The best scenic drives in Melbourne and Victoria

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Australia ReviewAustralia Review2 months ago
The best scenic drives in Melbourne and Victoria

Hit the road and explore some of the most beautiful roads to drive on across the state

There's nothing like hitting the tarmac and heading out for an adventure on the open road. Of course, it's all about the journey, not the destination. With that in mind, we've rounded up some of the most beautiful drives across Victoria, from our famous, undulating coastal routes to snowy alpine highways. 

Feel like a walk? Check out one of Victoria's best hiking trails. Or stay at home and enjoy a picnic at one of the city's nicest picnic spots.

Photograph: Visit Victoria

Black Spur Drive

Black Spur Drive
Maroondah Hwy, Fernshaw VIC 3778, Australia

Distance: 56km

Get ready to meet some dinosaurs. Or at least that’s what it feels like what’s about to happen when you drive the Black Spur. As you tootle underneath pole-straight gums and past verdant ferns on a foggy morning (and it does not take much to make it foggy up there), it’s not hard to imagine a velociraptor darting across your path. The road is best started at Lilydale and then followed through to Marysville. Drive carefully and keep an eye out for wildlife, fallen trees and hairpin turns on the way.

Photograph: Visit Victoria

Great Ocean Road

Great Ocean Road
Great Ocean Rd, Anglesea VIC 3230, Australia

Distance: 243km

We cannot stress this enough: it is not called the okay ocean road or the pretty good ocean road. It is called the Great Ocean Road because it is truly great, especially to drive. The winding 243km stretch takes you through fern-laden eucalypt forests and past sheer cliffs that peer out over an endless blue sea. There are plenty of small hamlets to stop in for coffee on the way as well as beaches aplenty. Keep an eye out for wildlife and blind corners.

Photograph: Visit Victoria

Great Alpine Road

Great Alpine Road
Great Alpine Rd, Myrtleford VIC 3737, Australia

Distance: 303km

You’ve met the Great Ocean Road. Now meet its colder, aloof, but just as magnificent sibling. This road stretches from Wangaratta in the west to Bairnsdale in the east, all the while traversing forested mountains and (in winter) snowy peaks. The B500 takes you through picturesque towns like Bright and Omeo and gives you the chance to meander off and explore regions like Beechworth. During winter, as the name suggests, the Great Alpine Road is also your ticket to ski resorts like Mount Hotham and Falls Creek.

Photograph: Benalla Rural City Council

North East Victoria Silo Art Trail

Sea Lake Silo Art
33 Railway Ave, Sea Lake VIC 3533, Australia

Distance: 132 km

Driving and art: together at last. The Silo Art Trail features a chain of silos and other large regional buildings that have been upcycled into massive artworks by street artists. The North East trail starts at Benalla (home of the Wall to Wall street art festival) then continues to Goorambat where there is a trio of grain silos featuring works from Jimmy Dvate. The trail then takes you to Devenish, St James, Tungamah and Winton Wetlands, showcasing monolithic street art along the way.

Photograph: Flickr / Ian Cochrane

Beach Road Melbourne

Beach Road
Beach Rd, Beaumaris VIC 3193, Australia

Distance: 18km Melbourne might not be known for its beaches in a way that Sydney is, but no one told Beach Road. This suburban roadway between Mordialloc and Brighton is a great option for those wanting a good drive, not a long drive. On the way, you can stop at some of Melbourne’s best beaches if you so desire, as well as rubberneck at the monolithic beachfront homes of the city’s one per cent. 

Photograph: Visit Victoria

Grampians Road

Grampians Road
Grampians Rd, Halls Gap VIC 3381, Australia

Distance: 64km

The Grampians is arguably one of Victoria’s best national parks, with dramatic sandstone mountains and views that will make you say, “Kosciusko who?”. If you’d prefer to enjoy the region from the comfort of your car, the Grampians Road drive from Halls Gap to Dunkeld is a wonderful way to do so. On one side you’ll see mountains, on the other, you’ll pass by the beautiful Lake Bellfield and seemingly endless craggy plains. 

Photograph: Visit Victoria

Port Phillip Bay loop

Bay Street
Bay St, Port Melbourne VIC 3207, Australia

Distance: Approximately 230km

Thanks to the magic of ferries, you can drive a full loop around Port Phillip Bay. Starting from Melbourne, head west to Geelong and then down to Queenscliff. From there, book you and your vehicle passage on Searoad Ferries to Sorrento where you can follow the Nepean Highway back to Melbourne. You’ll get the best ocean views from Queenscliff onwards, but there’s definitely a certain windswept charm to the scrubby, straw-coloured fields of the Bellarine.

Photograph: Visit Victoria

Arthurs Seat

Arthurs Seat
Arthurs Seat VIC 3936, Australia

Distance: 20km Arthurs Seat is the highest point on the Mornington Peninsula and unsurprisingly has some pretty neat views of the bay. Heading up the hill makes for a perfect Sunday drive. Be warned though – this is one of the windiest roads in the state with plenty of hairpins. Once you’ve made it up the hill, you can do a loop by travelling on Purves then Main Creek Road, or you can head further north and explore Red Hill (known for its wineries).

Credit: https://www.timeout.com/melbourne/travel/the-best-scenic-drives-in-victoria

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