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5 Family-Friendly Day Trips from Melbourne

Where to go and what to do when based in Australia’s second largest city.

If you’re visiting Melbourne with the family in tow, you’re sure to need a couple of family-friendly day trip ideas up your sleeve.

While Melbourne’s surrounds is rich with plenty of great family-friendly activities and attractions, here are a few top picks where you’ll get to see more of what this beautiful corner of the world has to offer while ensuring the youngsters are kept entertained.

Dandenong Ranges

The Mount Dandenong Ranges is a famed attraction only one hour out of Melbourne, where you’ll get to breathe in the fresh air while witnessing the majesty of towering Mountain Ash trees and dense ferny undergrowth.

While there, the Puffing Billy steam locomotive is a sure-fire winner for families. Departing from Belgrave and winding through the rainforest all the way to Gembrook, the kids will be able to grow an appreciation of what travel was once like. If you don’t want to travel the entire distance to Gembrook, simply pack a picnic lunch and jump off half-way at Lakeside Station where you’ll be able to relax waterside at Emerald Lake Park.

While you’re in the Dandenong Ranges, make sure you also head to Skyhigh, where you can take in sweeping views looking back to Melbourne, grab a bite to eat from the café or restaurant, explore the gardens or get lost in the hedge maze.

Gumbaya World

Everyone loves an amusement park, and as far as amusement parks Melbourne go, Gumbuya World would have to be the pick of the bunch.

Located in Tynong, about one hour out of Melbourne, Gumbaya is an amusement park that truly offers something for everyone. Whether you choose to wander through the wildlife trail, jump on a ride or two, relax poolside in a private cabana or have a splash in the large-scale water park, you can do it all at the one amusement park!

Ballarat

Ballarat is another great day trip destination in Regional Victoria. Around one and a half hours’ drive from Melbourne, Ballarat came to fame during Victoria’s rich gold rush period, meaning you’ll find plenty of impressive historic architecture dotted throughout the city, along with plenty of fun family attractions.

Sovereign Hill is a much-loved family favourite, where you can take a step back in time to experience what life during the gold rush period was like—in costume and all! While you’re there, you may also want to check out the underground gold mine, Kryal Castle and Lake Wendouree.

Mornington Peninsula

If you like the idea of both the beach and the bush, Mornington Peninsula has got it all. Forming the eastern peninsula of Port Phillip Bay, whether you want to take a relaxed dip in the calm waters of the bay or you prefer the idea of heading to the back beaches to sample the open surf, the choice is yours.

Then when you’ve had enough of the water, why not head to the hot springs in Fingal, book in for a horse trail ride through the trees in Red Hill or drive up to Arthurs Seat to take in the breathtaking views of the bay or ride the Arthurs Seat Eagle chairlift.

Healesville

A little over one hour north-east of Melbourne’s CBD you’ll find Healesville, a cute village-style township that’s loaded with galleries, cafes and pubs.

While the town itself is well worth a visit, the main attraction for the littlies will undoubtedly be Healesville Sanctuary, which offers a zoo-type experience with a particular focus on native Australian animals.

If time permits, you should also try to stop past ‘The Waterwheel’ in Warburton on the way home, where you can enjoy the unique and quirky experience offered at the indoor interactive forest experience.

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