Melbourne, Australia is known for more than just its café culture; it has much to offer in the outskirts. For avid experience seekers, stay in Melbourne city centre as a base for easy access to an excellent array of food choices, and also have the option to travel out to seek different adventures. 

Explore the Grampians National Park, get close to some native animals, or just chill out at Yarra Valley’s numerous vineyards. Here are some top activities to check out and things to see for when you next go Down Under!

1. Hike the Grampians National Park

panoramic views of halls gap from boroka lookout at grampians national park panoramic views of halls gap from boroka lookout at grampians national park

Escape the city and discover the natural beauty of Grampians National Park on a day trip from Melbourne.

Enjoy a day’s escape from Melbourne with a day trip to Grampians National Park. Located about three hours away from Melbourne’s city centre by car, the Grampians National Park is made up of towering mountain ranges, with waterfalls and beautiful rock formations. This is a must-visit attraction for those who love a scenic hike out in nature. Climb up to the Boroka Lookout for unparalleled views of the mountain range.

mackenzie falls at grampians national park mackenzie falls at grampians national park

Embark on a hike to visit Mackenzie Falls on your day trip from Melbourne, one of the largest waterfalls in Victoria.

For waterfall lovers, stop at the majestic MacKenzie Falls and Silverband Falls. My personal favourite was MacKenzie Falls – you can enjoy unobstructed views of the wide cascading waterfall that offers majestic sights. Getting to the observation deck involves a steep climb downwards (260 steps), and you will have to climb up the same trail to exit.

kangaroos roaming halls gap at grampians national park kangaroos roaming halls gap at grampians national park

Visit Halls Gap in Grampians National Park, where you can get up close to kangaroos and enjoy scenic hikes amidst breathtaking nature.

Get up close to the kangaroos, surrounded by nature's wonders at Halls Gap.

If you are an animal lover looking for places to visit, you can explore the local town of Halls Gap, nestled in the heart of the Grampians National Park, and get up close and personal with kangaroos! Basic fitness is needed to go on the nature trails, or just take it at your own pace with rest stops to ensure adequate rest. 

Book a day tour if you prefer not to go on a long drive to the national park and back to Melbourne's city centre – the day trip will likely take a full day (from 8:00am to 9:00pm) to complete, inclusive of driving time.

2. Get up close to Koalas and Penguins on Phillip Island

Phillip Island is an excellent place for animal lovers and those who are travelling with kids. Situated just two hours from Melbourne’s city centre by car, it is a popular day trip choice due to its scenic beauty and relatively short drive.

locals and tourists waiting for penguins to come ashore on phillip island locals and tourists waiting for penguins to come ashore on phillip island

You get within close reach of the penguins on Phillip Island, and note that photography is not allowed once the sun sets and when the penguins come ashore.

penguins coming ashore on phillip island penguins coming ashore on phillip island

Marvel at the world's largest little penguin colony on Phillip Island as these charming creatures waddle ashore in waves. (Photo credit: Phillip Island Nature Parks)

On Phillip Island, you can find the largest little penguin colony in the world. One of the most exhilarating things to do is seeing these penguins waddle home from the sea to land every evening, wave after wave, for about an hour. Book your tickets early before leaving Melbourne to visit the Penguin Parade, as tickets do get sold out for the premium seating (where you can get much closer to the penguins!).

koala bears at the koala conservation reserve on phillip island koala bears at the koala conservation reserve on phillip island

Get up close to these adorable koala bears at the Koala Conservation Reserve on Phillip Island.

You can also visit the Koala Conservation Reserve, where you can stroll along the tree-top boardwalks to see these sleepy creatures at close range. Do take note not to touch them though, as the koalas can get stressed when they are near humans. 

Be sure to allocate a whole day to explore Phillip Island when travelling out of Melbourne, as there are many other exhibits and attractions to explore. Delve into the historic charm of Churchill Island as it is the site of the first European garden in Victoria and hosts heritage farming activities. And don’t miss the opportunity to engage with interactive exhibits at the ‘Antarctic Journey’ Centre, where you will experience a journey that brings the beauty of Antarctica to life through futuristic displays.

3. Enjoy quality food and wine at Yarra Valley while exploring the Dandenong Ranges

picturesque view just outside the chandon winery at yarra valley picturesque view just outside the chandon winery at yarra valley

Indulge your taste buds and explore over 80 cellar doors in Yarra Valley, one of the world's top wine regions.

Located relatively closer to Melbourne city, it takes just over an hour to drive to Yarra Valley. This is a great choice for those who love to savour culinary delights and fine wine. Yarra Valley is known as one of the world's premier wine growing regions, with over 80 cellar doors offering wine tastings.

sparkling wines at the chandon winery at yarra valley sparkling wines at the chandon winery at yarra valley

If you’re travelling with friends, go for wine flights to sample the wide range of sparkling wines at the Chandon winery at Yarra Valley.

Indulge in a wide range of wines at the Chandon winery by sampling their famous sparkling wines. Tip: get a flight of wine (a selection of wine varietals) and share it among friends for the opportunity to taste the different wines available. My personal favourite is the Chandon Sparkling Pinot Shiraz – you don’t find sparkling reds available in the market often!

tarrawarra estate at yarra valley tarrawarra estate at yarra valley

Taste some of the famous wines from TarraWarra Estate – a 400ha property at Yarra Valley.

