Victoria is our home state in Australia where we live. Victoria is one of Australia’s smallest states but also its second most populated and Melbourne, the worlds most livable city, is the capital. It is forecast Melbourne will overtake Sydney in the next 20 years as the most populous city in Australia. There are many great holiday places in Victoria. Victoria is a state of diversity from the Australian Alps in the North East to limestone sea stacks that make the 12 Apostles in the south-west, to the arid desert-like the condition of the northwest and Australia’s most southerly spot of Wilsons Promontory just to name a few. Melbourne will most likely be your starting destination for visiting the sights of Victoria. You will find a getting to Melbourne guide at the end of this post. In this article, you will find submissions from some of Australia’s top bloggers who love these holiday places in Victoria. We hope some of the amazing destinations reviewed will inspire you to visit Victoria.
Holiday Places in Victoria, Australia
For the sake of this article, we are classifying Eastern Victoria as most of the state that lies east of Melbourne. The two main highways that will take you through Eastern Victoria are the Princes Highway and the South Gippsland Highway. A day trip from Melbourne is needed or a stay in the region to see the sights. You will find Eastern Victoria the least populated area of the state. It’s known for its small towns, forests, National Parks, food and wine. This regions major towns include Warragul, Traralgon, Leongatha and Bairnsdale. It is also home to Victoria’s most remote town called Dargo. The Gippsland Lakes, Phillip Island, Wilsons Promontory and the Victorian High Country are popular holiday places in Victoria
Tarra Bulga National Park
Tarra Bulga National Park is a hidden gem, located just over 2.5 hours from Melbourne in South Gippsland, we think it is one of the best, albeit lesser known places in Victoria to visit. The National Park forms part of the Strzelecki Ranges and is one of only four cool temperate rainforests in Victoria (including the Otways, Central Highlands, East Gippsland and South Gippsland). A cool temperate rainforest is cool, wet and dark with lots of ferns and moss. This National Park is full of rainforests with giant Mountain Ash trees, beautiful fern gullies, spectacular views, gorgeous walks and an awesome suspension bridge. From the visitor’s centre, there are a number of short walks, most are interlinking so you can make them longer by combining a couple together. These walks take you through and under the rainforest canopy. The Corrigan Suspension Bridge is one of my favourite walks and a must do. The bridge stretches through the rainforest with magnificent views of the greenest, lushest fern gully. There are also ample spots for a picnic lunch. The visitor centre provides picnic tables, barbeques, a shelter and toilet while other picnic areas are set amongst the giant trees and tree ferns. Caravan Parks and various accommodation options are available within the Tarra Valley and surrounding areas, but camping is not permitted within the actual National Park. Make sure you also keep your eyes open for a Lyrebird on one of your walks.
Contributed by Amber Hill who blogs at Hill Tribe Travels
Lakes Entrance is the capital of the Gippsland Lakes located 320 km east of Melbourne. Lakes Entrance has nice beaches and sometimes we have seen dolphins in the water. There are some fun parks to play at especially on the North Arm near the bridge where you enter Lakes and at Eastern beach. We have often had BBQ’s there with our parents and family friends. In the summer there is always a carnival on the foreshore with fun rides. We often take our bikes to Lakes Entrance because there is a bike path that runs the full length of the town. Dad has often made us ride down this path. I don’t like swimming in the surf beach much I find it scary so there are some good spots on in the lakes especially at Kalimna Jetty where there are no waves and it is nice and sandy. The last few times Marley and I have been able to jump in the water off the jetty which is really fun. Riviera Ice cream Parlour is one of my favourite shops in town. We get a snow peak which is a scoop of ice cream in a waffle cone topped with a dollop of soft serve and it’s amazing!
Contributed by Willow Wyld who blogs at Wyld Child Travel
Many families come to Australia excited for up-close encounters with the country’s unique animals, and ours is no different. Our children are 3 and 6yo and they were so excited to see the creatures they’d only read about or seen from afar in zoos. When we decided to drive from Melbourne to Sydney rather than fly, we knew we had to make an easy but extraordinary stop at tiny Raymond Island. The island is a quick ferry ride from Paynesville, at the southern end of the Gippsland Lakes area. Once you reach the shore, you’ll find signs everywhere pointing you to see the island’s resident population of native koalas!
Some of them live in the gum trees on people’s lawns, but the majority can be found in the small reserve area on the back of the island – just a twenty-minute walk from the ferry landing. We saw dozens of koalas snoozing and munching on leaves and could just walk right up to their trees (though they’re wild animals, so make sure to keep a respectful distance). While strolling the peaceful island, we also saw two echidnas and numerous native birds. Though the whole stop took only an hour, it was one of our favourite travel experiences in Australia.
