Panorama of the landmark Twelve Apostles along the famous Great Ocean Road, Victoria, Australia

Credit: Ashley Whitworth from stock.adobe.com

Planning to explore Victoria? Whether you're looking for the perfect road trip from Melbourne, the ultimate hiking adventure, or idulging in the state's gourmet produce,  there's somewhere for you. Read on for 20 destinations to visit for an unforgettable trip. 

Victoria, the second-smallest state in Australia, is a region known for its diverse landscapes and abundance of must-see attractions. From the bustling capital city of Melbourne to the gorgeous vineyards and stunning coastline of the Great Ocean Road, travellers of all kinds come to Victoria in search of adventure, delicious eats, and unforgettable experiences. If you’re planning a trip to Victoria, you’re in for a holiday to remember. 

Adventurous visitors will want to explore Phillip Island to discover the local wildlife and the Victorian Alps, a breathtaking landscape that captivates travellers worldwide. For those keen on cultural excursions and city-wide adventures, Melbourne offers plenty of museums, culinary delights, and art to entertain you throughout your holiday.  An those looking for the ultimate scenic road trip can't miss the Great Ocean Road. Regardless of what you desire for your next trip to Victoria, let’s explore 20 destinations that are sure to find a spot on your itinerary this year. 

 

The best places to visit in Victoria

1. Melbourne

Known for: Good food and coffee, art galleries and museums, and sporting events 

The graffitied laneways of Hosier Lane, Melbourne

Credit: Jesse Hisco for Visit Victoria

Melbourne, the capital of Victoria, is an ideal destination for those seeking a cultural exploration of the region, city explorations, and delectable eats. As the second-most populated city in Australia, Melbourne offers more than meets the eye, including vibrant arts and culture, international cuisine, and even unique Aboriginal cultural experiences, including guided tours. One of the best places to visit in the city, especially for first-timers, is Federation Square, a location renowned for pop-up experiences, shopping, and dining. For families,, there are several museums and family-friendly attractions in Melbourne, such as zoos and sports matches. Beach lovers who want a break from shopping and eating will enjoy visiting St Kilda, Elwood, and especially Brighton, which is known for its colourful huts. Even if you only travel to Melbourne on your Victorian holiday, you’ll find plenty to fill your days. 

Top 5 things to see and do in Melbourne

  1. Explore Federation Square to admire the art culture and architecture 
  2. Escape to the Royal Botanic Gardens for an afternoon 
  3. Shop at Queen Victoria Market, the largest open-air market in Australia 
  4. Indulge in coffee at some of the city’s vibrant cafés 
  5. View diverse artwork at the National Gallery of Victoria 
     

Getting to Melbourne

There are two main airports in Melbourne - Tullamarine Airport and Avalon Airport. For the closest trip into central Melbourne, fly into Tullamarine Airport (Melbourne  Airport). Most Australian cities offer direct flights into Melbourne Airport, including Sydney, Brisbane, or Adelaide. Once you arrive, it’s only 23 km into the city. Ubers and taxis are readily available at the airport,, however a popular (and economical) alternative is the SkyBus, which runs express services between Melbourne Airport and Southern Cross Station every 15 minutes.

2. Mornington Peninsula

Known for: Vineyards, Peninsula Hot Springs, and delicious food

Beautiful aerial panorama of Mornington Peninsula coastline and Mornington Pier at sunset. Melbourne, Victoria, Australia

Credit: Greg Brave from stock.adobe.com

For those seeking a relaxing holiday, the Mornington Peninsula could not be a better spot. Known for its beautiful vineyards, tasty fine dining, and numerous national parks, the peninsula offers outdoor excursions, food, and wine, making any weekend a romantic getaway. Visiting a hot spring or two is one of the top things to see and do in Mornington Peninsula. To explore the peninsula properly, consider booking a sailing tour to see the region's beauty from the water or visit Morning Peninsula National Park for a scenic hike. One of the most unique experiences here is a dolphin and seal swim reef snorkel tour, a must for those who enjoy the water. Of course, a weekend here is not complete without tasting Pinot Noir from one of the many wineries in the area. Whether you want to unwind or adventure, Mornington Peninsula is a must when visiting Victoria. 

