I’ve not imbedded an ‘overview’ map so I’d recommend using Saved Places on your Google Maps to track them down and see what’s close to you.
Laughing Waters River Swim:
Don’t share this one around too much. On a hot dusty day in Melbourne, those in the know head to the upper reaches of the Yarra river for a truly blissful time splashing about in the cool, clean depths. BYO picnic. Take nothing but memories leave nothing but footprints, and all that. You’ll need a car or a mate who does. Park your car here, and wander up the road to the end of the path, take a right and follow the hill down. Have your Google Maps on satellite mode because your goal is those three fingers of rock jutting into the river. Follow the well worn path and the shrieks of delight from the swimmers just through the gum trees.
Yarra Valley Wine tour:
Lovely wine, stunning scenery. Best to have a car. Check out; Maddens Rise (Viognier is super special), it’s here and Meletos it’s here along with many others. One of Australia’s most stunning, but also most dangerous drives is nearby – The Black Spur best to drive this before any tastings.
Red Hill wineries:
Lush forests and stunning wineries only a short drive from Melbourne. Check out: Foxeys Hangout (first pic), Montalto (second pic), and Polperro. Check out Arthurs Seat viewpoint/look out on the way back to Melbourne for an unbeatable view across the bay.
Bellarine Peninsula Wineries:
A lesser known, but no less beautiful wine region but only a short drive from Melbourne. On a clear day the view is impeccable as is the Rosé from Jack Rabbit Winery. Before driving back to Melbourne check out beautiful Point Lonsdale and take a wander to the lighthouse.
Photo credit: Richard Linke
Great Ocean Road – Lorne & Anglesea Golf Club:
A beautiful drive along the coast from Anglesea to Lorne. Visit the Anglesea golf club to watch the kangaroos in their hundreds lounge on the greens come sunset. Best to have an early dinner here before driving back to Melbourne or onwards to the great beaches and bushland of Lorne (two to three nights would be perfect)
Don’t let the fact that Portsea is Australia’s wealthiest suburb deter you from visiting this absolutely stunning pier. Spend the day lazing on the smooth timber with periodic jumps into azure waters. End the day with a sunset walk through Point Nepean National Park and see where Australia’s Prime Minster went missing, presumed drowned, here.
RJ Hamer Arboretum (Mt. Dandenong) and The ‘1000 Steps’
Stunning tree botanical garden. Rolling hills, sheltered glades, huge views over Eastern Victoria. Take a picnic. Park your car here. Wander down to your hearts content. Such amazing variety. Fantastic autumnal colours. Check out the National Rhododendron Gardens right by the arboretum too.
You could visit here after climbing the lovely ‘1000 Steps‘ which cut through dripping sub-tropical rainforest– take the train to ‘Upper Ferntree Gully.’ Crowds on the weekend are going to be hectic. Check out charming hillside Sassafras for a coffee and scone.
Great Ocean Walk:
Werribee Gorge State Park
A 1.25 hour drive out of Melbourne, puts you here. The 9.6km loop is good for all most abilities (just a challenging section of 50 metres, see the picture below) and takes about 3.5 hours even if you have a break along the way.