For those who prefer white wines and red wines without the bubbles, visit TarraWarra Estate at Yarra Valley, famous for their Pinot Noir and Chardonnay. They have two wine tasting options – a premium range at AU$30 (S$26) per person to sample six types of wines, or an estate wine (made only from grapes owned by the winery) tasting at AU$20 (S$17) per person, also for six types of wine. Costs are waived when you purchase wines from them after.

kokoda track in the dandenong ranges near yarra valley kokoda track in the dandenong ranges near yarra valley

Entrance to the Kokoda track, a relatively easy hike within the Dandenong Ranges near Yarra Valley.

For those who are also keen on pairing their trip with a good hike, visit the Dandenong Ranges to explore a set of low mountain ranges. The picturesque area is located near Yarra Valley, perfect for an invigorating hike after treating your taste buds to the exquisite wines. 

Go on the 1,000 steps trail – a popular and scenic four-kilometre walking track with a steep, upward climb. This is also known as the Kokoda Memorial Walk, dedicated to honouring the lives of the soldiers who fought on the Kokoda Trail during World War II.

visit this attraction in sassafras, melbourne for renowned homemade scones visit this attraction in sassafras, melbourne for renowned homemade scones

Reward yourself with heavenly scones and whipped cream at Miss Marple’s Tearoom in Sassafras, Melbourne - a must-stop attraction after your hike.

After hiking, have some scones at the very popular Miss Marple’s Tearoom served with their delicious whipped cream. It’s only open on weekdays, from 11:00am to 4:00pm, so plan your visit accordingly, and reach early to avoid the long queues. I arrived at about 11:45am and had to wait about an hour. If you’re not the type to stand in line, do reach there before 11:00am to avoid waiting for the scones.

4. Get a nice tan and relax at Brighton Beach and St Kilda Beach

brightly painted bathing boxes at brighton beach brightly painted bathing boxes at brighton beach

Discover the charm of Melbourne's Brighton Bathing Boxes, a vibrant row of historic seafront sheds just 30 minutes from the CBD, now iconic structures along the picturesque Brighton Beach.

For those who just want a short getaway from the city, check out the beaches near Melbourne central business district (CBD). The Brighton Bathing Boxes are located just 30 minutes by car from Melbourne CBD and consist of a long row of brightly coloured sheds that line the Brighton Beach. The boxes that were originally built in the 1860s as modest seafront changing rooms are now privately owned and are mostly used to store equipment like chairs, beach umbrellas and fishing equipment. They have evolved into iconic structures of Brighton Beach, where many tourists and families go to relax with their children!

st kilda beach, a short day trip from melbourne’s city centre st kilda beach, a short day trip from melbourne’s city centre

Enjoy the vibrant atmosphere of St Kilda Beach with a short day trip from Melbourne CBD, where you can relax, soak up the sun, and shop for locally crafted goods at the Sunday Esplanade Market.

Just six kilometres south of Melbourne CBD is St Kilda Beach, a popular spot during weekends for locals to relax, sunbathe, and play beach volleyball. If you’re looking to purchase locally produced gifts, visit St Kilda Beach on Sundays for the St Kilda Esplanade Market. Open every Sunday from 10:00am, this market sells a wide range of Australian products.


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Best time to visit
Melbourne experiences a diverse climate throughout the year, so the best time to visit depends on your preferences. However, many travellers find the period from March to May (autumn) and September to November (spring) to be particularly pleasant. During these seasons, you can expect mild temperatures and less rainfall, making it ideal for outdoor activities and sightseeing various attractions. Summer (December to February) can get quite hot, and it's also the peak tourist season. Winter (June to August) brings cooler temperatures, but it's a great time for indoor events and festivals.

The official currency of Australia is the Australian Dollar (AU$). You can conveniently exchange your currency at real-time exchange rates and collect your Australian Dollars at Changi Airport using Changi Recommends FX. Check out this guide on getting the most out of your currency exchange.

Melbourne offers a well-connected transportation system, making it easy to get around the city and its suburbs.

  • Public Transport: Melbourne has an extensive tram, bus, and train network. The myki card is used for all public transportation and can be purchased at stations, retail outlets, or online. It's a convenient way to pay for your fares.
  • Airport Transfer: Melbourne Airport (Tullamarine) is the primary international gateway. You can reach the city centre from the airport using the SkyBus, a dedicated airport shuttle service. Taxis and ride-sharing services like Uber are also readily available.
  • Exploring the City: Melbourne's city centre is walkable, and you can easily explore its attractions on foot. Alternatively, trams are a popular mode of transport for getting around the central area.
  • Regional Travel: If you plan to explore regional Victoria via day trips, consider renting a car. The Great Ocean Road, Yarra Valley, and other scenic destinations are within a few hours' drive from Melbourne.

Book Now
To get to Melbourne, you can book a flight from Singapore Changi Airport (SIN) to Melbourne Airport (MEL). Several airlines offer direct flights, and the journey takes approximately seven to eight hours. Melbourne's airport is well-connected to the city centre, making it convenient for travellers. Whether you're planning a business trip or a leisurely holiday, booking your flight tickets to Melbourne is just a few clicks away. Your adventure in Melbourne awaits – secure your tickets on Skyscanner today!