Top 5 things to see and do in Mornington Peninsula

  1. Go on a sightseeing tour around the peninsula  
  2. Spend the afternoon in one of the many hot springs
  3. Explore the Moonlit Sanctuary
  4. Indulge in local food and fine wine on a winery tour
  5. Hike Mornington Peninsula National Park for a stunning view
     

Getting to Mornington Peninsula

Mornington Peninsula is just one hour from Melbourne, making it an excellent day trip if you’re in Melbourne for a few days or more. The best way to travel here is by hiring a car and driving down the coast while enjoying Victoria’s beautiful coastline.  

 

3. Grampians

Known for: Captivating views, Aboriginal history, and walking trails

Dawn in the Grampians National Park

Credit: mark galer from stock.adobe.com

When visiting Melbourne, one of the best day trips is to the Grampians, an area well-known for its abundant wildlife, walking trails, and gorgeous views. Grampians is a special place to visit in Victoria renowned for its Aboriginal rock sites, which are located at Grampians National Park. A day trip to the Grampians will allow you to explore the national park. Prepare for moderate hikes and pack your best walking shoes! Alternatively, try Grampians Adventure Golf, an excellent excursion for those with little ones tagging along. There, you’ll indulge in friendly competition while viewing local art. Many also enjoy cycling through the region, visiting the Aboriginal Cultural Centre, and indulging in local Shiraz and other wines from the local vineyards. Whether you hit the trail or the range, you’re in for an adventure.

Top 5 things to see and do in Grampians

  1. View the ancient Aboriginal rock sites
  2. Walk the hiking trails at Grampians National Park
  3. Take the family to Grampians Adventure Golf
  4. Discover some of Australia’s oldest wineries
  5. Visit the Aboriginal Cultural Centre
     

Getting to Grampians

Travelling to the Grampians is feasible for a day trip, but best for the weekend. To get to Grampians, hire a car to drive the nearly three-and-a-half-hour trip from Melbourne. Alternatively, if you plan to travel with a day tour, you’ll enjoy coordinated transport and gorgeous views while you travel west. 

 

4. Great Ocean Road

Known for: Road tripping, surfing, rugged coastal views, the 12 Apostles

The Great Ocean Road - winding roads, ocean and dense bushland

Credit: jovannig from stock.adobe.com

Great Ocean Road, one of the best road trip to do from Melbourne and amongst the top  tourist destinations in Victoria, is a must if you love gorgeous views and outdoor excursions. With 243 kilometres to explore, you’ll enjoy an unforgettable scenic drive with picturesque waves, beaches, and coves. Make as many or as few stops as you’d like (or you have time for). One of the best things to do on the Great Ocean Road is visit the 12 Apostles, which are a set of geologic formations along the coast. There are also several places near Great Ocean Road to stop at a hot spring to unwind in the naturally geothermal waters. One of the most popular things to do in this region is the paddle to see platypuses in their natural habitat at Lake Elizabeth. For those travelling with the whole family, spending a day learning how to be a chocolatier at Great Ocean Road Chocolaterie & Ice Creamery is bound to be fun for everyone. Thrill seekers can go ziplining, tandem skydiving, or learn how to surf. As you can see, Great Ocean Road offers something for every traveller and travelling style. 

Top 5 things to see and do in Great Ocean Road

  1. Visit the 12 Apostles along the coast
  2. Explore Port Campbell National Park 
  3. Stop at Memorial Arch on Eastern View
  4. Walk along Otway Fly Treetop Adventures
  5. Hike to Teddy’s Lookout for an unforgettable view 
     

Getting to Great Ocean Road

Located just two and a half hours from Melbourne, it’s best to hire a car and enjoy one of the best road trips in Australia!

