Melbourne is a wonderful city to call home, with bustling shopping streets and a plethora of great places to eat and drink. However, if you're living in Melbourne long-term , there are bound to be times when you feel like getting in touch with nature and escaping the city buzz. Here are some of the city's best spots for getting away from the hustle and bustle and enjoying everything the natural environment has to offer. The Royal Botanic Gardens If you want a city escape that's easy to get to and incredibly convenient, you can't go past the Royal Botanic Gardens Melbourne . This area offers up acre upon acre of gardens, lakes and various other natural collections. Unwind amongst camellias, succulents, roses, and other plants from all over the world. There are also special and exciting features, such as Guilfoyle's Volcano, to captivate your imagination. Don't forget to keep your eyes peeled for wildlife, including black swans, bell birds, kookaburras, cockatoos and eels swimming through the waterways. In the summer, you can also enjoy a number of events including outdoor cinema, theatre, live music and other exhibitions, so check out the local calendar to see what might be happening. The Great Ocean Road If you want to head a little further afield and out of Melbourne city, you can't beat the wonders of the Great Ocean Road . This follows thousands of kilometres of breathtaking coastline, and has many outstanding features. " Whether you're living in Melbourne long-term or are visiting for a short stay, you can benefit from taking in some of Melbourne's more nature-based attractions. " The 12 Apostles are one of its most famous natural phenomena, and gazing upon it is sure to replenish the senses of anyone who is feeling the pressure of city life. The series of rock stacks jut out from the wild and windswept ocean, with caves, cliffs and arches that have been carved out of the rock due to the continuous action of the ocean. You'll find this attraction located 275 kilometres west of Melbourne, which is around a four hour drive along the Great Ocean Road, so you can take in a lot of its scenery along the way. SEA LIFE Melbourne Aquarium If creatures of the deep interest you, give the SEA LIFE Melbourne Aquarium a visit. In the heart of the city, at the crossroads of Corner King Street and Flinders Street, you'll find this underwater oasis. It's home to water-dwelling animals such as crocodiles, sharks, penguins, seahorses and much more. There are plenty of chances to get up close and personal with the creatures in their state-of-the-art environments, with feedings, encounters and other exciting events on offer. There are a number of individually-themed areas to explore that will give you special insights into the habitats and habits of each group of critters. The Bay of Rays, Mangroves and Rockpools, Coral Caves, Shipwreck Explorer, Mermaid Garden and Rainforest Adventure are just some of the different zones you can explore to help you get away from the city, even if just for a couple of hours.