There are lots of options when choosing a day trip from Melbourne and many people often end up enjoying the beaches or wineries in places such as the Great Ocean Road, Mornington Peninsula and the Yarra Valley.
These are great, however it’s nice sometimes to do something a bit different and see something unusual and unique. Here is a list of our favourite unusual day trips from Melbourne.
Explore the Abandoned Victorian Goldfields Mines
The Victorian Goldfields region of Australia is home to a number of abandoned mines that are now open to exploration by the public. These mines are mostly situated around Ballarat and Bendigo and offer a unique opportunity to learn about the history of the region and the gold mining industry that played such a significant role in its development.
Some of these mines include:
- Jubilee Mine at Staffordshire Reef
- Garfield Water Wheel at Chewton
- Alma Lead Cynanide Works in Bowenvale
- Red, White and Blue Mine in Muckleford
- Central Nell Gwyne Poppet Head at Bendigo
- Old Tom Mine in the Greater Bendigo National Park
- New Australasian No. 2 Deep Lead Gold Mine in Creswick
Visitors can see the mines and see ruins, diggings, boilers and machinery. Some sites offer tours but many are self guided, allowing you to explore at your own pace often without crowds of people. This unusual day trip from Melbourne allows visitors to see something that is genuine, real and not set up to impress tourists.
Take yourself to a far away place at Otway Fly
Otway Fly has a range of attractions you wouldn’t normally see in Melbourne. These include zip lining, a tree top walk and an enchanted forest walk with fairies.
On the Treetop Walk, you can take a one hour walk through the rainforest, with a view of the Otway Ranges from a 25 metre-high elevated walkway. The walk is approximately two kilometres long and features a 600 metre-long, 47-metre high steel canopy walkway.
Alternatively, the Zipline Eco-Tour offers a two and a half hour, fully guided experience with training and simulation, eight stations, six flights, and two suspension bridges, allowing you to fly 30 metres high from tree to tree.
The enchanted forest walk consists of 20 houses ranging in size from small cottages to tall, multi-level tree houses up to one metre high. Visitors can observe the daily activities of the tiny fairies who reside in the village.
Take a Hot Air Balloon Flight
Hot air balloon flights would be one of the more unusual ideas listed here, however most people find themselves thinking that the idea is so good, they can’t believe they didn’t think of it themselves.
There are several tour businesses providing hot air balloon tours over Melbourne from nearby places like the Yarra Valley and Geelong. These usually leave early in the morning so you can take advantage of the calm weather, fresh morning air and enjoy long views over Melbourne and across Port Phillip Bay and Mount Dandenong. It’s great for proposing to a partner, an unusual wedding anniversary present when you’re running out of fresh ideas, or simply something new to do.
See the BIG Things
When the BIG Australian attractions are mentioned, people often think about the Big Banana or the Big Pineapple. However Victoria also has several big attractions. When it comes to unusual things to see, these are right up the top of the list. Imagine someone asking you what you did on the weekend and telling them you visited the Giant Cod! Here’s a list of several unusual BIG things to see in Victoria:
Giant Murray Cod in Swan Hill
There is a 15 metre long and 5.2 metre wide statue in Curlewis Street known as the Giant Murray Cod, affectionately called Arthur. It was originally built in Melbourne in 1991 and used in a film called Eight Ball before being donated to Swan Hill. It cost $35,000 to construct and is made with a timber frame and fibreglass covering. It was officially revealed in 1992 and received updates/repairs in 1999. The town of Tocumwal allegedly refers to it as a Murray trout and claims that their own Big Cod from 1967 is the genuine one.
Big Ned Kelly in Glenrowan
A six metre tall statue of Ned Kelly has been erected in the town of Glenrowan, the site of the Kelly Gang’s final siege and the deaths of three members. The statue, known as the Big Ned Kelly Statue, is located in front of the Glenrowan Post Office Newsagency on the corner of Gladstone and Kate Streets. It serves as a reminder of the town’s history.
Giant Koala in Wimmera
The “Giant Koala” sculpture can be found in the small town of Dadswells Bridge, located approximately 27 km northwest of Stawell. Created by sculptor Ben van Zetten in 1988, the massive statue stands 14 metres tall and weighs 12 tonnes. It is made of a steel frame with a mixture of bronze and fibreglass-bronze used to create the rough, hairy exterior.
