5 Lesser known day trips from Melbourne
Melbourne is renowned for being one of the most culturally fascinating and most interesting cities to visit in Australia. While the city centre itself has ample attractions, from interesting boutiques, a thriving cafe scene, sublime bistros and many shopping districts, the surrounding area is also full of sights and worthwhile attractions.
There are many locations which fall under the category and it's likely you have already heard of places like the Great Ocean Road which form part of “the well-beaten tourist path”. However, there are also many lesser known places to visit on a day trip from Melbourne and avoiding the most obvious sites, the following are a few of the best hidden gems in Victoria.
Please note how each of these day trips from Melbourne are located somewhere between an one or three-hour drive from the city. Yet, each of them is well worth the effort to be there:
- Squeaky Beach
In true Australian fashion, following such examples as The Snowy Mountains and The Great Sandy Desert, Squeaky Beach provides exactly what its name suggests. The sand of this beach is made up of delicately rounded quartz and provides one of the strangest experiences: making this particular noise while walking along a shoreline.
While it does offer white powdered sands and a beautiful stretch of ocean, Squeaky Beach also has some of the most fascinating rock formations in Australia which make for a spectacular photograph opportunity with the backdrop of the ocean. If you depart Melbourne early you can still arrive there in the morning, where you should have the beach to yourself and plenty of time to enjoy the surroundings before heading back to Melbourne.
Distance from Melbourne: 226km
- Bay of Islands & Tower Hill
This is one of the furthest day trips included in our list but it is most certainly worth every kilometer travelled. Creating an atmosphere of mystique, this entire coastal park is overflowing with hidden beaches, beautiful cliff faces and colourful flora, while there is also fauna in the area which never fails fascinate the visitor.
Finding a quiet corner of Victoria is reason enough to travel this distance but for those who want to experience the wildlife in full, you should travel to Tower Hill. This stunning national park is set in an ancient volcanic crater which is now home to kangaroos, emus, koalas and a huge range of other animals. If you want a truly unique and immersive experience far away from the city, either of these locations will more than quench your thirst for adventure.
Distance from Melbourne: 274km
- Swim With Platypus
The East Coast of Australia is famed for exotic wildlife and zoos. In fact, this is often so much the case that places like Healesville Sanctuary are often missed by visiting tourists or even locals. However, for those who have had the pleasure to visit the sanctuary, it offers up a delightful range of experience and none more so than swimming with platypus.
Yes, there are emus, kangaroos, koalas, Tasmanian devil, all sorts of reptiles and more to be explored but really, the opportunity to paddle with this fascinating creature is a truly unique experience. After a short briefing, you will be introduced to these national symbols in a small play pool and you will be able to interact to your heart's content.
Little more than a one hour drive from the city, this trip from Melbourne is convenient and affordable, while still offering something different to the average adventure.
Distance from Melbourne: 65km
- Journey to the Centre of the Earth
Few trades are synonymous with Australia as with mining and, for many decades, this tireless work was the means for which many generations in the land down under survived. In this sense, the Central Deborah Gold Mine provides visitors with a great cultural insight and opportunity to uncover the mystique deep below the Australian landscape.
Now a tourist attraction, this old gold mine has a range of packages to suit all interests, whether you wish to try your hand at mining or travel even further into the deepest recesses of the tunnels. Taking a tour of these ancient mines is a captivating experience and one which will leave you feeling, very immersed and far away from the bustling city.
Distance from Melbourne: 152km
- Peninsula Hot Springs
While there might be a lot to experience and explore around Melbourne, the relaxation offered at Peninsula Hot Springs is unbeatable. This day spa has natural thermal springs and offers award-winning treatments.
Having spent some time exploring the busy city or even the more popular tourist attractions on the East Coast, a day trip from Melbourne to the Peninsula Hot Springs is the perfect way to unwind in comfortable surroundings and forget about the noise.
Regardless the type of massage or treatment, the number of services that they have on offer is staggering and having enjoyed a late lunch with stunning views over the bay and Victoria, it's still only a short drive back to the city, after an unforgettable day of relaxation.
Distance from Melbourne: 100km
Derek is a Canadian travel blogger and loves marketing & advertising. Has travelled all around the world including Australia & New Zealand.