Travel

20 Must-Do Summer Road Trips Under $20

By Ellen Seah - 16 Dec 2015

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Skip the city-dwelling as Melbourne heats up, and split the cost of a Car Next Door between you and your mates instead. It’s time for a road trip!

Car Next Door's car-share community lets you rent a neighbour's car, van or ute for up to half of what you'd pay for a standard rental - which is perfect when you're keen for an affordable road trip. It's irresistibly cheap and super easy to use - no more schlepping your luggage into a rental car shopfront, because all you have to do is choose a car in your neighbourhood, book online, and drive. You don't even need to meet up to exchange keys or pay - plus, there's a huge range of cars to suit any trip!

Once you’ve got your rental baby sorted – and it doesn’t take long – why not try one (or ten) of our 20 best road trips under $20? Onward!

1. If you're a meat lover, you really need to make the trip to down a full rack of BBQ ribs at Captains Bar, Rye ($18).

2. Hit up some free camping at Sheepyard Flat Campsite, Howqua Hills, and use your $20 on some snags. Grab an SUV (like Laura's 2008 Volvo XC90 in Middle Park) and bring a bunch of mates!

3. You really need to try the Nelly burger and chips at Bottle of Milk in Lorne ($18.30) - and after that, soak up some rays at the iconic beachfront.

4. Get some fresh air and walk the Two Bays Walking Trail, Cape Schanck (free). 

5. Bring a friend (or a designated driver?), and sample delicious cheese and wine for free at Yarra Valley Dairy, Yerring.

6. For an in-city road trip, drive along the gorgeous foreshore in St Kilda, and visit the penguins off the pier (free). After the sun sets, head to the St Kilda open air cinema for a flick under the stars (book online for $15-$19). For a zippy city runabout, maybe try Simone's 2013 Mazda 2 in Collingwood.

7. Head to Hanging Rock to try Anti-Gravity Hill (free) – the mysterious hill upon which objects (including cars) appear to roll upwards. Pull out a ball and watch it roll up hill... weird!

8. Head to Bendigo’s Discovery Science and Technology Centre ($13.50) to try the tallest vertical slide in the southern hemisphere. If you’re up for a late one, stay for a visit to the planetarium.

9. Pick up some fresh produce at the Substation Farmer’s Market in Newport for a picnic, on the way to Geelong foreshore. Head to the Eastern Beach swimming enclosure for some free water-based fun – it has diving boards, floating islands and slides!

10. Head down the coast and indulge in a woodfired pizza from the Smokehouse, Sorrento ($20).

11. Go swimming at Black Rock, Half Moon Bay (free), then head to the Frankston Sunday Markets for a bargain or two.

12. Make like a prospector in the gold rush and head to Ballarat’s Trentham Falls, Victoria’s highest single drop waterfall. 

13. Head to torquay and hire a stand up paddleboard at Torquay Surf for 2 hours ($20). Or take your own board down to the surf in the back of a car with enough space for it, like Robert's 2005 Ford Falcon Ute in Northcote. 

14. Visit Daylesford’s Mill Market, and spend your cheeky $20 thrift shop hunting.

15. Get up bright ‘n early for the earlybird savings at the Peninsula hot springs ($20, Tues-Thurs). What a bargain!

16. It’s a short one, but a must with a car... Drop by the Coburg Drive In for a movie night, Coburg North ($15 pp). 

17. Head to Arthurs Seat lookout for an awesome view of the Mornington Peninsula, and pop by a few Red Hill wineries on your way home for some free tastings... you still have $20 left, so buy a bottle!

18.  Go grocery shopping for a picnic at Fairfield Boathouse ($20) and take it to the awesome Heidi Museum of Modern Art sculpture garden (free) in Heidelberg. 

19. Take your dog to the dog-friendly trails at Lerderderg Park (free) - and find yourself a ride for you and your best mate, like James' pet friendly 2011 Suzuki Grand Vitara in Carlton. 

20.  Suck it up and climb to the top of Mount Feathertop. Reward yourself by stocking up on 750ml of Moscato at Innocent Bystander, Healesville - but no drinking until later! ($20)  

If you'd like to try Car Next Door, get $25 off your first trip with the code URBANROADTRIP. 

Want more road trip ideas from Melbourne? Check out our 6 picks for an epic Great Ocean Road getaway

Photo credit: Gareth Sobey

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