Summer Road Trip: Melbourne to Dunkeld

Sometimes podcasts just don’t make a long drive go any quicker. Fortunately, there are plenty of attractions on your way to Dunkeld that make the drive all that more memorable. The Royal Mail Hotel has put together the perfect road trip from Melbourne to Dunkeld.

Whether getting out of Melbourne was chaos or not, hitting the western highway gives a certain sense of freedom. As you put your car to the test up and down the hills near Bacchus Marsh and the city gets left behind, that unmistakable “road trip” feeling starts to kick-in.


First stop is the historically beautiful town of Ballarat – a destination in its own right. This old gold mining town offers some fantastic cafes and restaurants, as well as a healthy dose of arts and culture.

Start with a coffee at Kittelty’s, then head next door to Australia’s oldest regional gallery, the Art Gallery of Ballarat. Showcasing a contemporary collection of paintings, sculpture and ceramics in a heritage-listed building, it’s a great introduction to this lively city.

Now you’ve worked up an appetite, Forge Pizzeria provides a hearty food stop. Wood fired to perfection, with fresh local produce for pizza toppings, its bound to fulfil your hunger needs.

Feeling refreshed? Jump back in the car and follow the signs to Beaufort.


If rummaging through second hand, antique “bits-and-bobs”, then a visit to the Beaufort’s Big Garage Sale will get your imagination going. Did you skip the pizza in Ballarat? Try Pyrenees Pantry for a cosy atmosphere with house-made pastries, salads, Panini’s and more.

As you head out of Beaufort, admire the magnificent, steep granite peaks of Langhi Ghiran State Park to your right.


Next stop – Ararat. As you roll in, keep your eyes peeled for the Town Hall. This is where the Textile Art Museum Australia (TAMA) is located. With a collection of fibre and textile art dating back to 1970, this art gallery has the most significant display in Australia.

After a quick stop over, it’s time to make your way to your final destination – Dunkeld. Follow the signs to Willaura and soon you’ll hit the Glenelg Highway.

Watch as the sight of the Grampians emerges on your right and watch as the peaks roll into the distance. As you approach Dunkeld, wait for the mighty presence of Mount Sturgeon and Mount Abrupt.

Now you’ve arrived, put your feet up in the Parker Street Project Wine Bar for an arrival drink and let the festivities begin.


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In the spirit of reconciliation, Royal Mail Hotel acknowledges and pays respect to the Traditional Custodians of the land we are on, the Gunditjmara and Eastern Maar Peoples and their elders past, present and future. Continue reading.