6 easy must-do weekend trips from Melbourne

Published by: BouncePosted
Weekend trips from Melbourne

Melbourne is unquestionably one of Australia's greatest cities. The capital of Victoria, this is one of the most heavily populated cities in this vast country and is a center for Australian culture, arts, sports, and lifestyle.

You could spend a lifetime in Melbourne without running out of things to do, and many local residents do exactly that. But as is generally the case with Australian cities, part of what makes Melbourne so special is what it's close to. Melbourne is the ideal base for weekend getaways, with some of Australia's most stunning destinations within easy reach of the city. Outside of Melbourne CBD, there's so much to see and do. The best weekend getaways from Melbourne can help you see more of Australia and appreciate just what makes this country so unique.

If you want to take advantage of the best weekend getaways from Melbourne, drop off your bags at a Bounce luggage storage in Melbourne before leaving the city. Knowing your things are safely looked after will allow you to relax and really enjoy these great weekend trips from Melbourne as you explore Victoria and beyond.

Weekend trip from Melbourne to Phillip Island

Phillip Island

Just a short distance from Melbourne itself, Phillip Island provides an unbelievable destination for weekend trips that will make you feel like you've traveled a very long way from the city indeed. Explore the Australian wilderness in the shadow of the city itself.

Distance from Melbourne

Phillip Island lies out beyond the Mornington Peninsula to the southeast of Melbourne. Don't let the name fool you because you can actually drive right onto Phillip Island thanks to a causeway. It takes a little under two hours to make the trip, making this a fantastic option for weekend getaways from Melbourne

Our activity recommendations:

  • Koala conservation centre: One of the most iconic and charismatic of all Australia's wildlife species, the koala occupies a special place in Australian culture and folklore. Of course, they're also incredibly cute. Phillip Island is home to a koala conservation centre where you can get up close to these cuddly animals and learn more about their care and lifecycle. Plus, you'll get incredible photos of these beautiful marsupials.
  • Wildlife cruise: Several operators provide cruises along the Melbourne coast departing from Phillip Island. You'll get to see incredible scenery and encounter marine wildlife while a knowledgeable guide explains the rich ecology of the area to you. Visit a fur seal colony and keep an eye out for other animals like dolphins and whales as you enjoy this pristine natural environment. They also offer a specific Winter Whale cruise if you want to see these ocean giants in their natural habitat.
  • Kayak Rhyll Inlet: If you prefer to get out on the water under your own steam, you can rent a kayak and explore the beautiful Rhyll Inlet and the rest of this coastal paradise. The perfect activity for nature lovers, it's a great way to burn some calories and get away from the crowds, and you'll see some spectacular natural environments as you explore on an unforgettable weekend getaway.

Best season to visit

There's no bad time to visit Phillip Island. However, if you're visiting with the purpose of seeing wildlife, you may want to consider the natural cycles of the animals themselves. To see whales, your best bet is to take part in the Winter Whale cruise, which follows the migration of humpback whales and takes place from June to August.

Grampians National Park

Grampians National Park

Melbourne is blessed with many national parks within easy reach of the city. Grampians National Park is one of the best-known and most well-loved, and if you take a weekend getaway here for yourself, you'll soon see why.

Distance from Melbourne

At around 250 km from Melbourne CBD, Grampians National Park requires a solid three hours of driving to reach. There's no public transportation out here, so you'll need to rent a car to enjoy this weekend getaway.

Our activity recommendations

Pinnacle Lookout: Reachable by a moderate 5.5-kilometer hike, this popular lookout provides absolutely stunning views over the alpine scenery of the national park. Close as it is to the city, you'll feel a very long way away on one of the best day trips or weekend trips you can possibly take from Melbourne.

Visit Mackenzie Falls: One of the most spectacular waterfalls in Victoria, Mackenzie Falls is easy to reach from the car park with a hike of less than a kilometer. Swimming isn't allowed here, but the magnificent falls are the perfect photo opportunity. Plus, if you're willing to hike down the river, you can easily find some swimming holes where you can cool off and refresh yourself in the clear but frigid water.

Rock climbing: If you really want to get the blood pumping, why not try your hand at rock climbing? Whether you're an absolute beginner or a seasoned climber, companies in the Grampians National Park can take you on an expedition to teach you some new skills and show you the wonderful scenery of this part of Australia.

Best season to visit

Summer in Australia happens in November, December, and January, and if you want to enjoy the best possible weather for your outdoor activities, this is the best time for a weekend getaway to Grampians National Park. However, the park has plenty to offer all year round, and the shoulder seasons of spring and autumn make it more likely that you'll have the trails to yourself.

Weekend trips from Melbourne to the Yarra Valley

Yarra Valley

Located just to the northeast of Melbourne and the glittering Port Phillip Bay, Yarra Valley offers a landscape of rolling hills and vineyards that make it perfect for weekend getaways. Famous for wine production, the Yarra valley is a wonderful place to explore, whether on day trips or longer weekend getaways.

