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Help! Visiting Melbourne for 2 weeks, what else should I do?

Houston, Texas
3 posts
Help! Visiting Melbourne for 2 weeks, what else should I do?

I am visiting family in Melbourne for the first two weeks of December. However I do not want to spend my entire two weeks in one place -- I'm flying all the way from the U.S. so I want to escape for a few days on my own and enjoy a solo adventure. There are SO many amazing places in Australia that I am getting overwhelmed and can't seem to decide what to do with those few days. I am thinking I will give myself about 4-5 days on my own which will hopefully be enough time to get away and enjoy something different. But do I do a road trip along a coastline? Visit Tasmania? Kangaroo Island? Uluru/the Outback? Here's what I'm looking for:

- doesn't have to be beachy but I do like kayaking so something near water would be nice (although not required)

- some place quiet enough to get some solitude but I will be solo so I don't mind making new friends and being around people if the urge strikes

- somewhere a little on the wild side but not TOO out there; if it's on the wilder side, somewhere that has good tour guides so I won't be intimidated exploring alone or worry about getting hurt

- easy access to/from Melbourne via flight

- possibly a road trip that I could do alone (somewhere with good roads as I'll be driving on the opposite side of the highway as what I'm used to)

- possibly would like to go whale watching, if there are whale migrations in early December?

- somewhere beautiful; I live in an ugly American city and want to spend as much time soaking up natural beauty as possible and, I'll admit, getting some Instagram-worth shots to chronicle my trip

I know this list is all over the place and it's just initial thoughts; I am totally open to suggestions. I think I'm leaning towards a road trip since it could fulfill quite a few of the things I want to do/see but I don't know what's the top road trip area to pick since there's so many places that look gorgeous.

Thank you in advance!!

7 replies to this topic
Melbourne, Australia
Level Contributor
688 posts
116 reviews
1. Re: Help! Visiting Melbourne for 2 weeks, what else should I do?

You're right, Australia really is your oyster, and with 4-5 days the possibilities are nearly endless from Melbourne.

I would plump for Uluru. You can fly direct from Melbourne to Ayers Rock Airport on Jetstar, Uluru is one of THE iconic sights of Australia, and you can pack a lot in to 3 days either self-drive or on a tour. Additionally, the landscape is very much not what you can find in Victoria, so it will make a nice contrast.

The downsides: it will be HOT, unpleasantly so. There will be flies. It can be very expensive to do independently. But if you're willing to consider a swag tour (being one where you sleep outside in a self-contained sleeping bag/mattress, not a tour with a bunch of douchebags) you can do a decent trip for a reasonable amount. If you expand to 5 or 6 days you could also spend some time in Alice Springs.

Alternately, if you feel confident enough in driving, the Great Ocean Road is a classic Victorian road trip and easy to do solo. Allow 3 days/2nights for the GOR, or if you want to push it out to longer you can also include the Grampians NP area. I believe Kayaking is possible at Anglesea, or maybe you want to try surf lessons - a popular pursuit. Start of December will be a little busy down that way, but you should still be able to find accommodation now (I would book in advance).

Newcastle, Australia
Level Contributor
4,963 posts
207 reviews
2. Re: Help! Visiting Melbourne for 2 weeks, what else should I do?

If you want real solitude, try Wallhalla in the Snowy Mountains for a night or 2. It’s an abandoned Gold Mining town with some BnB’s and 1 Hotel, the Star. Beautiful area although I don’t think you’d get a Kayak in the creek. You could also tour other parts of the region like Healesville, Mansfield, Beechworth, Bright etc.

All the best.

Sydney, Australia
Level Contributor
951 posts
41 reviews
3. Re: Help! Visiting Melbourne for 2 weeks, what else should I do?

>> possibly would like to go whale watching, if there are whale migrations in early December? <<

Unfortunately the whale migration has ended by around late nov... by that time they are south of australia closer to antarctica... they head back up around april to give birth in northern australian waters during the middle of the year...

in reply to rob: "being one where you sleep outside in a self-contained sleeping bag/mattress, not a tour with a bunch of douchebags"

I have had douchebags on tours that cost nothing and ones that cost an arm and a leg, they can appear anytime!!

Heres my suggestion:

First 2 weeks in December is a great time to visit Sydney - i know its a big city, but definately not 'ugly' with our harbour and beaches and plenty of insta worthy photos and locations...

From sydney your also an easy drive / tour trip to the blue mountains, or south coast.... the best part is our school holidays wont have started and these locations wont be anywhere near as busy as they would be a few weeks later around christmas... perfect time to go for a hike... escape from the city life..

Ballarat, Australia
Level Contributor
4,230 posts
92 reviews
4. Re: Help! Visiting Melbourne for 2 weeks, what else should I do?

Suggestions for roadtrips from Melbourne:

Great Ocean Road & Grampians - minimum 4 nights - 1 night Apollo Bay, 1 night Port Campbell or Warrnambool, 2 nights Halls Gap. You'll see koalas, kangaroos, parrots and cockatoos. Coastal scenery, rainforest and waterfalls, then mountain scenery and waterfalls. Hiking in both places if you allow enough time. Canoeing, sea kayaking, horse riding, ropes courses and ziplining along the GOR, abseiling, canoeing, kayaking in the Grampians.

www.visitgreatoceanroad.org.au

https://www.visitgrampians.com.au

Wilsons Promontory NP & Phillip Island - minimum 3 nights - 2 nights Tidal River, 1 night PI. You'll see kangaroos, emus, wombats, pelicans, penguins, seals. Coastal scenery, great beaches, hiking at the Prom, flyboarding, canoeing, kayaking, thundercats at PI. Add another couple of nights for Lakes Entrance - limestone caves, boating, koalas.

https:/…Wilsons-Promontory

https://www.visitphillipisland.com

melbourne
Level Contributor
3,500 posts
62 reviews
5. Re: Help! Visiting Melbourne for 2 weeks, what else should I do?

Wilson's Prom, as above, leaped to mind, although you can't fly there. It meets enough, though not all, of your criteria

Westchester, New...
Level Contributor
1,792 posts
50 reviews
6. Re: Help! Visiting Melbourne for 2 weeks, what else should I do?

Kangaroo Island has everything you are looking for. Spent 8 glorious days there and it was everything I hoped and imagined Australia to be. I’ve seen a number of other places in Australia but nothing so iconic and special. If you want to see kangaroos, koalas and echidnas in the wild along with stunning quiet beaches and plenty of room to roam, it’s fantastic. You can even cuddle a koala at the wildlife park. You will know you are truly in Australia. The cities are nice but they are just cities.

Liverpool, UK
Level Contributor
220 posts
8 reviews
7. Re: Help! Visiting Melbourne for 2 weeks, what else should I do?

All the above! Pick one place (1 or 2 National Parks at most).

There are plenty of walks and activities at every place so just enjoy a slower pace and don't try to do too much. If you have it, bring camping gear (making sure it is thoroughly clean when entering Aus), or choose a National Park or rural area with cabins so you can really feel the nature and see the wildlife at dawn and dusk. Enjoy.

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