Melbourne, the vibrant capital of Victoria, is not just a bustling metropolis; it also serves as the perfect starting point for some of the most scenic road trips you can imagine.
Itching to escape the urban bustle and embark on an unforgettable road trip?
Here’s a list of the best road trips originating in Melbourne:
- The Great Ocean Road
- The Yarra Valley
- Phillip Island
- Mornington Peninsula
- Grampians National Park
- Wilsons Promontory
- The High Country
- Bellarine Peninsula
- The Great Alpine Road
Read on to uncover why these drives are some of the best in the country.
The Great Ocean Road: A Coastal Marvel
The Great Ocean Road, one of Australia’s most iconic drives, sets the stage for an awe-inspiring coastal journey.
As you leave Melbourne, your route takes you through Geelong, a vibrant city with a rich maritime history. Continuing along the road, you’ll encounter charming coastal towns such as Torquay, Lorne, Apollo Bay, and Port Campbell.
The Great Ocean Road stretches over 200 kilometres, and it’s along this route that you’ll witness the breathtaking beauty of the Southern Ocean. Its highlight is the Twelve Apostles, massive limestone stacks rising dramatically from the ocean.
Beyond these natural wonders, there are opportunities for hiking, surfing, and exploring the towns.
The Great Ocean Road is incredibly popular, so booking accommodation in advance is crucial. Plan for a three-day adventure so you have ample time to explore the treasures along the way.
The Yarra Valley: Wine And Nature’s Bliss
A short drive from Melbourne, the Yarra Valley beckons with open arms, promising a delightful mix of nature and indulgence.
As you travel, you’ll pass through Yarra Glen and Healesville. Yarra Glen offers access to renowned wineries, where you can savour award-winning wines and gourmet food. The nearby Healesville Sanctuary is a wildlife haven where you can encounter koalas, kangaroos, and native birds.
Nature enthusiasts can explore lush forests and vineyard-covered hills, while hikers and bikers will find numerous trails to embark upon.
The Yarra Valley is perfect for a 2-3 day road trip, allowing you to tailor your journey to your interest and enjoy a gateway suitable for all ages.
READ NEXT: The Best Yarra Valley Tours From Melbourne
Phillip Island: Penguins And Pristine Beauty
For a quick getaway from Melbourne, Phillip Island offers natural beauty and unique wildlife encounters.
This island is famous for its nightly penguin parade, where these adorable creatures waddle ashore as the sun sets. During the day, you can explore its pristine landscapes by hiking scenic trails, some of which lead to rugged cliffs with panoramic ocean views.
While driving to Phillip Island, you’ll pass through smaller towns and areas, such as San Remo. Here, you can experience local hospitality and enjoy seaside dining.
Phillip Island’s compact size allows you to comfortably explore it in 1-2 days, making it an ideal destination for a quick escape into Australian nature.
Mornington Peninsula: Sun, Sea, And Serenity
The Mornington Peninsula is renowned for its tranquil beaches and serene ambience, offering a perfect escape for relaxation. The journey begins in Melbourne, and along the way, you’ll pass through Mornington and Portsea.
For wine enthusiasts, the region boasts a delightful collection of wineries, offering wine tasting experience and gourmet cuisine. During the whale migration season, you might even spot these magnificent creatures from the coast, adding a touch of wildlife adventure to your trip.
With two to three days to spare, you can explore the beaches, indulge in wine tasting, and immerse yourself in the tranquillity of this coastal gem.
Grampians National Park: Rugged Beauty
Grampians National Park, accessible via a road trip from Melbourne to Halls Gap, is a rugged and captivating wilderness. As you drive towards Halls Gap, you’ll pass through Ararat and Stawell, both of which offer their own unique experiences.
The Grampians are famous for their challenging hikes, with the Pinnacle Walk offering stunning panoramic views as a reward for your efforts. Camping under the starlit sky in the Grampians is a unique experience, and you may encounter kangaroos, wallabies, and various bird species.
