Best Romantic Day Trips From Melbourne
Whether you live in Melbourne and are looking for a romantic getaway or are flying into the city for a trip but want to venture further, you’ve come to the right place. We have put together a list of the best day trips from Melbourne.
The best part is, that most of these options are 1 hour day trips from Melbourne – or can be extended to be an entire weekend retreat. The choice is up to you!
Whether you’re after beach escapes, wineries, hikes or hot springs soaks, you can hit the road in the morning and be back by evening with a bunch of new memories to bank. Reconnect on the road as you cruise out of the busy city towards charming towns with must-try cafes and wide open spaces with spectacular views.
Pick a few favourites from this list or make it your mission to do them all – that’s the beauty of a day trip from Melbourne; all you have to do is get behind the wheel and go.
SIXT’s Favourite 1 Hour Day Trips From Melbourne
- Peninsula hot springs – Relax and unwind in the natural geothermal mineral pools
- Gin tasting in Healesville – Sample the finest Four Pillars’ distillery has to offer and come home with your favourite bottle
- Post-hike ciders – Climb Mount Macedon in the morning and sip on trophy-worthy ciders in the afternoon
- The Penguin Parade – Head to Phillip Island in the summer to witness a magical showcase of wildlife
But don’t worry, we have plenty more options below.
Starting Your Day Trip From Melbourne
Outside of the city itself, public transport leaves a lot to be desired. For these romantic day trips from Melbourne, it’s best if you have your own car. This gives you the freedom to lay in, leave when you want, linger a little longer or be spontaneous – and what could be more romantic than that!!
Pickup your hire car in Melbourne CBD at your choice of location. Alternatively, if it’s more accessible, you can always pick up a rental car from Melbourne Airport (Tullamarine). If you’re further west, Avalon airport car hire might be your best option.
If you come across any tolls, the team at SIXT will automatically set payments up for you, so you don’t have to worry about a thing.
Now that the logistics are out of the way, we can delve into the best day trips from Melbourne and what each has to offer.
Distance from Melbourne: 1 hour 4 minutes.
Located southeast of the city, there are many reasons the Mornington Peninsula is considered one of the best day trips from Melbourne, not least because it is just an hour away by car.
This area gets forgotten, but is actually the perfect mixture of the natural beauty of the countryside, wine country and seaside charm and views. What could be better for a romantic getaway for the weekend, night or just a day trip.
The choice is yours on how you wish to entertain yourself as there really is something for everyone. Though, we do suggest beating the traffic and starting your journey as early as possible, stopping at Merchant & Maker in Macrae for coffee and a little (or big) brekkie.
Spend a sunny morning enjoying the coastal tracks and talking. If you’re really pulling out all the stops, pack a small picnic or snack to pitch up somewhere quiet. Then, in the afternoon, you absolutely must visit the Peninsula Hot Springs. Here you can both indulge yourselves with a dip in the warm, natural water, surrounded by stunning landscapes. Again, if you’re really trying to impress, book yourselves in for a couples spa treatment and leisure the afternoon away.
In the evening, head out for a delicious meal with fresh, locally sourced ingredients. To enjoy the wine of the region, you might want to stop over for the evening and make your way back the following morning. That way you get another breakfast out there, too!!
Distance from Melbourne: Under 1 hour
Looking to escape the city and dive into some nature? The Dandenong Ranges have got you covered. In less than an hour, you won’t be able to see or think about the city that you’ve left behind.
Head out in the morning with a daypack and an empty Esky on the backseat. Spend the morning on your choice of hike, through the dense, immersive and utterly breathtaking rainforest of Sherbrooke Forest…
The Living Bush Nature Walk is suitable for all fitness levels and will take you through some of the region’s best native flora and fauna in under 90 minutes return. Or, if you’re up for the challenge of a steep trail, walk the famous 1,000 Steps and catch your breath at the top while inhaling the subtropical atmosphere.
For those who prefer to see but not sweat, jump aboard Puffing Billy – a century-old heritage railway that passes through the mountains allowing you to sit back and take in the lush fern gullies.
Grab an elevated pub feed at Paradise Valley Hotel, but save room for desert. Take a wander around the small, charming towns, ducking into any artisan shop or bakery that takes your fancy. You’ll fill that Esky in no time for treats to come home with.
Depending on the day you plan on visiting, it’s always worth checking to see if there are any markets on, too. After a relaxing, romantic afternoon, head 20 minutes north for dinner at Sky High Mount. Here you will get views over Melbourne Skyline – as well as delicious food and drinks.
