When you think of Melbourne, trendy cafes, beautiful buildings and an excellent arts and culture scene come to mind. However, when venturing beyond the city you’ll find you’re surrounded by natural beauty, glorious beaches, quirky towns, and dazzling scenery. It has lush rainforests, historic regions, and picturesque views.
Melbourne city is a short distance from the Grampian National Park, skiing destination Mount Buller, and the dramatic Dandenong ranges. Victoria, Australia, also boasts one of the most scenic road trips: the Great Ocean Road.
You’ll get to experience an abundance of wildlife and rich beauty wherever you venture. Find yourself watching a penguin parade at Phillip Island or spot wild kangaroos in the national parks. You’ll also find quaint seaside towns perfect for weekend getaways.
To make the road trip an adventure in itself, hire an EV or Tesla to explore Victoria's most beautiful sites from the comfort and elegance of a memorable car. Keep reading to find out about the ultimate day trips from Melbourne.
Great Ocean Road
The Great Ocean Road is perhaps Australia's best road trip. There's no better way to traverse the most spectacular stretch of coastline than in a light, fast, and smart EV. The Great Ocean Road starts in Torquay and goes east of Melbourne as far as Allansford. About 200km long, it's perfect for day trips from Melbourne or longer road trips.
Along this scenic drive, make sure you stop at the Port Campbell National Park and the Twelve Apostles—impressive limestone stacks rising high above the sea. Moreover, towards the end of the Great Ocean Road, near Warrnambool, the seaside town of Port Fairy is well worth a visit. It's a thriving town to kill an afternoon in with an excellent food and arts scene.
Other stops should include the London Arch, Great Otway National Park, and exploring the dramatic Shipwreck Coast. You won't be able to find better road trips from Melbourne than taking a spin along the Great Ocean Road.
The Hanging Rock Reserve in the Macedon Ranges is the wilderness escape you've been looking for, and it's less than an hour northwest of Melbourne. Hanging Rock is a 105-metre high extinct volcano. It is a must-see when visiting Victoria.
Hanging Rock also plays a vital role in Aboriginal history. Today, you'll see the eroded columns rising out of the landscape, making up what's left of this impressive and unique sight. Make sure you bring your camera to capture this genuinely mystical and legendary scenery.
Whether you're there for the past or the beauty, Hanging Rock is a fantastic place to visit. The landmark was a refuge for bushrangers during the Gold Rush. Bring a picnic and head for a hike through the forest.
Climbing up to the top and back takes about 50 minutes. The route is peppered with secret nooks and exciting rock formations, making it an exciting place for the kids.
The Dandenong Ranges and the Yarra Valley lay 40km east of Melbourne. If you're looking for Melbourne day trips with something for everyone, the Dandenong Ranges offer nature, wildlife, quaint villages, excellent food, and historical fun.
Begin your day with an hour's drive through the lush forests and volcanic hills into the Dandenong Ranges. From here, you can enjoy a hike through the rainforest, feed native birds, and enjoy a picnic at the Grants Picnic Ground.
Make sure to visit the William Ricketts Sanctuary and Alfred Nicholas Memorial Gardens. To make your day trip complete, make sure you board the century-old Puffing Billy steam train in the eclectic town of Belgrave.
Famous for its Domaine Chandon, the Yarra Valley is ideal for wine lovers. Explore the local artisan shops and delightful cafes, where you can sample local produce. Or, if you love food, try stopping in at the Yarra Valley Dairy to sample handmade farmyard cheese.
Heading out to the Dandenong Ranges is made possible by charging stations such as Proserpina Bakery Sassafras ,Yarra Valley Nissan Chargefox and Croydon Train station all right near the mountain range.
Sovereign Hill at Ballarat
About an hour from Melbourne, Sovereign Hill at Ballarat is a living museum. It's the perfect place to learn about the gold rush while enjoying a fun day out. Sovereign Hill is ideal for everyone if you're looking for family-friendly trip destinations.
Your day tour will start by watching goldsmiths working in Victorian houses and shops. Then, head to the underground gold mine and have a go at mining for the precious metal.