The Big Strawberry in Koonoomoo
The Giant Strawberry in Koonoomoo is a beaming red 6 metres high, 5 metres wide statue that signifies the fruits importance in the area. It was built mostly out of steel and with lots of help of the local community. On site you can visit one of the best strawberry farms in Victoria with a restaurant with a variety of strawberry desserts.
Big Wine Bottle in Rutherglen
The water tower, which is now known as The Wine Bottle, was built in 1900 and held 72,000 gallons of water for the town. It became a backup water source when the new reservoir was constructed in 1945. The mesh top section of the tower was added in December 1969 with the help of the Rutherglen Wine Festival (now known as Winery Walkabout) and when seen from a distance, it looks like a large wine bottle. The Wine Bottle is now a popular place for picnics or rest stops for those walking or cycling in the area, as it offers beautiful views of Mount Buffalo and the Chiltern Ironbark Forest.
Explore a Ghost Town
Steiglitz is a small town located in Victoria, Australia, with a rich history dating back to the 1850s. The town was originally established as a gold-mining town, with many miners coming from all over the world to seek their fortune. However, as the gold deposits dried up, the town slowly declined, and it eventually became a ghost town.
Today, Steiglitz is a popular destination for tourists and history buffs, who come to see the remains of the old gold-mining town. The town is now home to a number of heritage-listed buildings, including the old post office, the general store, and the courthouse.
Walhalla was once a bustling hub of gold mining activity in the late 1800s. Today, it stands as a testament to the fleeting nature of wealth and prosperity.
In the 1850s, gold was discovered in the area and a rush of prospectors flocked to the region in search of their fortune. As the gold deposits began to deplete, the town’s population dwindled and many of the businesses and buildings were abandoned. However, Walhalla remained a hub of activity until the 1920s, when the last gold mine in the area closed its doors.
Linton was once a thriving community with a population of over 500 people, but today it is a ghost town with only a handful of residents.
The town was founded in the 1870s, and at its peak, it had several stores, hotels, a post office, and a school. It was a hub of activity for the surrounding farmers and their families.
However, in the early 20th century, the town began to decline. The railway line that had brought prosperity to the town was rerouted, and the population began to dwindle. By the 1960s, the town was almost entirely abandoned.
Despite its current state, Linton has a rich history that is still remembered by the few remaining residents. The town has a small museum that houses artifacts from its past, and there are several historical markers throughout the town.
Once a thriving gold mining town in the 1800s, Fryerstown has now become a shadow of its former self, with only a few remaining buildings and a population of just 20 people.
In its heyday, Fryerstown was a bustling community with a population of over 1,000 people. It was a hub of activity, with hotels, pubs, banks, and even a school. The town was named after John Fryer, an early settler who discovered gold in the area and began a gold rush that attracted people from all over the world.
However, as the gold deposits began to dry up, so did the town’s prosperity. Many of the residents left in search of new opportunities, and Fryerstown began its decline. Today, the town is a quiet, peaceful place, with a small community of people who are committed to preserving its history.
Tandem Paragliding Bright
Many people know Bright for being a great bike riding and hiking location or somewhere to stay when visiting the snow. However it’s also very well known in the paragliding community as one of the best places in Australia to paraglide. This is definitely one of the more unusual day trips from Melbourne and one of the most memorable!
Tandem paragliding at Mystic Hill in Bright is an exciting and thrilling experience that offers a unique perspective on the stunning landscape of the mountainous region.
For those who have never tried paragliding before, a tandem flight is a great way to get started. Tandem paragliding involves being strapped to an experienced pilot who takes care of all the flying duties, allowing you to relax and enjoy the ride. Before taking off, the pilot will provide a brief safety briefing and go over the basic controls of the paraglider.
During the flight, you’ll have the opportunity to take in the sights and sounds of the natural world from a completely different perspective. The sensation of floating on the air is truly unforgettable, and the sense of freedom and weightlessness is hard to describe.
After about 20-30 minutes of flight time, the pilot will begin the descent back to the landing area, bringing the tandem paragliding experience to a close. As you glide back to earth, you’ll have the chance to take in the beautiful surroundings one last time before touching down safely on the ground.