 

5. Phillip Island

Known for: The Penguin Parade, nature and wildlife, and racing

Penguin Parade viewing platform at Phillip Island, VIC

Credit: Phillip Island Nature Parks for Visit Victoria

Phillip Island, situated two hours from Melbourne, is a favourite destination for day trips and tourists seeking to explore the local wildlife. Here, you’ll find the famous Penguin Parade on Summerland Beach and Koala Conservation Centre, which offer exceptional attractions for family-friendly fun. Those who love the coast and marine life should opt for Wildlife Coast Cruises to see seals and dolphins, among other sea creatures. If you’re into surfing, you’ll be hard-pressed to find a better place for surfing than Victoria’s first National Surfing Reserve. Phillip Island is also home to plenty of exhibits on Australia’s maritime history, Aboriginal culture, and more at the Phillip Island Historical Society Museum. For those who have a need for speed, plan your trip around one of the many motorcycle and car racing events that come to the city every year. 

Top 5 things to see and do in Phillip Island

  1. Book tickets to Koala Conservation Centre
  2. Visit three Phillip Island Nature Parks
  3. Go surfing at the National Surfing Reserve
  4. Take a helicopter flight over Phillip Island and Cape Woolamai
  5. Spend the day at the Phillip Island Historical Society Museum
     

Getting to Phillip Island

Phillip Island is only two hours from Melbourne, making it an ideal day trip. Rent a car or opt for a day tour with transport included for a more leisurely drive down the coast. Ferries are also available from Stony Point in Mornington Peninsula and take only 40 minutes. 

 

6. Daylesford

Known for: Natural mineral springs, tranquil scenery and delicious food

Lake Daylesford in the Daylesford an Macedon Ranges area

Credit: Safari Global for Visit Victoria

Daylesford is the best destination for those desiring a vacation full of delicious eats, relaxation and quaint towns to explore. If you’re travelling for a romantic getaway, you could not pick a more pleasant city for the weekend. With bathhouses, botanical gardens, and restaurants featuring local produce and wine, you’ll indulge, unwind, and return to Melbourne feeling refreshed. Opt to stay in luxury accommodations for a truly tranquil weekend or spend the weekend at Hepburn Bathhouse and Spa in a mineral water bath. For those who want to explore the local wildlife and scenery, a trip to Trentham Falls never disappoints. All you have to do is bring your best walking shoes and some snacks. With private wine tours, art galleries, and gorgeous waterfalls, you’ll find plenty to do with your partner. 

Top 5 things to see and do in Daylesford

  1. Have a picnic at Hanging Rock
  2.  Hike to Trentham Falls for epic views 
  3. Unwind at a spa or soak in a relaxing mineral water bath 
  4. Explore the botanic gardens 
  5. Visit the nearby Lavender fields at Lavandula Swiss Italian Farm
     

Getting to Daylesford

To get to Daylesford, hire a car or plan to use public transport to make the trip out west of Melbourne. If you drive, expect the trip to take around 90 minutes, whereas public transport might be up to three hours, depending on when you travel. 

 

7. Geelong

Known for: AFL, museums, and vibrant culinary scene

Geelong, Australia. Aerial view of city coastline from drone

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Geelong, known for its sparkling waterfront, delicious culinary scene,  avid sports culture, and cultural attractions, is an ideal destination for those seeking a quiet escape from the congestion of Melbourne. You’ll find an array of cultural experiences, from art galleries to street murals, and plenty of walking trails to explore. History lovers will want to visit the Geelong Gaol Museum, the National Wool Museum and the Geelong Gallery. The MoPA: Museum of Play and Art is a fantastic choice for those travelling with kids, while avid surfers will not want to miss a chance to experience surfing at Thirteenth Beach. Not to mention, foodies will love indulging in the world-class foodie scene in the area, complete with eateries, wineries, and breweries that offer plenty of diverse, local, and fresh treats. For a truly unique experience, book a Geelong Hot Air Ballon tour or a chance to race in a rally car.  

