Of all the Australian states, you’ll likely find Victoria to be the most cosmopolitan. There are numerous amazing things to see in this state, so you wouldn’t want to arrive only to see Melbourne and leave. Be sure to explore the whole of the state and see the wonderful things it has to offer.
To help you do that, we’ve compiled 7 of the most amazing places to see in Victoria, which really are only highlights that scratch the surface of this wonderful state in Australia.
Melbourne – Victoria’s urban center – is a fusion of culture and the modern lifestyle is reflected in the street art, fine restaurants, and street markets. The countryside surrounding Melbourne offers a welcoming contrast, with family-owned wineries, coastal cliffs and green landscapes.
For travelers, Victoria is quite accommodating, offering numerous outdoor activities, wineries to visit, and open roads to explore. While you’ll likely want to base yourself out of Melbourne, be prepared for a bit of driving.
Best Things to Do in Victoria, Australia
1. Discover the Verdant Forests of the Dandenong Ranges
The great thing about Victoria is that you don’t have to travel far to see impeccable nature. Only 22 miles from Melbourne, Dandenong Ranges – are a set of low mountain ranges – is an ideal spot to explore lush Australian forests.
There are quite a few things to see while you’re in the region, but the National Rhododendron Gardens are a perfect starting point, covering 104 acres and featuring plants like azaleas, camellias and rhododendrons, of course.
A short 4-mile hike in Sherbrooke Forest will take you to many waterfalls in the area, as well as to see the birdlife like cockatoos and kookaburras.
If you are a fan of Indian cuisine, then stop by Babaji’s Kitchen for vegan and gluten-free dishes right on the Dandenong Mountains. The Puffing Billy Railway runs through the southern part and is a fun way to explore this area.
If you’re looking for a pre-planned tour to the area, we recommend this one: Dandenong Ranges Private Tour Including William Ricketts Sanctuary
2. Take a Drive on the Great Ocean Road
The Great Ocean Road is a favorite road trip in Australia, since you pass through rainforests and beaches all in a day’s drive. With little civilization and abundance of secluded beaches and bushland, this is a perfect trip for those who want to truly admire Victoria’s picturesque landscapes.
Make sure to stop by the Bay of Islands to see towering limestone stacks and Loch Ard Gorge for clear blue water and pearly sand. To reach the famed limestone rock stacks of the Twelve Apostles, you will have to pass by the Timboon Railway Shed Distillery and numerous farms, like Timboon Cheesery, with their exclusive cheeses, so have a platter with locally crafted beer and take a rest from your travels.
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3. Try the Fresh Trout of Gippsland
Far on the east of Victoria and three hours away from Melbourne, Gippsland is an amazing campground to meet Australian nature. The area is full of lakes and home to the famous Nine Mile Beach where families come to sail, swim and relax.
Buchan Caves will give you a unique opportunity for a peaceful walk under hundreds of stalactites hanging from the ceiling. At Hogget Kitchen you will have gourmet meals like beef and pork dishes while overlooking Strzelecki Ranges and drinking locally produced wine.
However, don’t miss Alpine Trout Farm for fresh or smoked trout and salmon farmed on the premises. Gippsland Lakes is a complex waterway and the largest in Australia consisting of marshes, lagoons, and lakes covering over 200 square miles.
Hiking is very popular here since it takes visitors through lush landscapes and to the waterfalls, although mountain biking is available for those more adventurous.
4. Meet the Urban Charms of Melbourne
Being the second biggest city in Australia didn’t stop Melbourne to be voted as the world’s most desirable to live in on several occasions. The perfect position allows you to visit Melbourne and from there take a ferry boat to Tasmania or travel to other parts of Victoria in only a day.
Take a street art tour and see why this city is a hub for artists from all over the world. Flinders Street Station is an important landmark built in the 19th century which is famous for its Victorian architecture and favorite as a meeting place.
As a popular foodie destination, you should try some of the city’s signature dishes like chicken and waffles at Gorilla Grill or Bruce Pie at The Pie Shop. You should also spend some time discovering the food in the laneways. Go on this tour to see what it’s all about: Melbourne Walking Tour: Uncover Hidden Laneway Bars.
5. Try the Beautiful Wines of the Yarra Valley
The Yarra Valley is one of Victoria’s best wine regions. Being a cool climate, Chardonnay and Pinot Noir are the celebrated varietals in this region. Whether you’re a wine connoisseur or not you’re going to love this region for its beautiful rolling hills and vineyards.
Be prepared for a full day of wine tasting in the Yarra Valley. See our full guide on the wineries you should visit in Yarra Valley. There are dozens of tasting rooms where you can spend some time on a flight and stay for a bit of food or a full lunch. One of our favorites for this is Giant Steps.
Book a tour:
- Yarra Valley Wine & Food Day Tour from Melbourne with lunch at Yering Station
- Yarra Valley Wine and Winery Tour from Melbourne
6. Stop By the Famous Pink Lakes
Far in the northwest of Victoria, people gather to marvel at the beauty of Pink Lakes and their changing colors from deepest pink to brightest white. Situated in the Murray Sunset National Park, these four lakes have beds made of salt and consist of red algae responsible for their pink hue.
There is an abundance of walking trails in the area like Lake Hardy Nature Walk and Kline Nature Walk. This is a perfect location for bird watching since lakes are home to red-rumped parrots, spotted pardalotes and mallee ringnecks.
Nearby Dimbola offers accommodation and numerous cafés like Nourish’d Eatery and Fig Tree Café where you can get food for a picnic at the Pink Lakes. Or you can spend the night at the campgrounds at Lake Becking or Lake Crosbie and enjoy the gorgeous nature of the area.
7. Meet the Smallest Penguins in the World on Phillip Island
Australian wildlife is astonishing and never fails to surprise. Besides its signature animals like the Tasmanian Devil, koalas and kangaroos, Phillip Island is home to Little Penguins.
These small and loud penguin species attract visitors from all over the world to watch the famous Penguin Parade on Summerland Beach. This is when as much as 6,000 penguins come back to the coast in the evenings to rest and sleep for the night.
However, you can also see koalas at the Koala Conservation Centre and fur seal colony by the Cape Woolamai. Stop by the Shed Phillip Island and get fresh produce for a picnic on the pink granite cliffs or have a clam pasta at a family-owned Isola restaurant when taking a break.
Phillip Island is also an excellent destination for whale excursions and bird watching so it’s a perfect destination to meet Australian wildlife.
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In the end
Australia gives a lot to its travelers and explorers. From unique animals to diverse landscapes, it’s hard to stay untouched by its beauties and vivaciousness. If you want to experience Australia, start with these 7 most amazing places to see in Victoria.
It’s a region full of life and colors that will make you fall in love with this continent and its culture. Just be ready to fully embrace the food, wines, and sights of Victoria to truly feel its magnificence.
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Nina is a lifestyle blogger, yoga aficionado and a travel enthusiast with a distinctive taste for home decor. She’s passionate about learning new things and sharing meaningful ideas. In her free time, she loves to design clothes and furniture. If you wanna see what she’s up to you can find her on Twitter.