Contributed By Melissa Conn who blogs at The Family Voyage
‘An hour and forty minutes by car from Melbourne and nestled within the heart of the Yarra Valley, Healesville is an ideal destination for a weekend away or even a day trip from the city’.
Families shouldn’t be turned off by its reputation for fine wine (although the vino is darn good and if you’re a fan of Pinot Noir in particular, you’ve come to the right place). The Healesville Sanctuary makes for a popular day out for couples, friends or families. Home to Australia’s most beloved furry, feathered and scaled friends, you can book a close encounter with a wombat, echidna and various other animals, or just wander around the sanctuary at your own pace.
Other family-friendly activities include the Maroondah Reservoir Park, locally known as Maroondah Dam. Here you can admire the local birdlife (the place is infested with cockatoos, galahs, mynahs and sacred ibis) and have a picnic. There’s a playground for the children, gardens to be explored and a waterfront-walking trail, offering panoramic views of the dam itself.
If you don’t mind dealing with kids on a sugar high, plan a visit to the Yarra Valley Chocolaterie, where tonnes of delicious treats are made onsite. You may not buy any chocolate, but there are free samples on offer and at the very least, beautiful views of the surrounding valley.
The town centre is worth a wander down too, featuring bookstores, boutique shops and naturally, bottle-o’s! For a meal, I recommend Innocent Bystander – they do a great pizza and their wine ain’t half bad either (try the rosé and thank me later).”
Contributed by LC Hunter who blogs at Birdgehls
Where to stay at Phillip Island
Ramada Resort Phillip Island should be your first choice on Phillip Island. The Ramada Resort features Eco units for singles, couples and families. The resort facilities include restaurants, pools, gym, games rooms, bar, playgrounds and BBQs. Ramada is an all in one experience. The Ramada is centrally located to all Phillip Island attractions.
For latest prices and booking information at Ramada Resort, Phillip Island click HERE
The northern area of Victoria is made up of the beautiful Goulburn Valley and the plentiful riverside towns situated along the Murray River. On the Murray is the wonderful Barmah State Park. There are many bird species within the unique wetland region and the largest Redgum forest in the world. Skiing at places like Mount Buffalo and Mount Bulla in the winter months is popular. Major towns in the area include Mildura, Swan Hill, Echuca, Shepparton. The North is easily accessed by the Northern Highway and Hume Freeway.
Glenrowan, a small town in Wangaratta, is best-known as the site of the infamous bushranger Ned Kelly and his gang’s last stand. Pick up a copy of the Glenrowan Heritage Siege Precinct walking map and take a stroll around this historic town, relieving stories and legends from the past. The map can be found at local businesses or from the local information stand at the Glenrowan Bakehouse. The sites of significance around Glenrowan are well-marked and easy to find. Each site has a large placard with plenty of information on the events that transpired at the siege of Glenrowan, and there are even some statues erected representing bushrangers and the police to help visitors really get a feel for what it would have been like on those very streets back in 1880. Be sure to have your photo taken with the 6-metre-tall statue of Ned Kelly in the village and also to walk over the bridge that connects the main road with the appropriately named Siege Street, where you’ll find the site of Ann Jones’ Glenrowan Inn, the siege site, the Police Shelter Site and Ned Kelly Capture Site (there is a plaque on the ground so you can’t miss it).
Contributed by Christine Knight who blogs at Adventure Baby
Bright is one of those places that you might not see in an Australian guidebook but is a favourite weekend getaway for Victorians. Set in the Victorian High Country, nestled beside the beautiful Mount Buffalo National Park, Bright truly is a four-season destination. In winter, Bright is your gateway to skiing and snow sports. Come summer, there is nothing better than enjoying a cold beer at the Bright Brewery while the kids play in the Ovens River. But, my favourite time to visit Bright is in the autumn, when the trees come alive with colour.
The best way to experience the autumn colours is by cycling the Murray to Mountains rail trail. You can stop off at numerous cute cafes and wineries while taking in nature’s palette. The annual Bright Autumn Festival in May showcases the region’s produce, foodie culture, art and of course the majestic colours.
Head outside of the town to enjoy some hiking by driving up to Mount Buffalo. Here the snow gums tower over interesting rock formations and you can enjoy the numerous waterfalls in the Park and beautiful Lake Catani.
Contributed by Dawn Nicholson who blogs at 5 Lost Together
Remember if you cant AFFORD travel insurance you can AFFORD to travel
The Macedon Ranges
The Macedon Ranges area is a short trip from Melbourne, perfect for weekend getaways or even a lazy Sunday drive. Consisting of the townships of Gisborne, Riddells Creek, Woodend, Macedon, Malmsbury, Lancefield, Romsey, Mount Macedon and Kyneton, this area has a rich history and breathtaking natural wonders, whilst also being a foodie haven for those looking to treat themselves. From Kyneton’s historic Piper Street and mineral springs where you can pump sparkling water straight from the ground at the rest stop on Burton Avenue as you head past the Campaspe River, to Malmsbury and its incredible viaduct; through to Mount Macedon’s famous Memorial Cross that just celebrated its 40th anniversary, and then of course the iconic Hanging Rock (yes, the very one from the movie!), this area boasts a wealth of experiences suitable for families, couples and even the lone adventure traveller. If you’re looking for a place to stay, look up the Flop House for a range of beautifully curated boutique homes for awaiting your booking. And for food? The options are endless, although Major Tom’s in Kyneton has come highly recommended by locals if you’re looking for a burger!
