Popular destinations in Victoria
Here you will find an introduction to some of the most popular destinations and activities in Victoria. For more inspiration and valuable tips on your dream destination, simply follow the links under each destination. But first, the most popular top-five destinations in Victoria followed by a range of more detailed and inspiring destinations, as well as good-to-know advice on when planning a trip here, or for when travelling in the area.
- Great Ocean Road; The 250 km long coastal road between Torquay and Allansford in south Victoria is winding past many unforgettable vantage points and photographic highlights. Make a stop in Otway National Park for cooling waterfalls or in Lord Ard Gorge for beautiful vantage points and hiking trails. Drive along Shipwreck Coast to see the iconic limestone rock formations called the Twelve Apostles rising out of the water like forgotten columns, and make a stop in the surfer town, Bells Beach. You can drive, take the bicycle and hike in stages along the popular Great Ocean Road (wotif.com/discover/australia/victoria/great-ocean-road.d6135588).
- Phillip Island; A dramatic coastal landscape with wide and far-stretched sandy beaches. Spot kangaroos, pelicans, fur seals, koalas and last but not the least, the little penguins in their natural environment. Get around via traditional bicycles or electric ones, surf, hike or visit Phillip Island Grand Prix Circuit (wotif.com/discover/australia/victoria/phillip-island.d6051897).
- Melbourne City och St Kilda; Melbourne – a lively, simmering and ever surprising city. After a shopping spree among popular vintage shops and hectic markets, visit rustic cafés hidden amongst graffiti-painted concrete walls. Make a visit the country’s largest sports arena MCG. Then continue out into the suburbs, to the bohemian St Kilda for a day at the beach (wotif.com/discover/australia/victoria/melbourne/st-kilda.d181708).
- Wilsons Promontory; Less than three hours from Melbourne lies the Promontory, Victoria’s oldest and most beloved national park which largely has remained unspoiled wilderness. It is a wonderful place to visit for some hiking, camping, swimming and surfing. With its rocky coastline, dramatic nature and fine sand, the Prom is a popular place for families and friends on a picnic (wotif.com/things-to-do/wilsons-promontory-national-park-full-day-trip.a190627.activity-details).
- Yarra Valley Region & Dandenong Ranges; Yarra Valley – the connoisseurs’ mecca, where good food and rich wine is at the centre of the trip. Make a visit to Healesville Sanctuary for a chance to see Australian animals in their proper environment, or explore Dandenong Ranges with its fern-dressed tree trunks and misty mountains from a steam locomotive called the Puffing Billy (wotif.com/things-to-do/half-day-tour-puffing-billy-steam-train-ride.a228701.activity-details).
A full day of shopping awaits you in the modern metropolis of Melbourne, amongst Victorian buildings and warehouses adorned with artistic street art. Regain energy with food from all corners of the world or enjoy the warming atmosphere of the European café culture. When your stomach is full, you will find all sorts of amusements in Australia’s second largest city. Take a break from city life and try out the outdoors, hiking trails for all types are close at hand. When you have worked up a sweat, it is easy to get to the beach at St Kilda or to Mornington Peninsula for a bathing session with the dolphins. Then there is wine tasting in Yarra Valley. When the metropolis’s hot pulse is too much, the prospects are good for more swimming, snorkelling and beach life. A visit to Phillip Island provides great conditions for surfing, otherwise Torquay and Bells Beach are popular destinations.
If the heat is not your friend, try the opposite. Hurl yourself out amongst powder white moguls in eastern Victoria. Go downhill or cross-country skiing among snow-covered eucalyptus. The inveterate cyclist heads to the mountains in summertime, where green peaks and new breathtaking views are visible after each ascending curve. If you do not want to go up the mountains, you can go down, deep down in humid and cool cave systems among ancient limestone formations in the city of Buchan in eastern Victoria. Switch from narrow cave systems to open views and fresh winds. In anticipation of catching fish, anglers marvel at the strong Australian light in the water mirror over Gippsland Lakes while a breeze with the scent of eucalyptus swirls past.
If you like sports, most roads sooner or later lead to the city’s capital Melbourne. There, sport is taken deadly serious. In addition to the Aussie rules football, there are a variety of sports to choose from, in addition to tennis, golf, horse racing and motor racing. If instead relaxation and health sit high on your list, the holiday town of Daylesford is teeming with luxurious spa facilities. But a visit to one of Victoria’s world-class vineyards can also be relaxing. Find the good life in the south-eastern state’s cosy resorts where you can sample local delicacies and gourmet cuisine.
Have the camera ready for magnificent sunsets and Australian colours. Don’t forget the iconic Twelve Apostles along the southwest coast along the Great Ocean Road. This trip is suitable both for those who want to travel around or those who prefer to use guided tours or travel collectively. If the magnificent scenery of Victoria’s coast along the way is not enough for you, there are plenty of national parks to satisfy your appetite. Outdoor enthusiasts have a variety of activities to choose from, in all degrees of difficulty. Visit the hilly landscapes of the mountains or climb Mount Feathertop, go for rock climbing, paddle a kayak or take a ride on horseback in the east. You can walk or bike around the semi-pedestrian national park and the island of French Island or go to the mountains and one of Victoria’s most powerful national parks, Grampians National Park, which has an incredibly rich flora and fauna. If you want to see little penguins or seals, Phillip Island is the place. Simply, for those who want to visit Victoria there is much to explore, and there are destinations for everyone – from the lonely traveller to family groups, from budget to luxury.
Destinations in Victoria
Getting to and getting around the state
You can get to the state’s capital Melbourne and other major cities by car, bus, train or plane. There is good service of public transport including buses, trains and trams in the metropolis. From Melbourne, you can travel in all directions. Southwards are ferries to Devonport in Tasmania and westwards lead you along the dramatic coastline of the Great Ocean Road. Going east will take you to the Australian capital of Canberra and going north means travelling towards Bendigo. It is possible to reach most resorts by public transport, but in general this requires several changes, extending your total time spent on the roads. If you rent a car, it will be much faster and you can customize your trip, but a good tip is to pre-book accommodation via popular travel routes. If you drive on roads around the mountains and at Gippsland Lakes, a four-wheel drive is required. If it is winter, you must carry snow chains in the car and put them on when required. At some national parks you need a car to get around.
For those who want to relax and let someone else sit behind the wheel, there are heaps of daytrips and longer guided tours for all sorts of attractions in Victoria. Join in on a bus via the Great Ocean Road where accommodation, food and stops are already arranged, or why not a day trip on a boat via Yarra River where you can enjoy good food and nice views while relaxing.
Victoria’s greatest drawback is its unpredictable weather; mild summers, torrential rains, and strong winds. You might want to make sure that you pack wet weather gear and a warm jumper if you are going here during the Australian winter. If you plan to travel along the Great Ocean Road and plan to overnight in one of the holiday destinations along the coast, you might also want to make sure to book accommodation ahead, especially during long weekends and during the summer holidays.
If you intend to travel overland between from Victoria to the neighbouring states, note that there are quarantine rules in place to minimise the spread of diseases. To avoid expensive fines, visit Interstate Quarantine (interstatequarantine.org.au) to read up on the rules.