by Chris Burns, Hop To It Tours
One of the great things about travelling to Melbourne if you are an adventure seeker is that there are plenty of options to whet your appetite. As well as great free options such as hiking and surfing, there are also many local providers that have great adventure activities no matter what kind of adrenaline rush you are looking for. This article will take you to some of the best spots for the activity you are looking for:
The absolute two best places to go hiking a short drive out of Melbourne are the Grampians National Park and Wilsons Promontory National Park. Both are about three hours drive, but in opposite directions, and they provide the options for short hikes up to multi day ones and have great campsites to stay at whilst trekking. Both National Parks are run by Parks Victoria and if you visit their website you can book those campsites ahead of time.
If you don’t want to travel as far to go on a good day hike then head to the Cathedral Ranges just past the Yarra Valley. Only an hour and a half from Melbourne, the southern circuit in particular (10km) is both gorgeous and challenging.
There are two main coastal areas to get your surf on near Melbourne, the Surf Coast at the start of the Great Ocean Road, and the Mornington Peninsula back beaches. Since Melbourne is on Port Phillip Bay its closest beaches are protected from the surf. As such you’ll need to travel just over an hour to get to great surfing spots.
The main beaches to look for are:
Be aware that rips (tides) in Australia can be very dangerous and to only go where there is a lifesaving club nearby and lifesavers patrolling. Most of the spots listed above also have places where you can hire equipment if needed.
If you have some cash to splash then some of the other great options for adventure travel around Melbourne are:
The best spot to go rock climbing in Victoria is Mt Arapiles, just a little further on from the Grampians. Here there are a few retailers where you can take a lesson, hire equipment or a guide and the climbing itself is first class.
There are a few options to sky dive around Melbourne but probably the most scenic spot would be over the Great Ocean Road from Barwon Heads.
Snorkelling and Scuba Diving
Whilst Melbourne is definitely not on the Great Barrier Reef, there are some great spots to dive. Probably the best shore dive is just off the Portsea pier in the Mornington Peninsula where sea dragons can easily be spotted.
Zip line course
One of the most famous zip line courses in Australia is in the Otway Rainforest, just off the Great Ocean Road. Called the Otway Fly, it propels you through nine stages over 30m from the ground. As part of you ticket you also get to go on their treetop walk.
Hot air Ballooning
Whilst you can hot air balloon from Melbourne, the more iconic spot is in the Yarra Valley. Get up early and watch sunrise from the air and enjoy a great breakfast once you land.
The best place to do some sightseeing from the air is definitely from the Twelve Apostles, and just at the visitor car park you can opt to view the coastline via helicopter. With three different length itineraries you can see all the great rock formations the Shipwreck Coast has to offer.
Whilst Melbourne is more famous for its horse races (think the Melbourne Cup), there are some great trails to go on from the novice to the expert. In Gunnamatta, on the Mornington Peninsula, you can opt to ride along the beach or head inland past some beautiful wineries.
There are a few great adventure rope courses around Melbourne. Here you do different activities from the air, whilst strapped in, such as climbing, propelling and navigating your way through tricky obstacles. You can find them at Glenhaven in the Dandenongs, up at Arthurs Seat in the Mornington Peninsula and at Lorne on the Great Ocean Road.
These are just a few of the options you have to get your heart pumping if you’re looking for a bit of Adventure Travel whilst on your trip to Melbourne. As you may have noticed a lot of them are in similar regions meaning they are easy to incorporate into your sightseeing day (or week).
We, at Hop To It Tours, love to incorporate a bit of adventure travel into your sightseeing tour and finish it off with some gourmet delights such as wine tastings.
To see a lot of the activities described check out our video blogs on our blog page. To check out what we do on our 3 or 4 day small group camping tour, click here or navigate via our header.
If you’re into Adventure Tours then why not come along and Hop To It with us!