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 …
Distance from CBD: 64kms
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.
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.
Distance from CBD: 113ms
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.
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.
Distance from CBD: 77kms
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.
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
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.
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,
St Andrews and Kinglake
Distance from CBD: 44kms
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.
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,
Have a great weekend everyone
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