Melbourne is Australia’s second largest city and often the spot in Australia that surprises and impresses people the most. With a few days in Melbourne you’ll have plenty of time to see the city’s main sights and spend time trying out all of its beaches.
After that you may feel the urge to rush off to another part of Australia. But there’s value in sticking around as there are countless great things to see in Victoria outside of Melbourne and often the easiest way to see them is on a day trip from Melbourne. The best day trips from Melbourne show you all the great things Australia has to offer, from wildlife and nature to pristine coastline. You’ll be amazed at how easy it is to see some of the best places to visit in Victoria all from the comfort of your homebase in Melbourne.
Great Ocean Road. There’s really no better place to start than with one of the most classic Melbourne day trips, the Great Ocean Road. This stretch of coastline south-west of Melbourne is the ideal place to spend your day thanks to its rugged and gorgeous seaside scenery. The big attraction along the route is the Twelve Apostles, an area of rocky cliffs and offshore rocky stacks that have been worn away by erosion. Part of the appeal of this region is the road itself, the Great Ocean Road offers view after view as you pass between beaches and small seaside towns. You’ll want to stop in at some of these towns, like Apollo Bay and Anglesea. There’s also the peaceful rainforest of Great Otway National Park, home to walking trails, waterfalls, and the chance to spot koalas.
Healesville Sanctuary. If you’re interested in seeing a lot of Australian wildlife, you can’t miss Healesville Sanctuary. Located to the northeast of the city, this wildlife sanctuary specializes in the preservation and breeding of endangered native animals. The sanctuary is divided up into tracks and enclosures with each focusing on a different species or animal habitat. All the popular Australian animals can be seen here, including kangaroos, wombats, emus, dingoes, plus a great array of birdlife, reptiles, and amphibians. The sanctuary is also one of the rare places where you can see platypus. Many though visit Healesville to interact with the animals, which can be done through the Close-up Encounter program with koalas (no touching), and Kangaroo Close-up program where you can feed them.
Phillip Island. Another fantastic part of Victoria that’s great for seeing all sorts of wildlife is Phillip Island which is south of the city. Plenty of locals will tell you it’s among the best places to visit from Melbourne. The relatively small island is best known for its colony of adorable fairy penguins that emerge each evening during the ever-popular Penguin Parade. Before all that happens, first head to Phillip Island Wildlife Park to see indigenous animals including kangaroos, wallabies, and wombats. You can also feed the kangaroos while you’re there. Nearby is the Koala Reserve where you can see the sleepy critters in their natural habitat. You can also take a boat cruise out to Seal Rocks just off the coast, where you’ll see a huge number of fur seals lounging about.