All this and it’s the perfect 1 hour day trip from Melbourne.
Yarra Valley & Healesville
Distance from Melbourne: 1 hour 30 minutes
Whether you are with your significant other or a group of friends, the Yarra Valley is a beautiful, fun Melbourne day trip that’s easy to reach.
Get on the road early and reward yourself with incredible, local coffee and fresh made baked goods from Healesville Habitual. If you’re not hungry that early in the morning, definitely grab a cake or treat to go and get back on the road towards Marysville. It’s a stunning drive that rivals any other in Australia for its variety. You’ll see the lush forest, magnificent mountains and vineyards as far as the eye can see. It’s a winding road, but definitely an enjoyable one.
For the rest of the day, book yourself onto a winery tour. There are so many options we can’t list them all here, but our favourite are those that pair the wines with locally made cheese and chocolate. For a heartier meal, head to Il Vigneto Pizzeria, which is located perfectly at the side of the lake.
From here, the afternoon is yours to do with as you will. If you’re staying overnight, a spot with a hot tub is highly recommended. There are loads of rentals available that boast stunning (and private) views over the valley. If you’re keen to burn off your treats, why not hire bikes and cycle around some of the vineyards. Head back out for an evening meal, with 4 courses and wine pairings at Oakridge Wines.
It’s so easy to head to the Yarra Valley for more than just a Melbourne day trip. The relaxing vibes (and wine) makes it perfect for a weekend getaway.
Distance from Melbourne: 2 hours
Looking for something fun for your couples road trip from Melbourne? Phillip Island is an easy place to find romantic, with plenty to do as well.
The favourite being the famous Penguin Parade. The tiniest penguins in the world call this island home and can be seen around sunset every day, going out to find their dinner.
During the day, why not take a lovely cruise out on the water to spot other marine life. This area is known for seals, dolphins, rays and so much more. In the winter or spring, you should rug up warm, cuddle close and go out looking for whales!
In the afternoon, whilst you wait for the penguins to wake up, you should experience the best of the rugged landscapes and take a walk along the Nobbies, a collection of rock formations that create the edge Phillip Island.
Although this day trip from Melbourne will take a little longer to get to, you can always stay over a night or two to make the journey worth it. However, just a day trip here will certainly feel like several, as you experience so many different landscapes, sights and animals in a single day.
Daylesford & The Macedon Ranges
Distance from Melbourne: 1 hour 30 minutes
Daylesford will take just over an hour to get to from Melbourne, but is well worth that little extra on the road. Plus, it’s really an enjoyable ride, so we still recommend it as a romantic day trip.
From stunning spring gardens filled with blooming wisteria and magnolias to streets lined with trees ablaze with the colours of autumn, Mount Macedon is a delight at any time of year. Some winters, there is even snow!
We suggest starting your journey here, taking advantage of the connecting walking trails through the Macedon Regional Park. You’ll see and hear an array of native birds and perhaps even spot a kangaroo or wombat as you wander through the bushland. For a walk that ends with a view, try the 30-40 minute climb up the Camels Hump, the highest peak in the Macedon Ranges at 1011m.
After an accomplished morning, cool off with the windows down towards Daylesford, where you’ll be greeted with charming streets filled with unique architecture, eclectic art galleries, boutiques and farmer’s markets. Grab some favourites from the stalls for a makeshift picnic at the Wombat Hill Botanic Gardens, or head to the 165-year-old local that is The Farmers Arms Hotel. From oysters to baked camembert and house-smoked brisket, the menu is far from average pub grub, and the atmosphere is just as snug and warm as your belly will be after a seating.
Cap off your day with a final visit to the Daylesford Cider Co and sample a few different styles (including an alcohol-free option) before building your own box of favourites to bring home.
Distance from Melbourne: 1 hour 22 minutes
Bellarine Peninsula is the lesser known and the less trodden 1 hour day trip from Melbourne. This gem is hidden to the South West of Melbourne, just past Geelong. Head straight to Fork N Flower, and wander around with a coffee in hand.
After browsing, a bouquet or two, get back on the road and continue the full 1 hour distance to Bellarine for the day. You hardly need a plan here, just head to any point on the coast and enjoy a stunning walk with views of the Port.
Spend your day wandering the quaint seaside towns of Portarlington, Queenscliff or Ocean Grove. Make reservations for a late lunch at the stunning Merne at Lighthouse for cosy, garden vibes and elevated, sensational food, before heading back to the city.
This is an ideal, short day trip from Melbourne that you can make as cheap or luxurious as you like!