? Book a day tour today and get out of the city to explore the wonders of Victoria.
What to Expect
Melbourne is a vibrant city filled with countless attractions, but sometimes you need a change of scenery. Plenty of fantastic day trip destinations are just a short drive from the city. Here’s what to expect when taking day trips from Melbourne:
First and foremost, expect to be amazed by Melbourne’s natural beauty. You’ll be greeted by sweeping panoramic views, crystal clear waters, majestic forests, and abundant wildlife. From the rugged coastline of the Great Ocean Road to the scenic vistas of the Dandenong Ranges, these destinations will leave you amazed.
Next, expect to indulge in delicious food and drink. Many of these day-trip destinations are home to fantastic vineyards and breweries where you can sample award-winning wines and craft beers. The Yarra Valley, for example, is known for its delicious Pinot Noir and Chardonnay, and the Mornington Peninsula is famous for its tantalising Pinot Gris and Pinot Noir grapes.
Meanwhile, seafood lovers will appreciate the succulent oysters, scallops, and other fresh catches in seaside towns like Lorne and Apollo Bay. At the same time, cheese connoisseurs will delight in the rich flavours of the artisanal cheeses from the Yarra Valley.
Finally, expect to engage fully in each destination you visit. Whether you’re watching the Little Penguins waddle up the beach on Phillip Island at sunset or exploring the charming towns of the Dandenong Ranges, every destination has something unique to offer.
So, pack your bags and prepare for an unforgettable day trip adventure. The possibilities are endless, with many incredible destinations just a stone’s throw away from Melbourne
Phillip Island is a spectacular day trip destination just a short drive from Melbourne. Renowned for its stunning natural beauty and unique wildlife experiences, this island paradise is a must-visit for nature lovers and adventure seekers alike.
One of the main attractions on Phillip Island is the world-famous Penguin Parade. Every evening at sunset, thousands of little penguins go up the beach to burrow in the dunes. Watching these adorable creatures waddle along the shore is an unforgettable experience and a definite highlight of any trip to Phillip Island.
In addition to the penguins, Phillip Island is also home to various native Australian animals. At the Koala Conservation Centre, you can get up close and personal with these cuddly creatures and learn more about their habitats and behaviours. Meanwhile, at the Wildlife Park, you can watch kangaroos and wallabies hopping around and even hand-feed some of them.
But there’s more to Phillip Island than just its wildlife. The island is home to some of the most beautiful beaches in Victoria, with pristine stretches of sand and crystal-clear waters perfect for swimming, surfing, and sunbathing. Summerland Beach, in particular, is a popular spot for families and boasts impressive ocean views.
If you’re seeking more adrenaline-pumping activities, Phillip Island also covers you. The island is a renowned destination for surfing and paddleboarding, and thrill-seekers can take to the skies for a scenic helicopter tour or try go-karting at the Phillip Island Grand Prix Circuit.
Nestled just an hour’s drive east of Melbourne, the Yarra Valley is a stunning region renowned for its wine, food, and natural beauty. A popular day trip destination, this picturesque valley attracts locals and tourists alike, lured by its stunning vineyards, beautiful mountains, and quaint country towns.
One of the main highlights of Yarra Valley is its world-class wineries. Home to over 80 wineries, the region produces some of Australia’s finest cool-climate wines, particularly Chardonnay and Pinot Noir. Visitors can take a guided tour of the vineyards, learn about the winemaking process, and indulge in tastings with stunning views of the valley below.
But the Yarra Valley offers much more than just wine production. The region boasts several acclaimed restaurants and artisanal producers, allowing visitors to sample some of the best local food and drink. From locally made cheeses and chocolates to organic produce and craft beers, there’s something for every palate.
In addition to its culinary offerings, the Yarra Valley is blessed with natural beauty. Its rolling hills, verdant forests, and meandering rivers offer various outdoor activities. Visitors can stroll through the valley, go hot air ballooning over its vineyards, or cycle through its scenic trails. The Healesville Sanctuary is a must-visit attraction for animal lovers, home to more than 200 species of native Australian wildlife.
Healesville Sanctuary and Moonlit Sanctuary
If you’re a fan of Australian wildlife, then visiting Healesville Sanctuary and Moonlit Sanctuary should be on your travel list when visiting Melbourne.