Top 5 things to see and do in Geelong

  1. Spend the day at MoPA with the family
  2. Surf at the famous Thirteenth Beach
  3. Explore the waterfront
  4. Visit the Geelong Gallery
  5. Take a scenic helicopter flight of the peninsula
     

Getting to Geelong

Located only one hour away from Melbourne, Geelong is the perfect spot for a day trip. To get here, fly into Melbourne and then hire a car to drive south. Alternatively, there is public transport train, which only takes 90 minutes from cental Melbourne before you arrive to explore, indulge, and discover all that Geelong has to offer. 

 

8. Ballarat

Known for: Family-friendly attractions, history, and wildlife

Sturt Street in Ballarat, VIC

Credit: Griffin Simm for Visit Victoria

Ballarat is an idyllic town for those seeking family-friendly fun, historic sites, and chances to encounter the local wildlife. From the Arch of Victory to the Art Gallery of Ballarat, you’ll find plenty to discover that will give you a glimpse into Australia’s rich history and unique culture. Some of the best spots to visit include Ballarat Botanical Gardens, where you’ll walk through gardens of stunning flowers and local flora. The Ballarat Tramway Museum takes you back in time and is perfect for the whole family. If you want to see the local wildlife, Ballarat Wildlife Park is a must. To experience the city’s history, take the family to Sovereign Hill to learn about Ballarat’s gold rush past. For a unique excursion, Kryal Castle is the only medieval theme park in all of Australia, and a must-visit for a truly one-of-a-kind experience. 

Top 5 things to see and do in Ballarat

  1. Walk through the Ballarat Botanical Gardens
  2. Visit the Ballarat Tramway Museum to go back in time
  3. Meet local wildlife at Ballarat Wildlife Park
  4. Learn about the city’s gold rush past at Sovereign Hill
  5. Book tickets to Kryal Castle
     

Getting to Ballarat

Ballarat is just a short 90-minute drive from Melbourne. Rent a car to go at your own pace, or alternatively, take a train, which can take up to two hours from Southern Cross station.

 

9. Warrnambool

Known for: Beaches, nature parks, and marine wildlife

Warrnambool Foresore Reserve

Credit: Ben Savage for Visit Victoria

Warrnambool is the best destination for those seeking time outdoors to explore Victoria's diverse and captivating wildlife. From the sun-drenched beaches to the parks and gardens, you’ll have no trouble filling your weekend (or more!). Plan your trip around July to October for a glimpse of the Southern Right whales as they come to give birth to new calves. Logan’s Beach is the best location to view the whales. If you’re interested in surfing, you won’t want to miss a trip to Levys Beach or Killarney Beach. Thunder Point Coastal Reserve offers stunning marine views, walking trails, and wildlife for a truly unique exploration of the coastline. Avid hikers will love visiting Foreshore Promenade for its gorgeous view and gentle sea breeze. Plan ahead and pack your best walking shoes to explore all that Warrnambool offers. 

Top 5 things to see and do in Warrnambool

  1. Go whale watching at Logan’s Beach in the winter
  2. Hike Foreshore Promenade for unparalleled views
  3. Surf the waves at Levy’s Beach 
  4. Visit Thunder Point Coastal Reserve to view local wildlife
  5. Have a picnic at Killarney Beach while you enjoy the view
     

Getting to Warrnambool

It’s best to plan a weekend trip, as Warrnambool is a three hour drive from Melbourne city. Another option is to catc the train from the city, but factor in four hours for the trip.

 

10. Yarra Valley

Known for: Vineyards, hot air ballooning and outdoor excursions

Yarra Valley Vineyard in Victoria, Australia

Credit: FiledIMAGE from stock.adobe.com

The Yarra Valley, known best for its array of vineyards, boasts several exquisite wines to sample and outdoor adventures, and it’s one of the most beautiful places to visit in Victoria. Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, Shiraz, and Cabernet Sauvignon are among the best wines to try from the region. If you’re planning a weekend here, book a Yarra Valley Winery and Chocolate Tasting Tour for the best way to sample the Yarra Valley's best wines and enjoy an afternoon of delectable food and drinks. For those seeking an escape into the region's stunning natural landscapes, the Redwood Forest is a must-see spot with majestic trees that are worth the trip. You’ll also want to book tickets to visit Healesville Sanctuary, where you’ll meet local wildlife, including platypuses, koalas, and more. Whether you wine and dine or explore the landscapes, Yarra Valley is a popular destination in Victoria. 

