Don’t miss out on discovering rainforests, waterfalls and abundant wildlife in these National Parks near Melbourne.

Melbourne is a vibrant city, with many great attractions. However, it is also blessed with some fantastic day trip options. Therefore you should discover the national parks near Melbourne to really see the beauty of Australia.

You can step onto wild beaches on the Shipwreck Coast, or walk amongst the rainforest in the Otways. Marvel at waterfalls in the Grampians or walk the coastal trails at Wilsons Prom. 

Whatever you choose, these national parks near Melbourne will not disappoint. 

For any easy day trip, take one of our tours and let our guides show you the natural wonders on offer in Victoria. We will take care of the logistics and let you enjoy your tour of our fantastic national parks. 

Port Campbell National Park

The Port Campbell National Park is home to a world famous coastline with impressive rock formations. 

Located along the Great Ocean Road, the Port Campbell National Park features incredible locations such as the Twelve Apostles, Loch Ard Gorge and Gibson Steps. 

The towering limestone cliffs and spectacular rock formations have been carved by the wild Southern Ocean. In addition, the wind and rain has contributed to creating an amazing landscape. It needs to be seen to be believed. 

Standing at the coastal lookouts, you can’t help but marvel at the sight of the Twelve Apostles. They tower an impressive 45 metres above the ocean. 

Stepping down onto the beaches, you’ll be eye level with the waves rolling into the sand. But a glance up at the cliffs will reveal colours and formations from years of erosion. 

Port Campbell National Park is a good place to view marine animals, sea birds and some land mammals. There is a colony of Little Penguins that can be viewed at dusk from the 12 Apostles Lookout. Though it is far, you can view groups of the small penguins waddling from the ocean to their nests in the sand dunes.

During the winter months it is common to see whales passing by the coastline. Humpback whales and Southern Right Whales have been known to make the journey from Antarctica past the Port Campbell National Park. Particularly in June or July is when they are making their way north to give birth and nurse their young.

Where is the Port Campbell National Park?

The Port Campbell National Park is located along the Great Ocean Road, approximately 4 hours drive from Melbourne. It is a scenic journey with many great places to stop along the way. However, you can also take an inland route to get there in approximately 2.5 hours. 

Visit the Port Campbell National Park on our Great Ocean Road day trip from Melbourne. We tour the iconic road to explore the surf beaches, spot koalas in the wild and take in the amazing views. Following this, we spend the afternoon in the Port Campbell National Park visiting the Twelve Apostles, Loch Ard Gorge and Gibson Steps. 

Great Otway National Park 

Great Otway National Park stretches along the Great Ocean Road. From the surf capital from Torquay, to the Otways hinterland. A drive along the Great Ocean Road lets you discover windswept coastlines and breathtaking waterfalls. 

Walk amongst tall mountain forests, or along the coast on the Great Ocean Walk. Visit the historic Otway Lightstation and check out some epic surf beaches. 

There’s no better place to reconnect with nature than the Great Otway National Park. Do so by walking through tall eucalypt forests, and lush fern gullies in the Otway Ranges. A visit to Maits Rest lets you discover rainforests and giant beech trees – some of which are up to 300 years old.

Where is the Great Otway National Park?

The Great Otway National Park is located along Victoria’s south west coast. It can be accessed from many different points along the Great Ocean Road. The closest area to the city is about 1.5 hours drive from Melbourne.

Visit the Great Otway National Park on our Great Ocean Road day trip from Melbourne. In addition to touring the iconic road for the coastal views, we explore the rainforest. Take a walk amongst lush green ferns at Maits Rest. It is a chance to breathe in the fresh air in an area rich in natural history.

Grampians (Gariwerd) National Park

Explore the natural beauty of the Grampians Gariwerd National Park. Step out on the walking trails and be amazed at your surroundings.

Traditionally known as Gariwerd, this region is home to many significant and ancient Aboriginal rock art paintings. In addition, it is the location of many spectacular waterfalls. The largest is MacKenzie Falls, flowing all year round with some fantastic viewpoints.

From bushland to tall eucalyptus trees, and even areas of rainforest – there is much to be admired. In Spring, the wildflowers blossom, changing the landscape and bringing colour to the trails. 

Keep your eyes peeled to spot some of the local wildlife. Kangaroos, wallabies, emus and native birds are bountiful in the region. 

Take in the views of this magnificent landscape from one of the many viewpoints. The Grand Canyon, Boroka Lookout and Reeds Lookout are all excellent places to explore the national park. 

Where is the Grampians (Gariwerd) National Park?

The Grampians (Gariwerd) National Park is located west of Melbourne. It is an almost 3 hour drive from the city along the Western Highway and Grampians Way. 

Visit the Grampians (Gariwerd) National Park on our Grampians Day Trip from Melbourne. Discover the walks, waterfalls and wildlife on our one day tour of this incredible national park. You’ll visit the main attractions in the central Grampians region including MacKenzie Falls and Boroka Lookout. 

Wilsons Promontory National Park

Wilsons Promontory National Park is located at the southernmost tip of mainland Australia. 

It is a coastal National Park with many walking trails. Therefore, you can explore on foot to take in magnificent views and discover local wildlife.

Wombats, kangaroos and emus are just some of the wildlife found there – along with many native Australian birds. The Wildlife Walk is a great place to discover these animals. 

The national park is famous for its many pristine beaches. Squeaky Beach has white quartz sand that squeaks beneath your feet as you walk. Hence the beach’s name.

A walk along the coastal trails gives you wonderful panoramic views of the beaches and offshore islands. 

Where is the Wilsons Promontory National Park?

Wilsons Promontory National Park is located south east of Melbourne in the Gippsland region. It is approximately 2.5 hours drive from the city through some beautiful rural areas.  

Visit Wilsons Promontory National Park on our day tour from Melbourne. Walk  along the coastal trails and take in the magnificent views. Discover the local wildlife, and explore the incredible Squeaky Beach. Its a chance to break away from the crowds and explore a lesser-known national park. 


Written by: Leah Furey – Digital Content Coordinator