If you’re looking to get away from all the fuss that inevitably comes with big cities like as Melbourne, then you’re in the right place. Don’t get us wrong – Melbourne is truly an amazing place, but we all dream of an occasional escape from the everyday rut. Fortunately, the availability of easy, affordable weekend getaways from Melbourne is one reason it’s such an awesome place to live.
There are some jaw-droppingly beautiful places within a few hours’ drive that can make you forget your troubles. So, without further ado, let’s check out some of the places that make these parts of Australia special.
Great Ocean Road
We begin our list with none other than the Great Ocean Road. The scenery along this road is simply magnificent, and this is something we recommend to everyone to visit. One of the main reasons the Great Ocean Road is among awesome weekend getaways from Melbourne is that the whole 300-kilometer scenic road lies within a three-hour drive.
This spectacular road trip is breathtakingly gorgeous the whole way, but one of the most splendid and impressive attractions is the Port Campbell National Park. You can see the famous Twelve Apostles there, as well as other majestic rock formations such as London Arch and Loch Ard Gorge.
The Mornington Peninsula
If you have only a day and the three-hour Great Ocean Road drive is a bit too much, we’d recommend you to explore the Mornington Peninsula. This hour-and-a-half drive from the city will most definitely quench your thirst for exploring something opulent and dazzling.
You’ll get a chance to see Port Phillip Bay on one side and the ocean on the other. Summertime is great to visit all the beaches on the peninsula, but that doesn’t mean you can’t take this trip during other seasons as well. For example, you can also hike along the trails that are surrounded by cliffs, and make some long-lasting memories while soaking in reposeful hot springs at Peninsula Hot Springs.
Speaking of memorable moments, Launceston is absolutely a must-visit among weekend getaways from Melbourne. It’s one of the oldest towns in Australia and is in itself a great history lesson for anyone who decides to stop by for a weekend. If you’re not a history buff, there are certainly plenty of other things to do in Launceston. For example, if you like tasty food and great restaurants, then Launceston is the right place for you.
And it’s not just about history and food – Launceston also offers some celebrated shopping places, such as Harvest Market. In case you’re still not fully convinced, we’ll have to persuade you by mentioning other fun things. You can visit the Franklin House, National Automobile Museum of Tasmania, Tramway Museum. Or take a Launceston Ghost Tour, if you’re into a little bit of nocturnal spookiness.
The Dandenong Ranges and the Yarra Valley
If you’re a wilderness and wildlife aficionado, then we have to recommend the Dandenong Ranges and the Yarra Valley as weekend getaways from Melbourne. What’s truly amazing about these places is that you can hike through mountain ash forests and fern-fringed trails. If that’s not wild enough for you, then we’d recommend a visit to Grants Picnic Ground. You can take part in all kinds of amazing activities there, like feeding cockatoos and crimson rosellas.
The Dandenong Ranges National Park is just 40 minutes east of Melbourne, so you can go and have a picnic near the waterfalls that are inside the park. On the other hand, if you’re more into food, then Yarra Valley is a good choice to keep in mind. And if you’re traveling with kids, they’ll get a chance to enjoy the wildlife and see dingoes, wombats, platypuses and echidnas.
Speaking of wildlife, another truly amazing place to visit and explore is Phillip Island. One of the first things anyone who’s already visited the place will tell you about Phillip Island is the famous Penguin Parade. At dusk, you’ll get a chance to see these amazing creatures as they waddle up the beach.
And if you’re into animals, Phillip Island has even more to offer. You can spot silver gull chicks and koalas there. There’s the Koala Conservation Centre where you can get up-close to them. In addition to penguins, silver gull chicks and koalas, there are also wallabies and kangaroos at Phillip Island Wildlife Park. And if you’re up for a wildlife cruise we recommend you visit Seal Rock, where you’ll get a chance to observe Australia’s largest fur seal colony.
The Bottom Line
Melbourne city life can get rather overwhelming at times. The best way to break up the routine and move away from all the tumult, noise and throngs is to explore some of the nearby places that we’ve mentioned in this article. What’s truly great about Melbourne is that all these awesome places are within a few hours’ drive. That means you don’t have to make special preparations and plans; just hop into your favorite four-wheeler and start making some life-long memories. Bring friends or family members to make these rides even more enjoyable, and you’ll definitely feel re-energized and ready to get back to your everyday activities.