5 Unmissable day trips to take throughout Australia 

Looking for an easy, rewarding and completely incredible getaway? Whether it’s driving the Great Ocean Road to the dramatic Twelve Apostles, exploring picturesque Rottnest Island or indulging in fine wines at the Barossa Valley, these top day trips – all within easy access from major cities – showcase the unique natural wonders, cultural heritage, and unbeatable hospitality that make Australia a dream destination. 

The Twelve Apostles, Victoria (from Melbourne)

Did you know… only 8 of the 12 Apostles are still standing. Image from Visit Victoria.

Beginning only an hour’s day trip from Melbourne, the Great Ocean Road rewards travellers with spectacular scenery as well as some of Australia’s most iconic natural landmarks. Rising dramatically from the ocean, the famous Twelve Apostles are a breathtaking spectacle. If you’re wondering how many of the twelve apostles are left – the answer is eight, although they remain an awe-inspiring sight, especially during sunrise and sunset. 

Where to stay 

If you’re driving the Great Ocean Road, make your day trip from Melbourne something extra memorable. Apollo Bay is a great base only an hour from the Twelve Apostles, also perfect for exploring the surrounding lush rainforests and lighthouse of Cape Otway, and picturesque seaside towns. The Comfort Inn The International is conveniently situated amidst seriously gorgeous scenery. 

Blue Mountains, New South Wales (from Sydney)

Couple enjoying the scenic views across the Jamison Valley from Echo Point Lookout in the Blue Mountains.
Visit the Blue Mountains for the ultimate day trip from Sydney. Image from Time Out.

A short day trip from Sydney by car, the majestic Blue Mountains are home to ancient valley chasms, cascading waterfalls and walks that fill the senses all year round. The iconic Blue Mountains Three Sisters lookout is a must-do, standing majestically over the famous sandstone formation and the Jamison Valley. For an unforgettable experience visit Scenic World and ride the Scenic Skyway or brave the dramatic Scenic Railway 

Where to stay 

The best time to visit the Blue Mountains is as soon as you can! Make the most of a day trip from Sydney to Blue Mountains attractions by basing yourself a little closer at Quality Inn Penrith. Located at the feet of the mountains, and only an hour from the heart of Sydney, Penrith is the doorstep to a world of natural wonders.

Rottnest Island, Western Australia (from Perth)

Come and see the happiest animal on the planet at Rottnest Island. Image from Tourism Western Australia.

Located just a short ferry ride from Perth, a day trip to Rottnest Island is a great way to experience Western Australia’s unique natural beauty. Home to white beaches and turquoise waters, one of its most endearing residents is the quokka, a small and adorable marsupial. Explore the island on foot, by bicycle, or by taking a scenic bus tour. Still wondering what to do on Rottnest Island? Try snorkelling with the teeming marine life. 

Where to stay

Discover how to get to Rottnest Island the fun and easy way. Close to the Rottnest Ferry, Sorrento is a great place to stay and enjoy the bustling waterside restaurants. The Quality Resort Sorrento Beach is perfectly located near the beach and marina.

Kakadu National Park, Northern Territory (from Darwin)

Watch the moon rise over the Kakadu National Park. Image from Tourism NT and @helloemilie.

For a taste of Australia’s ancient heritage and breathtaking landscapes, a day trip to Kakadu National Park from Darwin is a must. This UNESCO World Heritage-listed site encompasses Kakadu National Park animals and wildlife, wetlands, woodlands, and sandstone cliffs. Experience the rich Aboriginal culture by viewing ancient rock art at sites like Ubirr and Nourlangie, gaining insight into the deep spiritual connection to the land that stretches back thousands of years.

Where to stay

Enjoy all the things to do in Kakadu National Park by staying close by at Quality Hotel Darwin Airport, just five minutes from Darwin International Airport and ten minutes from Darwin city centre.

The Barossa Valley, South Australia (from Adelaide)

Visit St Hugo at the Barossa Valley. Image from South Australian Tourism Commission.

One of Australia’s premier wine regions, the Barossa is famous for its world-class Shiraz and other wine varieties – all under an hour from Adelaide. A visit to this fertile region promises renowned vineyards, gourmet cuisine and heritage at vineyards such as Penfolds Barossa Valley cellar doors and Turkey Flat. Enjoy one of the best wineries in the Barossa Valley on one of the many fantastic wine tours.

Where to stay

The Comfort Inn & Suites Sombrero is situated near the centre of Adelaide and is an easy option for travelling from Adelaide to Barossa Valley wonders. You’ll find things to do in Barossa Valley right on your doorstep. 

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