A Melbourne Road Trip on a Backpacker Budget

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A Melbourne Road Trip on a Backpacker Budget

A Melbourne Road Trip on a Backpacker Budget

Before we left our ”real jobs”, started this blog and packed up to travel the world, what we enjoyed doing most was going on road trips. Almost every weekend, we’d pack up my old Audi, which I ripped the back seats out of so we could technically sleep in it, and off we went. We’d often end up driving upwards of three hours one way to some place we’d seen on Instagram with a very picturesque landscape. It was the perfect way to spend some time together, get outdoors and create some great content for social media.

An image of a happy young couple smiling at each other in a car while traveling
Road Trip Smiles

Fast forward seven months, after spending six hopping around South East Asia with not many good car rental opportunities and about five weeks settling in to life in Melbourne where we’re working full time to save up for the next big trip, a good day trip to get out of the city was all that was on our minds. The night before our day off together, we did a few hours of research and ended up settling on driving through the Yarra Valley to visit the famous Black Spur Drive and then down the coast to the tip of the Mornington Peninsula.

The Budget

Now as this is our first post on travelling Australia, we’ll just put it out there: this isn’t the cheapest place in the world to travel. That being said, since our main goal for being here is to save up for another extended trip later this year, so we made a conscious effort keep this day trip under 60$ AUD per person. Here’s how we did it:

  • Car rental (the best rate with unlimited milage on this particular day was Thrifty): 75$
  • Food & Coffee (we both work at cafes and brought home some free sandwiches to eat on the road): 15$
  • Petrol (for about 400km in an economy class car): 30$
  • Total: 120$

Getting to the Black Spur

After driving about an hour out of the city up route 34, we were already cruising through beautiful vineyards as far as the eye could see. As we had a packed schedule for the day, we decided to not stop off for any wine tasting and instead continued on for another twenty minutes before entering one of the most beautiful stretches of road we’d ever had the chance to drive. Lined with tall mountain ash trees and an understory of giant ferns, the Black Spur drive is a beautiful, curvy stretch of road which links the Yarra Valley to the mountains of the Yarra Ranges National Park. The scene immediately reminded me of the forests of Endor (sorry if you’re not a Star Wars fan) and you’ll find photo ops around every one of the many curves that make up the 27 kilometer drive. It was hard to believe we were only just over an hour from Melbourne’s CBD (click here for directions) and although the road does have some traffic, there are many spots to pull pull the car over and we never waited long to be able to grab some great shots.

An image of a fun group of friends smiling and laughing together in a van during a fun trip
MORE road trip smiles!
An image of a classic Volkswagen RV parked on a scenic cliffside overlooking the ocean
Our trusty steed
image of the Black Spur scenic road in Victoria, Australia
Black Spur scenery: 10/10
depicting an epic winding mountain road and the surrounding landscape
I’ve seen worse roads to shred down
Sunlight in the golden hours illuminates the landscape
Yeah, we stopped every 100m or so, can you blame us?
image of a bright yellow tent set up on the side of the road, against a background of misty green hills and mountains
That pop of yellow!

On to the Peninsula!

After pulling over about a dozen times and driving the entire way up and down the Black Spur, we turned the car back to Healesville and off towards the sea. Our second stop of the day was Cape Schanck, which is the southernmost point of the Mornington Peninsula. Walking down from the car park, we followed the boardwalk which extends several hundred meters all the way to the tip of the Cape and down to the beach. The views were beautiful and to get an even better vista you can pay 13$ to climb up to the top of the lighthouse, which we didn’t deem necessary since we have the luxury of just taking out the drone instead!

on a cloudy day on the Cape Shank waterfront in Australia.
A grey day at Cape Schanck boardwalk
A view from a drone flying high above the windswept cliffs and coastline of Cape Shank, Australia
Drone’s view of Cape Schanck

Our second and last stop for the day on Mornington was London Bridge Lookout, located near the tip of the peninsula about a thirty minute drive from Cape Schanck. As it was a windy day so there were almost no other visitors and we admired the view at the lookout point in total peace. The rock formations and coastline on the tip of the peninsula are beautiful and apparently with decent water shoes (which we didn’t have) you can climb to the top of London Bridge for an awesome sunset view (which we also didn’t get due to the weather). In any case, we’ll definitely be coming back to this area because we know there’s so much more to explore. Here’s the things we missed out on in the area that we’d recommend if you have the time:

capturing a beautiful sunset over the River Thames and London Bridge in London, England
A tiny glimpse of the setting sun over London Bridge
Hanging out at London Bridge
A stunning, clear photograph of London Bridge
London Bridge
photo overlooking a scenic point on the Mornington Peninsula in Victoria, Australia
The very tip of Mornington
  • Yarra Valley wine tasting: If free wine doesn’t sound like a good idea, we most likely can’t be friends.
  • Walk to Fort Nepean: From the photos we’ve seen, the Fort Nepean Walking Trail at the very tip of the peninsula offers up some incredible sunset views and impressive drone photography.
  • Hiking in the Yarra Ranges: We were blown away by the forrest around the Black Spur and since it was a road trip day, we didn’t stop for much hiking but there are some great trails in the area which we’ll be back for.

Want us to go on more road trips? Share the post below to let us know 🙂

This Post Has 3 Comments

  1. Love the new look! Keep up the good work!!

  2. Love this! Please do more posts about Melbourne/ Australia, we have just moved here and would love more advise on where to go etc!

    1. Thank you for your feedback Natasha! Will add this to our long to-do list haha! In the mean time, you can check our YouTube we have a video on our top 5 cafes in the city. Hope that helps x

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