Melbourne is surrounded by beautiful geography and packed full of history and culture. From steam engines that are operational after 100+ years, to natural hot springs, horseback riding on the beach at sunset, or finding sanctuary right inside the city at the botanical gardens there are options for everyone. The Yarra Valley is home to over 300 vineyards so if wine is of any interest be sure and head out to one of the 160 wineries within a couple of hours of the city center.
The ultimate day trip to tranquility without leaving the city. Featuring over 10,000 species of flora and fauna the Royal Botanical Gardens Melbourne is a spectacular getaway within the city limits. Pack a gourmet lunch with local wine, and fresh produce, and fine cheeses to enjoy while sitting by the mirror like lakes or in a lovely flowering garden. Dont forget to grab a frisbee,or some boardgames to complete your perfect picnic experience. If a picnic is not your thing there are two cafes to choose from within the grounds. The Terrace offers delicious food, fine wine, afternoon tea, and gorgeous views. Jardin Tan is a veritable feast for your palate offering French-Indochina using the produce grown right in the garden allowing you to sample true farm-to-table dining.
Yarra Valley an hours drive from Melbourne has 160 wineries, 300 vineyards and is perfect for producing Chardonnay, Pinot noir, Cabernet Sauvignon, and Shiraz. Choose your favorite wine to sample or try them all and do your own comparison. Enjoy the rolling hills, the beautiful weather, pack a picnic lunch or dine at any number of boutique wineries in the valley. Many of the wineries offer free tours all you have to do is look around and you can make this a very low cost expedition. One of the best tours in the valley is at Domaine Chandon featuring winemaking, and the best buildings to check out are at Yering Station.
All aboard!!! Get your ticket to days gone by and board an old fashioned steam train still running on its original tracks over a century later. Developed in the early 1900s to provide transport options to developing rural areas, Puffing Billy is now the lone survivor and is maintained by an army of volunteers. Plan your trip with the latest timetable. For groups of 25 or more experienced speakers are available at no charge and will travel up to 100kms from Melbourne GPO. A memorable trip for the whole family. Puffing Billy will delight travellers of all ages.
Ride a horse along majestic coastlines on some of Australias most scenic beaches. With rides starting out at 1.5 hours or all day excursions there is a ride perfect for the barest beginner or for seasoned riders. Gently ride along the beach, or go exploring into the Australian bush. Gunnamatta Trail Rides is a little over an hour outside of Melbourne located on Mornington Peninsula.
The natural hot springs found about an hour and twenty minutes out of Melbourne will rejuvenate your body and mind. Naturally warm, naturally infused with minerals that will make your skin feel amazing. Soak up the minerals and the history of this quaint village. You can even sample water from some of the different springs to taste how different minerals affect the flavor. Go shopping for spa goodies you can take home with you, and visit any number of spas for services like body scrubs, mineral soaks, and ancient healing therapies. Even without spending any money the village and surrounding area is worth the trip.