Looking for inspiration on what to do on your Victorian holiday? We have you covered! Here is our round up of Top 21 Things to do in Victoria.
Melbourne is Australia’s second largest city and is known for its diverse culture, fine restaurants, trendy cafes and night life. Positioned on the banks of the Yarra River, and inland from Port Philip Bay, Melbourne is a buzz of activity. Popular attractions include Federation Square, Melbourne Aquarium, Melbourne Museum and of course the famous Melbourne Zoo. The parks, gardens, shopping and cultural ambience make this destination Victoria’s number one top spot and most loved city.
Ballarat is regarded as Victoria’s “Inland City” and is mostly known for its history of gold. It is home to a thriving gold industry drawing tourists and gold seekers year round to this unique destination. The Eureka Stockade Centre, Gold Museum or the Ballarat Fine Art Gallery are popular cultural hot spots and Sovereign Hill is a must see with its recreating of history during the ‘Eureka Stockade’. Situated only 90 minutes from Melbourne on the Great Western Highway, it is great for a day trip or a stopover to enjoy all this city has to offer.
Known as the gateway to the Great Ocean Road, Geelong features amazing scenery in all directions. Fantastic attractions in the city include the Geelong Gaol, the Ford Discovery Centre and the National Wool Museum which is great for the family. A very popular recreational spot is the Barwon River and Buckley Falls which are perfect for a bushwalk and picnic and the chance to get in touch with nature. Drive a bit further south to Ocean Grove for a swim and some amazing scenery. The city of Geelong truly has something for everyone.
Most people know of Mildura as Victoria’s most productive fruit-growing area but this isn’t all this amazing region has to offer. The Murray River a drawcard for its many tourists and is a true Australian highlight. There is so much to see here, with Orange World, Gol Gol Fisheries and the Golden River Zoo just some of the attractions. It is a campers galore here, with the Mungal National Park, famous for its red sand dunes, a popular hotspot. For a chance to see the river at its finest, board a paddle steamer for a day with the PS Melbourne and the Rothbury both also offering great daily trips. Fantastic for a the whole family, Mildura is wonderful tourist spot all year round.
5. Snowy River National Park
Known for wild horses and magical sunrises, this is Victoria’s High Country at its best, with some of Australia’s best ski fields close by. This region of Victoria is popular for all types of outdoor sports such as abseiling, horse riding, canoeing, bike riding and hiking, making it an adventure heaven. There is incredible scenery here, with some stunnign gorges and river systems and making for plenty of fantastic camping spots. The best way to reach this amazing destination is to travel via Buchan (from Jindabyne) along the Barry Way which will lead you to some unique cave systems. The Buchan Caves are definitely worth a visit.
6. Macedon Ranges
Situated just an hour out of Melbourne, this is a great spot to visit to escape the heat and enjoy the local wines and fruits of the region. With the Great Dividing Range and central highlands acting as a stunning backdrop, attractions such as the Hanging Rock, and the Macedon National Park which has plenty of beautiful camping sights to choose from, are very popular with tourists. The Cope Williams Winery, Mount Macedone Winery and Cobaw Ridge offer excellent local wine tasting tours and stunning scenery in every direction you look.
7. Lakes Entrance
This region is any lover of watersports’ dream! Positioned close to Ninety Mile Beach, Lakes Entrance offers panoramic ocean views in every direction you look. It is a popular holiday spot situated where the Gippsland Lakes meet the ocean, hence the name ‘Lakes Entrance”. Lake Tyers is fantastic for a picnic, and perfect for a drive through its forest park. The most popular activities here are fishing and boating, with so many waterways to choose from. This is the ultimate destination to relax and enjoy the surrounding coastal beauty.
8. Wilsons Promontory National Park
Wilsons Promontory can be found on the southern tip of Victoria. along the South Gippsland Highway. With incredible scenery, wildlife and rock formations, it is a stunning place to visit all year round. There are plenty of walking trails and beaches accessible mostly by foot making it an ideal adventure playground. Excellent camping facilities can be found at Tidal River which is the closest town to the Promontory. It is a remote location, but the natural and unique beauty is worthwhile for those who love the wilderness of Australia.
Bendigo is close to the centre of Victoria and is most famous for its its gold mines, which make this thriving urban city a truly fascinating place to visit. There are a multitude of options for any traveller. Popular activities include a visit the pottery museum, a tram tour or a visit to the central Deborah mine for an underground experience you won’t forget. The Whipstick Forest outside of the city is ideal for a picnic and stroll, but if you are opting for a day trip, you have the choice of Elmore, Castlemaine, Maldon and Heathcote all equally as impressive as the city of Bendigo.
10. Grampians National Park
As the third largest national park in western Victoria, the Grampians sure don’t disappoint. The offer incredible bushwalking, camping and scenery to delight any keen nature lover. Halls Gap is a central tourist destination in this fantastic region, and is a great base for your outdoor adventures. If you are travelling from the south, Dunkeld is the ideal entry point and a picturesque place to stay for a while. The Grampians are perfect for the driving holiday, with plenty of safe roads and driving routes to take you into the heart of this amazing Victorian paradise.
