5 of the Best Road Trips to Take from Melbourne
When it comes to natural wonders and wide-open spaces, there’s plenty worth seeking out in Australia. With over 500 national parks, the problem isn’t finding them – it’s choosing just one or two to visit. Here’s where we think you should head once you’ve picked up your rental car at the nearest Enterprise Rent-A-Car branch.
Visiting Melbourne and want to get out of the city for a day or two? Venture beyond the city limits and you’ll find gorgeous beaches, scenic drives and even an excuse to spoil yourself with a spa day within just a few hours drive of the Victorian capital. Whether you’re flying in or departing from the CBD, our four branches in Melbourne are conveniently located so that you can pick up a rental car and hit the road.
The Great Ocean Road
It’s practically a given that if you’re heading to Melbourne and you’ve got a day to spare, you have to jump in a rental car and take a road trip along The Great Ocean Road. There’s plenty more to see along this iconic route than just the Twelve Apostles - make stops for infamous surfer spot Bell’s Beach, marvel at the rockpools of The Grotto and get your feet wet via the Gibson Steps. The whole round trip involves around 7 hours of driving so you might want to make a weekend of it, leaving you even more time to stop and take in the sights (and take those winding curves on the road nice and slow).
A well-kept secret by Melbourne locals, Wilson’s Promontory is where to escape to for a summer road trip adventure when the tightly packed strip along Brighton Beach just doesn’t appeal. A three and a half hour drive from Melbourne airport (where you’ll find our car rental branch right inside the terminal), the national park is known for its rugged hills, plentiful wildlife and white sand so fine it ‘squeaks’. Pitch a tent at the Tidal River Campsite and spend your days exploring the many walking tracks both on and off the beaches, with other activities like canoeing, diving and sand dune surfing for those with an adventurous appetite.
The Yarra Valley
From sunrise hot air balloon rides to wine soaked afternoons in one of the regions many wineries, the Yarra Valley is a veritable playground of grown up fun, and at just a two hour drive from Melbourne, it’s close enough to squeeze into a day trip. Make sure you take a slow trip along Black Spur Drive while you’re there - the winding, atmospheric scenic road is a photographer’s dream. We also highly recommend a pitstop at Four Pillars Gin for some locally made spirits in creative flavours - even if getting behind the wheel means being unable to sample as much as you’d like, you’ll definitely want to take home a bottle or two.
Keen motorsport enthusiasts might only associate Phillip Island with the Grand Prix, but this iconic Melbourne road trip destination is also home to a some of Victoria’s cutest residents - penguins. Every night at sunset, Summerland Beach is the location of a unique parade, with dozens of Little Penguins coming home to their burrows in the sand after a busy day of fishing. Viewing platforms have been set up above the beach for prime penguin watching opportunities, with all ticket proceeds going to help protect the native creatures. There’s plenty to keep you busy on the island until sunset too, from coastal walks and spa retreats to wineries and food tours.
Daylesford & Ballarat
A trip out to these historical towns is a trip back in time, and with both just an hour and a half driving time from Melbourne, you can fit both into a weekend long road trip. Hit up Ballarat to experience immersive gold rush history at Sovereign Hill before checking out the museums, galleries and shopping in town, squeezing in a high tea at Craig’s Royal Hotel if you can. Next stop, one of Daylesford’s many day spas for a day of relaxation in the mineral spring waters the town is famous for. On Sundays, the Daylesford Railway Station is also home to a bustling flea market - if you can drag yourself away from the spa.