Melbourne is surrounded by natural beauty, locally grown food and a broad range of culture. You could easily spend a week making day trips to take it all in. To the south and east are a string of attractions – the Mornington Peninsula, the Dandenongs, Phillip Island, Wilsons Promontory, and the Gippsland Lakes. To the coastal south-west is the Werribee open range zoo and the Werribee Mansion. And to the north and west you have the Great Ocean Road and the Grampians.
1. The Grampians
Drive time: 3 hr | 255 km (each way)
The massive sandstone ranges of the Grampians in Western Victoria provide some of the state’s most spectacular scenery.
The Grampians by Mitch Smith.
2. The Great Ocean Road Tour
Drive time: 5 hr 30 min | 400 km to Port Fairy
Glow worms, surf towns, rainforest, beaches, and a winding road that hugs the spectacular coast line, the Great Ocean Road is one of Australia's most popular road trips.
The Great Ocean Road, Twelve Apostles. Photo: ElieGottlieb via IG
3. Mornington Peninsula
1 h 30 m | 110 km (each way)
The Mornington Peninsula is a seaside playground with safe, bayside swimming and excellent surf beaches, a lively art scene and cafe culture, golf, hot springs, local food and colorful beach huts.
Blairgowrie Back Beach, Mornington Peninsula. Photo: theloveassembly via IG
4. Philliip Island
Drive Time: 2 h | 142 km (each way)
Phillip Island is less than 2 hours from Melbourne and could be visited as a day trip. The island is rich in wildlife of all kinds including penguins (the star attraction), fur seals, wallabies, wombats, birds and koalas.
The Penguin Parade on Phillip Island
5. Victorian Alps
Drive Time: 10 h 30 m | 837 km (loop)
The gently rounded peaks of the Victorian Alps seem to stretch away to infinity. This scenic drive tootles through charming mountain village bursting with color in autumn. You can stop for cheese tasting and cool climate wine tasting along the way with sweeping views from your table.
Mount Buffalo, Victoria. Photo: Humble Trail via Instagram
6. The Dandenongs
Drive Time: 1 h | 50 km (each way)
The Dandenongs are a lush tapestry of rainforests, waterfalls, walks, tea shops, pubs and historic villages with breathtaking views of Melbourne.
Puffing Billy Railway, the Dandenongs.
7. Yarra Valley
1 hr 10 m | 60 km (each way)
Wine country, farm produce, art and forest walks, the Yarra Valley is a delight for all the senses.
Lowyn Gardens, Yarra Valley.
8. Wilsons Promontory
Drive time: 3 h | 216 km (each way)
Wilson's Promontory (‘Wilsons Prom' to locals) is Victoria's largest coastal wilderness area and most popular national park. It is crammed with magical landscapes and wildlife such as emus, seals, wombats, echidnas, rosellas and kangaroos. You could add this to the Victorian Alps loop (day trip #5).
Hotels are not cheap in Melbourne so renting a campervan can really save you money. Many of the camp grounds and caravan parks that we recommend in our campervan travel guide articles are right on the ocean with great facilities such as pools and beach front gas BBQs. We only list those that receive 4 stars or more on the most popular review sites.
There are many caravan parks and camping options to choose from on the Mornington Peninsula, Wilsons Promontory, Phillip Island, Gippsland and Werribee.
Heart of Reef Shuttles, 48-50 Carlo Drive, Cannonvale, Queensland 4802 Phone: 1800 216 223
490 Nudgee Road, Hendra, Queensland 4011
Phone: 1800 216 223
440 Sheridan Street, Cairns,
Queensland 4870 Phone: 1800 216 223
273 Elizabeth Street, Coburg,
Victoria 3058 Phone: 1800 216 223
23-25 Erskine Rd, Caringbah,
Sydney, NSW 2229 Phone: 1800 216 223