Hit the highways and discover a wildlife and adventure lover's playground, just over an hour from Melbourne.
From Yarra Valley and Dandenong Ranges to Phillip Island and the stunning beaches along the Mornington and Bellarine Peninsulas, these extraordinary regions offer an endless array of indulgent adventure activities.
At a glance
- Melbourne to Yarra Valley (1 hour)
- Yarra Valley to Phillip Island (90 minutes)
- Phillip Island to Mornington Peninsula (1 hour, 15 minutes)
- Mornington Peninsula to Bellarine Peninsula (40 minutes ferry)
- Bellarine Peninsula to Melbourne (1 hour, 20 minutes)
Day 1 – Melbourne to Yarra Valley
Head for Healesville Sanctuary, just 1.5 hours from Melbourne. Spend the morning interacting with Australia’s iconic animals, and some lesser known beauties. Stimulate the mind at Hedgend Maze, offering a creative environment through fun-filled activities to suit all ages. Enjoy lunch at Rochford Winery before heading out on a winery tour with a difference – on a Segway! Catch a great day out at Buxton Trout and Salmon Farm for first-time fishers or experienced anglers. In the evening, sip a glass of red wine on the deck at Yering Gorge Cottages while the resident mob of kangaroos (including one rare white one) graze on the lawn.
- Meet iconic Australian animals including koalas, kangaroos, platypus, wombats and emus at Healesville Sanctuary.
- Explore 20 acres of stimulating, fun-filled activities at Hedgend Maze.
- Take in the views, glide among the grapevines on Segways at Rochford Winery.
- Catch freshwater rainbow trout and Atlantic salmon at Buxton Trout Farm.
- Visit internationally famous Cloudehill Gardens and Nursery in The Dandenongs.
Day 2 – Yarra Valley to Phillip Island
Rise early for a dawn hot air balloon flight, watch the Valley spring to life as the sun comes up, and finish with a champagne breakfast. Freshen up and head south to Phillip Island via The Dandenong Ranges for a short journey aboard Puffing Billy Steam Railway. On Phillip Island, visit the Nobbies Centre and experience the interactive Antarctic Journey, then get up close to some cuddly locals at the Koala Conservation Centre. In the afternoon, head out on the Wild Oceans Ecoboat to see the 30,000 Australian Fur Seals that inhabit Seal Rocks, before the crème de la crème of wildlife experiences at the sunset Penguin Parade.
- Scale breathtaking heights and take in the valley’s landscapes with Global Ballooning Australia.
- Take a journey into the forest onboard Australia’s premier preserved steam railway.
- Experience the Antarctic Journey interactive, virtual exhibition.
- Cruise to one of Australia’s largest fur seal colonies with Wildlife Coast Cruises.
- Witness Victoria’s largest colony of little penguins return from the sea and head to their burrows for the night at the Penguin Parade.
Day 3 – Phillip Island to Mornington Peninsula
Start the morning with an early walk on one of Phillip Island’s beautiful beaches or, for a more challenging morning activity, take a spectacular helicopter flight across Phillip Island. The views are amazing! Then it’s off around Western Port Bay to the beautiful Mornington Peninsula. En route, visit Moonlit Sanctuary to meet endangered species, feed kangaroos and wallabies, pet koalas and enjoy close encounters with many animals. Experience farm life at Green Olive at Red Hill or try a radical high ropes adventure at The Enchanted Adventure Garden. Soak any aching legs at the Peninsula Hot Springs.
- Meet native Australian animals at Moonlit Sanctuary Wildlife Conservation Park.
- Board a state-of-the-art gondola at the Arthurs Seat Eagle to the highest point of the Mornington Peninsula and visit The Enchanted Adventure Garden.
- Green Olive at Red Hill is a picturesque farm which serves tempting goodies and tapas to eat in or take home.
- Unwind in Victoria’s first natural hot springs, Peninsula Hot Springs in a tranquil bushland setting.
Day 4 – Mornington Peninsula to Bellarine Peninsula
Start the day with a trip out to Port Phillip Bay with Moonraker Dolphin Swims. Search wild pods of bottlenose dolphins and visit the resident seals at Chinaman’s Hut. In the afternoon, hire snorkelling gear from Bayplay to view the Weedy Sea Dragons near the piers or hire a Stand Up Paddle Board. Those wanting to stay dry, traipse the Mornington Peninsula Walk or hire a bike to explore Point Nepean National Park, right at the tip of the Peninsula. At the end of the day, take a ferry across the bay with Searoad Ferries, running every hour until 6pm (7pm in summer) for the 40-minute crossing to Queenscliff.
- Swim with wild dolphins and fur seals or snorkel in the clear waters of Port Phillip Bay with Moonraker Dolphin Swims.
- Snorkel with weedy seadragons with Bayplay Tours and Adventures.
- Hire a bike or take a hike to explore Point Nepean National Park.
- Cross Melbourne’s beautiful Port Phillip Bay with Searoad Ferries, connecting the Mornington Peninsula to the Bellarine Peninsula and Geelong.
Day 5 – The Bellarine Peninsula
Encounter Australia’s magnificent native animals in the wildlife-rich regions of south-eastern Australia with Echidna Walkabout Nature Tours. Experience and learn about the unique indigenous culture at Narana Aboriginal Cultural Centre. For the adventurous, take a surf lesson with Go Ride A Wave at one of Victoria’s iconic surf beaches. Enjoy lunch at Jack Rabbit Vineyard before heading back to the city James Bond-style with a Microflite helicopter transfer. Those driving back to the city can stop at the Werribee Open Range Zoo for a guided safari tour across the unique open range savannah.
- Connect with nature, join wild animals in their natural habitats and absorb dramatic scenery while enjoying genuine Aussie hospitality Echidna Walkabout Nature Tours.
- Immerse in a unique indigenous cultural experience at Narana Aboriginal Cultural Centre.
- Join a surfing lesson on a Bellarine Peninsula beach with Go Ride A Wave.
- Experience an African adventure at Werribee Open Range Zoo.