This is the ultimate 3 day Melbourne itinerary for nature lovers. Visiting the city’s Botanical Gardens in addition to taking day trips to discover Melbourne’s natural surroundings.
If you are a lover of nature and are planning a visit to Melbourne – you won’t be disappointed. Melbourne has many parks and gardens to explore. However, it also has some excellent natural wonders that can be discovered on a day trip from the city.
For nature-lovers we have the ultimate three day itinerary for a visit to Melbourne. It includes a tour of the Botanical Gardens, as well as day tours to the Grampians National Park and Great Ocean Road.
3 Day Melbourne Itinerary
Day 1 – Visit the Grampians National Park
For anyone wanting to take a day trip from Melbourne to a lesser known destination, the Grampians National Park is a nature-lovers paradise waiting to be explored. The Grampians day tour lets you get off the beaten path and away from the crowds. You’ll explore the National Park by walking the different trails to see canyons, waterfalls, forests and valleys.
We start the day with a visit to Silverband Falls. Take a short walk through eucalyptus forest alongside a stream to reach the Falls. After a lunch break in the town of Halls Gap, we walk the Grand Canyon Trail. Starting at the Wonderland carpark and looping back again, it is a short but challenging walk. This trail showcases the incredible rocky mountain range that is at the heart of the Grampians Range. Walk through the gorge and marvel at the colours, shapes and sheer size of the rock walls.
Afterwards, we visit the largest of the Grampians waterfalls, MacKenzie Falls. This tall, wide cascade of water flows into the rocky gorge all year round as part of the MacKenzie River. However, it is possible to take in views of the waterfall from above, and to walk to the base.
We will also visit Reeds Lookout for views over the Victoria Valley and all the way south to the end of the mountain range. Plus Boroka Lookout from which you can see the surrounding countryside, the town of Halls Gap, and the incredible rocky peaks of the central Grampians area. To finish the day we will look for some local kangaroos in town Halls Gap.
Day 2 – Explore the Royal Botanical Gardens
On day two you can have a relaxing start to the morning before heading to the Royal Botanical Gardens. The lush greenery and open spaces provide a welcome break from the city, plus there is so much to learn about the flora, fauna and history of the area.
In 1846, the Melbourne Gardens were founded, when land was reserved on the south side of the Yarra River for a new botanic garden. The garden now extends across 38 hectares that slope to the river, with garden beds, lakes and trees. Almost 50,000 individual plants can be seen in the garden. These plants represent around 8,500 different species, which are displayed in 30 living plant collections.
To take a tour of the gardens, we recommend the Aboriginal Heritage Walk which you can visit as a self-guided experience, or with an Aboriginal guide. You will get a glimpse into Australia’s Indigenous culture through the local plants and how they were used for food, tools and medicine.
Day 3 – Take a Sunset Tour of the Great Ocean Road
See one of Australia’s most iconic views – the spectacular Twelve Apostles – at the perfect time of day. A sunset visit to this incredible coastline is sure to be a highlight of your visit to Melbourne.
Start the day with a later departure time than most tours. Avoid the crowds as you journey along the Great Ocean Road, and be ready for an incredible show to end the tour!
We start the tour with a visit to the beaches of Victoria’s famous Surf Coast. Here we cruise along the coast with stories of the decade long construction of this iconic road. Plus, we stop in at the Memorial Arch for some photos and a look at the beach.
Next we stop to spot wild koalas while strolling in the sweetly-scented eucalyptus forest at Kennett River. Seeing these cute animals in their natural environment is a highlight of any visit to Australia. After a lunch break and an ice cream stop in the town of Apollo Bay, we take a drive through the Great Otway National Park.
Then the afternoon is spent marvelling at the natural beauty of the Shipwreck Coast. Visit Loch Ard Gorge and hear the famous tale of shipwreck survival. View two of the Apostles from beach level at Gibsons Steps (time permitting), and of course finish the day at the 12 Apostles Lookout. After the crowds have left you will enjoy unrivalled views.
About Go West Tours
At Go West Tours we pride ourselves on exceeding industry standards for excellence and customer service. With 22 years in business, Go West Tours is still a family-owned and operated tour business and we are as committed to providing guests with an unforgettable experience as we were back in 2000.
Join us on a day tour from Melbourne to experience more of the city and surrounds.
Written by: Leah Furey – Digital Content Coordinator @gowest.com.au