Top 5 things to see and do in Yarra Valley

  1. Take a hot air balloon to see Yarra Valley from above
  2. Sip on Chardonnay and Pinot Noir at a local vineyard
  3. Dine at one of the many local restaurants
  4. Go skydiving for a one-in-a-lifetime view
  5. Meet local animals at Healesville Sanctuary
     

Getting to Yarra Valley

To get to Yarra Valley, rent a car and drive 45 minutes northeast of Melbourne. If you want to avoid driving, book a tour with transport or use public transport to travel to your destination. 

 

11. Macedon Ranges

Known for: Gourmet food, boutique wineries, and hiking trails 

Warrnambool Foresore Reserve

Credit: Ben Savage for Visit Victoria

Best known for its relaxing vibe, tasty eateries, and vineyards,the Macedon Ranges is ideal for a romantic weekend or a break from Melbourne during your holiday. The area is home to several historic and unique villages, including Macedon, Mount Macedon, Woodend and Kyneton, each with its own charm and beautiful natural scenery.  With a slower pace and plenty of natural parks, the Macedon Ranges region is a favourite amongst travellers. Visit the Forest Glade Gardens for a walk through a stunning, historic private garden that is among the most beautiful in all of Australia. Hanging Rock, a distinctive rock formation and former volcano, is also a must-see destination for those who long to explore Victoria’s unique landscapes. Hike up to Mount Macedon for a gorgeous view or visit Kyneton nearby to walk along Piper Street for some light shopping for clothing, souvenirs, and the like. You may even find some souvenirs at one of the city’s many markets, a must-visit for delicious snacks and handmade items. 

Top 5 things to see and do in Macedon Ranges

  1. Hike up to Mount Macedon
  2. Visit Hanging Rock 
  3. Shop along Piper Street for souvenirs
  4. Walk through Forest Glade Gardens in the afternoon
  5. Indulge in some of the local eateries in town
     

Getting to Macedon Ranges

The Macedon Ranges is an ideal day trip, as it takes just over an hourto drive there from Melbourne city - and 45 minutes from Melbourne Airport.

12. Lakes Entrance

Known for: Beaches, water sports, and fresh seafood

Lakes Entrance Footbridge

Credit: Josie Withers for Visit Victoria

Lakes Entrance is a popular holiday destination and a worthy choice for those seeking to explore the coastal beauty that Victoria offers. Located just over four hours east of Melbourne along the coast, Lakes Entrance is known for its stunning beaches, water sports, and fresh seafood, making it perfect for those seeking an adventurous trip. Gippsland Lakes are a must-see destination for those who want to bird-watch, swim, and view the local marine life. Walk along the coastline to travel to Ninety Mile Beach, an idyllic escape with unforgettable views. You’ll also want to plan to visit the Griffiths Sea Shell Museum to explore the local marine life and coral reefs. Cruises are abundant for those who want to venture the waterways and feel the sea breeze. If you’re looking for a coastal getaway, Lakes Entrance should be at the top of your list. 

Top 5 things to see and do in Lakes Entrance

  1. Book a cruise to explore the local marine life
  2. Walk to Ninety Mile Beach for captivating views
  3. Go fishing at one of the best fishing spots in Australia
  4. Swim at one of the many beaches 
  5. Take a trip to Griffiths Sea Shell Museum 
     

Getting to Lakes Entrance

Lakes Entrance ia four houe drive from Melbourne, so it’s recommended that you take at least a weekend to explore the destination. While it is a significant drive, you’ll enjoy some of the most beautiful landscapes in Victoria—maybe even Australia!