Historically, Ballarat was the centre of the Australian Gold Rush dating back to the 1850s as one of Australia's premier gold mining towns. There are historic sites and heritage buildings all around the town where you can learn all about this significant part of history.
Other places to visit in Ballarat include the Botanical Gardens, Art Gallery, and Wildlife Park. After an evening enjoying a local bar and eatery, take your EV back to Melbourne after an enjoyable day out.
Peninsula Hot Springs
Peninsula Hot Springs is the perfect place to head for a pampering day out. It's just over an hour's south of Melbourne in the heart of the Mornington Peninsulas. It's the ideal destination for a relaxing day away with steamy mineral spring pools, massages, and delicious organic food.
However you choose to unwind, Peninsula Hot Springs has everything you want and more. Enjoy Turkish steam baths, reflexology walks, dips in a cave pool, or enjoy breathtaking views of the surrounding Port Phillip.
The water comes from underground pools and mineral springs, ensuring the baths are as relaxing and fresh as possible. Whether you're travelling solo, with a partner, or want to bring the family along, the spa welcomes everyone.
If you fancy a spa day slightly further afield, Daylesford is a 90-minute drive from Melbourne. With its luscious Hepburn Springs and idyllic Lake House hotel, you could make this day trip a weekend getaway.
Lying south of Melbourne, Phillip Island is about a two hours drive. Every evening at sunset, you can gather along the shore to watch penguins waddle up the beach — known as the penguin parade, and this is the perfect Melbourne day out for you if you love wildlife and nature.
Before evening hits, you can spend the day at the Phillip Island Wildlife Park. Here, hand-feed kangaroos and wallabies, or walk along the coastal boardwalk to view the native seabirds. You might often spot a penguin or two resting. The Nobbies Centre is a free museum that offers further information about the area's ecology.
However, penguins aren't the only attraction you'll see. Either drive yourself to Phillip Islands or take a tour from Melbourne that includes all the must-see sites. Bring binoculars to spy over at Seal Rock — Australia's largest fur seal colony.
Port Phillip Bay
The city of Melbourne wraps around Port Phillip Bay. But just because it's so near Melbourne, you likely see it regularly. It would be best if you didn't dismiss it as it can make a lovely day out.
The coastline is excellent for swimming or soaking up the sun. As it's pretty shallow in places, it's an ideal place for young children to enjoy themselves.
Around Port Phillip, there is the Bellarine Peninsula. While the Mornington Peninsulas are typically more popular, Bellarine's rugged coast has just as much to offer. There are wineries to take tours of or relax on the many picturesque beaches for wine lovers.
Explore the scenery from your two-wheeled companion. As the terrain is relatively flat, it is an excellent place to cycle. There are many bike trails to follow. Or, take your hired EV or Tesla for a spin around the scenic roads.
Pentridge Prison is roughly 20 minutes north of Melbourne. With 44 bodies onsite and stories of Australia's criminal underworld, it's no surprise that many people believe the prison is haunted. Explore the Ghost Tour at Pentridge Prison, where you can learn about Australia's most hardened criminals.
Pentridge Prison was built in 1851 and only officially closed in 1997 after controversy about violence within the prison. Some of their most famous inmates include Ned Kelly, Ronald Ryan, and Chopper Reed.
A ghost tour will take you through a day in the lives of some of these notorious criminals and the cells they continue to haunt. As it's so local to Melbourne, it's the perfect opportunity to hire an EV — ideal for short distances and town driving.
Wilsons Promontory National Park
Known to locals as "Wilsons Prom," the Wilsons Promontory National Park is a paradise for nature lovers. A few hours drive east of Melbourne CBD, it's Australia's most extensive stretch of coastal wilderness. The stunning landscape and rock formations make the long drive well worth it.
On your day trip, walk up Mount Oberon, where the summit has some of the best views. Make sure you take a walk through the bushland, take pictures of Giant Rock, and enjoy the white sand of Squeaky Beach. Scenic walks can take anywhere from an hour to a couple of days.
Other highlights include exploring the marine national park, swimming, fishing, kayaking, camping, and birdwatching. Or, if you're looking to explore different national parks, the Grampians National Park is the other direction, three hours drive from Melbourne city centre.