Now is the perfect time to check out some of Victoria’s famous open-air attractions! Get some travel inspiration from Study Melbourne Ambassador Josh Cook, who lets us in on his favourite summer places in Melbourne and regional Victoria.

1. Warrandyte

Warrandyte is a small outer suburb that is known for its cafes, walks along the Yarra River and the Warrandyte state park. It’s a great place to enjoy good weather on weekends.

Recently, I organised a picnic by the river with friends. There are plenty of comfortable spots in the shade which are all generally ideal for bigger groups of friends, or if you want a space that’s not too busy. If you’re up for it, you can go out for a swim in the river. I’ve also seen people go kayaking down the river which I’m keen to try soon!

Picnic with friends

2. Mount Lofty Circuit Walk

Mount Lofty Circuit Walk (also near Warrandyte) is a great place if you’re keen for a walk, views and a spot for lunch. This walk is good for anyone up for a bit of cardio – the views are worth it!

I like to visit Mount Lofty Park with a couple of friends. The space up the top is my favourite and is best enjoyed on a day with good weather. The wildlife is quite active, too. If you venture off the track toward the riverside, you are likely to see a wombat!

Mount Lofty Circuit Walk

3. Edithvale Beach

Edithvale Beach is where you’ll likely find me this summer. Edithvale is great because you usually always find a park, it’s relatively quiet and there are fantastic local fish and chip shops around.

It’s a great place to visit for the day but I highly recommend making time to hang around for sunset. When going for a swim around this time of year, you’ll find heaps of egg masses from conical sand snails (‘jelly sausages’) – often mistaken for jellyfish!

Edithvale Beach

4. Royal Botanic Gardens

The Royal Botanic Gardens are a classic location in Melbourne’s CBD and it’s great to visit for a picnic with friends.

I visit the gardens often throughout the year. Whenever I have a tough week writing for Honours (writer’s block is always a problem), the thriving energy of the gardens is a great way to reset on the weekend for the work that lies ahead. I visited recently with friends as Victoria was reopening again. You can find great spots surrounded by manicured gardens, and views of Melbourne’s skyline.

Royal Botanic Gardens

5. Beer gardens in the city

To celebrate the reopening of Victoria, what better way than to ‘get on the beers’!

Melbourne is known for its trendy beer gardens. This summer, as everything reopens, I think a good beer garden is one of the best places to visit on a warm night, with nice music, looking out over the city with friends. Especially after a long week (and a long year)! There are many great places to try out.

6. Yarra Valley

The Yarra Valley is known for its picturesque landscapes, wineries and country towns. If you’re looking for a day drive and a place to explore, then the Yarra Valley is one to keep in mind.

Aside from good food and pretty landscapes, you can also go hot air ballooning and skydiving. I skydived a few years ago and it was certainly character building! But my usual pastime is trying new stretches of track along the Lilydale to Warburton Rail Trail. Depending on the section of trail you walk along, you’re sure to come across some friendly wildlife or cows in a paddock!

Yarra Valley