You’re not your best when you’re stressed. Heart health, happiness and overall productivity can all take a knock when you’ve got too much on your plate. Sound familiar? It might be time to take a break. The best part? You don’t even need to leave the state! We’ve compiled our favourite day trips in Melbourne when you just can’t bring yourself to adult.

Prescribing holidays or travel could help beat depression.
– Dr Sebastien Filep

Salty seas and swaying trees

The wild is nature’s best remedy. Escape the concrete and head out into the untouched world to feel the ocean breeze, surround yourself with ancient trees and leave inspired:

The Redwoods, Beech Forest

Take a scenic sunrise drive along the famed Great Ocean Road and wind your way to a towering tree trunk wonderland. Play hide and seek amongst the aging giants and invoke a little childhood joy as you dance around in the dappled light. On your way back to the city, pop into the Forrest Brewing Company to soak up your insignificance with an appropriately coloured Irish Red Ale.

Royal Botanic Gardens, Melbourne

For a healthy dose of nature not too far from home, wander through the majestic wrought-iron gates of the Royal Botanic Gardens. Watch Australian Wood Ducks dive beneath the lily pads and hear the Kookaburras laughing as you picnic on the always-green, permanently luscious lawns. If you’re lucky, you’ll hear the sweet sounds of the Sidney Myer Music Bowl’s frequent musical guests floating through the floral scenes.

Phillip Island, VIC

You’d have to look hard to find something more energising than watching penguins hop about their monochrome, magical lives. Phillip Island is home to some of Victoria’s best beaches, wildlife and family activities. Surf the rolling waves, take a scenic flight or simply stroll along the sand as the tide washes away the stress of the previous week.

Impressive Skylines for Tackling Deadlines

Believe it or not, cities can be relaxing too. Taking in the brilliance of human invention does wonders for a fresh perspective:

State Library of Victoria, Melbourne CBD

Tiptoe your way through one of Australia’s most beautiful buildings – The State Library of Victoria. The towering glass ceilings, sculpted white walls and ancient shelves of unparalleled insight make for an inspiring silent stroll. Fire up your brain with something other than your day job as you skim through precious pages and take in whatever exhibitions are currently showing. Pay a compulsory visit to the top floor of the La Trobe Reading Room and press pause as you marvel at human achievement.

Easey’s Rooftop Bar, Collingwood

We bet you’ve never eaten a burger in a train on top of a building, right? Head on down to the Easey’s Rooftop Bar and pop the cap off a craft beer, relax and unwind as you look out over the city’s hustle and bustle in the graffiti-covered steel 153M carriage – a remnant of the old Pakenham service. We still don’t know how they got it up there.

City Circle Tram, Melbourne CBD

Pick an off-peak hour and hop on an iconic old tram as you rail your way around the heart of the city. Take in the towering skylines outside your authentically fingerprint-covered window and tap off at the Harbour Esplanade to marvel at Melbourne’s evolving maritime hub. Rattle your way back to the clocks at Flinders Street Station and get lost in the arcades, alleyways and arches of Melbourne’s sprawling cityscape.

Hot stones, take me home…

A tell-tale sign of too much stress is a sore back and a crooked neck. Treat yourself to a soothing spa day, soaking up the peace and quiet in a pair of luxurious slippers and a gown. You know you want to (we do too):

Hepburn Bathhouse and Spa, Hepburn Springs

What’s better than a good hot bath? A good hot bath that lasts the whole day, of course! Soak away your stress in the revitalising mineral waters of the Hepburn Bathhouse and Spa that Daylesford has long been famed for. Sip on a glass of Victorian bubbly (or two) in the spa’s historic Bathhouse and new mineral therapy Sanctuary. Don’t leave without an exfoliating, regenerating, rebalancing massage. Back to the womb we go.

Akuna Skin and Body, Rye

Douse your skin in crushed macadamia seeds and sea salts on the Mornington Peninsula at Akuna Skin and Body. This earthy, modern spa is the perfect escape from your daily routine, located just off Rye’s vibrant main street. Secure a Happy Feet treatment for those tired toes and smile easy after a glowing Multi Detox Clay Facial.

Botanic Day Spa, Melbourne CBD

Nestled in Melbourne’s grandest heritage hotel, the Botanic Day Spa in the Rialto, is a five star hidden gem. Give your body a break with a cup of signature Botanica herbal tea in the relaxation suites before and after rejuvenating face and body treatments. The relatively small spa is perfect for a luxurious, exclusive day out with friends (men included)!

To paraphrase Annie, you’re never fully stressed with a few miles.

It’s time to get out. Doctor’s orders.

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