The Queenscliff to Sorrento ferry (and vice versa) is a Melbourne institution. Traditionally a quick way to get across the bay, the ferry now is a day out in it's own right, with SeaRoad Ferries offering a whole host of fun experiences that can be enjoyed on either the Queenscliff Ferry or Sorrento Ferry depending on what best suits you.
We live a little closer to Queenscliff, so opted to depart from Queenscliff and head across to Sorrento for a day of fun at the Enchanted Adventure garden with our little one. The package allows for 2 adults, 2 children and a return journey on the ferry, which was perfect for us. There are also packages to the Peninsula Hot Springs, Mornington Peninsula Brewery and BoatHouse Resort.
Hanging Rock is a hidden geological gem, located around 45 minutes north west of the Melbourne CBD. Popular with the locals, its one of those fabulous spots that you'll be lucky enough to visit if you know someone 'in the know' but would otherwise go missed. Never mind, because now you're in the know and can add this spectacular location to your 'to do' list when visiting Melbourne!
It's a little off the beaten track, so you'll need a car to visit Hanging Rock. You'll cruise along City Link for a portion of the ride, which is a toll road, so make sure to organise this with your rental company or buy a pass / make sure the car has an eTag if you're borrowing a car as there are no toll booths along the way.
At over 6 million years old, this magnificent rock formation has seen a lot in its time and is a prominent Aboriginal site in the area. For those keen on geology, you will appreciate being able to see and climb this rare volcanic structure, known as a 'mameleon' or more commonly a 'volcanic plug'. In fact, it is one of the best examples of this kind of natural structure in the whole world.
At only 45 minutes from the CBD, on the Tullamarine and Calder Freeways, it makes a stop on a bigger adventure to the Macedon and Spa Country region of Victoria or a great way to spend part of a day. It is also only around 25 minutes away from the Melbourne Airport, so may make a great pit stop if you've got part of a day free before flying out.
Located in the foothills of the Dandenong Ranges, around 1 hour's drive from the Melbourne CBD, lies Puffing Billy, one of Australia's best preserved and most loved steam railways. Featuring a range of locomotives, including the rare wood fuelled Climax steam engine, this scenic railway meanders its way from Belgrave to Gembrook, with a multitude of stops in between.
With soaring trestle bridges and open carts (yes you can hang your legs out!), Puffing Billy has long been a favourite day trip for Melbourne families and tourists alike. It's leisurely pace allows you to fully experience the beautiful sub tropical rainforest that this area is known for and if you are lucky you may even spot a kookaburra or a wombat on the way.
Whether you are visiting for a few days or just for the weekend, Melbourne is a diverse city that offers something for everyone. Whilst we love Melbourne in the Summer, it is hard for us to look past the other seasons, particularly Autumn, which for many, offers more comfortable weather for exploring than the heat that can be experienced over the summer months.
No matter what time of year you come, or what you come to see, finding a well located hotel with great amenities, food and transport options is essential. For us, this was met and exceeded by the Holiday Inn on Flinders, and allowed us to have a fabulous Melbourne getaway.
Located around 1 hour east of Melbourne, the Yarra Valley is Victoria's premiere cool climate wine region. Best known for its sparkling wine, chardonnay, shiraz and pinot noir, the Yarra Valley has long been a popular day trip for Melburnians and visitors alike.
With over 160 wineries and 300 vineyards, there is no shortage of choice and many wineries offer fantastic food to boot. Whilst there are many smaller vineyards in the valley, you'll certainly recognise the name Moët, with Moët & Chandon's 'Domain Chandon' winery being one of the most popular places to stop.
Like many of us who do not explore our local area nearly enough, I am guilty of growing up on the outskirts of the Yarra Valley, and even having a sister who lives in the Valley, but not going on a wine tasting day. When we were invited on a day trip with Wine Bus Winery tours, we jumped at the opportunity to better explore the Valley's wine culture and we weren't disappointed.
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