Best Winter Day Trips from Melbourne

Best Winter Day Trips from Melbourne

Winter is a wonderful time to explore the Great Ocean Road. Despite the cooler weather, the beauty and excitement of these destinations shines through even more without crowds muddling your view. Here, we highlight why the Great Ocean Road makes for the best winter day trips from Melbourne, showcasing top spots and activities for an unforgettable adventure.

Great Ocean Road Highlights

No list of winter day trips from Melbourne can miss the Great Ocean Road. This scenic drive is stunning all year, but in winter, you can appreciate its beauty without the crowds and feel more comfortable heading off the beaten track without being tempted by the excellent beaches on a hot summer day. Here are some things we’re looking forward to this winter:

  • Whale Watching: Winter is prime whale-watching season. Visit Logans Beach in Warrnambool to see Southern Right Whales. These majestic creatures migrate here from June to September, offering a spectacular sight.
  • Geothermal Hot Springs: Warm up at the Deep Blue Hot Springs in Warrnambool. Soak in mineral-rich waters and enjoy a twilight session under the stars. The hot springs promote relaxation and well-being.
  • Scenic Views and Natural Wonders: The Great Ocean Road is famous for its dramatic coastal scenery. Visit the 12 Apostles, Loch Ard Gorge, and London Arch. These limestone formations are striking against the wild winter seas.
  • Historic Sites and Wildlife: Explore Cape Otway and its bushland, where you can spot koalas and other wildlife.

Travel Tip: Pack a warm jacket, beanie, and scarf as it can get quite chilly, especially being buffeted by the coastal breeze. 

Must-See Stops Along the Great Ocean Road

See some of the Great Ocean Road’s most famous attractions at Port Campbell.

  • 12 Apostles: One of Australia’s most iconic sights, the 12 Apostles are limestone stacks rising from the ocean.
  • Loch Ard Gorge: Named after a shipwreck, this site offers dramatic views and rich history.
  • Gibson Steps: Descend 86 steps to the beach for a unique view of the 12 Apostles.

Activities and Experiences

  • Wildlife Spotting: Watch for kangaroos, koalas, and birds. Visit Tower Hill Wildlife Reserve to see these animals in their natural habitat.
  • Cosy Dining: Warm up with local cuisine. Try Apollo Bay’s seafood or a meal by the fire in Warrnambool’s cosy restaurants.
  • Walking and Hiking: Numerous trails along the Great Ocean Road offer stunning views and a chance to immerse in nature. The Great Otway National Park is particularly beautiful in winter and hiking is just more fun without having to sweat in the summer heat.

Get Out of the City This Winter

Whether you’re heading on a spontaneous getaway or planning a detailed itinerary, winter day trips from Melbourne along the Great Ocean Road offer something for everyone. Embrace the quieter season, explore stunning landscapes, and create unforgettable memories along this iconic route.

Check out some great places to eat seasonal produce on your winter day trip with our foodie guides or view our itineraries for a more detailed guide to a day in the Great Ocean Road.

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Great Ocean Road Regional Tourism acknowledges the Traditional Custodians of the Great Ocean Road region the Wadawurrung, Eastern Maar & Gunditjmara. We pay our respects to their Elders, past, present and emerging. We recognise and respect their unique cultural heritage and the connection to their traditional lands. We commit to building genuine and lasting partnerships that recognise, embrace and support the spirit of reconciliation, working towards self-determination, equity of outcomes and an equal voice for Australia’s first people.