If you are looking for a relaxing getaway that is truly far away, then consider visiting Melbourne, Australia. Surrounded by gorgeous sparkling bays, picturesque peninsulas and fantastic peaks, Melbourne is an incredible place to visit. Whether you are a beach lover, an animal lover or you just love some good fine dining, there are a number of places in the “Land Down Under” to visit that are off the beaten path and away from the major touristy spots.
The Dandenong Ranges and Yarra Valley
If you love wildlife, the wilderness and fantastic grub, don’t miss the opportunity to visit the Dandenong Ranges and the Yarra Valley. This is a great place to stop for a relaxing getaway during your trip to Australia. Here you can feed crimson rosellas and cockatoos at Grants Picnic Ground in Sherwood Forest (watch out for King John!) or hike the mountain ash forests and trails. Head over to the Dandenong Ranges National Park for a relaxing picnic near the picturesque waterfalls.
The Yarra Valley is a great place to go when you want some good grub. Creamy cheeses and farm fresh produce are only a few of the delicious offerings you can expect to enjoy while taking part in Devonshire Tea at one of the little villages in the region, such as Olinda. Check out local wildlife, like wombats, dingoes, echidnas and platypuses at Healesville Sanctuary.
The Mornington Peninsula
Check out charming little seaside villages while basking in the sun on soft, sandy shores of the Mornington Peninsula. This is where the well-to-do of Melbourne visit their fancy holiday homes. You can also check out the Millionaire’s Walk, which is a cliff side trail that stretches five kilometers long between Sorrento and Portsea.
Take a morning dip in the crisp clear waters while enjoying as much sun as you can on the Oceanside beaches. Are you a surfer at heart (or just an aspiring one)? This is a fantastic place for that as well.
While in the area, head out for a hike along cliff-hugging trails that offer gorgeous views of the ocean in Mornington Peninsula National Park!
Grampians National Park
If you are a nature-lover at heart, consider visiting Grampians National Park, about three hours from Melbourne. Here you can enjoy waterfalls, wildflowers and wildlife as well as gorgeous valleys and peaks. Immerse yourself in the rugged grandeur while hiking the scenic trails and descending into the valley.
Check out a rock art tour or an aboriginal bush tucker walk while visiting the area then hit up the hiking trails. One of the best in the area is the Venus Baths Walk.
The highest waterfalls in the state are located here at MacKenzie Falls. For vista views that will take your breath away, check out Boroka and Reeds lookouts. You can also see red-necked wallabies, possums, kangaroos, echnidas, emus and koalas here!
Although the Grampians are gorgeous year-round, the best time to visit in the spring. Remember their spring is different than that in the US. October is an ideal time to visit when the wildflowers are flourishing with color.
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