Day Trips from Melbourne Ultimate Guide

With so much to see and so many ways to travel, picking the best day trip from Melbourne can be overwhelming. We’ve gathered our top tips to help you figure out which Melbourne day tour is right for you.

How to pick the best day tour from Melbourne

There is such a diversity of experiences to be had even when simply considering day trips based on destination. Day trips from Melbourne range from inland country Victoria adventures in The Grampians, to epic road trips along the southern coastline’s Great Ocean Road, and wandering forest trails in the Otways to discover thundering waterfalls. And that’s just getting started.

In this guide we answer five common questions about how to choose the best day tour from Melbourne:

  • why choose a day tour from Melbourne at all
  • how to choose a destination for your day trip from Melbourne
  • big bus tours vs small group tour, what’s right for you?
  • how to pick the best day tour for you
  • last but certainly not least — insider tips and tricks to find the best day tour from Melbourne

Why choose a day tour from Melbourne anyway?

On a tour the planning is done for you. The route is chosen, the destination is scouted. The timing is organised, transport is covered. And on our tours so is your caffeine fix and your lunch. Here’s a few more things that you don’t need to worry about when you choose a day tour:

  • researching the destination, organising a route and itinerary, navigating a new place
  • hiring a car and picking a designated driver
  • finding the best spots for food, rest, and where to refill your water bottle

The benefits of choosing a guided tour for your day trip from Melbourne

If you’re travelling solo, a day tour is a great way to meet people. If you’re in a group, a tour means everyone gets to enjoy the day rather than having one or two people being tasked with managing logistics and wrangling the group.

You’ll learn more about the place you’re going to: fun facts, secret spots, and local knowledge is much harder to come by when you go it alone. Your tour guide know the best spots and the way to get there.

And because you’re not driving, when you’re tired at the end of the day you can kick back and relax.

How to choose a Melbourne day tour destination

Bush vs beach. Iconic destination or off the beaten track. Hiking or hot spring (though, why not both?).

There’s truly something for everyone when it come to great day trips from Melbourne. But when it comes down to it and you need to make a decision about where your next adventure will be, there are a few ways to narrow your options.

Here’s a few helpful tricks to choosing the best Melbourne day trip destination.

  • get on Instagram and use the location search to take a real time look at where you’re headed… what do you ♥️ most?
  • consider the time of year and weather conditions… would you like an Autumnal exploration of the Grampians? Summer tour of the Great Ocean Road? Recent rain got you hankering to chase waterfalls? Does the winter chill require some hiking and hot springs to warm you up?
  • take a look at the distance you’ll be covering in the day. Some Melbourne day trip destinations are closer than others. Maybe you love a good long road trip, or maybe you’re the type that prefers to stick a little closer to town.

Small group vs big bus: what’s right for you?

If you’ve taken a peek at the sort of day tours we offer, you might’ve guessed we’re rather partial to small group tours. This is because there are so many benefits to a more intimate group for a day tour adventure.

Small group tours can be afforded access to places big buses are not. This might mean the destinations themselves, the roadways to get there, or the places rest stops are made.

The group size can determine the proportion of time spent gazing out the window vs the time spent getting up close and personal with the places you’ve been dreaming about.

Small groups are generally more efficient during rest stops — fewer people, few stragglers at each stop. This means less time at toilet blocks and carparks, and more time at the epic destination you’re headed to 🙌🏻

The different types of Melbourne day tour

Melbourne is a city where you’re not short on options when it comes to day tours. Do you just want to stop off at a sightseeing spot, take a few photos, and carry on? Or do you want to get amongst it and spend time at your tour destinations? Take a look at the itinerary to figure out what you’re getting yourself into before you hit road.

One way to start on selecting the right day tour for you is to rule out what you’re not into. If you’re not a beer drinker, a tour of breweries is unlikely to be the right choice. If you want to spend more than a few minutes at your destination, you might want to keep an eye out for day tours on tight schedules with loads of sights marked as ‘photo stops’.

Next have a think about what gets you excited. If wildlife is what you’re after, look out for tours that include an opportunity to see animals along the way — whether in the wild or at a sanctuary. If you’re into a more active tour with epic natural landscapes, a guided hike day tour to a national park or a stretch of coastline is going to tick that box.

Another way to find the right tour for you is to think about how the tour aligns with your interests and values. You can learn a lot on your tour operator’s website and social media.

Take a close look at the day tour itinerary and consider features of the tour such as the size of the group, the size of the vehicle, and the destinations visited.

You can also take a look at the tour operator’s about page and consider the features of the tour company itself: official accreditation, eco-friendly, casual or formal?

Insider tips: how to choose the best day tour from Melbourne

Tip 1 – Food fuels adventure.

Don’t let anyone tell you food isn’t important. Hangry should be the last way you’re feeling on your adventure out of Melbourne. When you’ve got an early start and a long day of adventure you want to be caffeinated and well-fed for your journey! We love to get you ready for your day tour with us by having a hot thermos ready to go when we pick you up. We have lunch firmly on the agenda and we’re never short on healthy snacks to give you the energy needed to power on through the day. Remember great food fuels great adventure!

Tip 2 – Insta #research.

Get on insta and take a look at your tour operator’s insta page (here’s ours) as well as the destinations you’re considering. What do you see? Is it cruisy or rushed? High energy and outdoorsy or lots of on-the-bus time? Does it look like your sort of day? Every tour is different and you can learn a lot on Instagram. Let it guide you to your next #adventure.

Tip 2 – Read the reviews.

Get some advice from those who’ve experienced it already. Take a peek at the social media accounts of the Melbourne tour operators you’re considering. What sorts of comments are people leaving? These will give you an inside look at the type of day you’re in for. Will it be rushed and strictly to a schedule, or more relaxed with plenty of time to take in the sights?

Another great place to check out the reviews is over on TripAdvisor. On TripAdvisor you’ll find a wealth of crowd-sourced information about the destinations you’re considering including great gems of info, and photos too. Importantly, you’ll get an insight into all different aspects of the tours you’re considering. Genuine reviews by others might be exactly what you need to make a decision and be on your way to your next adventure.

Check out what people who’ve come along on a Hike and Seek day trip from Melbourne have to say about their experience here.