Melbourne, Australia, offers a wonderful mix of Victorian architecture with world cultures. From its favored site on the banks of the Yarra River, Melbourne offers travelers some of the best shopping and theater in Australia, a varied arts scene, top-notch food and wine with restaurants to fit any taste and budget, and excellent hotels. Note that Victoria’s weather is highly changeable. The locals love to say that you can experience all four seasons in one day, and it's true. It can easily be 100 F/40 C one day and 60 F/15 C the next. Accordingly, it's wise to take a wide range of clothes that can be layered. Click this link to start your trip planning to the southeast Australian coast!
Discover the diversity and beauty of Victoria, from world-class wineries to natural springs, coastal villages, peninsulas and alpine towns. Melbourne is a truly international city with no shortage of attractions and festivals. Melbourne has dozens of “food trails” to explore and indulge your adventurous palate. Just north of the city center is the Melbourne Museum, which is a great place to learn about Australia's natural history and Aboriginal culture. Botanists should check out the Royal Botanic Gardens, and history buffs should visit Old Melbourne Gaol, the former prison that once housed Australia's worst criminals.
Discover the Gippsland region, explore pristine beaches, lakes, mountains and winter snow, forests, lush vineyards and gourmet villages. Wilsons Promontory National Park sits at the southernmost tip of the Australian mainland, offering visitors stunning scenery and wildlife. Victoria has numerous spectacular drives, from the short 14 km Bunurong Coastal Drive, to the iconic 339 km Great Alpine Road following the stunning Ovens Valley from Wangaratta to Harrietville, up and over the alpine resort of Mount Hotham then down to the lovely coastal village of Metung on the beautiful Gippsland Lakes. This trip takes about 5 hours.
One of the world’s most spectacular experiences, Victoria’s Great Ocean Road winds alongside pristine beaches, scenic views of the wild and windswept Southern Ocean, and lush rainforests. With epic surf and unforgettable hikes, you'll find plenty of adventure around every corner. Take some time to enjoy countless experiences along the 664 km drive. Commonly, visitors take a magnificent three-day self-drive touring route from the surf capital of Torquay to the famous 12 Apostles, ending at historic fishing village Port Fairy. From Torquay, about an hour’s drive from Melbourne, head south to Bell’s Beach, host to the annual Rip Curl Pro surf competition. As you make your way to Apollo Bay, you'll drive up along cliff-tops offering incredible views and alongside wild beaches. Take time to stop at the lookouts for photos, or beachside for a stroll. From Apollo Bay, turn off to the Cape Otway light station (about a 50-minute drive). Take a tour of the oldest surviving lighthouse in mainland Australia. Follow the Great Ocean Road into the lush Otway National Park, and turn off to the Otway Fly Tree Top Walk, an easy hour's drive. Reach for the sky along the treetop canopy walkway – the longest and tallest of its type in the world – or up the adrenaline with a zip-line tour. Back on the Great Ocean Road, get your camera ready for the spectacular coastline leading to Port Campbell and its famous 12 Apostles, a group of magnificent rock stacks rising up from the Southern Ocean. Descend all 86 of the Gibson Steps to walk down to the wild beach for a ground-level view of the 12 Apostles. Continue along the Great Ocean Road west, to Warrnambool and the viewing platforms at Logan’s Beach to spot Southern Right and Blue Whales schooling their calves. Tower Hill State Game Reserve is an easy 15-minute drive from Warnambool. Take to the walking tracks, keeping an eye out for koalas, emus, kangaroos and waterbirds who roam freely among the hills and lake-filled craters of this extinct volcano.