With Victoria being the last Australian state to begin rolling back its Coronavirus restrictions, VIC residents are now starting to plan and look forward to having the freedom to hit the road, camp, hike, and explore the amazing state they call home.
Victoria is home to one of the most liveable cities in the world, so it comes as no surprise that the popular state is brimming with sights to see and places to discover. Although the climate is not as tropical as Queensland, it still has some of Australia’s best beaches, particularly along The Great Ocean Road and Mornington Peninsula. Victoria has Australian Heritage Listed parks across the state with heaps of native wildlife to see. Here are just some of the amazing places we included in our top ten list in Victoria.
Kicking off our list is VIC's vibrant capital city, Melbourne, which has earned The Economist Intelligence Unit's title of world's most liveable city numerous times, and for good reason! An exciting, dynamic city that Scrubba is lucky to call home, Melbourne is renowned for its iconic architecture, sporting events, shops and abundance of restaurants and cafes to dine in and take away from. The best way to get around Melbourne is by the well-connected public transport services such as the iconic trams (free within certain sections of CBD) and trains or by car, bike and on foot. Start your day at the iconic Flinders Street Station then stroll directly across the road to Federation Square and visit the various galleries, followed by a short walk to the famous street art laneways, full of colour and character, for a spot of brunch at one of the many laneway cafes. After hitting the shops, from high-end to high-street, wander along the Yarra River on the Southbank Promenade and stop for a cocktail, delicious snack, and live music. During Summer months, the Queen Vic Night Market offers the perfect opportunity to experience street foods from different cultures, and all year round the market offers live entertainment and fashion, art, homewares, and grocery stalls - a great place to support small business. Melbourne is also home to a number of world-renowned annual sporting events and leagues from AFL, Forumla1, Grad Slam tennis, and cricket.
Urban beauty at its finest. Photo via @visitmelbourne
2. The Great Ocean Road
A trip to Victoria is not complete without a drive along one of the world’s most famous coastal roads. The Great Ocean Road is 200km from Melbourne and stretches from Torquay - famous for its world-class surf beaches - all the way to Warrnambool. It usually takes four hours to travel to the end of The Great Ocean Road, but it is worth stopping off at some awesome spots along the way. Campgrounds can be tricky to find on the route, however, we highly recommend staying at Port Campbell National Park, and the best towns to stop at along the way are Apollo Bay, Lorne, Twelve Apostles, Loch Ard Gorge and the stunning waterfalls in the Otway National Park. When visiting attractions such as the 12 Apostles, we recommend arriving before sunrise to not only beat the crowds but to also get the opportunity to capture some great scenic shots.
Always worth the drive! Photo via @visitgreatoceanroad
The Great Ocean road leads us to our next unmissable destination, the third-largest national park in Victoria, the magnificent Grampians National Park. Located along the western districts close to Halls Gap, the national park is home to beautiful waterfalls, panoramic lookouts, rock formations and colourful spring wildflowers. The Grampians is also referred to as Gariwerd, it is full of rich indigenous culture, seen in ancient rock art along the 144km stretch of walking trails. We recommend checking out some of the lookout walks that lead to beautiful McKenzie Falls, the Pinnacle and the great camping spots at the Balconies. Before you leave the area, make sure you get involved in activities such as horse riding, kayaking, overnight hiking and abseiling.
Admire the parks spectacular horizon at sunset. Photo via @thegrampians
4. The Murray
The Murray River region is situated along the border of New South Wales and is home to Australia’s longest river, the Murray River, and towns such as Mildura and Echuca Moama. This outdoor-focused region is popular for its incredible fruit growing areas, wine, cultural festivals and its peaceful scenery ranging from red sand dunes, river red gum trees and sandy riverbanks. Those wishing to escape Melbourne’s unpredictable weather will love the region's milder winter and consistently warm summers. If you enjoy water sports, the season runs all year round with water skiing competitions taking place in Mildura! Our top must-sees and must-dos include a visit to the Trentham Estate Winery, a trip along river in a historic paddle steamer, taking snaps at the highly 'Instagrammable' cactus gardens in Strathmerton and perhaps a round of golf at one of forty golfing venues designed by elite pro golfers. Stay in the region's amazing accommodation options from quirky BnB's to free campgrounds that require no bookings situated along the river. Murray Sunset National Park is a great camping option or if you’re after a unique experience book one of the many luxury houseboats that features outdoor spas and hammocks. Now that sounds like a relaxing place to visit once restrictions are fully lifted!