Contributed by Leah Smileski who blogs at Kid Bucket List
A remote town on the edge of the Outback, set on the banks of the beautiful Murray River, Mildura is an incredible region, with an irresistible appeal. A one hour flight from Melbourne, or a six-hour drive, it is a fabulous base for some of the country’s most fascinating National Parks, water-based adventure, and local Australian produce. Oozing regional Australian charm, Mildura is a very pretty town with the sunny Mediterranean weather, riverbank walks, and the opportunity to drift down the Murray River aboard a luxury houseboat. As far as nearby natural wonders are concerned, this is your base for the World Heritage listed Mungo National Park (an important cultural site, with aboriginal relics which date back 45,000 years), Hattah-Kulkyne National Park with it’s beautiful bush setting and range of iconic wildlife, and the pink salt lakes of Murray Sunset National Park. And Mildura has been described as an ‘important Australian food bowl’, with adjacent agricultural districts and award-winning wines drawing foodies into town. You’ll find an abundance of grapes, citrus fruits, almonds, olives, countless varieties of vegetables and much more here. There are award-winning wineries and oil farms, and no shortage of great places to eat. Mildura really does have it all!
Contributed by Megan Jarrod who blogs at Mapping Megan
If you are looking for the perfect spot for a relaxing weekend, a biking or hiking getaway with the kids or romantic escape, Milawa in country Victoria should be on your list. Situated in one of the wine and gourmet regions in the north of the state, Milawa is also a short hop from the regional centre of Wangaratta and approximately 2 and ½ hours out of Melbourne. Take walk or a bike ride along the bike trails that surround Milawa and you’ll soon find yourself visiting the many cellar doors, farm gates and gourmet food stores. Grab a map and pick up a bike at the local bike hire or borrow one from the Brown Brothers cellar door. Stop in at one of the cafés or restaurants for a leisurely lunch, ice cream or coffee break. Try your hand at some cooking at Pizzini’s Wine Cooking School or sample some gourmet local cheese from Milawa’s historic cheese factory. Better still you can just sit back and relax, wine in hand. With a range of boutique accommodation, overlooking vineyards this gorgeous town will provide you with a retreat from reality, once you’re there you’ll find it very hard to go home.
Contributed by Julie Beckers who blogs at A Not So Young Woman Abroad
Western Victoria is home to many of Victoria”s great attractions. The number one thing is the Great Ocean Road and the 12 Apostles. Many people go on an organized tour or take a road trip down Victoria’s coast. This region is home to Geelong, Victoria’s largest provincial city, and Ballarat, Victoria’s largest inland city. There is a number of National Parks and major tourist attractions in towns such as Bendigo, Ballarat and Warrnambool. The Western district is known for its dairy farms and rolling green pastures.
Just before the historic arch that marks the start of the Great Ocean Road is the little town of Airey’s Inlet. Famous for its wide sweeping beaches and iconic lighthouse, Airey’s (as the locals call it) is one of our favourite places in Victoria. For a small town, Airey’s packs a big punch and is the perfect weekend getaway or stop on your Great Ocean Road trip.
Start your visit by taking a long walk along the beach at nearby Urquhart’s Bluff to watch the local surfers ride some huge waves and potter in rockpools. After your beach walks, stop for a snack at Willows teahouse below the Split Point lighthouse. From the cafe explore the beautiful clifftop walks and lookout spots. Several times a day there are guided tours of the lighthouse. On the tour, you can climb to the top and enjoy incredible views of the southern Victorian coastline. The Airey’s pub is well known for its huge outdoor beer garden with views of the sea, pub menu and in-house craft brewery. You can spend a relaxing afternoon there taking in the sea views. Or, if you want a culture fix, head over the road and enjoy the exhibitions featuring local artists at the Eagle’s Nest Fine Art Gallery.
Contributed by Katy Clarke who blogs at Untold Morsels
Ballarat is one of the best places to visit in Victoria because there are many fun places to visit and it’s a very easy place to both get to and be. Ballarat is only about 100 kilometres from Melbourne and it’s a very easy drive or train ride. Once you get there, there are some big attractions.