Located in the Yarra Valley region, Healesville Sanctuary is a not-for-profit conservation organisation dedicated to preserving native Australian animals. Visitors can get up close with more than 200 species of birds and animals, including kangaroos, echidnas, wombats, and Tasmanian devils. The Sanctuary also offers unique experiences such as “Meet the Keeper” talks, where visitors can ask the experts questions and learn more about the animals’ habitats, behaviours and conservation status.
Just an hour’s drive from Melbourne, Moonlit Sanctuary offers another incredible opportunity to observe and learn about Australian wildlife. The sanctuary is home to more than 60 species of animals, including the endangered southern bettong, eastern quolls, and kangaroos, as well as over 80 bird species. As the name suggests, visitors at Moonlit Sanctuary can enjoy nighttime tours, where trained guides point out nocturnal animals that are typically elusive.
Both Healesville Sanctuary and Moonlit Sanctuary offer immersive experiences that allow visitors to engage with animals in their natural habitats. They also play an essential role in conservation efforts and support community-led initiatives. If you’re interested in learning more about Australia’s wildlife and want to support conservation efforts, visiting these two sanctuaries is an experience to be noticed.
Scenic Drives and Road Trips Through the Dandenong Ranges
Regarding scenic drives and road trips, only some places in Melbourne can match the beauty and charm of the Dandenong Ranges. Located just an hour’s drive east of the city, the Dandenong Ranges are a lush forested area filled with stunning vistas, quaint townships, and spectacular hills. Here are some of the best scenic drives and road trips you can take to immerse yourself in the natural beauty of this region.
The first stop on our road trip is Mount Dandenong Tourist Road. Starting in Ferntree Gully, this road winds up to the top of the mountain, offering breathtaking views of the surrounding forests and valleys. Along the way, you’ll pass through charming villages like Olinda and Sassafras, known for their colourful gardens, antique shops, and tea houses. Take advantage of the opportunity to visit the William Ricketts Sanctuary, a beautiful and serene place with dozens of mystical sculptures nestled among the ferns and trees.
Next, we head towards the picturesque town of Warburton, taking the scenic route through the Upper Yarra Valley. The drive takes you past sweeping vineyards and rolling hills, and it’s easy to stop along the way for a spot of wine tasting or a picnic by the river. Once you reach Warburton, the road follows the Yarra River, offering stunning views of the waterfalls, gullies, and towering forests that line its banks. You can also detour to the summit of Mt. Donna Buang for panoramic views of the valley and the snow-capped peaks beyond.
Another must-see attraction in the Dandenong Ranges is the 1000 Steps Memorial Walk. This historic track follows the route used by Australian soldiers during World War II, providing a challenging but rewarding climb through the lush forest. Not only will you get an invigorating workout, but you’ll also be able to see some of the region’s most spectacular scenery, including towering eucalyptus trees and fern-lined gullies.
Lastly, we recommend taking the Black Spur Drive to taste the region’s towering forests and beautiful waterfalls. This road winds its way through the dense forests of the Yarra Ranges National Park, and it’s renowned for its towering ash trees, stunning fern gullies, and trickling mountain streams. There are plenty of opportunities for hiking, picnicking, and wildlife spotting along the way.
Mornington Peninsula is one of the most popular destinations for day trips from Melbourne and a good reason. Whether you’re a beach lover, wine enthusiast, nature lover, or just looking for a relaxing day out, there is something for everyone in this beautiful region.
First and foremost, Mornington Peninsula is known for its stunning coastline. With over 190 km of pristine beaches, there is no shortage of places to soak up the sun, go for a swim, or try your hand at surfing, from calm bays like Port Phillip Bay and Western Port Bay to rugged surf beaches like Gunnamatta and Point Leo, beach suits every mood and preference.
But there’s more to Mornington Peninsula than just beaches. The region is also home to some of Victoria’s best wineries, and you can easily spend a day hopping from cellar door to cellar door, sampling award-winning wines and enjoying the scenic views. Check out famous wineries like Montalto, Willow Creek Vineyard, and Port Phillip Estate.
The Peninsula has plenty of options for those interested in nature. Natural attractions include Arthur’s Seat State Park and the Red Hill Reserve, which offer excellent hiking opportunities and stunning panoramic views. The Mornington Peninsula National Park is a must-visit, with its rugged coastline, dramatic cliffs, and walking trails. The park has a rich diversity of flora and fauna, including rare orchids, wallabies, and koalas.
