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Many of Australia’s best attractions are accessible as day trips from Melbourne. Must-sees include the rugged coastline views from Great Ocean Road, the wineries of the Yarra Valley, and the Little Penguins (the world’s smallest penguins) on parade on Philip Island.

Day Trips from Melbourne

Dandenong Ranges

A favorite weekend retreat for Melbournians, the hills of the Dandenong Ranges are blanketed with rainforest ferns, mountain ash forests, and sweet-smelling gum trees. The main road, Mt Dandenong Tourist Road, winds languidly up to the summit of Mt. Dandenong (2,077 feet), offering striking views across the valley to Melbourne and the bay.

Around 25 miles east of Melbourne,
Tags: family | hiking | views | day trip | road trips

Daylesford and Macedon Ranges

The hilly region of Daylesford and the Macedon Ranges is dotted with vineyards, small townships with lovely 19th-century bluestone buildings, antique galleries, and cozy bed and breakfasts.

68 miles northwest of Melbourne,
Tags: history | day trip | antiques | wine tour

Great Ocean Road

One of the world’s most scenic drives, the Great Ocean Road stretches 186 miles west, from Geelong along the coast to Adelaide. The road hugs the rugged coastline overlooking excellent surfing beaches, then cuts inland through Otway National Park before returning to the coast and hitting the spectacular rock formations known as the Twelve Apostles.

Starts 45 miles west of Melbourne at Geelong,
Tags: beach | day trip | national park | road trips

Mornington Peninsula

Only one hour’s drive from Melbourne, the Peninsula, with its lazy beaches, wineries (about 50 in the region), and interesting seaside villages, is a popular summer escape. Stretching south and east before curving west, it encloses Port Phillip Bay along with a string of safe swimming beaches that front the bay.

58 miles south of Melbourne,
Tags: beach | family | day trip | wine tour

Phillip Island

One of Victoria’s most popular attractions is the penguin parade on Philip Island. Like clockwork, every night at sunset hundreds of Little Penguins emerge from the sea and waddle up the beach to their burrows for the night. It’s an extraordinary spectacle. The island is also home to Australia’s largest colony of fur seals.

90 miles south of Melbourne,
Tags: family | island | day trip | wildlife

Yarra Valley

The Yarra Valley is home to some of Australia’s best cool-climate wineries. The region’s wine industry was established in the 1830s and is today renowned for its sparkling wines, chardonnay, and pinot noirs.

32 miles east of Melbourne,
Tags: smart splurge | day trip | culinary | wine tour

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