The Top 7 Day Trips from Melbourne and How Much They Cost
Published by GAFFL
Last updated - 03:04 PM

What other city is better than Melbourne to quench your thirst for road trips? We’ve already told you about the best free things to do in Melbourne and now we’re bringing you the many great locations for day trips from Melbourne. Whether you want to lose yourself in greenery, or the glistening water of the ocean or just soak in the sun and forget your day’s worries, driving a few hours from Melbourne can provide it for you. Lose yourself in nature and watch animals and wild birds in their natural habitat, or experience world class wines at the many wineries around the city. Whatever you decide to do, when you plan a day trip from Melbourne you won’t be disappointed! We have curated a list of some of the top destinations for a day trip from Melbourne, which should help you plan your next visit. Also if you’re travelling on a budget, this is a great post for you since we’ve listed what each of these day trips will cost.

For solo travellers who want to do these day trips but don’t have a car or don’t want the full financial burden of renting and fueling a car, you can find other travellers in Melbourne to meet up and split costs with for your day trips.

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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

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 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

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 kilometres, 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

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 and only a 2 hours drive from Melbourne, it’s best to spend a long 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 at the beaches, see 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

Day Trips From Melbourne: Daylesford

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, colourful 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

Day Trips From Melbourne: Varra 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

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.


  • 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

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. 


  • 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.

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