Whether you live in Melbourne or you’re just passing through with plenty of time to spare, there are loads of fantastic Victorian road trips that begin and end in the trendy capital.
If your ideal holiday involves a full tank of petrol, a great sing-along playlist, an esky full of snacks and a desire to uncover the hidden wonders of every new place, these Victorian road trips deserve a spot on your bucket list.
The iconic Great Ocean Drive
First off, one of the most renowned Victorian road trips is the Great Ocean Drive. This classic oceanside route is one of the most beautiful ways to experience the southwest coast. From Melbourne, start your journey towards the surf capital, Torquay. Then, wind beside the coast all the way to Allansford. The entire trip is 664 kilometres and takes about nine and a half hours, rounding out to be a great 3 day road trip.
You are your own tour guide with the effortless ability to customise this drive however you’d like. With so many beaches and cliff lookouts along the way, you can stop whenever you wish to soak up the view. Bells Beach is a fun interlude — the powerful crashing waves are hard to look away from.
Besides the stunning views of the water, there are also some lovely coastal towns to explore when you want to take a break from driving. With seemingly endless scenic views that continue to get better after each and every curve and corner, the Great Ocean Drive should be high on your list.
Visit the Twelve Apostles on a Victorian road trip
Don’t miss out on the Twelve Apostles, located off the coast of Port Campbell National Park — they’re about four hours into Great Ocean Drive from Melbourne. The Twelve Apostles are stacks that were once part of the mainland. Strong weather from the Southern Ocean developed caves and then arches from the cliffs which eventually collapsed. Now, eight 45 metre pillars remain.
The Twelve Apostles can be enjoyed in a few different ways. You can look down on them from above on a helicopter flight taking off from the heliport behind the visitor centre. Or, check out the informative displays on the boardwalk — go at dawn or dusk for the chance to see penguins! Loch Ard Gorge offers self guided walks that delve into shipwrecks, geology and ecology.
A visit to the Twelve Apostles is an undoubtedly dazzling Victorian road trip.
Grampians National Park – one of the most picturesque Victorian road trips
Another great Victorian road trip destination is Grampians National Park. Take the three hour drive from Melbourne and start your day at Halls Gap, the small village within the heart of the Grampians. From there, embark on the easily accessible five-minute walk to the Boroka Lookout. It offers a panoramic view of Halls Gap and bushland east of the Grampians.
Next, hop back in the car for a 15-minute drive to Mackenzie Falls, one of the largest waterfalls in Victoria. Immerse yourself in the sound of the cascading water, the earthy scent of nature and the sense of serenity that the national park provides. There’s a one kilometre trail to view the falls from the Bluff, or you can hike the steep, 30-minute trail at the bottom of the waterfall. The spray from the plunging water casts a marvelous rainbow of colours that will leave you in awe.
Then, head down to Mirranatwa Gap (less than an hour drive) to take in the southern Grampians views. Complete your Grampians road trip by riding along Mount Rouse Tourist Road, where you’ll see the Mount Rouse volcano and its rugged surroundings. From here, take the B140 back to Melbourne.
Explore the Mornington Peninsula
Just an hour south of Melbourne on the M1, head to the Mornington Peninsula for a Victorian road trip with the kids. The beaches, wineries and bayside villages will keep you busy for as long as you’d like.
If you’re an animal lover, stop at Moonlit Sanctuary to meet, feed, walk and learn about Australian wildlife. Spend a few hours alongside kangaroos, dingoes, wombats and koalas.
The kids will love the Enchanted Adventure Garden, with 22 acres of mazes, tube slides, puzzles and a canopy walk. It’s a colourful collection of fun for the whole family!
Get an arm workout in while exploring the coast on a Sea Kayaking tour. The tour guides teach kayakers about marine life and the nearby Point Nepean National Park. The real thrill of the tour is visiting the Dolphin Sanctuary, where dolphins may surface to greet you.
Before you pack up and head back to Melbourne, you can relax and embrace tranquility at Peninsula Hot Springs. Take your time at the spa and hot springs, where natural geothermal mineral waters stream into the pools for a refreshing cleanse.
1,000 Steps, a lesser known destination for Victorian road trips
About 40 minutes from Melbourne lies the steep 1,000 Step Climb of the Kokoda Memorial. You can stop here on the way to the Mornington Peninsula, but we recommend dedicating a day to this lush rainforest hike. Visit midweek or early in the morning for the best chance of avoiding crowds.
On the trail you will get a glimpse of the exhaustion felt by Australian soldiers in WW2. The Kokada veterans endorsed it as their memorial site in 1998. It is similar to the Kokoda Track in Papua New Guinea.
You can educate yourself with the history filled plaques along the walk. Lookout at Melbourne from the breathtaking clearing and enjoy the luscious rainforest during your road trip to the 1,000 Steps.
We hope this guide to scenic Victorian road trips from Melbourne pushed you to plan your next adventure!
For more Victorian inspiration, check out these stories:
Explore Victoria from the country to the coastline
The must-see marvels of the Murray River