Swim or relax along the sandy bank on the Murray River. Photo via @visitthemurray
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As we all navigate these unchartered waters, the most important thing is we stay safe. We know now isn't the right time to travel, but we can still provide you with the inspiration to dream of your next visit to the Murray region. You can also support our beautiful region by buying online some of the delicious, fresh produce we’re famous for or purchasing a gift voucher to use in the future from one of our many accommodation providers, attractions, restaurants and cafes. If you were planning to travel to the Murray region soon, you can help our tourism operators and give yourself something to look forward to by postponing your booking rather than cancelling. Postponing your booking is a huge help to our tourism operators during this very challenging time and they will be extremely grateful for your support. As soon as we can all travel again and you’re looking for somewhere to relax, rejuvenate and reconnect, we’ll be ready to welcome you back to the Murray region with open arms and share our hidden gems with you. In the meantime, sit back and relax as we inspire you with images of our remarkable region of endless adventures, colourful culinary trails, scenic golf greens, breathtaking natural landscapes and a fascinating history – all threaded along a legendary river. 📸@nomadasaurus 📍@echuca_moama
The third-largest city in VIC’s regional North-West, Ballarat is a family-friendly area that has been voted multiple times as Australia’s best major tourism attraction. Ballarat is accessible via a ninety-minute drive from Melbourne or trip on the V line train from Melbourne CBD's Southern Cross Station. This area is not just known for its gold but for its historic buildings, museums, and natural environment. The number one tourist attraction in the area is Sovereign Hill; take a step back into the 1850s to learn about gold mining and daily life. Perhaps even try on some historical period costumes for an old-fashioned photograph to cherish. Next on the list, and free to enter with your Sovereign Hill ticket, is The Gold Museum where you can check out some gold replicas and temporary exhibitions. If you’re looking to end the day with a light walk or an older style tram ride, we suggest visiting the lovely Lake Wendouree. There are stacks of nice view points, not to mention plenty of swans and a massive playground to keep the kids entertained.
Roam around Australia’s best tourist attraction. Photo via @sovereignhill
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Our doors may be closed, but we're still here to help you through this time . Explore #SovereignHillAtHome with our fun online experience featuring everything from craft activities and recipes, to educational materials for home schooling . Go behind-the-scenes and discover the history of our buildings. Meet the people who bring your favourite experiences to life . Link in our bio . . . #SovereignHill #SovereignHillAtHome #TheStoryLivesOn #MassIsolationAU #HomeSchool #HomeSchooling #StayHome #StayAtHome #BeKindBallarat
6. Daylesford and Macedon Ranges
A small country town in the Macedon ranges, Daylesford is famous for its natural mineral spring spas, fine dining, galleries, and boutique cottages. It is only around an hour away from Melbourne and would be the perfect location for a day trip or a weekend away. To unwind and relax in the countryside, we highly recommend the Hepburn Bathhouse and Spa, it features a couple of heated mineral baths, a salt bath, steam room, and a few beauty pampering options. Next stop we recommend checking out a couple of wineries and restaurants. One place we are sure to venture to once the restrictions have been lifted is Cafe La Trattoria to try their lavender champagne. Take in the history of the Macedon Ranges and explore the Convent Gallery in Wombat Hill Botanic Gardens, where even none art lovers will appreciate the breathtaking space and surroundings.
A stunning experience. Photo via @daylesfordmacedonranges
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⛪️ Nestled on the crest of Wombat Hill Botanic Gardens, take some time out at @conventgallery. Wander their art gallery spaces, experience a high tea at the Bad Habits Cafe and even stay the night in one of their boutique rooms. It’s a captivating space like no other. And yes you can even get married at The Convent. This photo was taken by @becwalkerr. #daylesfordmacedonlife
7. Dandenong Ranges and The Yarra Valley
Our next destination is the wine capital of Victoria, just an hour East of Melbourne, and a region full of bushwalk tracks, lush gardens, and beautiful parks full of trees. In the Yarra Valley and Dandenong Ranges, you have over 160 wineries to choose from. These cellar doors specialise in cool climate wines like Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, and some lesser-known varieties. One must-see winery is the TarraWarra Estate in Yarra Glen, this estate boasts a stunning location with interesting architecture that holds a contemporary art gallery and a restaurant. For the best views in the area head to the Mount Dandenong Observatory to see the forest scenery or ride a hot air balloon at sunrise along the Yarra Valley to view the skyscrapers from a distance, as well as the Yarra River, flora, fauna, and grapevines. This region is the perfect weekender away from our busy city!