 

13. Bendigo

Known for: Arts, culture, and historic excursions

Bendigo Tramways

Credit: Harry Pope/Two Palms for Tourism Australia/Visit Victoria

Bendigo was originally a town famous for its part in the gold rush, but these days, it is well known for its exquisite arts and cultural scene and abundance of historic excursions. Explore the Central Deborah Gold Mine to glimpse the region’s unique history or stroll through the Bendigo Art Gallery to view diverse artists and works. Known for its Chinese heritage, the Golden Dragon Museum is a beautiful attraction to explore and learn more about this fascinating part of Bendigo’s history. Another must-see museum is the Bendigo Pottery Museum, which has displayed pottery workshops and art since 1858. Whether you love history or simply want to soak up the art and culture of Victoria’s towns, Bendigo is perfect to include in your itinerary. 

Top 5 things to see and do in Bendigo

  1. Explore Bendigo’s Chinese heritage at Golden Dragon Museum
  2. Take a trip back in time to Central Deborah Gold Mine
  3. Sign up for a pottery class at Bendigo Pottery Museum
  4. Visit the Great Stupa of Universal Compassion
  5. View artwork at Bendigo Art Gallery
     

Getting to Bendigo

Best for a weekend trip, Bendigo is located just a two hour drive outside of Melbourne. Those without a car also have the option of taking the train, which takes between two and three hours depending on the schedue and route. 

 

14. Milawa and King Valley

Known for: Vineyards, gourmet food, and beautiful scenery

Aerial view of Milawa in Victoria's High Country

Credit: The View From Here for Tourism Australia/Visit Victoria

Milawa and King Valley, located in Victoria’s High Country, are the best places to visit on your trip to Victoria if you’re seeking the best wine and delicious local produce. Foodies will have no shortage of options here, finding plenty to indulge in. King Valley specifically has several historic winemaking families that make up some of the best wineries in the country. Milawa is best known for Brown Brothers Winery, where you’ll enjoy artisanal breads, cheeses, and more. In this region, you’ll also find hot air balloon rides, breweries, and the beautiful King River, where travellers swim, fish, canoe, and go whitewater rafting. Whether you eat through the High Country or explore uncharted territory, you’ll have a fantastic time!

Top 5 things to see and do in Milawa and King Valley

  1. Try artisanal cheeses and breads at Brown Brothers Brewery
  2. Ride a bike between small producers and villages to stock up on the cheese, honey, wine and olives
  3. Take a hot air balloon ride over the valley
  4. Hike to scenic viewpoints and waterfalls
  5. Explore a local winery or brewery
     

Getting to Milawa and King Valley

Milawa and King Valley is a longer drive from Melbourne, but one that takes you through some picturesque scenery. Rent a car to drive three hours northeast to Milawa. If preferred, public transport is also available, but it will take about two additional hours  than hiring a car. 

 

15. Wilsons Promontory National Park

Known for: Stunning natural landscapes, outdoor activities, and wildlife

Squeaky Beach - Wilsons Promontory National Park, Victoria

Credit: Mark Watson for Visit Victoria

Wilsons Promontory National Park is a true escape from city life as you venture into one of Victoria's most beautiful regions. Located just under three hours from Melbourne in th Gippsland region, Wilsons Promontory National Park is one of the top places to visit in Victoria. Here, you’ll find plenty of walking trails, beaches, and other excursions to discover Victoria's coastline's local wildlife and beauty. Visit Picnic Bay for a captivating view and a quick swim, or hike Mt. Oberon Summit Walk for a dramatic panoramic view of the land and sea. With thirteen islands surrounding Wilsons Promontory, several unique geographical landscapes exist, from the impressive granite boulders to the mountains you’ll see throughout the park. You’ll want to book a wilderness cruise or a day tour to truly explore all Wilsons has in store. If you plan your trip accordingly, you’ll even see Humpback and Southern Right Whales on a whale cruise

Top 5 things to see and do in Wilsons Promontory National Park

  1. Book a scenic cruise to see the park from the water
  2. See majestic whales off the coastline
  3. Hike Mt. Oberon Summit Walk and admire the view
  4. Go for a swim at Squeaky Beach
  5. View the impressive mountains and granite boulders
     

Getting to Wilsons Promontory National Park

Wilsons Promontory National Park is off-the-beaten path and a hidden gem under three hours out of Melbourne. The best way to get there is to rent a car or to book into an organised tour, as there are no public transport options.