Mansfield makes the top 21 list, purely because of its unique country appeal, proximity to popular attractions and stunning beauty. Especially well known to horse lovers and favourite “Man from Snowy River”, this is the high country with a long and fascinating history. It is also hugely popular for bike riding, fishing and snow skiing at nearly Mount Buller and Mount Stirling. Situated only a few hours north from Melbourne, there are plenty of adventure activities available here, and the drive here alone will simply take your breath away!
12. Great Ocean Road
This is a must see of Australia is it one of the country’s most scenic drives and takes only four hours to complete. Spanning from Torquay through to Warrnambool, you will see some spectacular cliff faces, ocean rock formations, rainforests and stretches of coast that can not be described in words alone. The road close to the Port Campbell National Park offers incredible scenery, and there are plenty of camping spots and accommodation offered along the way if you want to spend more time here. Inland from the Great Ocean Road you will find some amazing waterfalls and walking trails , which add to the wonder and beauty of this incredible Victorian hot spot.
13. Philip Island
Known for its penguins and incredible sunsets, the remoteness and natural beauty of Philip island will capture your heart as soon as you step onto its shores. Located south of Melbourne, the main town is Cowes which also has great beaches. There are countless walking tracks, and an abundance of wildlife to see. The Philip Island Wildlife Park is a must-see here, as well as the Koala Conservation Centre. However, the main drawcard of the island would have to be The Penguin parade which can best be enjoyed at dusk as they return from a day out fishing.
14. Yarra Valley
The Yarra Valley is most famous for its wines, but also has a country appeal and many great places to bushwalk, cycle and drive. One of the prettiest towns here would have to be Marysville, with amazing waterfalls and walks nearby. This area is perfect for a getaway day trip or overnight stay, with plenty of camping spots and accommodation to choose from. There are a number of national parks in the Valley, including the King Lake and Yarra Ranges National Parks. You will leave feeling relaxed and invigorated after your stay here and keen to explore more of Victoria’s great outdoors.
15. Dandenong Ranges National Park
The Dandenong Ranges are made up of forest parks and some stunningly beautiful gardens. One of the most popular ways to see the ranges is from the Puffing Billy steam train that takes you through scenic areas you normally would never see. Ferntree Gully National Park is a must with plenty of walking tracks and superb scenery. Located under an hour from Melbourne, it is a great day trip alternative with plenty to see and do. The Sherwood Forest and Thousand Steps are some more of the natural attractions that draw plenty of locals and tourists to this irresistible part of the world. The view from the Mount Dandenong Observatory is definitely also well worth the vist.
16. Apollo Bay
Located at the foot hills of the Otway Ranges, and one of the most well known towns of the Great Ocean Road, Apollo Bay is the ideal place to relax and enjoy incredible ocean views. It is the perfect place to base yourself as it allows you to enjoy all that this area has to offer. The harbour is a great place to picnic and watch the fishing fleets. Another option is to take a day trip to one of the waterfalls in the hinterland. It is so beautiful here you may never want to leave.
Bairnsdale is an ideal base for a holiday of exploration of East Gippsland, and is also within close proximity to the Mitchell River. It has everything you would expect in a city but hides behind the veil of a country town. There is such a unique wilderness on its doorstep that it can’t be missed. For those who love culture and history, there are a number of fascinating museums in town, but the best attractions are further out, with Raymond Island, Fairy Dell, Colquhoun Forest and Lakes Entrance all less than an hour away.
18. Mount Beauty
The name of this amazing place really says it all. With scenic beauty in every direction, Mount Beauty is easily accessible at the foot of the highest mountain in Victoria (Mount Bogong), and boasts incredible views. It is also incredibly close to plenty of amazing attractions. The popular Falls Creek is not far away and skiers often use this town as a base during the winter months. It is also a great base in summer for visiting Bogong plains. The drive here can be steep in some areas, but there are a number of picturesque lookouts, such as View Point, which will make the drive worthwhile.
19. Mornington Peninsula
This would have to be one of the state’s most ever changing scenic destinations. Home to natural bushland, rugged coast lines, vineyards, orchards and farms that dot the countryside, the Mornington Peninsula is a relaxing and inspiring place to visit. Best known for its superb wines, especially the Pinot Noir and Cardonnay, there are plenty of vineyards to stop in to wine and dine or simply take a tour. With bed and breakfasts and a number of good camping grounds it is great to visit for a day trip or overnight stay.
This is a very pretty little town set in the King Valley wine producing region, located in Victoria’s high country. Milawa is a great base for touring the area to visit the local produce including cheese, nuts, berries, honey, olives and of course, wine. Known for the famous Brown Brothers label, a popular Australian favourite, your palate will be satisfied as you enjoy a day trip to this hidden but incredibly picturesque region. Be sure to visit the Milawa Cheese Cafe and the Old Emu Inn. The Alpine National Park and Wabonga Plateau feature many walking trails with some sensational lookouts. There are plenty of festivals throughout the year, and the entire region is a top place to visit.
21. Halls Gap
Located in the Grampians National Park, just over 250 kilometres north west from Melbourne, Halls Gap can be found at the foot of the Mount William ranges and is an ideal base to visit the Grampians. Home to plenty of bushwalking tracks, lookouts and waterfalls, this region will take you as good few days to explore. Abseiling, fishing and canoeing are extremely popular, but for the less adventurous the Wildlife park and Zoo feature plenty of Australian wildlife. Some of the best inland fishing can also be found here. For all types of travellers, this is a unique and relaxing place for a truly fantastic holiday.