The price estimate mentioned in this post does not include rental car fees and tolls. A Car Rental in Melbourne starts at around $30.00 per day.
Day Trips From Melbourne: Great Ocean Road
The Great Ocean Road, built by soldiers who returned from World War 1, and stretches over 244km, is the world’s largest war memorial. Only an hour's drive from the city, a good time to visit would be during the autumn and winter if you want a quiet relaxing environment, and spring and summer if you want to hit the beach for some summer fun. You can experience beautiful coastal towns, beaches, and natural landmarks along the way. Then there is Bells Beach, which is pretty well known for surfing. We recommend going here on a long weekend so that you can relax, unwind, and experience all the amazing sites and activities it has to offer. As you drive through, you can see the ocean on your left and greenery on your right. Overall, to us and many others, it’s the top day trip from Melbourne.
- Approximate fuel cost: $21 - $35.00 USD
Day Trips From Melbourne: Mornington Peninsula
Only an hour from Melbourne, the Mornington Peninsula is another great destination for a road trip. Even though you can visit it year-round, the best time would be during the warmer months. Spanning over 700 square kilometers, it is home to various beaches, villages, wineries, parks, gardens, and spas. Head to Port Phillip Bay and let the swimming dolphins and seals mesmerize you. The Enchanted Adventure Garden is also a beautiful place to visit. Don’t forget the Peninsula Hot Springs though!
If you’re on a budget, the Aussie History at Point Nepean National Park is free to enter. We recommend driving there unless you’re down for a long walk. You can take the local bus heading south for Portsea there too. You can also walk around Cape Schanck which is also free.
Day Trips From Melbourne: Phillip Island
With the warm orange glow of the setting sun, the penguins call it a day and waddle back to their homes from the water and this penguin parade really is a breathtaking view to watch. Located on Phillip Island, Bass Coast Shire is only a 2 hours drive from Melbourne and it’s best to spend a weekend here to make the most of what the Island has to offer. We recommend visiting here during the Spring and Summer so that you can swim on the beaches, see all the wild animals, and explore the towns around the Island.
- Approximate fuel cost: $12 - $18 USD
- Phillip Island Penguin Parade Tour – Large Coach $108
Day Trips From Melbourne: Daylesford and Hepburn Springs
Daylesford and Hepburn Springs, also known as “spa country,” is located in Daylesford, Victorian Goldfields. It is 120km one way, which is about a 90-minute drive from Melbourne and can be visited year-round. It is home to multiple spas and natural mineral springs. There is a lot to do and see here, including Wombat Hill Botanical Gardens, Lake Daylesford, colorful markets, hot springs, art galleries, and a museum. All in all, it provides a very relaxing environment and is a perfect getaway when you need to unwind and soothe your mind.
Day Trips From Melbourne: The Dandenong Ranges and the Yarra Valley
Imagine you’re up in the air, just high enough to watch the greenery and beautiful landscape down below. The hot air balloons at Yarra Valley makes it possible for you. Only an hour away, it is a pretty popular destination when it comes to day trips from Melbourne. The Yarra Valley is home to over 80 vineyards and you can visit it any time of the year. Get close to Australian wildlife and stroll through fruit farms, markets, and the different walking trails amongst all the other attractions it has to offer.
- Approximate fuel cost: $3 - $6 USD
- Dandenong Ranges Nature Day Trip from Melbourne Including William Ricketts Sanctuary- from $126.53
- Daylesford Hot Air Balloon Flight- $420.00 - $460.00
Day Trips From Melbourne: Grampians National Park
The Grampians National Park is only 3 hours away from Melbourne if you drive there. It can be visited year-round and summer is the busiest time there. Even though it is a bit further compared to other day trips from Melbourne, it is worth the visit with the 160km walking trail at Halls Gap and all the fishing, canoeing, and kayaking the lakes around there offer. There is also a trek with overnight camping facilities. You can check out our guide for Things to do in Grampians National Park.
- Approximate fuel cost: The quickest and cheapest way to get from Melbourne to Grampians National Park is to drive which costs $35 - $55.
- Budget: Less than $130 (AUD)
- Dorm beds or camping: $20–40
- Cheap meals: $15–20
- Local live music: $10–20
- DIY walking tour: free
Day Trips From Melbourne: Wilsons Promontory National Park
If you hire a car in Melbourne and drive east towards the Dandenong Ranges, you’ll reach Wilsons Promontory National Park in 3 hours. This 50,000-hectare area is famous for its scenic hikes where you can see all of the park’s native flora and fauna, including possible glimpses of koalas and kangaroos. You can check out our guide for Things to do in Wilsons Promontory National Park.
- Approximate fuel cost: $20 - $30 USD
- Wilsons Promontory entry fee: currently $9 per car
We hope that this list was helpful for those of you planning day trips from Melbourne. In case you didn't know, you can use the section below to get in touch with locals in Australia registered with GAFFL who would be more than happy to give you advice or show you around.