When you’ve got time to spare, a road trip is a great way to explore parts of the country that you might have not previously considered or visited. One of the most popular destinations in Australia, both for locals and foreigners, has to be Melbourne. It is a city full of beautiful sights to behold and exciting experiences to be had, making it a great location for an exploratory journey. Whether you’re wanting to avoid the expense of air travel or see some of Victoria’s many rural attractions along the way, there are plenty of reasons to forge your own path there, by jumping in your car and hitting the open road.
Benefits of traveling by car
One of the best perks of traveling by road is the ability to bypass expensive plane tickets, which
could leave you with several hundred extra dollars to spend on making your holiday a bit more
special. You’ll also have the added advantage of skipping the airport check-in and waiting times,
so you can forget about squeezing your life into a suitcase or stressing over airline baggage allowances. When you travel on-road, your only constraint is the size of your vehicle, so pack as much as you can fit, and take the weather into account – Melbourne and wider Victoria are notorious for blistering summers and bone-chilling winters.
Traveling by car allows you the convenience of stopping close to anything you want to see.
Getting out of Melbourne to experience the High Country, driving through picturesque mountains
and valleys can only be possible in your own vehicle, and with a car at your disposal, you’ll be able
to operate to your own schedule. Forget worrying about public transport timetables, or wasting
money on a Myki smart travel card, which will become redundant as soon as you leave Victoria.
The downside is that car travel can also make you a target for thieves, so keep safety and security
front of mind when choosing a parking spot. Well-lit areas leave you far less vulnerable, so whether
you park in a secure carpark or on a nearby street, seek out a spot with good overhead lighting
and look around for any CCTV cameras that might be covering the area. Keep in mind, too, that
while street parking may be available, it can become quite an expensive exercise, especially in the CBD.
Fortunately, though, there are alternatives to be found, not too far from the center of the tourist
action. For the budget-conscious visitor, Melbourne airport parking is not only one of the most affordable options available, but also one of the safest, owing to the frequent vehicle and foot
traffic through the area. Thanks to services like Parkos, the savvy traveler can pick and choose
from various locations around the airport, along with a shuttle service to and from your desired
place of stay.
The best of Melbourne
In case you needed another reason to travel around Melbourne by car, consider the Great
Ocean Road. One of the city’s most famous tourist attractions, the road is best traveled in the
comfort of your own vehicle, and with plenty of time for pit stops. Along the way, leave
yourself plenty of time to see attractions like Port Campbell National Park and the famous
Twelve Apostles limestone stacks, and take advantage of the viewing spots for prime photo opportunities.
Once you’ve grown tired of being behind the wheel, the Mornington Peninsula is the place to go
for rest and respite. Along the coast, you’ll find plenty of beautiful beaches, natural hot springs,
and wineries, all of which make this spot very popular for weekend getaways, but you’ll need
more time if you’re to get to the heart of Mornington’s heritage gardens and artistic culture.
If those hot springs are your thing, Daylesford will be your little slice of heaven, filled with
luxurious spa facilities and plenty of opportunities to sample exquisite cuisine. There are
also more than enough lakes, parks, and botanical gardens to keep you busy exploring for
days, so don’t be tempted into rushing on to your next destination, even for the famous Silo
Art Trail. Those who like their experience of nature with a slice of culture will find their fix in
this ‘outdoor art gallery’, with numerous deftly-painted silos, but when it comes time to explore
the gallery’s 200-kilometer stretch, you’ll be needing your car more than ever.
Finishing your trip in North Melbourne is a great way to reintegrate yourself into city life, whilst
still allowing plenty of time for such luxuries as live music, vibrant theatre, and parks fit to host
a picnic. It’s a spot for the whole family, with plentiful and surprisingly affordable accommodation, boasting a great blend of culture and youthful energy.
A road trip to Melbourne promises plenty of memorable experiences for those who put a little
time and effort into planning their visit to this wonderful place. Whether your priority is safety,
keeping costs low, or accessing the kind of far-off spots that promise a memorable journey, you
can do it all with your car and a handy map in tow.