Now that restrictions are starting to ease a little bit, you might be looking to get out of your city on a little day trip. So it seems an opportune moment to look at possible day trips from my home town, Melbourne because who knows, I might get the chance to take one in the coming weeks and months! I was hoping to yesterday (Sunday) but the forecast was seriously dire. However today’s post will be about places I have actually been.
Williamstown, by ferry
From the docklands in Melbourne there is a ferry across to the western beachside suburb of Williamstown. It’s an historic area and there are a number of buildings that hail from a long time ago now, some over 100 years old. It’s got a lovely shore and loads of boats just hanging out in the water, and is one of the prettiest areas near Melbourne. It also boasts a lot of great cafes and restaurants too. If trains are your thing, there is a really cool train museum there with a lot of trains and carriages that the kids can climb up, in and around.
The Mornington Peninsula
A trip down the Peninsula is always a winner. And that’s because there are so many spots worth stopping at. Mornington itself is a seaside town which is around 90 minutes from the centre of Melbourne. Driving down to the Peninsula takes you through towns and suburbs which are close to the beach and in the summer are a little cooler than the city and perfect on hot days. There are a lot of beaches too.
But come winter time there is still a lot to do – lots of places to eat, motels and campgrounds, a friendly atmosphere, pubs and more. Vineyards too are popular own the peninsula, hot springs, gardens, there’s a chairlift at Arthur’s Seat. Sorento is a beautiful town too, ferries cross to the other side of Port Philip Bay from there. And then the very end of the peninsula there is less development and so you can be alone if you walk out a bit in a really beautiful spot indeed! There is so much on the Peninsula that it can provide activities for many day trips!
Healesville is less than 90 minutes from the CBD, and it is known for the amazing Healesville Sanctuary – without a doubt the best place to see Native Australian Wildlife in Victoria, if not in all of Australia. You can get your fill of kangaroos, koalas, native birdlife, wombats, platypi, and some of the rarer and less common animals such as the tree kangaroo (FYI – looks NOTHING like your regular kangaroo!)
But Healesville itself is a charming town where you could spend a few hours wandering the streets, with eateries and cafes – not to mention bakeries – to burn!
Ballarat is around an hour and a half from Melbourne’s CBD, and is a town to the west of the city which boasts a history in the Gold Rush and the attraction of ‘Sovereign Hill’. It’s pretty cold in the winter, but it’s easily accessible and Sovereign Hill is a lot of fun – if expensive! Attractions include mine tours, dress ups, and of course – you can pan for gold! You will want to bring all the luck you have!
The Twelve Apostles is a bit of a drive, around three hours from Melbourne’s CBD and so I guess it barely qualifies as a ‘day trip’, because you’d be better off probably staying overnight and there are plenty of options in the towns in that region. Having said that, I went on a day trip there in January! So it certainly can be done this way and I would say the majority of its visitors visit the area on a day trip – there are a number of companies running tours out from Melbourne at any rate.
What exactly is it? Well it’s a very impressive, beautiful stretch of coastline dotted with limestone rock, and not all of the cliffs were washed away by the ocean, and so there are these limestone ‘statues’ dotted about the place, not too far from the actual coast. You’ll also see erosion/ocean made bridges and some really nice beaches stuck in there for good measure. Some good hiking and really stunning scenery make this something a visitor to Melbourne shouldn’t miss!
Gippsland, finally, is a large area of the state which is not very far from Melbourne’s East. It’s a land of rolling green hills, creeks, winding roads and cute towns. It has the somewhat disappointing but not as bad as some say ‘Gumbaya Park’ (where you’re greeted by the Giant Pheasant!). You can find great hikes, day or longer, friendly locals, farmland and I guess, the part of Australia which is most like England! If that’s something that interests you. Again, spending a few days or more driving around Gippsland can’t be overlooked either!
Well, there’s a shortlist for you! Hope this post finds you well, and hopefully you’ll be enjoying daytrips sooner rather than later! May the Journey Never End!