Are you looking for an insider’s adventure travel guide for the best outdoor activities in Melbourne?
As part of our Adventure City Guide series, here are my expert insider tips on the top adventure and outdoor activities to do in Melbourne.
Why visit Melbourne for adventure?
Melbourne always ranks highly in the top liveable cities around the world. While the weather may not always be the greatest, it is a beautiful city and integrates so well with nature. Whether it is the sea, harbour or the mountains it is easy to get outdoors after work, at lunch or during your weekends.
Plus you can fly cheaply to Melbourne from New Zealand in just a few short hours.
Outdoor Activities in Melbourne
Skiing in Melbourne
Okay so you can’t technically ski in Melbourne, but it is an easy weekend trip away from the city. Within just a couple of hours drive of downtown Melbourne you can visit a couple of ski areas.
Lake Mountain is the closest to Melbourne and is considered Australia’s premier cross-country ski resort. It is also the third most visited cross-country ski resort in the world due to it’s close proximity to the city. Perfect for anyone wanting to stretch their legs and warm up afterwards with a hot chocolate.
Mt Baw Baw ski resort is the closest downhill ski resort to Melbourne and is only 173 kms away. It can be considered small but is great for a day trip, or longer weekend adventure from Melbourne. If you are a beginner then Mount Baw Baw is the place to start.
Getting to the Ski Resorts from Melbourne
The easiest way to get to the ski resorts is to drive the couple of hours yourself. If you don’t have a car you can hire a car from Melbourne or jump on one of the buses or shuttles that run from Melbourne during the winter season.
Cost of skiing near Melbourne
Day Ski Passes range from $30 for a mid-week pass to $50 for a weekend for adults.
Surfing in Melbourne
While surfing in Melbourne might not be as well known as Surfers Paradise further up the coast of Australia, it can still get some really nice waves. Waves roll up from Antarctica so the water can be a little bit colder than usual, yet these same swells are what produce high quality waves for surfing.
If you are a beginner then there are plenty of surf schools along the Victorian coastline within an hour or two drive of Melbourne. These surfing classes are taught by local experts who truly understand their waves so you will be hanging ten in no time.
If you have been surfing for a few years then you might want to go on a road trip out of Melbourne to seek the perfect waves.
Torquay is located 95 km south of Melbourne and is well known as the official start of the Great Ocean Road. Every year surfers descend here for the Rip Curl Pro at Bells Beach. So unless you are quite experienced then you might want to skip Bells and head straight to Fisherman’s Beach or Back Beach.
Anglesea is another few kilometers along the road from Bells Beach and is a great spot for beginners. The waves are more consistent than most places in Victoria and this is where you can hone your skills.
Getting to the surf spots in Melbourne
Grab some mates, fill up the car with wetsuits, surfboards and a couple of chilly bins for beer and hit the road. There is nothing more fun than a surfing road trip. Especially when you only have to travel a few hours.
Cost of surfing in Melbourne
Free if you have your own equipment. But if you want to rent your gear it’s going to cost about $40 a day for surfboard and wetsuit rental.
Explore St Kilda
St Kilda is only 6km from the city centre and is the seaside playground for Melbourne. It has beautiful views of Port Phillip and will keep you entertained all day long. Whether you hang out at the beach, which is very safe for swimming, roll along the Esplanade on bikes, or go to enjoy the food, St Kilda it the perfect trip.
You can also ride along the Bay trail which runs along the coastline of Port Philip Bay for 69 kilometres.
Getting to St Kilda
You can get to St Kilda from across Melbourne via the awesome tram system. They run every 10 minutes from 5.30am – 2.30am every day.
Apart from your transport costs of a couple of dollars it is free to swim, relax and hang out at the beach. There are also lots of bike rental stores along the esplanade if you want to explore the Bay trail.
Best time of the year to visit Melbourne for adventure?
Melbourne has it all. It’s summers are warm, springs and autumns are mild and winter can be downright cold. December to February is the best time to visit Melbourne as it’s warmest then and usually dry.
Of course if you want to go skiing in Melbourne then go during June and July.
Finally, the reason I love Melbourne for adventure is because…
Melbourne is a city that has it all. It’s city centre never sleeps and yet just a few minutes away you can get out to the beach or explore the mountains. And when you are not enjoying the outdoor activities in Melbourne then the city is home to loads of festivals, events and activities.