Melbourne day trips

Escape the city and take a day trip from Melbourne into nature. Discover picturesque views, long and short walks, cycling or simply a place for a cuppa after leisurely strolls through the wilderness. Pack a scrumptious picnic for a shady rest after enjoying the sights and sounds.

Close enough to the city to be a spur of the moment decision, these parks are all less than two hours’ drive from Melbourne.

Bike riding in Point Nepean National ParkMornington Peninsula

Catch a train and a bus to Point Nepean National Park. When you arrive, hire an e-bike or use the shuttle service to explore the rugged coastal landscape and incredible views. For a walk with some of the best coastal scenery near Melbourne, follow the Bushrangers Bay track from the eastern carpark at Cape Schnack in Mornington Peninsula National Park. For thrill-seekers, the large network of mountain bike trails in Arthurs Seat State Park awaits.

More day trip ideas in the Mornington Peninsula:

The memorial cross against a blue sky at Macedon Regional ParkDaylesford and Macedon Ranges

Explore the summit of Macedon Regional Park. After viewing the Mount Macedon War Memorial Cross, enjoy a meal at the Top of the Range tea rooms. Around the popular towns of Daylesford and Hepburn Springs you'll find Hepburn Regional Park. Take a walk and find natural mineral springs and relics of the gold mining era. Stop in at Trentham Falls, one of the longest single drop waters in Victoria.


More day trip ideas in Daylesford and Macedon Ranges:

  • Have a picnic among the huge conifers and deciduous trees at Mt Franklin Reserve.
  • Tour Andersons Mill on the first Sunday of the month from 12 pm to 4 pm.
  • Catch a glimpse of a lone pine tree on the granite peak of Mount Beckworth Scenic Reserve.

Two woman walking in Dandenong Ranges National ParkDandenong Ranges

In Dandenong Ranges National Park cascading waterfalls, challenging hikes and towering trees are waiting to be explored. Alfred Nicholas Memorial Gardens are is perfect for walking the dog, a picnic by the water or just admiring the extensive water features.

More day trip ideas in the Dandenong Ranges:

Two woman walking at the Garfield Wheel in Castlemaine Diggings National ParkGoldfields

Take a trip back in time to the Victorian Goldrush at Castlemaine Diggings Heritage Park. Explore abandoned mines and settlements among shady Box-Ironbark woodlands. Greater Bendigo National Park and Bendigo Regional Park surround the city of Bendigo. The parks are great for bushwalking, horse riding, nature observation, cycling and picnicking. See one of the country’s most well-preserved historic villages at Maldon Historic Area.

More day trip ideas in the Goldfields:

Looking to venture a little further? Check out our ideas for long drives.

Day trips from Melbourne

Here are more suggestions to fill a day with either relaxing drives or brisk exercise. Visitors should take water, leave plenty of time for their leisurely drive and check the weather forecast before leaving.

Two women walk through ferns along the Shelly Harris Track in Kinglake National Park.

Kinglake National Park

Only 65 km north of Melbourne, Kinglake National Park lies on the slopes of the Great Dividing Range, offering dramatic views of the Melbourne skyline, Port Phillip Bay, the Yarra Valley and across to the You Yangs.
A woman leads her partner across the Razorback track surrounded by stunning views of the Rubicon Valley.

Cathedral Range State Park

The Cathedral Range is a spectacular seven km ridge of sharply upturned sedimentary rock.
A couple sit around a campsite and welcome their friends to their campsite as they walk in.

Lerderderg State Park

The Lerderderg River has carved a deep and picturesque gorge through this rugged park located within easy reach of Melbourne, Bacchus Marsh and Ballarat. Picnic at Shaws Lake or O'Briens Crossing, follow an old water race and hike part of the Great Dividing Trail, or simply stroll along the river from Mackenzies Flat.
A group of children on a tour in the State Coal Mine.

State Coal Mine

Offering an inexpensive day trip for the whole family, the State Coal Mine is an historic Gippsland attraction that fosters an understanding of Australia's cultural heritage with an authentic underground experience. Entry to the site is free above ground where you can follow the heritage walk among historic buildings.
Two women in active wear walk up the granite steps on the way to Flinders Peak.

You Yangs Regional Park

Magnificent views, birdlife and a mecca for walkers, horse riders and mountain bikers - welcome to the You Yangs! The distinctive granite peaks of this park rise abruptly from the flat plains below. Flinders Peak and Big Rock have panoramic views out to Melbourne, which is just an hour away.

Ricketts Point Marine Sanctuary

Crystal clear shallow waters, sandstone reefs, sea caves, and rockpools make Ricketts Point the perfect place to discover the wonderful sea creatures of Port Phillip Bay.
A mother and daughter talking to a Parks Victoria Ranger at the Cape Schanck Lighthouse

Cape Schanck

Cape Schanck offers stunning landscapes; the mystery of dramatic volcanic features, unspoilt and wild beaches and scenic walking tracks with spectacular ocean views. It is also a site of rich European history with its heritage listed lighthouse precinct.

More nature escapes

Beauchamp Falls, Great Otway National Park.


See spectacular waterfalls flowing in the alpine mountain peaks and lush tall forests best viewed in winter or after heavy rainfall.
Two friends go for a swim in Lake Elusive in Croajingolong National Park.

Freshwater swimming

Take a cool, invigorating dip in fresh waterholes, streams and lakes. Be sure to observe safety signs and take caution when swimming in nature.
A couple stop on the side of the Great Ocean Road to take a picture.

Long drives

Venture out on a regional road trip with some of Australia's most scenic drives taking you to its most spectacular natural attractions.


Whether you’re surrounding yourself with carpets of colourful flowers, spotting rare orchids, or just enjoying the local native flowers, it’s a great way to immerse yourself in nature and help your spirits soar.
Two women follow the path through scrub up Mt Bogong with mountain views in the distance.


Whether you’re after a gentle stroll or something long-distance, there are walking trails to suit all levels of fitness and ability.
A mother and daughter kicks a football in front of dad and two younger children in front of tents at Buchan Caves Reserve.


Victoria’s parks have some great places to camp and there is something to suit all tastes. Choose from fully serviced sites with luxury tents to remote locations with nothing but bush.
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