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Victorian Road Trips: Scenic Drives to Inspire Your Wanderlust

These Victoria road trips are guaranteed to inspire your wanderlust and appreciation for the varied landscapes of this enchanting southern state.

Great Ocean Road

With its vast and varying landscapes, Victoria’s breathtaking vistas are a joy to explore by car. Just a few hours from Melbourne, a world of wineries, great oceans and hot springs await. Whether you’re looking for an adventurous drive to the far-flung corners of Victoria, or an easy day trip that doesn’t stray too far from home, we’ve wrapped up ten of the best Victorian road trips, and all within a day’s drive of Melbourne…

Travel across Victoria and experience the region's stunning landscapes, historic towns and renowned food and wine. The state's compact size means you can travel from high in the mountains to the rugged southern coast and back to the city in just a short space of time. So hit the road on a touring route, make your own way around, or follow an itinerary and see the wonders of Victoria for yourself.

Macedon Ranges

From welcoming villages to natural wonders, a trip through the Macedon Ranges has it all. Whether it's a weekend get-away or a week-long of total relaxation, you can really choose your own adventure when it comes to road-tripping around this picturesque region. 

You could begin your journey through Honour Avenue toward Mount Macedon, where you can stop for a cup of coffee at Mr Macedon or stock up on gourmet picnic supplies from Mount Macedon Trading Post. Pay a visit to the spectacular Forest Glade Gardens, which awaits in full bloom no matter the season. Afterward, a wine tasting followed by a lunch of local salumi, cheese and pan-fried sardines with salsa verde at picturesque Mount Towrong Vineyard is essential. Come afternoon, continue winding your way up the mountain until you reach the turn off to Lions Head Road car park in Macedon Regional Park. Here you can explore the Murmuring Walk sensory audio experience around Sanatorium Lake, or take in the scenic views atop Camel's Hump. 

If you start your drive in Woodend (an hour from Melbourne) and head north east to Kyneton, you’ll be able to drive through the Cobaw State Forest and stop at Hanging Rock – take your own picnic for the full, mystical experience. Back in Woodend, The Victoria Hotel is an elevated pub experience, while the sweet array of cafes, boutique stores and vintage finds along High Street will have you wanting time to slow to a stop. 

In the historic village of Kyneton, make room for the delicious bounty of restaurants on offer, and find time to get a taste of the region’s award-winning gins at Animus Distillery. If the weather is warm, sit outside with a cocktail in their dog-friendly bar area. Situated in the heart of Piper Street, you might even be able to squeeze in some boutiques, vintage shops and galleries, or dinner in one of its many fantastic restaurants or pubs, from Fook Shing to The Piper Street Wine Company to Spaghetti Bar. Come morning, a still warm almond croissant from Grist Bakers will indelibly hit the spot. 

Finally, the Malmsbury Viaduct and neighbouring lake and botanic gardens are worth the extra drive. 

Stay: This is a Victorian road trip well and truly worth extending out to a two to three-day experience. Do so by booking in a sublime stay at this up to 6-person luxury farm stay

Phillip Island Touring Route

Just shy of a two-hour trip from Melbourne, the Phillip Island touring route is a breezy way to take in the whole island and is best achieved as an overnight escape.

Departing from Melbourne, this Victorian road trip travels south-east to the seaside fishing village of San Remo. Arrive before midday to see the daily feeding of the pelicans at the San Remo wharf, before heading over the bridge and onto Phillip Island. Once on Phillip Island, turn left to the south of the island towards Cape Woolamai, a renowned surf destination and great place for a walk through rugged coastal scenery. Make sure to visit the Pinnacles Lookout and take a peek around the Forrest Caves. If you can, also make time to visit Churchill Island, for a tour of the historic farm, homestead and gardens, dating back to 1872.

From Cape Woolamai to Summerlands and then up to Cowes, you’ll see everything from impressive beaches to koalas at close range to the famed Grand Prix race track.

Cowes sits at the north of the island and has a wealth of charming cafes and restaurants; a rewarding place to stop for lunch. From toasties and fantastic flat whites at G'Day Tiger to scrumptious pizzas and shared plates at Pino's Trattoria to beers and burgers at Ocean Reach Brewing, you really can't go wrong. 

