Hit The Road, Jack: 5 Mind-blowing Road Trips Near Melbourne

We could all use a few more road trips in our lives, don’t you think? There’s nothing like piling in the car and setting off on an adventure, so call up your mates and let ‘em know which of these awesome spots you’d like to do first.

Wilsons Promontory National Park

Image credit: Parks Vic
Image credit: Parks Vic

2 hours 50 minutes

Not every state has Australia’s southernmost mainland point, so you might as well take advantage of it while you’re here. After all, it’s a stunning place! We’re talking rainforests, clean beaches and granite mountains, and there’s a ton of amazing walking trails to get stuck into. The wildlife alone is worth the journey, as you can catch sight of emus, wombats, echidnas and loads more. And who doesn’t want to see a wombat in the wild?

On your way down, don’t forget to stock up at Koonwarra Fine Food & Wine Store. And while you’re in the area, Wilsons Prom Cafe Bakery is a top venue to recharge your batteries.

Port Fairy

Image credit: Seacombe House
Image credit: Seacombe House

3 hours 20 minutes

A gorgeous fishing village at the end of the Great Ocean Road, Port Fairy is the perfect destination for a scenic drive. It’s quite a hefty trip, but we reckon you’ll forgive us as soon as you start browsing all the boutiques, antique stores, and art and craft shops the town has to offer. And if you head for the tranquil beach, you’ve got a good chance of glimpsing dolphins, seals and whales!

The town’s got a selection of charming eateries, but the delightfully British Clonmara is a definite highlight. If you want to cool off, look no further than Rachel’s Cafe & Ice Cream Shop.

Phillip Island

Image credit: Visit Vic
Image credit: Visit Vic

2 hours

Rocky, rugged and roaring with life, Phillip Island is a spectacular setting for a summer getaway. The sheltered swimming beaches are lovely, and the island is famous as a surfing hotspot. If wildlife is your thing, there are heaps of animals scattered about, including seals, koalas, penguins and even whales off the coast. If you get the chance, you should try and visit Cowes Night Market, too.

Rusty Water Brewery Restaurant is one of the island’s best options for a beer and a bite, and Madcowes Café & Food Store is stuffed with fresh, local produce.

Lorne

Image credit: Explore Australia
Image credit: Explore Australia

2 hours

Surrounded by mountains and boasting its own micro-climate, Lorne is like a whole new country just down the road from Melbourne. This town has it all, from unique shops and restaurants to a host of outdoor activities in the adjacent wilderness. You can hike, kayak, mountain bike, visit the majestic Erskine Falls, surf at Cathedral Rock and the Point, or even go on a Segway tour!

As for those restaurants we mentioned? Well, Kosta’s Taverna is the stuff seafood dreams are made of, whilst Cuda Bar is the most stylish gastropub in town, complete with a plushy outdoor lounge.

Marysville

Image credit: Visit Melbourne
Image credit: Visit Melbourne

1 hour 45 minutes

A shady forest might be just what you need on a baking hot day, and Marysville delivers. This town is located right next to the lush green rainforests of the Great Dividing Range, as well as the jaw-dropping 350m waterfall at Steavenson Falls, and it’s just as beautiful as you’d imagine. There’s plenty of rock climbing opportunities for adventure lovers, and all the golf, fishing, strolling and cycling you can manage.

Marysville doesn’t hold back on the food front either, and Fraga’s Cafe/Restaurant is a real local favourite. If you want to get something sweet for the kids (or yourself – we won’t judge!), make sure to swing by Marysville Lolly Shop.

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