Sovereign Hill is it’s most famous. Here, you can learn what it was like to be a gold miner in the area during the Gold Rush. It’s set up like an old mining town, and it’s fun for all ages. You can pan for gold, dress up in old style clothes and watch working exhibits where you can learn how blacksmiths worked or people made sweets. There are also mine tours. We last visited in winter where they also had fake snow falling at multiple times a day.
But there is more to Ballarat than Sovereign Hill. You can also visit Kryal Castle to learn about medieval times. There is a maze, jousting and many demonstrations when we visited as well as the castle itself to walk through. Between these two attractions you could spend a day in Ballarat, but if you are around longer, there is also the Museum of Australian Democracy at Eureka (MADE) which is a small museum about the events of the Eureka Stockade. There is also a tram museum, a beautiful botanical gardens, a wildlife park and many more features.
Contributed by Sharon Gourlay who blogs at Simple and Smarter
Loch Ard Gorge
Loch Are Gorge is my favourite enchanting destination with a legendary tale. The Gorge is named after a ship, called the Loch Ard, which in 1878 ran aground on Muttonbird Island. Out of 54 passengers and crew, only two teenagers survived. One of them was a young 15-year-old named Tom. After washing up on shore Tom heard cries for help coming from the water. Tom dove straight back into the water to rescue 17-year-old Eva. Once she was ashore Tom then climbed out of the gorge to seek help. What a hero!
If that story doesn’t leave you stirred, the view surely will with its breathtaking high walls and the unrelenting ocean waves lapping the warm yellow sand. Enjoy the view from the top, but make time to actually climb down the stairs and let the sand get between your toes.
I recommend adding on a sunset visit to the 12 Apostles before enjoying a picturesque day at Loch Ard Gorge the next day. You may also like to make a stop at the other amazing rock formations along the Great Ocean Road like London Bridge. Enjoy the Great Ocean Road! It’s an extraordinary drive.
Contributed by Erin Holmes who blogs at Explore with Erin
Barwon Heads has changed dramatically over the years, it was originally a sleepy little beach town with beach shack weekenders for Melbourne holidaymakers. This has all changed and property in this small beachside town is now in excess of $800,000 for what we still consider an original beach shack and anything renovated will hit the lofty heights well over $1m.
The 12 Apostles
Arguably the most well known “attraction” on Victoria’s Great Ocean Road, the Twelve Apostles are a collection of limestone stacks just off the shore of the Port Campbell National Park and stand proudly at almost 150ft tall alongside the road making for the perfect road trip backdrop.
The pillars were christened with the name the 12 Apostles in the 1920s (prior to this they were called the Sow and Piglets!) – despite the fact, there were only 9 at the time. And this number has since reduced to 7 as the waves and wind that carved them out of the shoreline in this first place, have worn away and reclaimed two of the columns it originally created. But with the nature of the coast and the extreme weather conditions, it faces every year, more columns are expected to develop over time (although there is no guarantee they’ll join the established lineup!)
The best way to experience the (remaining) Apostles is on the beautiful boardwalk that has been built and provides the perfect viewing platform out over the water. For a different view, you can also take a helicopter flight above and over them. And if you can, time your visit with sunrise or sunset. You won’t be disappointed!
Contributed by Vicki Garside who blogs at Make time to see the world
Getting to Melbourne:
- Melbourne is the second biggest city in Australia. Melbourne International Airport is 23 kilometres from the city centre.
- Melbourne is serviced by many international airlines and budget carriers Jetstar, Tiger. Scoot and AirAsia just to name a few. You can check the prices of international flights to Australia with Expedia. Domestic flights can be booked with webjet
- There is no direct public transport link with Melbourne Airport.You can catch the Skybus or you can book an airport transfer with Suntransfers who we have personally used on many occasions,
- You can book a rental car and have it waiting for you at Melbourne Airport.
Getting around Melbourne:
Where to stay in Melbourne:
- Melbourne has accommodation options for every budget from Hostels, to apartments and hotels rooms
- Hostels in Melbourne can start from as little as $21 a night for a shared dorm room. Check out Trip Advisor for the top 10 ranked hostels in Melbourne. You can book your stay directly from the page.
- You can search Airbnb for there Melbourne accommodation offerings. If you have never used Airbnb before get yourself $50 credit by signing and booking a stay right HERE
- Hotels in Melbourne generally start from around $100 a night for a double room and increase incrementally as the luxury rating rises towards 5 stars. Google states that 3-star averaging $113, 5-star averaging $314 for a night stay. You can compare and book your stay on Agoda, Hotels.com and Hotels Combined
( All coloured text in the Getting to, Getting around and Where to stay in Melbourne links to the pages mentioned for your information and booking convenience. We at Wyld Family Travel will make a small commission from any bookings you make. This money goes into maintaining our website. )
We hoped you enjoyed this article from Wyld Family Travel. Please find 2 more articles below from holiday places in Victoria we have visited. Just click the image to be taken to the article.