Five reasons to get out of Melbourne

On the road again, just can’t wait to get on the road again …

If you’re anything like me, hitting the road on the weekend is like a tonic to a tired bod. Even just a day out can do wonders.

Google “Day Trips out of Melbourne” and you’ll likely find the Great Ocean Road, Philip Island, the Dandenongs and the Yarra Valley. For good reason, they’re all spectacular.

But there are so many other awesome spots. When we hit the road for a quick day trip this is often where we end up …

Macedon

Distance from CBD: 64kms

Macedon in Autumn (800x600)

I had to put this one on my list. We visit at least every couple of months, if not more.

The fact that we have a guaranteed Dinner, Bed and Breakfast package here helps but, even if the in-laws didn’t live here, it’s still beautiful.

Drive along the magnificent Avenue of Honour and head up to Mount Macedon. It’s an easy walk to the 21 metre high Memorial Cross where the views are (unless the fog sets in) spectacular.

Rug up in Winter, in Summer it’s divine.
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You can stop for lunch at the Top of the Range café, or at the Mount pub down below.  On some weekends many of the grand manicured gardens are open to the public.

Back on lower ground, off Nursery Road, there’s a great swimming spot with a walking trail around it, known as “The Res”.  It’s a bit of a local secret but worth seeking out.

You can drive or walk through the pine forest right to the waters edge. It’s refreshing, spectacularly beautiful and the best spot to swim or laze about in Summer.

Daylesford

Distance from CBD: 113ms

Lake Daylesford pier (800x600)

Daylesford is spa country. It’s decadent, fun, colorful and our favourite weekend getaway each year on our wedding anniversary.

However, Daylesford is more than just a romantic getaway. Visit the Lake House, check out the Mill market, walk around the Hepburn Mineral Springs Reserve or visit the cute Book Barn by the lake.

Lake Daylesford (800x600)

Head down to Lake Daylesford and meander around “The Peace Mile”on foot, take a paddle boat out on the water or enjoy a coffee at the Boat House. 

Don’t miss the Wombat Hill Botanical Gardens (and climb the viewing tower) for great views. Connect with your higher self with a tarot reading in this relaxing getaway.

Warburton

Distance from CBD: 77kms

Just out of Warburton (800x600)

The drive to Warburton is an invitation to slow down. It’s so peaceful in the Warburton Valley and on route you’ll be tempted to stop for … fresh fruits, olives, jams, berries … it’s not just scenic but delicious out here.

When the kids were younger we would often throw the bikes in and cycle part of the 40km  Lilydale – Warburton Rail Trail.  Then we’d enjoy a BBQ or picnic by the river.

These days we do it a bit easier. One of our favorite places to eat is the Riverview Café, followed by a stroll amongst the ducks.

Redwood Forest (800x533)The Rainforest Gallery, just out of town is nature’s artistry  at its best and completely free. Walk on the raised boardwalk high above the treetops canopy then descend to the floor of this ancient rainforest.

Not far away, off Cement Creek road, towering giants in the Californian Redwood forest make you feel like you’ve stepped into Jack and the Beanstalk. It’s  a magical place to lose yourself in.

Healesville and beyond

Distance from CBD: 63 kms

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I love Healesville, the Toolangi State Forest and everything in between.

There’s something special about the bustling yet relaxed town of Healesville. There’s an easy vibe and a holiday feel, even on weekdays, as you walk down the picturesque Main Street. Drop into the Beechworth Bakery for a cake, pie or coffee.

A flashback in time to Healesville Sanctuary (800x599)Healesville Sanctuary is a day trip in itself, here amongst the animals was a favourite place when our kids were little. So were the open trolley rides each Sunday which still run on the Yarra Valley Scenic Railway.

Enjoy a picnic at Badger Creek or drive a bit further and visit the magnificent expanse of parklands around Maroondah  Reservoir.

Healesville is a gateway to some brilliant destinations for both day trippers and campers alike. Murrundindi, Marysville and beyond and the scenery through the winding Black Spur will take your breath away… half the joy is in the driving itself.

“Sometimes the most scenic roads in life are the detours you didn’t mean to take.”  – Angela N. Blount, Once Upon an Ever After 

St Andrews and Kinglake

Distance from CBD: 44kms

St Andrews Market (800x599)

This one’s a half day tripper but you can turn it into a full day if you head beyond the market on the winding road to Kinglake National Park. There’s plenty of picnic tables nestled amongst the forest and the walk to Masons Falls is easy and picturesque.

St Andrews Market is a treat for all the senses. This popular bush market (literally on my doorstep) is on every Saturday, come rain or shine. It’s eccentric, colorful, hippy, happy, vibrant and full of amazing produce and people.

You’ll be tempted by the sizzling aromas of Asian food as you stroll through the stalls. Buskers playing violins, tarot readers, masseurs and artists create a relaxed vibe in this oasis of gum trees.

