Melbourne is one of Australia’s most popular cities. Even Lonely Planet loves it enough to have their global HQ there. Many people love the culture available in Melbourne city, whether it’s cafes, people watching, or theatre. However, there is more to this region of Australia should you want to explore, even beyond the Great Ocean Road, which is Victoria’s other most well-known attraction.
Uber-popular Aussie travel bloggers Caz and Craig from Guidetour Blog fell in love with Bright, Victoria, and even listed it in their top 5 experiences of 2013. Bright is 3 hours from Melbourne. One of the things that have me thinking it would be a fun place to visit is that it has a 94km cycling “rail trail.” I love riding my bike but having fallen off a few times, I like the idea of cycling on a dedicated path.
It seems like an awesome place to just chill and soak up some summer sunshine. You would probably want to avoid traveling during the peak Christmas and January period when all of Australia is on summer holidays.
Both Sydney and Melbourne have nearby wine regions. For Sydney, it’s the Hunter Valley. For Melbourne, it’s the Yarra Valley. Aussies and Kiwis absolutely love visiting wineries. It’s a popular thing for locals to do on day and weekend trips when they want to get out of the city. We love to do activities that are popular with locals as well as tourists from further afield.
Tourism Victoria has listings on their website. Wineries often have good food as well as good wine. In general, food and wine are of a very high standard in Australia, especially in a region as foodie-focused as Victoria is. Sometimes wineries have events too e.g., they host outdoor concerts.
One of the best ways to explore Melbourne is through a self-guided trip with a rental car as it will allow for much more spontaneity, flexibility, and a relaxed pace.
Melbourne temperatures can get very, very sweltering. If you strike a heat wave, you’re probably going to want to go to the beach. Since Victoria, is on the South Coast of Australia, there are quite a few options. Phillip Island is popular. There is a bridge to Phillip Island so you don’t need to take a ferry. The drive is around 2 hours (or even a bit less) so doable as a day trip.
If you don’t want to go too far, you can try Melbourne’s city/suburban beaches.
General Planning Considerations
Since Melbourne is known for its very fickle weather, we’d recommend keeping your plans flexible and watching the weather forecast. This will allow you to try to pick a day that is going to be warm and sunny but not so scorching hot it’s very unpleasant to be outside. Be aware of how changeable Melbourne weather can be so do check the forecast rather than thinking everything looks good in the morning and that it’s definitely going to stay that way for the rest of the day!