Families will love the region’s many family-friendly attractions, such as the Enchanted Adventure Garden and Tree Surfing Park, which provide hours of fun for kids of all ages. The area is also home to the famous Moonlit Sanctuary Wildlife Conservation Park, where you can get close to some of Australia’s unique wildlife, including kangaroos, wallabies, wombats, and koalas.
Mackenzie Falls, Loch Ard Gorge and Wilsons Promontory
If you want to explore some of Victoria’s natural wonders, look no further than Mackenzie Falls, Loch Ard Gorge, and Wilson’s Promontory.
Mackenzie Falls is in the Grampians National Park, one of Victoria’s largest waterfalls. The sound of rushing water fills the air as you descend the steep steps to the base of the falls. The view from the bottom is breathtaking, with the water cascading down in a seemingly endless stream. It’s the perfect place to relax and take in the beauty of nature.
Loch Ard Gorge, located on the Great Ocean Road, is a series of natural limestone cliffs and arches. The site is named after a ship that ran aground in the area in 1878, and the gorge has since become a popular tourist destination. Visitors can explore the various formations on foot or take a boat tour to get a different perspective from the water. With its clear blue waters and stunning scenery, Loch Ard Gorge is not to be missed.
Finally, Wilsons Promontory, or “the Prom” as commonly known, is a coastal wilderness area about 2.5 hours from Melbourne. The park boasts diverse landscapes, from rugged cliffs and sandy beaches to lush rainforests and granite mountains. There are plenty of hiking trails to choose from, including the famous Mount Oberon Summit Trail, which offers panoramic views of the area. If you’re lucky, you may spot some of the park’s native wildlife, such as kangaroos, wallabies, and wombats.
Kennett River Koalas and Mount Martha Boardwalk
If you want a unique wildlife experience near Melbourne, look at Kennett River. This coastal town has a thriving population of furry koalas, often spotted dozing in the trees along the famous Koala Walk. The surrounding eucalyptus forest is also home to many other wild creatures, such as parrots and kookaburras. It’s the perfect spot for a tranquil nature walk and an excellent opportunity to snap memorable photos.
And if you’re in the mood for a bit of seaside scenery, head down to Mount Martha for a stroll along the boardwalk. This charming coastal town boasts some of the most stunning views of Port Phillip Bay, and the path offers a leisurely way to soak it all in. Mount Martha is the perfect place to while away an afternoon with its pristine beaches, pretty gardens, and quaint cafes. And for those looking to stretch their legs, there are plenty of walking trails to explore nearby.
Whether after a dose of nature or a bit of seaside charm, these two spots near Melbourne have got you covered. So why pack a picnic and hit the road for a day of exploring? With so much to see and do, you will indeed create unforgettable memories.
Geelong Hot Air Ballooning
Are you seeking a unique and breathtaking way to experience Melbourne’s surrounding natural beauty? Look no further than Geelong Hot Air Ballooning. This unforgettable adventure provides a genuinely unparalleled view of the stunning landscapes of Victoria, allowing you to appreciate the region’s natural charm and beauty from above.
Begin your day in the pre-dawn hours, savouring the tranquillity and peacefulness of this unique experience. Watch as the balloon inflates and gently lifts you off the ground, soaring into the sky with only the sound of the flames from the burner to keep you company.
As you rise higher, the spectacular coastline, lush greenery, and charming rural towns stretch out, creating memories that will last a lifetime. You will witness unforgettable panoramic views of the Bellarine Peninsula, Port Phillip Bay, and even the Melbourne city skyline in the distance.
The journey lasts around one hour, allowing ample time to take in the stunning surroundings and capture unforgettable moments with your camera. Upon landing, enjoy a champagne breakfast, allowing you to decompress after your thrilling adventure.
Geelong Hot Air Ballooning is an experience that combines breathtaking scenery with the thrill of adventure, making it an unrivalled experience among Melbourne’s trip destinations. It is the perfect way to celebrate a special occasion or appreciate nature’s beauty in all its glory.
Ballarat and Sovereign Hill
If you want to experience Australia’s gold rush history, Ballarat and Sovereign Hill are must-visit destinations on your Melbourne itinerary.
Ballarat, located in the heart of Victoria, is a charming regional city with beautiful architecture, impressive gardens, vibrant arts and a culinary scene. But what sets it apart is the town’s rich history that dates back to the mid-1800s when the gold rush was in full swing.
