The reality is that it is probably going to be a while until we are able to travel normally again. Domestically sooner than internationally however I still see that being a little while away. Hopefully, sooner rather than later, we will be allowed to go on little staycations or overnight stay’s in our own state. Not only because travelling is fun and gives us something to plan and look forward to, but in terms of tourism, it is a great idea to support local!
In Melbourne and Victoria, it has been a bit of a rough year for local tourism. First we had the fires and now lockdown. I really feel for all of the people who have been affected by this and once it is allowed, we will be doing our bit to go on a few adventures and weekend aways to support these people.
This is a list of not only my favourite places to go in Melbourne and Vic, but also places I have wanted to go for a while and now should be able to!
The Dandenong Ranges – 1hr drive from the CBD
Hiking, wildlife, the wilderness, amazing food, are all things you can expect to find in the Dandenongs and surrounding villages. There is so much to do and see that you could spend day’s up here exploring. Its foodie heaven! Local cheese, wine, fresh produce.. it really is great and so close to the city. There are also places to visit such as the Healesville Sanctuary, Puffing Billy Railway, parks and Gardens everywhere.
Philip Island – 1hr 45min drive from the CBD
If you are a Koala or Penguin lover, this is the place for you. Only about a 2hr drive from the city, Philip Island is a must visit from Melbourne. There are places to walk and see penguins, sanctuaries for Koala’s, beaches, Wildlife parks and so much more. If you are into car or motorbike racing then there is always the Gran Prix Circuit. Maybe see when there is something on and base a weekend away around this! A must visit is of course the chocolate factory! A sweet treat on your way out of the island is something you must do.
Great Ocean Road – 1hr 20min drive to the ‘start’ of the drive (AKA the sign above)
It wouldn’t be a staycation guide without mentioning the great ocean road. It is hyped and for really good reason. Driving down this coastline is beautiful, at any time of the year. Yes, in the colder months it will be COLD however, it will be quieter and just as beautiful as in summer. You can make a week’s trip out of this drive or just a few days. Either way its worth it. I have written a whole post about this in the past here.
Mornington Peninsula – An hour and a half drive from the city and you will arrive in the beautiful Mornington Peninsula. It has amazing beaches, hot springs, the best fish and chip shops and a general surfy, sandy beachy vibe about the place. From heading to the beach, going to the Enchanted Adventure Garden, strolling down the Millionaires walk or relaxing in a spa pool, its a hard place to get bored.
Lake Mountain – 2hr 30min drive from the CBD
Winter is coming and where is a better place to go than lake mountain and the snow! Its a really easy place to get to from Melbourne, only a 2 hour drive or book yourself onto a bus and head up there for a few days. Marysville is really close by and has all the places you need to hire gear. So peaceful and quiet, what a treat!
Daylesford – 1hr 20min drive from the CBD
In under 2 hours, you can go from the city of Melbourne, to the beautiful little spa town of Daylesford. From beautiful little country cafe’s to mineral spa pools, you wont be disappointed in this place either as a day trip or overnight stay. Such a luxurious treat such a short drive from the CBD.
Grampians National Park – 3hr drive from the CBD
Cliffs, waterfalls, boulders, hiking, wildlife, mountains! The grampians has it all. So much natural beauty about 3 hours from Melbourne CBD. If you are a nature lover, this is the place for you. There is a lot of history and cultural heritage in this area, so make sure you check out some of the local galleries and information centres whilst int he area. Mckenzie falls, fish falls and beehive falls are all favourite spots to check out. You will also, if you are lucky, be surrounded by some incredible wildlife, look out for an echidna or a Koala!
Wilsons Promontory – 3hr drive from the CBD
Whether you love the beach, hiking or just general natural beauty, you will love “The Prom”. Its stunning! Its quite far from the city, with the drive about 3 hours so you definitely want to make a bit of a weekend out of this trip but will be totally worth it. There is SO much to do from diving, hiking, swimming, fishing, camping, kayaking… So much to do, especially in Summer. It is likely you will also see a bunch of wildlife such as kangaroos, wombats, emu’s and maybe even a snake or two in summer.
After writing this post, it makes me realise how lucky we are here in Melbourne to be surrounded by so much beauty. If you have a car (or can hire one), you would never get bored driving around and finding new places to go. There are so many places still that I have not put on this list that are must visit’s so maybe I will do a part two.
I have a few draft posts of more in depth Travel Guides for places in Victoria. Coming up is one all about the small villages int he dandenongs. My favourite walks and little cafe’s which are a must visit.
Please tell me. Where are your favourite places to visit in Victoria??