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Q. Hi, I'm off to Melbourne for 5 nights Any suggestions for 2 one day trips out of Melbourne in a rental car. Keen to seen nice towns and places of interest. Regards, Richard.
A. Just an hour's drive from Melbourne is the Mornington Peninsula, known for the quaint bathing boxes that line the shore (built in the 1880s), wineries (170 vineyards) and great beaches.
There are plenty of seaside villages along the coastline to stop and check out, but be sure to stop in Mt Eliza for secluded beaches and Mt Martha for shopping, parks and wildlife.
Another great day trip is to the Great Ocean Road. This is a 243km stretch of road that passes through many of Victoria's most iconic spots.
Stop at Cape Otway to see the iconic 12 Apostles (magnificent rock stacks that rise up from the Southern Ocean), check out the Grampians for rock escarpments, waterfalls and Aboriginal rock art, head to Ballarat for a journey back in time to Sovereign Hill, an outdoor "live" museum which has been recreated into a 1850's gold mining settlement.
Last but not least before you turn around to head back to Melbourne, make sure you explore the fishing village of Port Fairy, lined by 19th century cottages, old stone churches and boarding houses and inns - more than 50 buildings classified by the National Trust. A total distance of 777km from Melbourne to Port Fairy return.
Julia Paley, General Manager Short-haul, House of Travel.
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