Top 5 Day Trips in Melbourne
Melbourne may have the reputation as one of the world’s most liveable cities, but it’s also a fantastic place to visit. There’s no shortage of sights to see if you only have a week, from the National Gallery of Victoria to the Royal Botanic Gardens. Yet with more time, you will have the opportunity to explore all of the spectacular scenery that surrounds the city. Senior travellers who fancy a long-term stay can look for properties for rent in Melbourne to save money and experience all the comforts of home. When you’re ready to get away from it all and start your memorable day trips in Melbourne, the following are five of the top options.
1. Phillip Island
Philip Island is our first recommended destination in day trips in Melbourne. Animal lovers will consider Phillip Island the highlight of any stay in Melbourne, world-famous for its unforgettable penguin parade. The penguins march on a daily basis in the Phillip Island Nature Park, drawing 3 million visitors each year. In addition to the flock of penguins, you’ll find a Koala conservation centre and a host of native Australian seabirds. Take a stroll along the boardwalk, find a secluded beach on the island, and enjoy the natural gardens that permeate the island.
2. The Dandenong Mountains
Enjoy a panoramic view of Melbourne from the summit of Mount Dandenong. The Dandenong Ranges offer an array of day excursion opportunities, whether you are interested in spotting wildlife, taking a nature walk, or enjoying a ride on the old-fashioned Puffing Billy steam train. The National Rhododendron Gardens is a peaceful spot to enjoy a picnic, with its blooming star attractions. Art enthusiasts will enjoy a visit to the William Ricketts Sanctuary, with its ceramic sculptures merging with the surrounding eucalyptus forest.
3. Buchan Caves
For our third recommended destination in day trips in Melbourne, you’ll want to get a bright and early start if you want to experience the natural splendour of Buchan Caves. This intricate network of caverns features limestone rock formations, naturally carved out by ancient rivers dating back over 400 million years. Located in a nature reserve, after exploring the well-lit and spacious caves you can relax with a gentle stroll or have a picnic in lush surroundings. Full-service camping is also available for those wishing to stay overnight before heading back to Melbourne.
4. Mornington Peninsula
Quaint towns dot the scenic Mornington Peninsula outside of Melbourne. Flinders is one of the most popular stops in the area, offering a historic pier and charming cafes to while away the day in. Ashcombe Maze and Lavender Gardens is a fragrant spot, studded with fresh roses and lavender. There are also a number of wineries along the peninsula, including the award-winning Paringa Estate.
5. The Yarra Valley
Our last recommended destination in day trips in Melbourne is the Yarra Valley. The picturesque Yarra Valley is located just outside of Melbourne, making it an ideal place for day trips. Enjoy a trip to the Healesville Sanctuary to get up close and personal with Australian wildlife in natural surroundings, and take a trip on the historic Yarra Valley Tourist Railway to get a closer look at the gorgeous scenery. Sample home-made cheese at the Yarra Valley Dairy, and stop at a café in quaint Healesville for lunch.
These are but a few of the sights available only a short drive away from Melbourne’s bustling city centre. When enjoying a self-catering holiday in Melbourne, you can find out more about the area’s many memorable local attractions to make the most of your stay.
Bronwyn White is a travel and tourism industry professional with more than 30 years of experience. Her special interest is helping retirees, semi-retired baby boomers enjoy the dream of travel. She loves to help them plan and get the most out of this time.