From Cowes, jump aboard an eco-cruise amongst one of Australia's largest fur seal colonies on Seal Rocks, or head over to the Nobbies to walk along the boardwalk to the blowhole. Spectacular views along the island's rugged south coast lie in wait. 

Before returning to Melbourne, you must attend the Penguin Parade at dusk, a highlight of any trip to the island. Line the boardwalk and be captivated by the hundreds of penguins returning to their burrows on Summerland Beach after a long day at sea. 

Stay: At Ventnor's Five Acres, surrounded by rolling farmland, or at the authentic and restorative Sault in Cowes. 

Mornington Peninsula

Driving around the Mornington Peninsula offers a beautiful range of landscapes, from vineyards and rolling pastures to coastal cliffs and beaches. Follow the coastal road from Melbourne down the northern side of the peninsula, through Mt Martha, Sorrento, and Portsea.

For an incredible view, head to Arthur’s Seat.

Grab the keys and set out on a self-drive tour to see every bit of the Mornington Peninsula, postage stamp-sized but chock-full of breathtaking coastal scenery, charming villages, wineries and championship golf courses.

Follow a suggested itinerary to ensure you don't waste a moment of your day trip, or take your time on an extended tour of the Around the Bay Touring Route, crossing Port Phillip by ferry to explore the Bellarine Peninsula on the other side. You're only an hour from Melbourne yet you'll feel a world away on the Mornington Peninsula.

Black Spur Drive (Image Credit: Visit Melbourne)

Black Spur Drive

Black Spur Drive’s 30-kilometre stretch runs from the Yarra Valley to the mountain areas around Marysville. Known for its stunning scenery of thick forests, the Black Spur winds its way up the Great Dividing Range.

Great Alpine Road

Running from Wangaratta to Metung, The Great Alpine Road is the ultimate driving experience. With winding roads and steep valleys on either side this is a tricky drive to master, but you’ll be rewarded with wilderness views that are out of this world. If you follow the road from start to finish, you’ll pass through Bright and Omeo.

Great Ocean Road

No list of Victorian drives would be complete without the famed Great Ocean Road Drive. This scenic, coastal drive is officially 243 kilometres long, the start of which is a little over 100 kilometres from Melbourne. Look forward to stunning cliffs and beaches, plenty of luxe spots to stop for a bite, and, of course, the legendary 12 Apostles. 

Turtons Track (Image Credit: VicScreen - Andrew Perry)

Turtons Track

A fantastic loop drive that’ll take you through breathtaking forests and a section of the Great Ocean Road, Turton’s Track is just one part of the loop. Head east from Beech Forest (two and a half hours from Melbourne) along Turtons Track to Apollo Bay – the perfect pitstop for a swim – then back via Binns Road. This trip includes some unsealed roads. 

The Murray

A drive for the more committed road-trippers, the 659-kilometre trip along the Murray River stretches from Albury-Wodonga in the east to Mildura in the west. From the high peaks of the Great Dividing Range to wide desert plains, you can sample wines and produce and discover Aboriginal and pioneer history along the way. We recommend you set aside a few days for this one.

Grand Ridge Road

Sitting at 1.5 hours south east of Melbourne, Grand Ridge is a wonderfully winding, 132-kilometre road along the ridge of Victoria's Strzelecki Ranges, between the Latrobe Valley and South Gippsland. Soak up stretches of rolling farmland, forest and undulating mountaintops, whilst enjoying Tarra Bulga National Park and Mount Tassie along the way.

The Grampians National Park (Image Credit: Visit Melbourne)


Silo Art Trail

Geelong Waterfront (Image Credit: Visit Geelong Bellarine)

Geelong & The Bellarine Peninsula

Corryong (Image Credit: Victoria's High Country)

Marysville to Mansfield

These are our favourite Victorian road trips which are just outside of Melbourne, making them an easy day-trip or weekend getaway. But, keep on driving further afield because there are so many national parks, stunning coastlines and regional centres to discover throughout the state.  For more inspo, check out our pick of the best romantic getaways

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