As a city, Melbourne would have to be one of Australia’s proudest achievements - its grid layout makes the CBD easy to navigate, it’s consistently ranked amongst the most livable cities in the world and you’d be hard-pressed arguing the fact that it’s the cultural epicenter of Australia.
And if you think the city itself is good, you should see the stunning scenery it’s flanked by!
We’ve shortlisted six of the best day trips to do from the Melbourne CBD - all less than two hours from the heart of the city, and all surrounded by some amazing driving roads and scenery to truly show you what Victoria has to offer.
The Great Ocean Road (1.5-hour drive)
Our first stop is an Australian icon, the Great Ocean Road. This winding coastal route offers breathtaking views of the Southern Ocean and the Twelve Apostles. Families can enjoy picnics at scenic spots like Loch Ard Gorge, watch adorable koalas at Kennett River, and let the kids stretch their legs at Apollo Bay's sandy beaches. The drive itself, with its curves and cliffs, is an adventure you won't forget.
Phillip Island (2-hour drive)
Famous for its adorable penguins and scenic beauty, Phillip Island is a fantastic family destination. The highlight of your visit will undoubtedly be the Penguin Parade, where you can watch hundreds of little penguins waddle ashore at sunset. Before that, explore the island's wildlife parks, stunning beaches, and historic Churchill Island Heritage Farm. The drive there is a mix of coastal views and open roads, making it a delightful journey.
Yarra Valley (1-hour drive)
If you're a wine lover, the Yarra Valley is your ideal destination. Less than an hour's drive from Melbourne, this region is known for its vineyards and cellar doors. While adults indulge in wine tastings, kids can have fun at Healesville Sanctuary, where they can see native Australian animals up close. The drive through the Yarra Valley, with its rolling hills and vineyard-covered landscapes, is serene and beautiful.
Dandenong Ranges (1-hour drive)
Just an hour's drive from the CBD, the Dandenong Ranges offer a lush, green escape from the city. Take the family on a magical ride on the Puffing Billy Steam Train through the towering mountain ash forests. Explore the quaint villages of Olinda and Sassafras, where you can find charming cafes and unique boutiques. The winding roads through the Dandenongs make for a fun and engaging drive.
Mornington Peninsula (1-hour drive)
The Mornington Peninsula is a paradise for beach lovers and foodies alike. You can soak up the sun at the beautiful beaches, visit the Peninsula Hot Springs for a relaxing soak, or take a stroll through the picturesque seaside town of Sorrento. Don't forget to explore the local wineries and indulge in some mouthwatering cuisine. The drive along the peninsula's coast is both scenic and tranquil.
The Grampians National Park (3-hour drive)
While a bit farther from Melbourne, the Grampians National Park is well worth the three-hour drive. This destination is perfect for adventurous families who love hiking and wildlife. Explore stunning trails that lead to breathtaking viewpoints, spot kangaroos in the wild, and have a picnic amidst the rugged beauty of the Grampians. The winding roads through this national park offer a thrilling driving experience.
Melbourne is not just about city life; it's also a gateway to some incredible road trip adventures. Within a two-hour drive from the CBD, you can explore diverse destinations that cater to families and offer exciting driving experiences. So, pack up the car, gather your loved ones, and hit the road for unforgettable journeys that will create lasting memories. Melbourne's surrounding beauty awaits!