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Melbourne's Best Family Day Trips

by EricaL (follow)
Writer, blogger, Mum-of-two. Editor of melbourne.kidtown.com.au
Best day family day trips out of Melbourne

Have you considered taking a day trip out of Melbourne? Your children will be excited, plus you'll enjoy the fresh air and scenery, too.

In our fifth installment of Useful Lists, we asked members of our closed Melbourne Mums Facebook Group to suggest your recommendations for Melbourne day trips most suitable for families.

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Without further ado, we give you Melbourne's Best Family Day Trips:

Mornington Peninsula

Head down the coast to the Mornington Peninsula, there's so much to do. For a start, there's the quaint seaside town of Mornington. Here you'll find plenty of eateries, child-friendly cafes, ice creameries, great beaches with picturesque beach boxes for instagram worthy photographs, and there's a great public kid's park and playground with a wooden pirate ship for imaginative play.

Mornington Peninsula Beaches

The Briars is a 230 hectare rural property in Mount Martha with bush walks short enough for your kids to enjoy. You might even spot native wildlife if you look closely. The visitors centre is filled with information on the history and wildlife of the area, there's the Eco Living Display centre, and the 1840s homestead housing a world renowned collection of Napoleonic memorabilia.

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Boneo Maze and Mini Golf is an entertainment and eco-tourism complex in Fingal, filled with outdoor games for kids to enjoy, a vintage carousel and wetlands to explore.

The Enchanted Maze at Arthurs Seat offers Tree Surfing, a zip line and tube slides.

Sea Winds Gardens is a 34 hectare area at the Summit of Arthurs Seat, 305 metres above sea level. The gardens offer spectacular views of Port Phillip Bay and Peninsula's.

"Sea Winds Gardens has nice walks, beautiful views and kangaroos come out in the afternoon." MMG Member

The McClelland Gallery & Sculpture Park in Langwarrin is a beautiful spot to immerse yourselves in serenity while the kids can run amok. BYO picnic and enjoy picturesque views of the lake while the kids enjoy feeding the ducks some bird seed, or enjoy lunch in the cafe.

Immerse yourselves in nature at the Moonlit Sanctuary in Pearcedale; a 25-acre biopark and wildlife sanctuary, 50 minutes from Melbourne's CBD (by car). Feed the resident wallabies and kangaroos, and enjoy encounters with Koalas, Dingoes and more.

Relax and enjoy the first natural hot springs and day spa centre in Victoria; Mornington Peninsula Hot Springs. Children welcome.

Sorrento is another lovely seaside town. The beaches are beautiful, there's plenty of nice eateries, and you can catch the Queenscliff to Sorrento ferry for something fun to do.

Dandenong Ranges

"A walk on one of the trails or in one of the gardens (pram friendly). A stop at the gorgeous shops in Kallista. Fruit picking depending on the season. A meal at the Piggery Cafe; setting and play space can't be beat." MMG Member

Puffing Billy Railway is a century-old steam train which still runs on its original mountain track; a must for little train lovers. In recent years, Puffing Billy introduced a Day Out with Thomas, where your little kids will get to meet the Fat Controller and get to ride on a 20 minute train journey with Thomas the Tank Engine and Diesel. Also look out for the Santa special with Puffing Billy, a festive day out for families.

A Day out with Thomas

Grants Picnic Ground to feed the beautiful Rosellas and Cockatoos, enjoy one of the many bush walks, or enjoy a drink and lunch in the restaurant overlooking the Sherbrooke Forest.

Cockatoos at Grants Picnic Ground

SkyHigh Mount Dandenong for majestic views of Victoria's Port Phillip Bay.

"We always take our kids to Flippin' Pancakes in Sassafras for lunch when we visit the Dandenongs" MMG Member

William Ricketts Sanctuary a short bush walk filed with the mystical sculptures by late Australian artist William Ricketts.

Yarra Valley

The Yarra Valley isn't all about vineyards, there's plenty of other family friendly activities to enjoy.

The Yarra Valley Chocolaterie & Ice Creamery in Yarra Glen has breathtaking views of the Yarra Valley, as well as plenty of indoor and outdoor fun for kids.

The McKenzie Reserve in Yarra Glen on Bell Street next to the library has state-of-the-art playground for kids to enjoy.

Healesville Sanctuary a bushland haven for Australian wildlife, with a magnificent interactive playground for children.

Meet the Kangaroos

"For extra fun, add on a Magic Moment wildlife encounter at Healesville Sanctuary" MMG Member

Marysville a beautiful town in a pristine natural environment.

Phillip Island

Most famous for the Penguin Parade where visitors far and wide come to watch the penguins emerge from the water to waddle across the sand to the safety of their burrows.

There's also the Phillip Island Chocolate Factory, the Koala Conservation Centre, The Nobbies Centre and Amaze N'Things.

Heide Museum of Modern Art

Heide Museum of Modern Art offers three galleries, stunning architecture and fifteen acres of gardens and sculpture park to explore.

"Pull up your picnic rug and enjoy a lazy sunny day while the kids run free." MMG Member


There's a reason why open air museum Sovereign Hill remains a permanent fixture on Victoria's tourist map.

Sovereign Hill

The open air museum is a fabulous family tourist attraction, which is not only lots of fun but educational, too.

Ballarat is also home to the Museum, located at the site of the Eureka Rebellion in Ballarat, as well as the Ballarat Wildlife Park.

Eight kilometres east of Ballarat is Kryal Castle, a replica medieval castle.

"Price (for Kryal Castle) was reasonable as I purchased a voucher on Groupon, and best advice is to pack your own lunch as there are places to sit and have picnic near the playground". MMG Member

Macedon Ranges

Enjoy 7 hectares of garden heaven at the Gardens of Tieve Tara. Great for kids to run around on Treasure Island, and there's a fairy tree to visit. Open 1st March to 31st of May then 1st September to 30th November each year.


The iconic and beautiful Lavandula Swiss Italian Farm is well worth a visit.

"Lavender farm - beautiful gardens, animals, cafe, pond, they also do tours of the old farm house" MMG Member

Other mentions include

"Another place in my to do list with the kids is Warburton. Heard it is lovely and quaint." MMG Member

"Mt Donna Buang for some snow and tobogganing" MMG Member

"Lake Mountain in winter for snow play" MMG Member

Lake Mountain

"Altona mini train rides on every third Sunday of the month." MMG Member

"Fairy park Anakie" MMG Member

"Warrandyte, the closest State Park to Melbourne for bush walks and picnics" MMG Member.

A change of scenery does the world of good for Melbourne families. Break out of your weekly routine and hit the road on a weekend adventure where you don't need to book an overnight stay.

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