Let’s celebrate Autumn!
Autumn is one of my favourite seasons to day trip around Melbourne – some of the closest regional towns have some of the best autumn colours and all of these places are so easy to get to by car. Whether you plan to visit for just the day or book a whole weekend away, Melbourne just never runs out of options, even when summer is long gone.
In partnership with the Honda HR-V – the perfect car for these urban adventures – I’m here to share some of my favourite destinations for this season. We visited all these places in our stunning Honda HR-V, equipped with its autumn adventures accessories kit which comes with super convenient things like side steps, roof racks (! the possibilities!), luggage tray and bonnet protector – everything you need for adventuring in comfort. Plus, a few other features I love about this car is that it’s small enough to get around the busy city area & its narrow laneways but also packed with so many great features for road trips and transporting bulky things. Like the Magic Seats that flip and fold – super great for IKEA trips and bringing lots of stuff around, the seat warmers which are lovely for the cooler weather, the fab touchscreen for GPS, calls and music, a reversing camera for parking (#necessity) and the sun roof because who doesn’t love a sunroof in a car!
1: MOUNT MACEDON
If you want to see autumn colours in Melbourne, then Mount Macedon is the place to be. We headed to this stunning area in our HR-V – it was a bit of a chilly morning so the seat warmers in the car were totally appreciated, as well as the side steps for getting in and out of the car! On the way home, the sun came out and so we thought it would be the perfect opportunity to open up the sunroof & let the breeze in.
Mount Macedon is all about the autumn colours when visiting, so when coming by, make sure you check out the following spots:
- Honour Avenue: Pictured above, is filled with golden autumn leaves. So much so that you get piles and piles of fallen leaves filling up the footpath. Tip: It gets extremely busy here during peak autumn viewing season, so do make this the first stop on your itinerary. Bonus tip: get in before 9am and you can even park on the street itself!
- Forest Glade Gardens & other various gardens & picnic grounds: If you love well-manicured gardens, Macedon has plenty of these. One of the more popular ones are Forest Glade – it’s a perfect place to have a stroll and you can even bring a picnic here. If you want a dedicated picnic ground, then check out Cameron Picnic Grounds.
- Macedon Lookout points: Check out the lookout points Memorial Cross Reserve + Major Mitchell Lookout which are really easy to get to. You’ll see a nice view of the surrounding towns as well as Hanging Rock from a distance.
2: DANDENONG RANGES NATIONAL PARK
I love the Dandenong Ranges for its huge variety of options. There’s just so much to do here that you’ll always find something new to see every time you visit. Plus, if you’re an avid bike rider, I can confirm I could fit my bike in the boot with the back seats down – those Magic Seats can actually flip in 18 different ways including a simple one-click button to fold them down. Though what’s better – the accessories kit includes roof racks meaning you can also bring multiple bikes on your roof with ease so that you can pack in a car full of mates.
My top picks for autumn are:
- Rhododendron Gardens: These gardens are lovely across every season and autumn is no exception. Stroll through the grounds to see some vibrant colours.
- George Tindale Memorial Gardens: One of the lesser known public gardens here on the mountain is George Tindale. But it’s actually just as beautiful as the others. If you venture inside just a little, you’ll come across a stunning rotunda sitting amongst a canopy of autumn colour. It’s my favourite new find – and a hidden gem, as well.
- Alfred Nicholas Gardens: One of the most popular autumn gardens here – you’ll be fighting for a carpark with other tourists but there’s good reason for it. The autumn viewing here is really quite spectacular – especially that iconic lake and old boathouse.
3: YARRA VALLEY
For those lazy weekends, I love Yarra Valley. It’s the perfect place for a lovely drive out as you pass a lot of beautiful views before weaving through the countless wineries that make Yarra Valley so special. Believe it or not, whilst people love coming for wine tasting, the Yarra Valley region is actually also home to some of the most beautiful autumn viewing spots with lots of the towns in the region filled with autumn trees. If you’re coming from the other side of town – it could even be a great place to stay the entire weekend at, as there’s just so much to do. The luggage tray in the HR-V accessories kit would be perfect a road trip adventure – no matter what you pack in your boot, whether it be countless luggage bags, leaf-filled picnic mats or whatever gear you might want to travel with, you’ll always be able to keep it clean and damage free with the removable tray. Plus the beats through the speakers and built in GPS will be keeping your drive so comfortable and karaoke-ful!
A few spots to recommend:
- Innocent Bystander for lunch: This little (actually, big!) place does delicious share platters and caters well for groups as well. On the way out, be sure to pick up some baked goodies from their little bakery at the front as a little something to bring back home or enjoy in the car.
- Maroondah Reservoir Park: The perfect spot for a nice walk and/or picnic. The area right outside the carpark is especially beautiful as it’s filled with a cluster of red maple trees.
- The countless wineries: Of course, if you love wine tasting then the Yarra Valley region is the place for it. I’m not a wine drinker myself (there’s so much to do in Yarra Valley as it is!) but if you are, then you will find so many places to visit including TarraWarra, Domaine Chandon, Oakridge & so many more.
- Healesville Sanctuary: If you love animals, Healesville Sanctuary is a beautiful place to get up and personal with your favourite Aussie wildlife friends. It’s especially a great place to take relatives from overseas and makes for a great way to end your weekend in the region.
I hope you enjoy this post and find some inspiration in all the fabulous places we have in our backyard here in Melbourne!