Melbourne's Top 5 Natural Wonders

Melbourne is enchanting in itself, but upon your next trip to this buzzing city, we encourage you to take the time to escape from the hustle and bustle of the city and explore these five natural wonders of the state. They are all located within short driving distance from the heart of the CBD. It’s time to hit the road!

The Dandenong Ranges

Located just 1 hour outside of Melbourne’s CBD, the Dandenong Ranges are a spectacular display of Australian flora and fauna covering 3200 hectares. Boasting an unrivalled blend of luscious rainforest, waterfalls, secluded picnic grounds, picturesque walking tracks and an abundance of nearby towns brimming with quaint boutiques and cafes, the Dandenong Ranges are a nature-lover’s paradise.

Take a ride on the iconic Puffing Billy steam train that winds leisurely along a 50 km track through the mountainside, providing passengers with a unique and enchanting experience. Other unmissable scenic attractions in the Dandenong Ranges include the blooming gardens that flourish in Spring, the Dandenong Ranges National Park where you can bask in the glory of the forests, plunging fern gullies and Sherbrooke Falls, and the Mount Dandenong Observatory for panoramic city views that are particularly breathtaking when the sun goes down.

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Werribee Open Range Zoo

The Werribee Open Range Zoo is a zoo like no other. Built around the concept of recreating an authentic African savannah, the Werribee Open Range Zoo spans 225 hectares, plays host to an extensive array of some of Africa’s most iconic animals and, believe it or not, is situated a mere 30 minutes from the heart of Melbourne. So if family-friendly adventure is what you’re looking for, then this is the place for you!

Visitors are welcome to wander around the zoo at leisure on foot or take part in a Safari Tour which takes you on a ride through the habitats of rhinos, giraffes, zebras, hippos, lions, cheetahs and many more, as they roam freely in their natural habitats. The Safari Tour is included in the general admission price and entry for children under the age of 16 is free during the school holidays.

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The Great Ocean Road

The natural beauty of the Great Ocean Road is something to behold. Deemed one of the most scenic stretches of road in the world that spans the south-west of Victoria, it is home to one of the seven natural wonders of the world, the Twelve Apostles. Take a journey through the scenic region and explore Geelong, Queenscliff, Torquay, Lorne and Apollo Bay to uncover pristine beaches, heritage buildings and beautiful restaurants. The neighbouring Otway Ranges are home to some of Australia’s most magnificent rainforests, whilst historic seafaring towns such as Warrnambool, Port Fairy and Portland boast lively fishing wharves, colonial buildings and maritime museums that document the stories of the rich, shipwrecked coastline.

Tantalising the taste buds of food and wine lovers, the Great Ocean Road is enriched with fine dining, local winemakers and fresh produce aplenty. A must-visit for the culturally inclined and outdoor enthusiasts, this spectacular region offers a diverse range of things to see and do, from surfing and kayaking to arts and cultural attractions.

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The Yarra Valley

The Yarra Valley is Australia’s little Tuscany, where the wine and culinary offerings are unrivalled, the views spectacular and the surroundings unspoilt. Specialising in the production of chardonnay, pinot noir and sparkling wine, you are sure to find a fine, satisfying drop. Indulge in a day of wining and dining amongst the vines, or stay for a long weekend at one of the many luxury accommodation providers sprinkled throughout the region.

Bask in the glory of the Yarra Valley from high up in the sky by riding in a hot air balloon over the region. Or, for a basket of a different kind, why not purchase some winery specials and pack a gourmet picnic? Venture into the tranquil Badger Weir Park new Healesville where you will be surrounded by fern gullies and mountain ash, or set up your picnic at Ironbark Ridge or Saddle Dam overlooking the reservoir. With bushwalking trails, bird watching, fishing and plenty of sightseeing opportunities, the kids will love it too!

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Phillip Island


Located a mere 90 minute drive from Melbourne, Phillip Island Nature Park is well worth a visit to enjoy a fun-filled day of exploring breathtaking landscapes and getting up close and personal with some of our iconic wildlife. There is plenty to see and do in Phillip Island and with an array of accommodation providers, quality restaurants, beaches and parks, you’ll be tempted to extend your stay well beyond just a day.

Wander along the coastline along the boardwalks that line the cliff tops at the Nobbies Centre and keep an eye out for fur seals and migrating whales, or go bird watching at Swan Lake. There are beaches aplenty for beginner to experienced surfers, from Flynn’s Beach to Summerland Bay. A notable highlight of any trip to Phillip Island, is the Penguin Parade. As the sun begins to fade, the world’s smallest penguins waddle up the beach to return to the warmth of their homes amongst the sand dunes, and you can bare witness to this magical procession from a 180 degree elevated viewing platform.

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To ensure that your next trip to Melbourne is as stress free as possible, book our affordable door-to-door airport transfer service.

By Stuart Stratton at 1 Sep 2014, 17:16 PM