Escaping the hustle and bustle of the city can be a great way to reset and recharge, especially around this crazy time of year. Unfortunately, not all of us have the time or funds to be jetting off to exotic locations, but thanks to the beauty of this place we call home, you don’t need to go far to get a taste of something spectacular.

We’ve rounded up the best day trips from Melbourne that are only a short drive away but feel like other worlds. They’re perfect for taking a break and getting some fresh air while soaking up the summer sunshine. All you need is a spare day and a taste for adventure!best day trips from melbourne

Mornington Peninsula

If you haven’t yet visited the Mornington Peninsula then you’re missing out. It takes just over 90minutes to drive there from Melbourne and you’ll be surprised that the hustle and bustle of the city is so close. The picturesque peninsula is nestled between the ocean on one side and Port Phillip Bay on the other with the beautifully swanky town of Sorrento a main feature. You can take a scenic stroll along the many seaside boardwalks and you should keep an eye out for the pods of dolphins that frequent the area.

Great Ocean Road

You really can’t beat the spectacular drive down the Great Ocean Road. Just 200km from Melbourne, the scenic drive stretches across the Southern coastline of Australia offering amazing views and plenty of must-see stops along the way. The full drive one way is approximately four hours but you’ll want to leave extra time for sightseeing. Be sure to pack your swimmers to take full advantage of the gorgeous beaches and don’t miss the Twelve Apostles or London Arch rock formations.

Yarra Valley

Whether it’s wildlife you’re in search of, fantastic food, historic villages or an adventurous hike, the Yarra Valley makes for an exciting day trip. It’s located around 40km East of Melbourne and the drive there through the beautiful Dandenong Ranges is just as beautiful as the destination itself. There are plenty of hiking options, local cafes and restaurants serving locally grown fresh produce and some of the most scenic picnic grounds you’ve ever seen to enjoy. The area is also home to some of the best cool climate wines in the world.

Daylesford

If you’re looking for a more upmarket way to spend your day off, Daylesford is home to many incredible day spas, wellness centres and soothing hot springs that are prime for total relaxation. It’s about 115km from Melbourne and the food alone makes it worth the drive with more than a few award-winning restaurants located in the beautiful town. When you’re full of great food, you can walk around the beautiful Lake Daylesford and enjoy your weekend of unwinding.

Hanging Rock Reserve

Located an hour Northwest of Melbourne in the Macedon Ranges, Hanging Rock Reserve presents a truly unique wilderness experience. The now dormant volcano was made famous by the iconic film, Picnic at Hanging Rock, and whether you’re a fan of the film or not, you’ll definitely experience the mystic beauty of the area. You can hike to the peak of the reserve in about 25 minutes where you will get great views of the Victorian countryside.