Melbourne is one of the most popular places to live and visit in Australia, and it’s not hard to see why. With its vibrant nightlife, world-renowned universities, and vast array of attractions, Melbourne has something for everyone. But if you want to get out there and explore the city on your own terms, you need a car. And fortunately, Melbourne is a great place to visit without having to rely on public transportation. In this article, we’ve compiled a list of places to visit near Melbourne by car that will have you itching to get out and explore.
The Dandenong Ranges
The Dandenong Ranges are a series of hills that run northeast-southwest through the city of Melbourne, Victoria, Australia. The ranges form part of the Greater Melbourne Area and have a range of elevations between 220 and 380 meters above sea level. The slopes and ridges are covered with forests and parks, including Mount Macedon Park, which is the largest park in Melbourne. There are also many vineyards within the range.
Mount Macedon is a dormant volcano located in the Mount Lofty Ranges Regional Park, about 56 kilometres north-east of Melbourne, Victoria, Australia. The mountain is named after King Philip II of Macedon.
The mountain can be reached by car from Melbourne via the A3 Murrumbidgee Freeway (Macedon Highway), or by following the Calder Highway east to Nildottie and continuing on the Mt Lofty Ranges Road (B589). The walk to the summit is 3 kilometres long and takes around two hours.
The views from the summit are spectacular and include sights of Melbourne, rural Victoria, and even parts of Tasmania. There are also several picnic areas on and near the mountain which make for a perfect day out.
The Great Ocean Road
If you’re looking for a scenic drive to take in some of Victoria’s best scenery, the Great Ocean Road is definitely worth a visit. The route starts in Melbourne and winds its way along the coast, taking in everything from rugged coastlinelines to beautiful sandy beaches. There are plenty of places to stop along the way for a picnic or a swim, and if you’re lucky you may even spot some dolphins or seals!
Werribee Open Range
If you’re looking for somewhere to explore outside of the city, Werribee Open Range is a great option. This protected area encompasses around 2,000 hectares of rolling hills and natural bushland, making it a great spot for walking, cycling or horse riding. There are also several attractions nearby, such as Werribee Mansion and the Werribee Open Range Zoo.
Port Phillip Bay
If you’re looking for a laid-back day out in Melbourne, consider checking out some of the sights and attractions nearby in Port Phillip Bay. One of the most iconic spots is the Royal Botanic Gardens, where you can take a stroll through colourful gardens or relax on a veranda with a picnic lunch.
Another great option is to explore Toorak Village, which has plenty of boutiques, cafes and historical landmarks like the Toorak Place mansion. If you have time to spare, head over to Woolwich Common for a walk or bike ride, or catch a sunset at Liberty Island.
Healesville Sanctuary is a Victorian era garden and wildlife park that is located approximately 30 minutes north of central Melbourne in the town of Healesville. The garden was originally created as a conservatory for the collection of plants and flowers, but it has since evolved into a world-renowned attraction that is home to more than 1,000 animals, including many rare and endangered species. Visitors can enjoy walks through the gardens or along the nature trails that run through the park, as well as viewing exhibits featuring native Australian birds and mammals. The sanctuary also offers educational programs about conservation and environmentalism, making it an excellent option for visitors who want to learn more about Australia’s natural environment.
Castlemaine is a wine region located in the Yarra Valley about 100 km south-east of Melbourne. The area was first settled in 1837 and soon became known for its quality wines. Today, Castlemaine is home to some of Victoria’s most successful wineries, including Larkview Estate, Heathcote Estate, and Hurdle Creek. Some of the region’s best known wines include Merlot and Shiraz.
Some of the must-see attractions in Castlemaine include Larkview Estate, Heathcote Estate, and Hurdle Creek. Larkview Estate offers a tour of its winery and vineyards, while Heathcote Estate has a visitor centre with displays on the history of wine production in Victoria and several cellar tours. Hurdle Creek has an impressive 70 hectare estate with visitor centre, café, and boutique winery. There are also several wineries within short drive of Castlemaine including Penfolds Wines (about 45 minutes away), Braidwood Wines (50 minutes away), Mount Schank Winery (55 minutes away), Goundrey Wines (60 minutes away), Appin Wines (65 minutes away), Mornington Peninsula Wine Company (70 minutes away) and more.
The Melbourne Zoo is one of the most popular tourist destinations in Melbourne and its proximity to the city centre makes it easy to get there. The zoo has a wide variety of animals, including tigers, lions, penguins, and monkeys. It is also home to Australia’s only polar bear family. The Melbourne Botanic Gardens are also worth visiting if you’re near by; they have a wide range of plants, including some rare specimens.