THE PLACE TO BE
Victoria is the only state in Australia where penguins, hot springs, wineries and mountains are all within reach of city skyscrapers and breathtaking beaches. Just a hop, skip and a jump from Tassie (kind of) Victoria may not get the visitors that its sunnier sister states like Queensland does, but miss Victoria and you’ll be missing out on some of Australia’s most interesting historic towns and arguably the best drive in the country. And did we mention the penguins?
Home to Australia’s “second city” Melbourne, though many Melburnians would beg to differ, it’s not just the city lights that attract travellers. Epic roadtrips abound on the Great Ocean Road, while world class skiing on Mount Buller draws snow birds from all over the country. To name just two must see destinations.
Victoria really is the place to visit and we’ve broken down the top 10 sights in the state!
Top 10 Best Places To Visit in Victoria
The Great Ocean Road
This world famous stretch of road extends for 240km from Torquay in the east all the way to Allansford in the west, and passes by the most spectacular area of coastline in the state. The best roadtrip in Victoria has plenty of sights along the way including the Twelve Apostles, Otway National Park, Lorne and many more. Expect dramatic coastal views, excellent surf and beach side camping.
Alpine National Park
The best skiing in the state is to be found in Alpine National Park, home to Mount Buller and Mount Hotham. These two alpine resorts are well known throughout Australia for their winter sports such as skiing and snowboarding and are an easy 3-4 hour trip from Melbourne. The scenery is stunning with snow capped mountains and wildflowers, and there are also excellent hiking and biking trails.
An absolute must see, Philip Island is home to the smallest, cutest little Victorians you’ll meet. A colony of penguins have made their home here for years, and you can watch them waddle their way back to shore every sunset. The “Penguin Parade” is extremely popular so get there early to get the best spot. Besides the penguins, Philip Island has lots more to see including a koala conservation centre, stunning beaches, wineries and even a chocolate factory.
The largest coastal wilderness area in the state is a must do stopover. Wildlife such as kangaroos, emus, wombats and echidnas can be seen as well as excellent hiking trails, endless beaches and well equipped campsites. Ever popular with Melbournians, the “Prom” is perfect for nature lovers and beach bums alike.
Away from the coast, Victoria really holds its own when it comes to epic scenery. The Grampians national park is a beautiful mountainous region of rugged peaks, waterfalls, scenic rocky outcrops and some of the best sunset views in the state. Keep your eyes peeled for native birds and stunning examples of Indigenous art.
The Mornington Peninsula
Wineries, hot springs, beaches and picture perfect beachside towns abound on the Peninsula. Just over an hour from Melbourne, the Mornington Peninsula is worth a day or two of your time. Cape Schank lighthouse is the best place in the area for sunset views
Victoria’s capital boasts the best coffee in the world, or so the Melbournians would have you believe (they’d be right). A long standing “most liveable city” title is well earned. Melbourne has excellent restaurants, cool markets, beaches, parks, art galleries, festivals – just about everything you’d want from a cosmopolitan Aussie city. Hit up the NGV art gallery for world class art exhibitions, and Hosier Lane for edgy Melbourne street art. Spend like crazy on Bourke Street and chow down on some of the best food in the country just about anywhere in the CBD. Not to be missed when visiting Victoria.
Daylesford is a gorgeous spa town in country Victoria with hot springs, cute weekend markets and excellent pubs perfect for a day trip from Melbourne. Spend the day relaxing in one of its many spa retreats and let the mineral waters soothe away your stress.
The Dandenong Ranges
Lush forests, tonnes of wildlife including koalas and wombats, and the cutest bed and breakfasts you’ll find in the state, the Dandenongs are another destination you can’t miss. Check out the Puffing Billy scenic railroad while you’re here – riding a vintage steam train right through a rainforest is a once in a lifetime experience!
The Yarra Valley
Whether you’re a wine expert or just an expert in drinking wine, there are plenty of opportunities to kick back with a glass of Victoria’s finest wines in the Yarra Valley. An easy hop from Melbourne, there are numerous wineries to tour and you can stay over in many of them if you fancy enjoying the serenity of the area for that bit longer.
Victoria’s weather is well known for its changeability, and Melbourne’s reputation for having “four seasons in one day” is well deserved! Weather ranges from hot and semi-arid in the northwest to more temperature along the coast and Great Ocean Road. Given its location close to Tasmania, Victoria’s weather is often wetter and cooler than its sister states. The driest, hottest months are during summer from December to February, but expect gorgeous weather during the shoulder seasons of Autumn and Spring too where clear skies and warm temperatures are the norm. June to August are the coldest months in Victoria state.
Having Melbourne as its capital easily brings Victoria’s culture score up the ranks. Victorians are a friendly, diverse group and they’re well known for their easy going vibe and yes, snobbery when it comes to coffee (they can’t help it). Equally at home in the big city or a rural farm or winery, Victorians always showcase the best of Aussie hospitality.
If you’re planning on travelling the Great Ocean Road during the summer months, you will not be alone! For less crowds and traffic jams, head down in early November or April when the crowds are few and accommodation is easier to find.