Melbourne 4wd Hire

Self-Drive Recreational 4WD Hire | Off-Road 4×4 Rental | Bush Camper Hire Melbourne, Great Ocean Road, the Twelve Apostles, Gippsland, Dandenong Ranges National Park, Yarra Valley, and Snowy Mountains

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What to do in Melbourne?

Australia’s second-largest city and capital of the state of Victoria, everything that makes Melbourne one of the most livable cities in the world is also what makes it a wonderful travel destination. Graceful Victorian-era buildings and gorgeously landscaped gardens and parks are modernized with a multi-cultural vibe and a hip and trendy food and culture scene.

Visitors to Melbourne inevitably find themselves drawn to its neatly laid out Central Business District where civic buildings with ornate facades dating back from the goldrush era vie for space with chic, contemporary boutiques and malls, all in a pedestrian-friendly grid.

With its volatile climate, any time of the year is good to visit Melbourne to experience its fluctuations in temperature, with January and February traditionally offering up the best weather, averaging a refreshing 15-26 C (60-79 F) with little rain.

With its many interesting neighborhoods showcasing quaint history and diverse nationalities, Melbourne has something to offer for every type of traveler.

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History buffs will want to head to the Eastside with its many historic buildings, recalling the “Marvelous Melbourne” of yesteryear when the goldrush began in the mid-19th century. Among the city’s most notable buildings are Parliament House, the Old Treasure Building, the Old Melbourne Gaol and the stunning cathedrals of St Patrick’s and St Paul’s, built in a Gothic Revival style between 1880-1891 on the site where the colony’s first settlers originally worshipped.

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To immerse yourself in Melbourne’s multi-cultural ambiance, head first to Chinatown, an area settled by Chinese prospectors in the 1880s. Despite its name, the neighborhood is also home to excellent Italian and Greek eateries, established by postwar immigrants. In fact, more people of Greek descent call Melbourne home than any other city aside from Athens!

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For some retail therapy, the gigantic 7ha open-air Queen Victoria Market features everything from clothing and arts and crafts to fresh produce and a gourmet delicatessen. For a more high-end experience, the “Paris End” of Collins Street in the Eastside is not to be missed with trendy cafes providing liquid fuel in between visits to the exclusive boutiques.

Nature lovers will also find Melbourne a refreshing breath of fresh air, starting at the Royal Botanic Gardens Victoria, home to more than 12,000 plant species and over 50 types of birds. Opened in 1846, the 40ha gardens feature a herbarium, rainforest exhibition and a scenic lake with swans. For a Nature-Meets-Art experience, Herring Island in the Yarra River is the site of the Herring Island Environmental Sculpture Park where artists have installed sculptures in amongst the gardens planted with species native to Victoria. Or take advantage of Melbourne’s cooler temperatures with a 21km walk along the Merri Creek Trail, starting at Dights Falls where the Merri Creek meets the Yarra River.

For family-fun outings, Melbourne has an endless list of indoor and outdoor venues for all ages. The Melbourne Zoo has excellent meet-the-keeper sessions, twilight tours and live concerts as well as activities to keep the little ones engaged like a discovery trail (complete with collectible stamps). If you find yourself in the city on a weekend or holiday, head to the Birrarung Marr Park on the northern side of the Yarra River for ArtPlay, a series of creative workshops and experiences for children up to 12, all led by professional artists.

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For family-fun outings, Melbourne has an endless list of indoor and outdoor venues for all ages. The Melbourne Zoo has excellent meet-the-keeper sessions, twilight tours and live concerts as well as activities to keep the little ones engaged like a discovery trail (complete with collectible stamps). If you find yourself in the city on a weekend or holiday, head to the Birrarung Marr Park on the northern side of the Yarra River for ArtPlay, a series of creative workshops and experiences for children up to 12, all led by professional artists.

For the Melbourne 4WD Hire enthusiasts looking to explore more of Victoria, Melbourne makes an excellent jumping off point to immerse yourself in wild coastlines, snow-capped mountains, cultured wine country and more.

