As the new year approaches, it’s time to plan for a new year getaway to welcome 2024. Get on a campervan and embark on an epic Melbourne road trip to start the year with a bang. Whether you're a local looking to explore the wonders of your own backyard or a visitor ready to discover the beauty of Victoria, this journey promises an unforgettable adventure. With its vibrant street art, eclectic cafes, and thriving cultural scene, Melbourne is the perfect starting point for your road trip. As you leave the city behind, get ready to be captivated by stunning coastal landscapes, charming seaside towns, and breathtaking beaches.
Throughout the road trip, you'll have the freedom to create your own itinerary, stopping at iconic landmarks like the Great Ocean Road and the Twelve Apostles. Indulge in gourmet food and wine in the renowned Mornington Peninsula, go wildlife spotting in Phillip Island, and relax on the pristine shores of the Bellarine Peninsula. Whether you prefer exhilarating outdoor activities or peaceful seaside escapes, this road trip offers something for everyone.
Get ready to hit the open road and experience the best of Melbourne and its stunning coastal surroundings. It's time to embrace adventure and create memories that will last a lifetime.
Must-visit attractions in Melbourne
Before hitting the road, take some time to explore the vibrant city of Melbourne. Known for its thriving arts and culture scene, there are plenty of attractions to visit and experiences to be had. Start by exploring the lane ways and arcades, where you'll find an abundance of street art, boutique shops, and hidden cafes. Don't miss the famous Hosier Lane, a colourful alleyway filled with ever-changing street art masterpieces.
For a taste of Melbourne's coffee culture, head to one of the many speciality cafes dotted around the city. From trendy espresso bars to cozy laneway cafes, Melbourne is renowned for its excellent coffee. Pair your cup of joe with a delicious brunch, and you'll be fuelled up for the day ahead.
If you're a sports fan, make sure to visit the Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG), one of the world's most iconic sporting venues. Take a guided tour to learn about the rich sporting history and catch a game if there's one on. For a different kind of sporting experience, head to the National Sports Museum, located within the MCG, where you can explore interactive exhibits and memorabilia from Australia's sporting legends.
Exploring the Great Ocean Road
As you leave Melbourne behind and hit the open road, you'll soon find yourself on the Great Ocean Road, one of Australia's most scenic drives. The road hugs the coastline, offering breathtaking views of the ocean on one side and lush rainforest on the other. Make sure to stop at the iconic Twelve Apostles, a collection of limestone stacks rising majestically from the Southern Ocean. This natural wonder is best enjoyed at sunrise or sunset when the golden light bathes the rocks in a warm glow.
Another must-visit attraction along the Great Ocean Road is the Loch Ard Gorge, a stunning natural formation named after a shipwreck that occurred in the area in 1878. Explore the sandy beaches, towering cliffs, and hidden caves, and imagine the dramatic story of survival and tragedy that unfolded here.
For a unique perspective of the Great Ocean Road, consider taking a helicopter ride. From the air, you'll be able to see the full extent of the coastline, including its hidden beaches and secluded coves. It's an experience that will take your breath away.
Discovering the Yarra Valley wine region
If you're a wine lover, a visit to the Yarra Valley wine region is a must. Just a short drive from Melbourne, this picturesque area is known for its cool climate wines, particularly Chardonnay and Pinot Noir. Spend a day exploring the vineyards, tasting the region's finest wines, and enjoying gourmet food pairings.
Start your wine tour at one of the many cellar doors, where you can sample a range of wines and learn about the winemaking process. Many wineries also offer behind-the-scenes tours and experiences, giving you a deeper insight into the art of winemaking. Don't forget to stock up on your favourite bottles to enjoy later in your journey.
Apart from wine tasting, the Yarra Valley also offers other attractions and activities. Explore the Healesville Sanctuary, where you can get up close and personal with native Australian wildlife, including kangaroos, koalas, and wombats. Take a hot air balloon ride for a bird's-eye view of the vineyards and surrounding countryside. And indulge in a leisurely lunch at one of the many award-winning restaurants, where you can savour local produce and seasonal flavours.
Venturing into the Grampians National Park
For nature lovers and adventure seekers, a visit to the Grampians National Park is a must on your Melbourne road trip. Located about three hours west of Melbourne, this rugged and mountainous region offers a range of outdoor activities and stunning natural landscapes.
