It’s not all about the coffee beans. For those prepared to venture out of Melbourne on some cheeky weekend road trips, you’re in for a treat. Read on for Explorer Jordyn Butler’s Top 3 weekend road trips near Melbourne.
Melbourne is known for being an urban sprawl of art, culture and coffee. Its characteristic ‘instagramming’ hipster brat packs rule the city; sniffing out hidden laneways, rooftops and ‘foodie’ spots, deciding what will be ‘trendy’ for the weekend.
But if you venture a little out of the city, away from the hustle and bustle, you’ll find picturesque landscapes that never go out of style – no matter what the filter.
The Great Ocean Road
- 104km coastal hike along the Great Ocean Road
- Magical 12 Apostles
- Loch Ard Gorge and the Bay of Islands
The Great Ocean Road is one of the world’s most scenic coastal drives. It still remains largely untouched and is one of the finest examples of Australia’s coastal scene; it’s home to some of the world’s best beaches. From surfing to scenic walks, there’s something for everyone on this old-school road trip.
If exploring on foot or by car isn’t for you can experience it by air with 12 Apostles Helicopters. Prices range from AUD $145 – $570 pp.
A cheaper alternative is to bring a packed lunch and pull over to one of the many beautiful lookouts or beaches nestled along this vast and amazing roadway.
The only draw back is you may find yourself in the back of a sedan with the windows down, trying to suppress the urge to barf as you cruise down the motorway. It will be pretty, but you may feel terrible from its spaghetti-like roads.
Travel at off-peak times. During the summer it gets very busy with the annual Pier to Pub race and Falls Music and Arts Festival at the beginning of January.
Daylesford and the Macedon Ranges
- Day spas
- Weekend retreats
- Antique hunting
- Food and wine
Daylesford and the Macedon Ranges is a mecca for day spas, weekend retreats, antique hunting, and food and wine. And while it’s a bit of a drive from the CBD, once you’re out on the open road it’s a fairly straight run in.
While the day spas are what draw people to the town, it’s the local produce, friendly community and the native flora and fauna that will keep you coming back. Everything tastes better in this region; this is because the water is so pristine.
A highlight is driving up to Trentham Falls, Victoria’s highest single-drop waterfall that was formed five-million-years-ago when molten lava spewed over the cliff face from a nearby river. Needless to say, the view is breathtaking.
The Macedon Ranges is also home to rugged bush land, hiking trials and the mysterious Hanging Rock. Make sure you don’t get lost!
- The birth place of the Hemsworth brothers
- Cute little penguins
- Koala Conservation Park
90 minutes away from Melbourne, Phillip Island is best known for two things: the birth place of the Hemsworth brothers and the cute little penguins that call it home.
Native wildlife is in abundance and includes the Koala Conservation Park, seal and whale watching coastal cruises and of course the show-stealing nightly Penguin Parade: sure to melt the coldest of hearts.
For a general viewing of the Penguins, prices are around AUD$12 for a child and AUD$25 for an adult.
While the penguins will melt even the coldest of hearts, you’ll be freezing your butt off if you don’t bring that windbreaker; rug up.
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