Melbourne is a town that travelers can sometimes overlook. That’s a pity! Sydney funnels in the tourists with famous landmarks and sights. However, Melbourne has plenty of respected arts, culture and hip hangouts to fill any itinerary. Let’s go one step further though. For those of you with your own transportation, there are amazing road trips from Melbourne you’ll be happy you didn’t overlook!
Pack some snacks and hop in the car. You won’t regret giving yourself a skill that has allowed me to travel to places other tourists don’t go! Onwards driver!
If you don’t mind heights, especially when they involve antique wooden bridges that have been destroyed numerous times, then 100 km from Melbourne, stands the Noojee Trestle Bridge. This one-hundred-year-old bridge stands over 20 meters high, making it the tallest surviving wooden bridge in the area. It runs through a valley over 100 meters wide. Cool huh?! The bridge was burnt down completely and rebuilt in 1939 and has recently undergone a big makeover. Find the Noojee bridge by taking the M1 to the Drouin exit, then follow the signs.
Take a day trip and follow the A1 to Warrnambool, where it threads along the coastline until Palpara Plantation. Here you’ll find Lower Glenelg National Park. The Princess Margaret Rose Cave is an intriguing limestone formation with everything you could wish for in a cave. It contains the most stalagmite, stalactites, helictites, cave coral, sawtooth shawls, and flow stone formations of any cave in Australia. Badass!
Just a mere 100 km northeast of Melbourne lies the Yarra Valley, home to the Yarra River and the Lilydale to Warburton Rail Trail. But what you’re probably coming here for is the famed Yarra Valley wine country. Long known for its particular take on Chardonnay and Pinot Noir, the 150 or so wineries in the area offer plenty of delicious samples and sights. Just make sure you’ve got someone to take your place in the driving seat; you’re gonna be tipsy!
If you’re abstaining from the delights of alcohol, no problem! You can also check out the hot air balloon tours for a splendid aerial view of the region. Yay.
The Macedon Mountain range stands above the Central Highland in Victoria, and Mount Macedon towers above them all at an impressive 1,000 meters high. The tallest peak is the Camel’s Hump, and offers not only spectacular vistas but sport climbing and hours of hiking around Hanging Rock.
Sanatorium Lake adds to the variety of the landscape and visitors can also stop at the Memorial Cross and Tieve Tara Gardens. Once you descend check out the Daylesfield and Hepburn Springs for their celebrated spas.
Just an hour and a half southeast of the city is Phillip Island, a small island proudly sticking out at less than 30 km wide. The island is wrapped in white sandy beaches that offer some amazing spots for swimming, surfing and snorkeling.
However, the real reason this tiny island is known throughout the continent is its population of fairy penguins. Penguins! Visitors can check out the local black and white cuties year round, and there’s plenty of other wildlife to observe as well. Some such inhabitants include gulls, fur seals, and recovering populations of endangered Burrunan dolphins, orcas and humpback whales.
If you’re in the area, there are plenty of reasons to explore Melbourne and it’s gorgeous environment. You might like what the city offers, and fall in love with it completely.