Just outside Ballarat is Sovereign Hill, an open-air museum that will transport you back to the height of the gold rush era. The recreated town is a living museum with costumed actors and interactive exhibits that will give you an immersive experience of what life was like in Ballarat during the gold rush.
Start your visit with a guided tour of the town, where you’ll see blacksmiths, candle makers, and other tradespeople plying their trades. Make your way to the gold mine and try panning for some gold flakes – it’s a fun experience that both kids and adults will enjoy.
Exploring Sovereign Hill’s streets, you’ll find old-fashioned shops where you can buy handmade confectionery, traditional lollies, and retro toys. The town’s hotels and cottages look like they’ve been lifted straight out of an adventure movie, and if you’re hungry, there are numerous options for classic Australian fare, like meat pies, fish and chips, and pasties.
Yarra River Tours
Melbourne has so many incredible sights and experiences that it can be hard to know where to start. But one place that you absolutely shouldn’t miss is the Yarra River, which flows through the heart of the city and is one of its most iconic landmarks.
Several Yarra River tours will take you along the river, providing you with unforgettable views of Melbourne’s skyline, beautiful gardens and parklands, and stunning architecture.
One popular tour option is a scenic river cruise, which will take you past the city’s famous landmarks like Federation Square, Crown Casino, and the Melbourne Cricket Ground. You’ll also see the Botanic Gardens and other beautiful parklands from the water.
For those looking for something more active, kayak and canoe tours are available to take you up close and personal with the river itself. These tours are a great way to see a side of Melbourne that most tourists never get to experience, and they offer a unique and thrilling way to explore the city.
No matter which tours you choose, you’ll be in for an unforgettable experience giving you a new perspective on this incredible city. So if you’re planning a trip to Melbourne, make sure that a Yarra River tour is at the top of your must-do list!
Puffing Billy is a steam train that has been a beloved icon of Melbourne for over a century. This historic train, built in 1900, runs on a narrow gauge track that winds through the beautiful Dandenong Ranges.
A ride on Puffing Billy is a unique and charming experience that brings together history, natural beauty and adventure. The train passes through lush forests, fern gullies and rolling hills, taking visitors to picturesque towns and villages.
The train is beautifully restored, with carriages furnished in the style of the early 1900s, complete with polished wood panelling and antique fittings. It chugs along leisurely, giving passengers ample time to soak in the stunning scenery and enjoy the fresh mountain air.
One of the highlights of the Puffing Billy ride is the opportunity to sit on the open-sided carriages, allowing a closer view of the forest and wildlife. The train crosses several breathtaking trestle bridges and winds through mountain tunnels, providing a unique scenery perspective.
While many visitors enjoy a simple round trip on the train, there are also various stop-off points where visitors can explore the charming local towns and villages, go bushwalking, or enjoy a picnic outdoors.
Mount Buller is a famous winter wonderland for skiing and snowboarding enthusiasts in the heart of Victoria’s High Country. But it’s more than just a winter sports destination, with various outdoor activities available year-round.
In the winter months, Mount Buller transforms into a snowy paradise, offering a variety of ski runs for all skill levels. From beginners to experts, there’s something for everyone, with over 300 hectares of skiable terrain and 22 lifts to explore. The resort also offers ski and snowboard lessons, equipment hire and guided tours for those looking to improve their skills on the slopes.
Come summer, visitors can enjoy hiking, mountain biking, fishing and horse riding. The Mount Buller village transforms into a vibrant summer playground with various events and activities for the whole family to enjoy. Take a scenic chairlift ride up to the summit for panoramic views of the surrounding countryside, or explore the area’s many walking trails and waterfalls.
For those seeking a more relaxed experience, Mount Buller offers a range of indulgent spa treatments and wellness programs. After skiing or hiking, relax and rejuvenate with a massage or sauna session.
- The Great Ocean Road is famous for its breathtaking coastal views and unique rock formations like the Twelve Apostles.
- Yarra Valley is renowned for its exquisite wineries and vineyards, offering wine tastings and gastronomic experiences.
- Phillip Island is a wildlife haven famous for the Penguin Parade, where little penguins waddle up the beach at sunset.
- Dandenong Ranges: Known for its lush forests, scenic drives, and charming towns like Olinda and Sassafras.
Activities range from scenic drives, hiking, and wildlife spotting to wine tasting, beach outings, and historical tours like visiting Sovereign Hill in Ballarat for a gold rush experience.