South East Touring Route

Melbourne to Melbourne (Loop)

Total Distance: 380km
4hr 50min

View on Map View on Map

The beauty of Victoria is that several premier destinations are within easy reach of Melbourne. The South East Touring Route highlights the simplicity of reaching prized areas, combining the Yarra Valley wine region with the spectacular coastal hotspots of Phillip Island and Mornington Peninsula. It equals a touring route where self-indulgence comes by the truck load.

Highlights

  • Visit a prized cellar door in the Yarra Valley wine region
  • Be wowed by wildlife at Healesville Sanctuary
  • Enjoy majestic scenery aboard the Puffing Billy
  • Marvel at little penguins at Phillip Island
  • Soak up glittering views from Arthurs Seat State Park
Flynns Beach, Phillip Island

Flynns Beach, Phillip Island

Kangaroos, Healesville Sanctuary

Kangaroos, Healesville Sanctuary

Point Nepean, Mornington Peninsula

Point Nepean, Mornington Peninsula

Melbourne

Start

With its incredible catalogue of attractions and activities, Melbourne kicks off the South East Touring Route in style. And all tastes are covered.

The Victorian capital is abuzz no matter the time of year, boasting an events calendar that is jammed from January until December. Sporting, cultural, musical, and family-friendly events all feature and are first-class. Whether it’s White Night Melbourne in February, the Melbourne International Comedy Festival in March and April, or the Spring Racing Carnival from September to November, the city delivers unforgettable experiences.

For pure indulgence, have breakfast along buzzing Degraves Street, admire world-renowned works at the National Gallery of Victoria, enjoy high-end shopping along Chapel Street or a chocolate tour around Melbourne, and then get the inside word on Melbourne’s laneway culture and uncover a funky bar or restaurant.

If it’s family fun that you’re after, head to Federation Square and visit the Australian Centre for the Moving Image – it’s an underrated gem. Stop by the Melbourne Museum and discover that there is so much more to see than just Phar Lap or head to Melbourne Aquarium and be captivated by a huge assortment of marine life. 

BIG4 Holiday Parks in Melbourne

Melbourne to Yarra Valley (Healesville)

65km (1hr)

Head northeast of Melbourne through its suburbs and take the route that follows the Maroondah Highway. Reach Lilydale and stop at the Yarra Ranges Regional Museum. Only opened since 2011, this modern complex provides an exceptional introduction to the region.

From here, the Yarra Valley awaits and this idyllic area will leave you feeling as if you are a world away from the humming vibe of Melbourne.

A renowned cool-climate wine region, the Yarra Valley teems with cellar doors that range from big-name producers to boutique offerings.

But it’s not all about wine – a superb range of sumptuous produce is at your fingertips in the Yarra Valley. Visit orchards, fruit farms, and dairy outlets or be seated at first-rate restaurants and cafés. If here on the third Sunday of the month, stop by the Yarra Valley Farmers' Market at Yering Station.

A key spot in the Yarra Valley is Healesville, an exquisite town that visitors easily gravitate towards. It is home to superb speciality shops, restaurants and cafés, and some big-name attractions.

Healesville Sanctuary tops the list, showcasing a great variety of native wildlife. While platypus are the headliners and will easily captivate, the hot tip is to time your visit with the daily Spirits of the Sky bird show. These winged wonders put on an extremely entertaining performance.

The TarraWarra Museum of Art is another prized find and has a focus on Australian works from the 1950s and onwards.

Or hit the nature trail and explore nearby Yarra Ranges National Park where towering Mountain Ash trees dominate the surrounds.

BIG4 Holiday Parks in Yarra Valley (Healesville)

Yarra Valley (Healesville) to Phillip Island (Newhaven)

125km (1hr 35min)

Head south on this leg of the touring route: diversions are sure to tempt.

Take a detour towards Warburton and visit the Blue Lotus Water Garden, a seasonal attraction that showcases a stunning assortment of plant life. Further along, take a picturesque walk to the La La Falls.

From here, consider following Gembrook Road. It leads to the town of Gembrook, home of the Puffing Billy. A ride along this iconic railway to Belgrave is littered with spectacular scenery as it cuts through the ravishing Dandenong Ranges.

Reach the fringes of Western Port and continue towards the crowd-pulling destination of Phillip Island.

Phillip Island is crammed with goodies, providing incredible wildlife experiences and a string of glorious beaches.

The little penguins steal the spotlight and each night these cute creatures put on a show for visitors. The Koala Conservation Centre is equally captivating: treetop boardwalks put you within gum leaf distance of a national treasure.

Phillip Island beaches are magnetising strips of surf and sand. Cowes Beach is a great family option and Woolamai Beach attracts surfers. Cape Woolamai has a handful of walking trails that are lined with glorious views.

Engrossing family-friendly attractions include A Maze ‘N Things and Phillip Island Chocolate Factory. Located at Newhaven, the chocolate factory offers much more than the opportunity to sample its delicious hand-crafted chocolates.

BIG4 Holiday Parks in Phillip Island (Newhaven)

Phillip Island (Newhaven) to Mornington Peninsula (Dromana)

105km (1hr 15min)

Cut an almost-circular shape as you continue the journey along the South East Touring Route.

Break the drive with a visit to Moonlit Sanctuary Wildlife Conservation Park. It has plentiful native wildlife to view in expansive surrounds.

From here, unearth the many delights of the Mornington Peninsula. This spectacular region shines when it comes to beaches, gardens, golf, wineries, and more.

The seaside suburb of Dromana is a superb base for exploring the many strengths of the Mornington Peninsula.

Nearby Safety Beach suits families, Heronswood is a grand garden, and superb golf courses and wineries are scattered around Dromana.

Take advantage of the proximity to Arthurs Seat State Park, which delivers outstanding views that stretch as far as Melbourne’s skyline.

Or head further south and uncover enticing attractions: the Peninsula Hot Springs provide a soothing experience, Mornington Peninsula National Park includes spectacular scenery and formations, and busy Sorrento is one of the most popular spots in the region.

BIG4 Holiday Parks in Mornington Peninsula (Dromana)

Mornington Peninsula (Dromana) to Melbourne

85km (1hr)

Depart from Dromana and explore the rest of the Mornington Peninsula at your leisure as you return to Melbourne.

Consider taking the coastal route when departing Dromana as it allows the opportunity to view many impressive beaches. Be sure to photograph the iconic and colourful bathing boxes that are synonymous with the Mornington Peninsula coast. Or enjoy a picnic at Mount Eliza Regional Park.

Taking an alternative route through Cranbourne rewards. The Royal Botanic Gardens Cranbourne are astounding and showcase a tapestry of native plant life that brilliantly highlights just how diverse Australia’s landscape is.

BIG4 Holiday Parks in Melbourne

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