Beyond the city limits of Melbourne lies the splendor that is Victoria. Teeming with rich history, culinary masterpieces, and breathtaking wilderness, there is something for everyone here.
If you are lost as to where to enjoy the region with all its hidden delights, we can give you a quick guide. Here are the top 5 travel destinations in Victoria!
#1. Phillip Island
A hugely popular day-trip attraction, Phillip Island is where tourists flock to see a colony of penguins. The penguins appear in crowds as soon as the sun starts to dip in the horizon. The shore, then, becomes an astounding sight during sunset— a diaspora of these adorable black-and-white flightless birds.
The island has multiple locations and platforms where you can best witness the return of the penguins come sunset. If you want an up-close and personal encounter with these intelligent creatures, you can do so via the island’s Ultimate Penguin Tour.
Other activities on the island include beach-swimming, surfing, a tour of Warrook Farm or the chocolate factory, and a visit to the koala conservation center. The island also hosts a super fun annual summer carnival from Boxing Day (26 December) to Australia Day (26th January).
The city of Bendigo was once a mining town in the Victoria era, and was even a gold rush boomtown, only rivaling California in the entire world. As a result, Bendigo has become a melting pot due to the inrush of migrants.
Now a major settlement and a very modern one, Bendigo is still dotted with preserved structures and architecture from the Victorian era. Tourists take a thrill in Bendigo’s gold-rush history and heritage buildings. The city is accessible— just a 2 hour’s drive from Melbourne.
To immerse yourself in a cultural tour, make sure to visit the Golden Dragon Museum, the Discovery of Gold Monument, the Joss Temple, and the Bendigo Tramways Museum. You can check out the Victorian Heritage Center.
To really understand Bendigo’s gold rush history, make a beeline to the Central Deborah Goldmine for a subterranean tour! You will be shown an authentic gold mine and, as an added bonus, you can even pan for gold!
#3. Mornington Peninsula
Another exciting day trip is to the Morning Peninsula, which is renowned for many gastronomical delights— wine, mushrooms, berries, cherries, seaweed, and sea spray herb. You can even dine in restaurants that offer fresh farm-to-table meals.
Apart from a foodie’s haven, the peninsula also offers its own thrilling scenery. This is where you can find one of Australia’s few hot springs, so a must-visit is the Peninsular Hot Spring in Sorrento. You can also enjoy spectacular walking trails.
The peninsula also boasts several national parks that span over 25,000 hectares, and a gorgeous seaside town, Rosebud, which is a favorite among families. You can also enjoy yachting, swimming, and kitesurfing in another seaside town, Rye.
#4. St. Kilda
Tucked away in Melbourne is St. Kilda, an inner seaside suburb famous for hosting big events and festivals— and its iconic colorful beach shacks. Some of the must-sees in the area are a historic amusement park, the 1912 Luna Park with the world’s oldest rollercoaster, and St. Kilda Pier with its colony of little penguins.
If you’re vegetarian, you’ll delight in the suburb’s multiple vegetarian restaurants. It’s also a great place to do some vintage shopping, boutique-hopping, and restaurant dining.
The suburbs are a hub of multi-ethnic sensibilities, with Jewish cake shops and Greek bakeries. Also excitingly diverse, you can choose between a pulsating nightlife scene and a romantic beachside stroll.
Located in the Central Highlands of Victoria is another gold rush boomtown— Ballarat. Now a contemporary city brimming with exceptional restaurants, cafes, museums, and art galleries, any modern and sophisticated visitor will have fun in the city.
One major tourist attraction in Ballarat is Sovereign Hill, which is considered as Australia’s best outdoor museum, complete with a guided tour of a gold mine. This is where you will thrill in Ballarat’s rich gold-rush history and get souvenirs in 1850s shops.
Ballarat is brimming with heritage architecture amazingly preserved. History buffs are encouraged to drop by the historic site of the 1854 Eureka Stockade, which is now the Museum of Australian Democracy.
After a tour of Ballarat and you still have energy left, you can visit Kryal Castle, a replica medieval castle 8km away from the city. Slip back in time and enjoy castle towers, a maze, moat, drawbridge and a “Wax of Torture” museum. There are also live shows, like theater, jousting knights, fire-eaters, jesters, and jugglers.
Best Time To Visit
It’s wonderful to visit in the late summer, which is from March to April. The weather is pleasantly warm around that time, but not scorching.