The Great Ocean Road

Widely regarded as one of the world’s most beautiful coastal drives, the Great Ocean Road spans almost 250km of clifftop driving from Australia’s surfing capital of Torquay to Warrnambool on Victoria’s southwestern coast known for its sightings of southern right whales. Built between 1919 to 1932, the rugged coastline has a little bit of everything including shipwrecks, waterfalls, scenic lookouts, coves and cliffs, and of course, the Twelve Apostles. Although only eight remain, these towering 45m-high limestone stacks are still impressive, looking out to the Southern Ocean and backed by scenic 70m cliffs.

There are lots of opportunities to get out of your vehicle and explore the attractions, both natural and man-made, including Surfworld Museum, the world’s largest surfing museum in Torquay; Loch Ard Gorge on the Shipwreck Coast where a clipper sank in 1878 with 52 fatalities; Bells Beach, known for its world-class waves and the world’s longest-running surfing competition; the Grotto, a cave filled with rock pools and giant boulders naturally carved out of the limestone; and the Bay of Islands with its light-colored sandstone stacks.

For more active sightseeing, this stretch of road features many coastal walks, ranging from easy strolls to multi-day adventures. Highlights include scenic walking trails at the Ironbark Basin Coastal Nature Reserve near Torquay; the three-hour scenic loop at Sheoak Falls Trail at Lorne; the scenic walkways at Great Otway National Park through ancient forests and past the breathtaking Triplet Falls; and the mother of all coastal walks, the 250km Great South West Walk requiring 10 days to complete the entire loop.

This scenic stretch of road is also home to numerous resort towns, ideal for a quaint sit-down meal or a posh stay. Apollo Bay gets high marks for its laid-back feel of a traditional fishing village, overlooking a half-moon bay with hang-gliders floating overhead. Come in late-April for the 3-day Apollo Bay Music Festival with its alternative, underground, good-times vibe.

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Extend your Great Ocean Road experience by staying overnight. The Angahook-Lorne State Park features free bush camping at scenic sites throughout the park while campsites in Great Otway National Park allow for open fires. Many of Victoria’s campsites are walk-in, walk-out, ideally situated along popular walking routes.

Off-road enthusiasts will want to steer their 4WDs off the Great Ocean Road at the town of Anglesea and head up to the Otways. Comprised of Great Otway National Park, Anglesea Heath and Otway Forest Park, the sprawling Otways has everything from beaches and lakes to rainforests and waterfalls. Access these natural gems via more than fifty 4WD tracks, plunging through lush fern gullies and over forested mountain terrain.

Just 30km east of Melbourne lie the Dandenong Ranges, a superb daytrip celebrating the great outdoors. Getting there is half the fun, with quaint little villages lining the Mount Dandenong Tourist Road as you draw closer to the national park. Plan for an hour or two of afternoon tea or touring the many beautifully landscaped gardens in the area.

The Dandenong Ranges National Park offers a host of well-signposted forest and mountain walks with opportunities to see native birdlife including the brightly colored rosellas and the raucous kookaburras. Or go back in time aboard the Puffing Billy, a vintage steam heritage railway restored to its early 1920s glory, for an unforgettable trip through the southern foothills of the range.

From the Dandenong Ranges, a short 35km drive due north takes you into the Yarra Valley, home to some of Victoria’s best-known wineries, most offering wine tours and tastings to go along with gourmet fare. This picturesque area produces high-quality Chardonnays, Pinot Noirs and Shiraz, in particular.

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Other Yarra Valley attractions include the Healesville Sanctuary, a conservation park that has been operating for nearly a century, boasting the most complete collection of Australian wildlife in the world, including several rare species. Close-up encounters with kangaroos, koalas and platypuses are offered here, some of which have previously been injured or orphaned. The 84m-high Steavenson Falls, one of Victoria’s highest, is also a highlight, best appreciated from the viewing platform below the falls.

Heading east from Melbourne 4WD Hire can take you all the way to the New South Wales border, Gippsland is an enchanting mix of glorious beaches, rolling farmland, rugged mountains and pristine lakes.