Explore the numerous hiking trails that crisscross the park, leading you to breathtaking viewpoints, cascading waterfalls, and ancient rock formations. The Pinnacle is one of the most popular hikes in the area, offering panoramic views of the surrounding mountains and valleys. Keep an eye out for native wildlife, including kangaroos, emus, and colourful bird species.
If you're up for a challenge, try rock climbing or abseiling on the park's sandstone cliffs. The Grampians is a mecca for climbers, with routes suited for all skill levels. For a more relaxing experience, take a scenic drive through the park, stopping at lookout points and picnic areas along the way.
Uncovering the beauty of the Mornington Peninsula
As you continue your Melbourne road trip, make sure to include a visit to the Mornington Peninsula. Just an hour's drive from Melbourne, this stunning region is known for its pristine beaches, natural hot springs, and gourmet food and wine.
Start your day by exploring the colorful bathing boxes in the seaside town of Brighton. These iconic wooden huts have become a symbol of Melbourne's beach culture and are a popular spot for photography. From there, head to the Mornington Peninsula Hot Springs for a relaxing soak in the natural mineral-rich waters. With a range of pools, saunas, and spa treatments, it's the perfect place to unwind and rejuvenate.
For wine enthusiasts, the Mornington Peninsula is home to some of Victoria's finest wineries. Take a tour of the vineyards, sample the region's renowned Pinot Noir and Chardonnay, and enjoy a leisurely lunch overlooking the vine-covered hills. Don't forget to visit the Red Hill Market, held on the first Saturday of every month, where you can browse local produce, handmade crafts, and gourmet treats.
Hidden gems along the way
While the main attractions along your Melbourne road trip are undoubtedly spectacular, there are also plenty of hidden gems waiting to be discovered. Take the time to explore the smaller towns and coastal villages, where you'll find unique shops, local cafes, and charming bed and breakfast accommodations.
In the coastal town of Lorne, make sure to visit the Teddy's Lookout, a scenic viewpoint that offers panoramic views of the Great Ocean Road and the surrounding beaches. Enjoy a picnic in the picturesque town of Port Fairy, known for its charming historic buildings and peaceful coastal atmosphere. And don't miss the spectacular sunset at the Cape Otway Lighthouse, where you can also learn about the area's maritime history.
If you love outdoor adventures, seek out the hidden rock pools at Bush Ranger Bays. Park your campervan at the Cape Shank Lighthouse Car Park and follow the trail for 2.5hrs. You will find yourself on pristine beaches and these magnificent rock pools can be found at the rocky headlands in the east.
Tips for a successful Melbourne road trip with a campervan
To make the most of your Melbourne road trip, here are some tips to keep in mind:
1. Plan your itinerary in advance, but allow for flexibility.
2. Check the weather forecast and pack accordingly.
3. Make sure your vehicle is in good condition and have emergency supplies on hand.
4. Take regular breaks and stay hydrated during long drives.
5. Research local attractions, restaurants, and accommodations ahead of time.
6. Embrace spontaneity and be open to new experiences along the way.
7. Respect the environment and follow any rules or guidelines in national parks and protected areas.
8. Capture memories through photos and journaling to remember your journey.
9. If you are hiring a campervan, book early to enjoy savings like early bird discounts.
10. Don’t forget your insect repellent and sun protection gear.
Conclusion and final thoughts
Embarking on a Melbourne road trip is a journey filled with adventure, natural beauty, and unforgettable experiences. From the vibrant streets of Melbourne to the breathtaking coastal landscapes, this road trip offers something for everyone. Whether you're exploring the Great Ocean Road, indulging in the Yarra Valley's finest wines, or venturing into the Grampians National Park, each destination along the way has its own unique charm.
An important factor not to overlook is the campervan you will be driving. After all, this will be your home on wheels for the next couple of days. Whether you need a budget friendly camper, or a large motorhome for your family, Aussie Campervans offers a wide selection of rental RVs that will suit your trip.
Last but not least, remember to embrace the freedom and flexibility that a road trip offers. Take the time to immerse yourself in the local culture, try new foods, and connect with the natural surroundings. And most importantly, create memories that will last a lifetime. So, pack your bags, buckle up, and get ready for an epic Melbourne road trip that will leave you in awe of Victoria's beauty.