Grampians National Park is ideal for experienced hikers and adventure seekers who want to immerse themselves in the rugged beauty of the Australian landscape.
In three to four days, you can explore its challenging trails, encounter native wildlife, and relish the serenity of the wilderness.
This is a decent drive, so before setting off, make sure you have a full tank of petrol, and check the condition and tread of your tyres. Be sure to pack plenty of food and water as well.
Wilsons Promontory: Nature’s Playground
Wilsons Promontory, known as “The Prom,” is a nature lover’s paradise accessible via a road trip from Melbournne to Inverloch and Tidal River. It boasts a diverse range of hiking trails, from easy strolls to challenging treks, ensuring there’s an adventure for every level.
Camping is a popular choice here, allowing you to fully immerse yourself in the pristine wilderness. Wildlife enthusiasts will be delighted by kangaroos, wombats, and an array of native birds.
Whether you’re an avid hiker, camper, swimmer, or wildlife enthusiast, Wilsons Promontory caters to your outdoor interests.
In two to three days, you can explore its diverse trails, swim on its beaches, and connect with the wonders of nature.
The High Country: Winter Wonderland
The Victorian High Country transforms into a winter wonderland during the snowy months. Starting your journey in Melbourne, you’ll make your way to Mount Buller and Lake Mountain, two prime destinations for snow sports.
As you drive through the towns of Manfield and Merrijig, you’ll witness the landscape transition into a snowy paradise. Whether you’re an expert skier or a novice snowboarder, you’ll find ample opportunities to hit the slopes and revel in the winter landscape.
The towns of Mount Buller and Lake Mountain offer cosy accommodations and a charming alpine atmosphere. Besides snow sports, exploring the alpine towns and hiking are also popular activities, provided that you’re prepared with the right gear.
Keep a close eye on road conditions, especially in the winter when some routes may be closed.
The High Country promises three to four days of thrilling adventures for snow enthusiasts.
Bellarine Peninsula: A Beach Lover’s Paradise
Bellarine Peninsula is a coastal haven for beach lovers seeking serenity. The region boasts pristine beaches that invite you to bask in the sun and take a refreshing dip in the turquoise waters.
Starting in Melbourne, your journey takes you through towns like Queenscliff and Portarlington, both of which offer their own unique coastal charm.
Wineries in the region offer wine tasting experiences, allowing you to savour local wines paired with delicious cuisine. Kayaking along the coast or fishing from the shores provide additional ways to enjoy the stunning coastal scenery.
Bellarine Peninsula, similar to Mornington Peninsula, offers a splendid coastal experience with 2-3 days to explore its beautiful beaches, partake in wine tasting, and engage in water-based activities.
The Great Alpine Road: Alpine Adventure
The Great Alpine Road offers a thrilling journey from Melbourne to the alpine wonders of Bright and Omeo.
In the winter, it transforms into a paradise for snow sports enthusiasts, providing opportunities for skiing and snowboarding. The towns of Bright and Omeo offer comfortable accommodations, enabling you to enjoy the alpine charm.
During the warmer months, hiking and exploring the alpine towns are delightful activities.
It’s essential to note that The Great Alpine Road is closed during the winter due to heavy snowfall, so check road conditions if planning a trip during this season.
This road trip promises 3-4 days of unforgettable experiences, whether you seek snowy adventures or alpine beauty.
Melbourne serves as the perfect starting point for exploring the diverse landscapes and experiences that this Australian state has to offer.
For those seeking coastal beauty, the Great Ocean Road is a must-do with its stunning vistas and charming towns. Wine enthusiasts will find solace in the Yarra Valley, while wildlife lovers can’t miss Phillip Island and its adorable penguins.
If beaches and wineries are more your style, the Mornington Peninsula and Bellarine Peninsula have you covered. Adventurous hikers should head to Grampians National Park or Wilsons Promontory, while snow bunnies can hit the slopes in the High Country or the Great Alpine Road.
No matter which road trip you choose, you’re in for an unforgettable journey through Victoria’s diverse landscapes and experiences.
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