With heaps of activities and events going on in Melbourne all year round, it’s easy to fall into a routine of staying by the city or at home on your days off. As fun as weekend getaways can be, they usually take a lot of planning and coordination. Then when Sunday night rolls around you have no time to get yourself ready for the upcoming week. As a Canadian girl who spent a year living abroad in the beautiful city of Melbourne, I was determined to see as much as possible. Since I was working all week, I was only left with weekends. Thus the Melbourne day getaways were born!
1. Werribee Gorge
If you’re feeling a little less motivated to stay active or are getting bored with your gym routine, a day trip to Werribee Gorge might be right up your alley! Located just about an hour from the heart of Melbourne’s CBD, there’s no excuse to miss a day at this State Park.
There are many walks, opportunities to rock climb and an interesting culture and heritage story to go along with it. Most of the walks range from 1 – 4.5 hours return, depending on what you’re after. You can find a full list of each walk here. Grab some friends, pack a picnic lunch and get friendly with mother nature. The views will not disappoint!
2. Mount Martha
Mount Martha is another close destination that’s great to visit on a sunny day. With the beach and the infamous “Pillars” just around the corner from one another, you won’t want to miss out on this spot. Mount Martha is only about an hour drive as well, but can also be reached by public transportation (2 hours). Just another selling point for backpackers and tourists.
The Pillars get busy in the summer months with a young and vibrant crowd. I mean I can’t blame them – who wouldn’t want to soak in the sun and jump off the rocks into the crystal clear water below? If you choose to jump make sure you’re a strong swimmer, as it can be quite choppy and difficult to get back onto land afterwards!
3. Yarra Valley
Yarra Valley is a classic spot to venture to for a weekend away. Located just outside of Melbourne, the drive in is beautiful. It takes you through rolling hills and there’s plenty to do along the way. It’s all about the journey, not just the destination, right?
When it comes to Melbourne day getaways, the Yarra Valley is always a winner in my books. With many options available for winery tours and a vast number of wineries in the area, there’s something for everyone!
4. Cape Schanck
Cape Schanck is the place to be! Only about an hour and a half drive out of the city you will discover stunning landscapes along the coast.
After walking down the trail, you’ll follow the rocks around the corner and stumble upon the most beautiful rock pools (known as Bushranger’s bay). It’s easy to get caught up on a hot summer’s day and lose track of time. This spot is breathtaking and one of Melbourne’s finest treasure’s in my opinion.
If you’re craving a good beach day, why not head out to Sorrento?
Once you get to Sorrento there are many spots along the coast where you can dip your toes in the water and lay in the sun. Sorrento Back beach is a lively spot but be warned that it gets quite busy in the summer months!
6. Phillip Island
Phillip Island can easily be turned into a weekend trip if you want, with many trails and activities to do. With that being said, it wouldn’t have made this list if it wasn’t great for day getaways as well!
Only about an hour or two from Melbourne, it doesn’t take long to escape city life and find yourself surrounded by surf beaches and penguins! For a full list of activities and the best beaches check out an insider’s guide to Phillip Island here.
There’s plenty you can see and do in the beautifully quaint town of Lorne. Being a slightly longer drive from Melbourne’s CBD (roughly 2 hours), a day trip is doable but you may want to opt for staying a night. Stay at a cute airbnb for the night, find a nearby campground or stay in at the luxurious Ocean House for the ultimate trip!
Once you’re in Lorne, there’s heaps of shops along the main strip to check out. If you fancy some nature, there’s also an abundance of surf beaches and waterfalls nearby. It’s definitely one fo my favourite Melbourne day getaways.
8. Mornington Peninsula Hot Springs
Sometimes life gets hectic and you need to take some time for yourself. So why not get the R&R you deserve during a day at the Mornington Peninsula Hot Springs? You’ll forget you’re only a short drive from the city when you’re relaxing in the thermal pools and partaking in their wellness activities such as yoga and guided meditation.
The best thing about the hot springs is that it makes for the perfect day trip all year round! Last time I went it was raining and while I was skeptical due to the weather, it just made it a more unique experience. You may even luck out and catch a rainbow at the top of the pools like i did!
9. Tesselaar Tulip Festival/ Warratina Lavender Farm
If you’re after a more unique and Instagram worthy getaway, a quick trip to one of the flower festivals are the perfect opportunity. Depending on the time of year, there are various festivals going on just outside of the city.
The Tesselaar Tulip Festival takes place in the Dandenong ranges between September 14th and October 13th in 2019 so mark your calendars! I’d recommend going sometime during the first half of the festival to ensure the flowers are in full bloom.
The Warratina Lavender farm presents you with another picturesque opportunity when the flowers are in full bloom in November.
Both places are open all year round and only about an hour from Melbourne’s CBD, making it the perfect place to head to for a day trip.
10. Redwood Forest
Redwood Forest is a fun spot to check out all year round but especially in Autumn when the leaves start changing colour. The forest is filled with you guessed it, sky high California Redwood trees. They were planted back in the 1930s and there are over 1400 of them towering anywhere from 20-55 meters high, which is pretty neat if you ask me!
The forest itself isn’t very big so it won’t take up too much of your time, leaving you with more time to stop at the Healesville Wildlife Sanctuary along the way or on your way back to Melbourne.
So what are you waiting for? Start planning some Melbourne day getaways and see all that Victoria has to offer!