3 Must-See Places Just Outside of Melbourne

Melbourne’s CBD is a busy hub of culture and non-stop excitement, but if you’re looking to experience a different side to Victoria without straying too far from the city, we have you covered. From beaches to wineries to penguin parades, here’s our top three picks for day trips and weekends away near Melbourne.

Great Ocean Road

The Great Ocean Road is the gateway to some of Victoria’s most beautiful beaches, not to mention famous attractions such as the 12 Apostles. If you find yourself in Melbourne in the summer time – or on a particularly warm Autumn or Spring day – this is a truly remarkable day trip you won’t regret doing. While a car trip from the CBD will take you roughly 2.5 hours, there is so much to do here that a weekend trip is recommended. Eat delicious food at one of the many local eateries, stroll along the pristine beaches and enjoy the laid-back coastal life to really experience what this destination has to offer. 

Yarra Valley

Calling all wine lovers – if the Yarra Valley isn’t already on your radar, you might want to make sure it’s working correctly. This gorgeous region is famous for producing some of Australia’s best wine, so it’s the perfect place to indulge in a winery tour or five. Home to some of the state’s most stunning scenery, this is the perfect location to relax and unwind. Not only is it a welcome respite from the hustle and bustle of the city, but there are more than enough places to spend your day eating, drinking and exploring as well. Just an hour out of the city, it’s perfect for both a day trip or for a weekend escape. 

Phillip Island

This is one of Melbourne’s hottest areas to visit, with 3 million people making their way down to Phillip Island every year. But there’s a reason it’s so popular, and we can sum it up in three words: beaches, cars and penguins. Confused? Let us explain. Phillip Island is coastal and offers some truly incredible views, especially if you visit the famous Nobbies boardwalk. As for cars, it’s any motor-heads’ dream, as every October the region transforms into Grand Prix mania, with the event being held not too far from the centre of town. Oh and penguins, you ask? This is Phillip Island’s famous tourist attraction, as you have the chance to get up close and personal as adorable penguins make their way from the beach to their shelters each night. What can we say – it has something for everybody!

3 Free Things to Do While You’re in Melbourne

Melbourne is an incredible city filled with delicious food, diverse culture and excitement at every turn – but what’s a tourist to do when they don’t have any money to spend? Plenty of things, as it turns out. So put your wallets away and read on, because we’ve got four awesome ways to explore this city that won’t cost you a cent.

Free walking tours

Walking tours are a terrific way to see a new place, as it allows you to really get amongst the culture and see everything up close. But just because you haven’t got any cash to throw around, that doesn’t mean you have to miss out. ‘I’m Free Tours’, as you might be able to tell by the name, provides free walking tours of Melbourne everyday from 10.30am – 2.30pm. That’s three solid hours of making your way through all the quirky lanes, artsy spots and historical landmarks that your feet can handle.

Spend an afternoon in the Botanical Gardens 

If you’re lucky enough to find yourself in Melbourne on a dry, sunny day, we recommend that you make the most of it and head to the beautiful Botanical Gardens. It’s not hard to get lost in this lush paradise or enjoy a few hours exploring with some fellow travellers. For a truly relaxing time, bring a packed lunch and sit on the grass watching the world go by.

Indulge your artsy side at the National Gallery of Victoria

If you’re the type of tourist who likes to stroll through galleries in every city you visit, this one is for you. The National Gallery of Victoria has a permanent collection of artwork that will cost you nothing at all to get into. Depending on your luck, you might even find yourself there on a day when one of their exhibitions are free as well. At the very least, you’ll be able to explore the world’s first major collection dedicated to Australian art – how’s that for a cultural experience?