Across the road is the St Andrews Pub, known for its funky live music. There’s also a gourmet pizza place next door called A Boy Named Sue.

Panton Hill Winery (800x600)

Close by you’ll find some great little wineries that rival many of the bigger ones in the Yarra Valley.

For a taste of Tuscany without the airfare you can visit the Panton Hill Winery, one of my favourite boutique cellar doors in the area.

So many places to explore, so much to enjoy, it’s making me want to hit the road again!

Where ever you are and where ever you’re going, enjoy the journey and make sure you stop and smell the roses along the way, sample the produce and take that photo.

Life is all about the little moments. 

“Nothing behind me, everything ahead of me, as is ever so on the road.” – Jack Kerouac, On the Road

Have a great weekend everyone


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85 thoughts on “Five reasons to get out of Melbourne

  1. Thanks for taking me back to childhood summers in Daylesford. The hot trek from the camp ground down to the springs by the lake to fill our rust coloured Marchants (because they had screw stoppers) bottles with spa water for the day’s enjoyment. And the rustier looking the bottles meant that you’d been there a long time and probably had rusty guts!
    We still manage to go up there at least once a year for a pleasant drive, a good walk and a great coffee.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. You’re so right Cath, and these places were just the tip of the iceberg. So many places, just as I’m sure there are many places in the west. Have a great weekend. 🙂

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        1. Yeah, a bit of rain is good, though we’ve had our fair share. We’ve reverted to winter again this weekend after a burst of summer temps last week. Typical Melbourne weather!

          Liked by 1 person

  2. Wow what a fantastic post Miri!! You make me want to visit each place and that’s quite a feat as I am such a homebody. Your write-ups are so fun in their descriptions of each stop. I love the secret lake, I’d definitely stop to have a tarot reading, your special place looks beautiful and the hippy vibe with more tarot readings is right up my alley. Oh and the owner of the pizza place is apparently a Johnny Cash fan. This should be published, you should send a copy of this to each of the places you wrote about and if they have an informational paper or welcoming stations this should be at it for the tourists to follow. Extremely enticing and so polished!! Well done my friend, well done indeed!! Big adventure hugs xo

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Okay Deb, you now have an official new title as my Agent (both inspirational and literary). 😊 Seriously, what a feel good comment, my friend, thank you so much! I really appreciate you. What a shame you’re not closer so I could take you to these places. The market at St Andrews is literally ten minutes from my place and tomorrow we’ve been asked for lunch up at Macedon so I could take you to the Res too. Oh well, I’ll ale you in spirit instead, how’s that? Big adventure hugs back xo

      Liked by 1 person

      1. You are most welcome and I accept both, the title and the ale in spirit!! Your post really is super, tourism places would love this, seriously!! I know I wish we were closer too, oh what fun we would have!! Print out the article and bring it with you tomorrow and see if they would like you to post it on their Facebook page as a review…maybe that might lead to something. Oh that would be a perfect job for you, the Travelling Reviewer…or we could work on the job title. Big Travelling Reviewer hugs xo

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Haha, love it, the Travelling Reviewer. Oh yes, I can picture it too. Of course I’d have to try out all the cute little cafes, restaurants and bars, doesn’t sound bad hey? Anyway, you have a super weekend Deb. Talk soon. Big hugs xo

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        2. Oh, I’ve read your email Deb, talk about getting goosebumps. Love it and I’ll email you back when I have more time. We’re off to Macedon today and I want to reply when I can do it justice. Love the background to it as well. Amazing! Hugs back and talk soon✨✨💫 xo

          Liked by 1 person

        3. I knew you were going out today!! Have a marvelous day and no worries, respond whenever you are relaxed and feeling it!! It was soooo amazing…wish you were there!
          Big Hugs and talk soon xo 🙂 Love the stars & meteors…hehe

          Liked by 1 person

  3. What a lovely post Miriam, so well written! All the places are beautiful, my personal favourite is the Rainforest Gallery, those tall trees mesmerized me! I totally agree, a day trip is definitely therapeutic and the best rescue from the mundane.

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  4. Some great tips here Miriam, as you mentioned when we were in Melbourne we visited Phillip Island, Dandenongs, GOR etc. All the classic tourist spots I guess but next time we’ll make sure we get to a few of these fabulous looking places.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Fabulous Miriam! I love Daylseford too – and Healesville! A friend has been wanting me to go to St Andrews market with her for some time now – this has inspired me to get my ass in gear and make it happen! Warbuton has also been on my bucket list… Thank you beautiful lady 🙂 xx

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      1. Oooo I’d love to drop in for a cuppa on the way to Warburton one day 💗🌸 what a wonderful trip that would be! Do you live by that way Miriam? Now to talk my fella into a camping trip 😉 ⛺️ 😁 xx

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