Take a peaceful flight over the Yarra Valley. Photo via @yarravalley
Heading south of the Yarra Valley, you will find the southerly point of mainland Australia located along the Gippsland. A few hours drive from the city, Gippsland encompasses some great natural environments with pristine lakes, national parks, limestone caves, coastal villages, and countryside towns. This stunning area stretches from the Victorian Alps all the way to Bass Strait, where you can visit natural beauty at Wilsons Promontory National Park. The best things to see at the Prom are Squeaky beach, wildlife, Vereker Outlook, and the southern point at Mount Oberon. Campsites are generally booked out well in advance and its best to pre-book. One of the best seaside towns to visit is Lakes Entrance, which is home to Australia’s largest inland lake system. Gippsland has suffered a lot in recent times, with the terrible 19/20 bushfire season, and current COVID19 pandemic so now that travel restrictions are easing, let's plan our next day trip!
Dreamy views at Squeaky Beach. Photo via @visitgippsland
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The very famous and very beautiful Squeaky Beach at Wilsons Prom At the time of posting, the big campground at Tidal River is closed to campers and the park is being restricted to only 1000 people at a time. We like to think of it as a holiday for the wildlife and a chance for the campsites to regenerate a bit. This place is ancient and beautiful and it will be here waiting for you to run your feet in the squeaky sand, when it’s safe to return Thank you for the beautiful photo @fabiooliveira and @tomtomdrivers we appreciate you sharing the beauty of Gippsland ❤️ _ #visitgippsland #seeaustralia #holidayherethisyear
9. Phillip Island
Phillip Island is situated two hours off Victoria's Southern Coast and is a popular island day trip or weekend getaway spot for Melbournians. A 140km journey from the CBD, the island is famous for its wildlife, particularly for its native penguin population. One of the best experiences is the Penguin Parade Night Tour, whereby you can watch Fairy Penguins walk up along the beach at night to feed their chicks. Penguins can also be seen resting in little dugouts at The Nobbies Viewpoint Walking Trail. The Nobbies also has an Ocean Discovery Centre where you can book tours to Antarctic Journey, Koala Reserve, and many other special attractions.
Take a stroll through The Nobbies. Photo via @phillipisland
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Nothing beats a stroll along the Nobbies boardwalk for a dose of fresh air and stunning scenery! 🌊⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ Thanks for tagging #phillipisland on Instagram @chasedavidson_ #seeaustralia #yourhappyspace #visitvictoria ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ .⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ .⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ .⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ .⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ #visitmelbourne #melbourne #thenobbies #ocean #oceanviews #paradies #australia #takemetoaustralia #exploremelbourne #wildocean #naturelovers #natureexplores #australia_oz #natgeomyshot #abcmyphoto #austraveller #islandtime #naturewalk #beautifulscenery
10. Mornington Peninsula
After completing a visit to Philip Island, exploring the Mornington Peninsula is a must! Only a ninety-minute drive from Melbourne, this area is known for its stunning coastlines, seaside towns, and wineries. At Arthurs Seat, you can go on a chairlift to see views that include the calmer side of Port Phillip Bay and the back beaches of Bass Strait. Cape Schanck is another beautiful town that has a national park and the second lighthouse built in Victoria. The next place not to miss is the award-winning Peninsula Hot Springs which also features saunas, bathhouses, cave pool, and a walking trail. The hot springs offer twilight sessions in the warmer months to help you unwind after a busy day of exploring!
See the picturesque views from up high. Photo via @officialmorningtonpeninsula
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Thanks for the shout out @VisitMelbourne we agree, we are the perfect place for a day trip or short stay just one hour from Melbourne CBD. We love your perspective of one of our sunny, salt kissed days here on the Mornington Peninsula. Captured from above by @carlymarie_travelwithme via @VisitMelbourne #winefoodfarmgate #morningtonpeninsula #findyourwaymorningtonpeninsula #yourhappyspace #beach #family #friends
We hope that our list gives you some food for thought! The easing of restrictions could present the perfect opportunity to pack up the car, camper or RV and hit road, ticking off as many spots as you like on the way. With social distancing and heightened hygiene being the new normal, having your accommodation and wheels all in one definitely has its appeal, and to make that journey a little easier, why not pack a Scrubba wash bag for self-sufficient laundry on-the-go! Browse the Scrubba wash bag range to pick up the ultimate gear for your next VIC adventure.