When the end of the working week arrives, we all have different ways of unwinding and preparing for the week ahead. Whether you prefer to spend your days off relaxing, wining and dining with friends, or setting off on an adventure, we can all agree that getting value out of the weekend is important.
Melbourne is a vast and beautiful city, with a lot to offer its locals and short-term passersby. So, if you’ve got an upcoming business trip to the coastal capital of Victoria, or even if you’ve lived there for your entire life, here’s a list of the 5 best Melbourne weekend getaways – so you can rest assured that you’re making the most of your valuable time off.
1. Great Ocean Road
A mere few hours’ drive from Melbourne’s city centre, Great Ocean Road boasts an impressive range of activities and attractions. Nearly 250 kilometers in length, this stunning stretch of land is a road-tripper’s dream. Whether your idea of the perfect weekend means waking up at dawn to chase waterfalls, sailing off to spot whales, or strolling through the streets of a sleepy seaside town, Great Ocean Road has it all. Some of its most popular attractions include the Twelve Apostles, the town of Torquay, and the coastline of Cape Otway.
With the choice of rising with the sun and making a return day trip, or booking accommodation and extending the experience out over a few days, you have total control over what you choose to do with your Melbourne weekend getaway to Great Ocean Road.
2. Yarra Valley
If you’re wiped out from a long week at work, and would prefer to indulge in something a little more luxurious to help you unwind, you may fancy a visit to Yarra Valley. One of Australia’s favourite wine regions, Yarra Valley accompanies award-winning wine with stunning scenery.
Hailing from the world renowned Moët & Chandon, Domaine Chandon lies nestled in the unrivaled landscapes of Yarra Valley. The region’s other finest wineries include: Yering Farm, Balgownie Estate, and Punt Road. If wine isn’t your beverage of choice, the area also hosts a range of reputable breweries, with a selection of ales, ciders, and spirits to choose from. You’ll also have ample choice of where to eat, with several superb restaurants in the region.
Finally, what better way to end a weekend of luxury than with a bit of pampering? Yarra Valley is home to a handful of day spas that are dedicated to helping you feel relaxed and rejuvenated after a long week.
With an abundance of accommodation options available, you can take your pick of places to stay. Alternatively, if you would prefer to make it a day trip, you may want to consider taking advantage of Car Australia’s convenient and affordable chauffeured cars.
3. Grampians National Park
Grampians National Park is the perfect weekend getaway for short-stayers or locals based in Melbourne. Only three hours away, the Grampians – or Gariwerd – gives city-livers the opportunity to escape the hustle and bustle and explore the great outdoors.
With expansive mountain ranges and a selection of picturesque parks and trails, the Grampians is the perfect place for you to substitute your work attire for hiking boots, and get out amongst nature. If you’re the intrepid sort, you can spend your weekend rock-climbing and abseiling, trekking through rugged ranges, or getting out on the water in a kayak. If you’re after something a little less adventurous, you could opt to go on a guided tour of Gariwerd or take the opportunity to learn about the region’s unique Aboriginal culture and visit its extraordinary local rock-art sites.
No matter your particular travel palate, the Grampian’s incredible panoramic views will be sure to take your breath away.
4. Melbourne Zoo & Sea Life Aquarium
Zoos are a family favourite; so if you have the kids in tow during your Melbourne weekend getaway, why not make a trip to its much-loved Zoo?
Melbourne Zoo is one of the city’s most popular attractions. The iconic attraction was established in 1861, making it the oldest zoo in Australia; and third oldest in the world. Amongst its awe-inspiring inhabitants are fur seals, gorillas, elephants, wild-dogs, and even the incredibly rare platypus. No matter your age, the Melbourne Zoo is sure to have at least one cuddly creature that will make you smile.
Another top animal attraction in the city is Sea Life, Melbourne’s local aquarium. Once you’ve finished up at the Zoo, why not cruise over to Sea Life and learn about our friends from the ocean? Only a 20-minute drive away, you could contact Car Australia about a transport solution that works for your family.
5. Royal Botanic Gardens
You don’t necessarily need to have green fingers to appreciate Melbourne’s Royal Botanic Gardens. Considered by Lonely Planet to be one of the “finest examples of Victorian-era landscaping in the world”, the gardens attract over 1.5 million visitors annually. Extending over 38 hectares and boasting more than 50,000 international plants, this inner city oasis enables you to view thousands of species of plants from places across the globe, and more than 150,000 native Australian plants.
A place for children and adults to explore, discover, and learn; the majestic Melbourne gardens are a must see during your weekend getaway.
From wine connoisseurs to animal lovers, and outdoor explorers to art-enthusiasts, Melbourne really has something for everyone! If you want to make the most of your visit to this incredible city, consider pre-booking a Melbourne airport transfer with Car Australia.