There’s something special about a road trip. You might have some little rituals, like a song you play when you get out on the open road (ahem… Life is a Highway). Or rules, like driver gets to control the air-conditioning and the music. What about calling shotgun?
Whether it’s about the journey or the destination, here are five epic road trip ideas to get you on the road and out of Melbourne.
Road trip #1: Mornington Peninsula — 74km south of Melbourne
Whether you choose to drive the freeway or the coastal track, all roads lead to relaxation on the Mornington Peninsula. Renowned for day spas like Peninsula Hot Springs, it’s a trip that suits drivers who like the idea of a road trip without too much, well, driving.
The region is known for gourmet food and wine, and that includes chocolate. Visit Mornington Peninsula Chocolates for treats made using traditional French, Belgian and Swiss techniques. Yes, please.
Where to stay: Jackalope Hotel offers a free cooked-to-order breakfast and gorgeous garden sculptures—the perfect way to wake up.
Road trip #2: Melbourne to Adelaide — 726km north-west of Melbourne
This is one road trip that’s about the journey as much as the destination. Whether you drive overland through wine country or take the Great Ocean Road along the coast, you won’t run out of things to see out the car window.
Mount Gambier is a perfect stopover, where you can check out natural wonders like Blue Lake. The volcanic crater shines a bright cobalt blue from November to March—no filter required.
Where to stay: The Barn in Mount Gambier keeps you close to all the natural beauty and serves a great steak.
Road trip #3: Hanging Rock — 77km north of Melbourne
Not just a place for a picnic 😉 A short drive gets you out of the city and into the Macedon Ranges, where you’ll find the (in) famous Hanging Rock formation. You might want to keep an eye out for the fountain of youth—the region contains 85% of Australia’s natural mineral water springs.
If you’re up for some intrigue, be on the lookout for Anti-Gravity Hill. It’s not signposted, but when you start seeing water roll uphill…you’ve found it. Seriously, it’s a thing, and it’s awesome.
Where to stay: When you combine a brewery and a hotel, you get the genius Holgate Brewhouse in Woodend. Lock it in.
Road trip #4: Melbourne to Darwin — 3752km north-west of Melbourne
This epic road trip takes you from the bottom of the Aussie mainland to the top. It’s not for the faint-hearted, with over 40 hours of driving required (and that’s not counting side trips or the extra days you’ll want to spend in the places you love), but what a trip!
Rent a camper van to cruise the open roads and keep on budget by staying at camping grounds along the way. Uluru might be the jewel in the crown, but you’ll be surrounded by awe-inspiring wilderness every day.
Where to stay: Take a break from the van at The Lookout Cave Underground Motel in Coober Pedy (Northern SA). Don’t leave without a shiny opal souvenir.
Road trip #5: Werribee Open Range Zoo — 35km south-west of Melbourne
Get ready, ‘cause this is the ultimate road trip for anyone with kids. Werribee Open Range Zoo recreates the landscape of the wild African savannah, and you can get up close and personal with giraffes, gorillas, lions, hippos, rhinos and zebras. Wow!
Where to stay: After you’ve treated the kids to a day at the zoo, treat yourself at the Mansion Hotel & Spa, just a short stroll away.
So, what’s the plan?
Plan your getaway and get all the road trip essentials ready. Full tank of petrol, lollies, cold drinks… let the road trip begin. Where’s your next trip?