Less than two hours south of Melbourne along the South Gippsland Highway lies Phillip Island, famed for its Penguin Parade on Summerland Beach. Beginning at dusk, the beach gets floodlit for better views of the thousands of penguins who come ashore to their nesting sites. Other animal-related attractions include the Koala Conservation Centre and the Seal Rocks Sea Life Centre where you can view a 7,000-strong colony of Australian fur seals.

Continuing further southeast of Melbourne, you’ll hit Wilson’s Promontory National Park, the southernmost point of the Australian mainland. Designated a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve, “The Prom” is known for its wide range of native wildlife, including wombats, wallabies and emus, as well as its diverse landscapes encompassing bushland, mountain ranges and Victoria’s largest coastal wilderness. Among its 80km of walking tracks, there is a popular 90-minute walking tour from the Parks Victoria Visitor Center that takes in sweeping views of Norman Bay as well as ample opportunities to see local flora and fauna including wombats and wallabies.

From here, the Gippsland Coastline offers 400km of largely protected wild beaches, inlets and coves. Limited development has helped preserve the natural beauty of the area, including the beautiful Gippsland Lakes, famous for their boating, fishing, swimming and refined lakeside living.

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Farther north, the Victorian Alps await, even offering ski opportunities from June to late September. The Baw Baw National Park includes Mount Baw Baw, the closest downhill ski resort to Melbourne. For those wanting to just experience the snow, the park has two non-fee dispersed bush camping sites (fuel stoves only). 4WDs can access the Aberfeldy River Camping Area via an unsealed road from the scenic township of Walhalla which offers a glimpse into what a prosperous gold-mining town would have looked like. Within the park, spectacular scenery and challenging terrain make for enjoyable off-roading.

The broader Victorian High Country also offers thousands of kilometers of daunting off-road tracks, the type where vehicle snorkels are needed for deep river crossings and good tires together with even better driving skills for extremely steep climbs, navigating large rocks, ledges and mountainous ridgelines. The Billy Goats Bluff Track is one of the steepest tracks in the region but brave adventurers are rewarded with spectacular views across to Gippsland Lakes and Mt Hotham. Being able to stop and explore abandoned mining towns is simply a bonus.

About 260km northwest of Melbourne lies the Grampians National Park, famed for its fields of wildflowers and rich heritage of Aboriginal rock art. Australia’s third-largest park is an outdoor enthusiast’s dream come true, with over 900 species of native trees to go along with 200 types of birds and a host of other animal life. Explore the park on more than 150km of walking trails, with abseiling and rock climbing opportunities for those who want a bit more of a workout. The park also has 10 4WD Campers-based campsites and allows for bush camping in certain areas. The park’s easy-to-medium 4WD trails are ideal for beginners with fun river crossings, steady climbs, clay and sand trails and some steep ascents.

Melbourne makes a superb starting point for the 4WD Hire enthusiast who enjoys diverse scenery and terrain, where civilization and bush can both be had. Victoria’s many national parks offer excellent 4WD tracks featuring challenging terrain and spectacular scenery. Many of the parks also permit dispersed camping for fully self-sufficient enthusiasts, with some sites featuring basic facilities like toilets, picnic tables and fireplaces.

Longer adventures can also start from Melbourne with a popular route traveling westwards over the Great Ocean Road and then heading north past Adelaide, through Coober Pedy, the “opal capital of the world” and on through Australia’s interior desert to Alice Springs, in the remote Northern Territory. Or travel the length of Australia’s spectacular eastern coastline on an epic journey from Melbourne to Cairns, taking in the Gold and Sunshine coasts along the way.

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Melbourne 4WD Hire is part of Australian 4WD Hire, a nationwide network of premium rental agencies strategically positioned in close proximity to all famous 4WD destinations and hotspots as well as major regional and capital cities throughout Australia, ensuring you’re never far from a pick-up point.

Australian 4WD Hire is renowned for our meticulously maintained vehicles and top-tier customer service. Our fleet is constantly being updated to ensure you enjoy your self-drive adventure in comfort and safety. 4WD Tourism is one of the best ways to see the broad range of amazing sights Australia has to offer, with the flexibility and freedom to discover the outdoors at your own pace. For your Melbourne 4WD Hire adventure, please contact us at 1300 360 339 or +61 7 5527 6191. Or email us at or visit us at

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