Distance from Melbourne

You can reach the Yarra Valley from Melbourne in as little as one hour of driving. To get the most out of this area, though, you'll want to have your own vehicle so that you can explore at your own pace.

Our activity recommendations

Wine tasting: The Yarra Valley is one of Australia's top wine-producing regions, which makes it one of the best in the world. Home to more than 80 wineries, the Valley is an ideal setting for weekend getaways for wine lovers. Explore some of Australia's top wineries and sample the latest vintages as you learn more about the wine production process.

Dining: Great wine just isn't the same without great food, so it's no surprise that there are some exceptional restaurants in the Yarra Valley. Often, these are attached to wineries, so you can enjoy exceptional food made with local produce paired with the ideal wine.

Tarrawarra Museum of Art: One of the top art galleries in the region, this museum connects nature and art by focusing on works that represent the Yarra Valley and the countryside around Melbourne. It's a great place to take a break from all that wine tasting and feed your mind as well as your taste buds.

Best season to visit

There's no bad time to visit the Yarra Valley, and most wineries are open year-round. However, harvest time, which runs from February to April, is one of the best times to visit the wineries of the region since you'll get to try the latest vintages. Plus, there are often festivals to celebrate this busy time of year.

Wilsons Promontory National Park

Wilsons Promontory National Park

Another of the spectacular national parks you can visit from Melbourne itself, Wilsons Promontory National Park is the place to enjoy the spectacular coastline of Victoria and experience the wilder side of Australian life. As well as the 50,000 hectares of land, Wilsons Promontory is also home to a marine national park in recognition of its spectacular ocean wildlife.

Distance from Melbourne

It's 230 km from Melbourne to Wilsons Promontory, which puts it out of range for day trips. However, it's such a spectacular part of the world that it's worth the three-and-a-half-hour drive to get here.

Our activity recommendations

Hike to Sealers Cove: If you're in the mood for a long walk, this hiking trail will let you see the national park at its best and get you away from the more crowded areas. Covering a round-trip of 19 km, the hike ends at a secluded beach where you can spend some time swimming, sunbathing, or just enjoying the scenery.

Stay at the lighthouse: The historic lighthouse here isn't easy to get to, requiring a day-long hike to even reach. That's part of its appeal. The cottages here have been converted into deluxe vacation accommodations, so if you really want to get away from it all, you can't do much better than this.

Best season to visit

The Australian summer is the best time to visit if you want to swim and with water this rich and beautiful, why wouldn't you?

Great Otway National Park weekend trips from Melbourne

Great Otway National Park

At the point where the dense forest of the Victoria hinterland meets the coast, Great Otway National Park provides an escape from the city that rivals any of Victoria's national parks.

Distance from Melbourne

Lying west of the city, Great Otway is just over 200 km from Melbourne, requiring a drive of just under three hours.

Our activity recommendations

Drive the Great Ocean Road: Built by soldiers returning from World War I, this road bills itself as the world's longest War Memorial. And it has to be one of the most beautiful. Winding through forests and along marine cliffs, the road provides stunning views of the Victoria coast.

Go surfing: Don't miss out on this great Australian pastime. There are some great surf breaks in Great Otway, especially at Johanna beach, and it's easy to find places where you can rent some gear and try your skills on the open ocean.

Best season to visit

As is generally the case with national parks, the Australian summer is the best time to visit to get the most out of this location.

Weekend getaways to Ballarat from Melbourne

Ballarat

Located inland of Melbourne itself, Ballarat offers some fun activities that make it a great choice for weekend getaways.

Distance from Melbourne

Just over a hundred kilometers from the center of Melbourne, you can reach Ballarat in about an hour and a half.

Our activity recommendations

Ballarat Wildlife Park: This interactive wildlife park is home to more than 400 species of animals, including familiar Australian species like wombats, emus, and kangaroos. Some of the animals are free roaming and will happily interact with guests.

Wombat Hill Botanical Gardens: Located at the summit of an extinct volcano, this beautiful botanical garden offers incredible views and hundreds of species of plants to admire. It's the perfect place to get some tranquility away from the city and enjoy the countryside.

Best season to visit

The attractions of Ballarat are open year-round, so there's really no specific season when you should visit.

Conclusion

Melbourne is home to some exceptional things to do, whether you're looking for simple day trips from Melbourne or longer weekend getaways. The best weekend trips can take you to national parks, beautiful beaches, places where you can encounter the local wildlife, and the rolling hills of one of the world's most famous wine regions. If you only have three days in Melbourne, it's probably wise to stick to activities within the city. But if you have a little longer, you can enjoy the perfect weekend getaway, whether you're a nature lover looking for scenic trails in the beautiful Mornington Peninsula or an adrenaline junkie looking to go rock climbing in Grampians National Park.

Whatever you like to do, you'll find it here. Leave the bags behind and enjoy everything Melbourne's surrounding area has to offer on the best weekend trips in the region.

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