Top 5 Scenic Melbourne Routes

As the season changes, it’s time to get off that couch and take a scenic drive around some of Melbourne’s best trails. If you love Mother Nature, here are some must-see Melbourne routes.


1. Mount Dandenong

* Approx an hour’s drive from Melbourne City

Take a leisurely drive up Mount Dandenong, wind your windows down, as you breathe in the fresh alpine air and take in the beautiful landscape of forests and trees. Make sure you stop by Olinda along the way and visit one of the many tea rooms for Devonshire Tea and Scones (with freshly whipped cream and sweet home-made strawberry jam).  Miss Marples Tea Room is highly recommended for their scones and  high tea. There is also a traditional British charm to this little cottage. Their moorish home made cottage pie and welsh rarebit (mature english cheddar, eggs, guinness mustard & spices) sandwich fingers are to die for. Note: They don’t take reservations so make sure you get in early at 11am to get a table. It can get quite packed and you have to expect a bit of a wait on weekends (but its certainly worth the wait). After a satisfying meal, make your way to the Mount Dandenong Observatory – 633 metres above sea-level and the highest point in the surrounding ranges. Here you can get breathtaking views of Melbourne and surrounds. It’s also v romantic. All in, a fantastic & cruisey way to spend your Sunday.

Miss Marples Tea Room

2. Warburton

* Approx 1.5 hours drive from Melbourne City

This is another beautiful scenic drive up a mountainous area. Take a leisurely walk along the wonderfully scenic Warburton River Walk which is accessible from the Swing Bridge, just off Main Street. The beautiful Yarra River transforms from rapid pools to meandering waterholes along the length of the walk that is probably about 5 kilometres. You can spot the lyre birds & cockatoos along the way.  End the relaxing stroll with a stop by Three Sugars Cafe for some hot chocolate, coffee & cake or some of the best pies in the region.

Swing Bridge Three Sugars Cafe

3. Bright

* Approx 3 hours drive from Melbourne City

The best time to go is during Spring/Autumn to see the Oak & Maple trees change colour. A “must do” is the Springtime in Bright Festival – October 24 to November 3. Make sure you take your bicycles with you so you can best appreciate the sights and sounds of Bright as you breeze through the Great Alpine Road. If you’re feeling peckish after the ride, there are many fine quality restaurants in the area such as the Poplars Restaurant , a French Bistro drawing on local fresh produce and wine or the Edelweiss Bakery for a simple treat of freshly baked sweet & savoury pastries.

4. Grampians

* Approx 3.5 hours drive from Melbourne City

You will need a long weekend for this drive but the Grampians is the place to go to soak up the best of Nature. Here you can scale the Pinnacle or check out McKenzies Falls. Word of warning, you might need to have a certain level of physical endurance to complete the Pinnacle walk which is a 5 km trail overlooking Grampians National Park. The steep and winding steps are a challenge but the lookout at the end of the trail is certainly worth the hike offering breathtaking views of the rolling hills and mountainous valleys. Drive along Lake Wartook Road then take a 1 hr return walk to McKenzies Falls – the largest waterfall in the Grampians. The sound of the water splashing down into the lake creates a peaceful harmony with the leafy trees in the backdrop.

mckenzie falls

5. Cape Schanck

* Approx 1.5 hours drive from Melbourne City

Perhaps the one walk you shouldn’t miss out on is called “The Cape” within the Mornington Peninsula National Park trail offering spectacular views of the Bass Strait. Make sure you take this long scenic walking trail – a reconstructed staircase and boardwalk which has been built right out of the beach and rock platform level. At the end of the trail, you can visit the Cape Schanck Lighthouse which has served shipping since 1859. I always feel refreshed after the walk, and am enthralled by how you can find a piece of serenity just 90 min from Melbourne city.

Cape Schanck


4 Responses to “Top 5 Scenic Melbourne Routes”

  1. 1 aged beauty November 26, 2009 at 6:55 pm

    I admire your site , it’s filled with great information. You have got one constant visitor and a fan of this webiste.

  2. 3 ash February 1, 2010 at 1:23 pm

    You need to do a top ice-cream entry Loz! What with the heat coming and all.

  3. 4 See Bright Victoria March 17, 2010 at 3:06 pm

    Nice addition about Bright. It is certainly quite beautiful up there in Autumn and Spring. The whole trip along the Great Alpine Road from Wangaratta to Omeo is one not to be missed quite frankly, the whole region is just stunning.

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