We absolutely love our corner of Australia! Melbourne has been voted as the most liveable city in the world more than once! Melbourne has so much to offer for the young, for the more mature and for families! There is an abundance of things to do and places to explore.
You don’t need to stay in Melbourne – even around Melbourne there are lots of things to do. It’s hard to pick the top three things we love doing as a family, which we want to recommend to others, in our corner of the world. Here’s our top rated family day trips around our beautiful city Melbourne.
A family day trip – Wilsons Promontory
Our first favourite thing to do as a family is making a two and a half hour car trip just out of Melbourne, down to Wilson’s Promontory National Park. This place is camping heaven. The beaches are stunning and there’s so many recreational activities to enjoy. For us, getting close to nature is just the best experience! You’re guaranteed to see wildlife roaming around the campgrounds, especially hungry little wombats! We love wombats! We’ll also embark on a hike or two while we’re down there. For the serious hikers, you can loose yourself in the wilderness for a few days! The hiking trails are clearly marked, so that nobody gets lost unless they want to. Those campsites which you can only get to by foot or by boat are situated near the most picturesque beaches. There are also kid friendly hikes to neighbouring beaches, which are worth the little bit of whinging about tired little feet.
If hiking is not for you or your family, you’ll find a spot on the nearest beach where you can laze and watch the little ones frolicking in the water. It’s fairly safe close to the shore. If surfing is your thing, there are waves high enough for you to leisurely glide along. There is also a creek, just up from the beach, where you could throw the kiddies and their canoes or paddle boards into. The water is always slightly warmer up that way and there’s enough shallow water area to accommodate everyone there. We had a great time with a stand up paddle board the last time we were there.
For those who want to be close to nature but are uneasy at the thought of sleeping in a tent, book one of the cabins. There are shared facilities and a shop if you don’t care much for camping food. Wilson’s Prom is one place which all visitors to our corner of Australia just must visit.
Helpful tip: Make sure you book your trip to Wilsons Prom early – a few months in advance helps you to secure a spot – you can book online! There is a ballot each year for the summer holidays.
Unfortunately ParksVictoria increased the prices recently and it got a bit pricey (around $60/night) – but you can share a site with up to 8 people. Share the costs! Of course you can also just travel there for the day when you don’t mind the distance.
Travel back in time – Sovereign Hill
Another family friendly activity is about an hour drive from Melbourne’s CBD. Sovereign Hill in Ballarat is a preserved old mining town where you can pan for gold and get a history lesson on the first gold mining town in Australia. We’ve only just recently visited this place but have returned there as we enjoyed it so much! Put aside the whole day to enjoy all that Sovereign Hill has to offer. Make sure you go on the mining tours which take you underground. That gave us such an insight into what life was like for the gold miners.
There’s plenty to see and discover in this historic town. The locals wear clothing from that era and roam around the town. They’re very happy to pose for photos is you ask them nicely. There are restaurants and a pub, gift shops and a gold-melting demonstration. When you’ve had enough of the mining town, head across the road to the Gold Museum (cost is included in your ticket) before you head off home.
Our last visit to Sovereign Hill was for the Winter Wonderlights during their Christmas in July attraction. It’s worth visiting to see the kids faces light up as snow (foam which is pumped out from rooftops) is falls upon them while they watch a spectacular light show. We also enjoyed a lovely Christmas roast dinner and fruitcake at one of their restaurants.
Helpful tip: Definitely spend a whole day there to make the most out of it – it’s not cheap! The entry does not include the gold mine tour and it’s charged extra.
Spend a day in the Yarra Valley
The Yarra Valley draws us up there again and again. It’s our closest wine region, only approximately one and a half hour drive from Melbourne’s CBD. You don’t have to be a wine lover to enjoy this special part of Australia. Wine regions all over Australia offer a unique experience when you visit it. For us as a family, we love the restaurants and the different landscape which each season brings.
We have a couple of favourite restaurants up in the Yarra Valley which not only has fine food on their menus, the scenery from restaurants are also delicious! One fine restaurant at Yering Station serves the best fish and chips for kids, which leaves ours begging to go back! The Yarra Valley Choclaterie is a very busy place where you should only venture to if you’re prepared for the sugar hit aftermath! This little chocolate factory does get rather busy at times but it’s worth visiting for some sweet indulgence. The hardest part of visiting is resisting taking too much of it home with you!
There’s so much to do up in the Yarra Valley. Some will take a weekend escape up there, some will take a hot-air balloon ride over the vineyard and others will visit the museum in Tarrawarra. There’s loads of wine tours which you could join and the summer brings plenty of open air music festivals. The wines up there aren’t too bad either!
Helpful tip: You can visit the Yarra Valley all year round – the landscape changes constantly. Our favourite season up there has to be autumn, when the rolling vineyard leaves are all shades of yellow, orange and red. Just stunning and the kids love to play with the leaves (me too).
There is much more to experience in and around Melbourne …
That was only three things which our family likes to do, here in our corner of Australia in and around Melbourne. There’s so much more which we could tell you about! There’s also so much more which we still have to discover!
We’re definitely going to make sure that we get out to experience and see as much as we can of this beautiful part of the Australia. Why don’t you come for a visit!