 

16. Mallacoota

Known for: Beaches and outdoor adventures

Mallacoota Coastal Reserve, Victoria, Australia

Credit: Totajla from stock.adobe.com

Mallacoota, located on the eastern coast of Victoria, is surrounded by the beauty of Croajingolong National Park and considered one of the best places to visit if you love the beach and outdoor excursions like hiking, kayaking or boating. Mallacoota famously has the warmest winter temperatures in Victoria, so it's a great destination to visit all year round. Not only that, but it is also home to some noteworthy museums and unique Australian history. If you love the beach, plan some time to visit the Mallacoota Coastal Walk, where you’ll see turquoise waters and enjoy soft sand beneath your feet. Gabo Island Lighthouse is another destination to add to your itinerary to learn more about the region’s unique history. Cape Howe Marine National Park is a beautiful place to explore and indulge in the area's natural landscapes. For history lovers, a trip to the WWII Bunker Museum should be at the top of your list. While off-the-beaten-path, Mallacoota offers numerous experiences to travellers of all types.  

Top 5 things to see and do in Mallacoota

  1. Visit the Mallacoota RSL Bunker Museum
  2. Explore the Gabo Island Lighthouse
  3. Take in the stunning landcape along the Mallacoota Coastal Walk
  4. Go for a bushwalk or hike at Croajingolong National Park
  5. Swim at one of the pristine Mallacoota beaches

 

Getting to Mallacoota

Plan for at least a long weekend or few days here, as Mallacoota is over six hours away from Melbourne by car. If you fly into Melbourne, the best way to travel here is to rent a car and enjoy the scenery on a road trip. 

 

17. Alpine National Park

Known for: Skiing and snow sports, dramatic mountain ranges, hiking 

Squeaky Beach - Wilsons Promontory National Park, Victoria

Credit: Mark Watson for Visit Victoria

Alpine National Park, the largest park in all of Victoria with 646,000 hectares of land, is an ideal destination for adventurous travellers seeking an escape. From mountain ranges that offer incredible views of deep valleys and rivers to horseback riding and mountain biking trails, travellers will have an endless list of adventurous outdoor activities and excursions. Avid hikers will want to explore the alpine ridgelines and immerse themselves in the scenery of this unique region. Thrill seekers will enjoy the whitewater rafting options, outdoor enthusiasts shouldn’t miss the camping and fishing opportunities, and come snow season, it’s the perfect destination for avid skiers and snowboarders.  Alpine National Park is truly a must-visit destination for snow enthusiasts, adventurers, and nature lovers. 

Top 5 things to see and do in Alpine National Park

  1. Explore a mountain bike trail
  2. Go on a thrilling whitewater rafting trip
  3. Horseback ride through pristine natural landscapes – or hike for those who prefer to walk
  4. Ski the slopes in the winter
  5. Drive the 4WD tracks in Wonnangatta Valley
     

Getting to Alpine National Park

If you’re travelling from Melbourne, Alpine National Park is five hours away by car. 

 

18. Echuca Moama

Known for: Paddle steamers, river activities, historic buildings and museums 

Port of Echuca Discovery Centre

Credit: The Precinct Studios for Tourism Australia/Visit Victoria

The twin cities of Echuca and Moama are located just over two hours north of Melbourne and are actually situated in two different states! Echuca in VIC and Moama in NSW sit on opposite sides of the banks of the Murray River, offering water activities, historic excursions, and delicious eateries, wineries, and breweries. Best for a romantic getaway, these towns are known as the paddle steamer capital of Australia, with the world’s largest fleet of currently-operating riverboats. Take a cruise along the river and enjoy dinner with a gorgeous view.  There are also plenty of walking trails and Moama Botanic Gardens, providing a chance to immerse yourself in the beauty of these towns. Let’s not forget about the dining options, as Echuca Moama Market is a beautiful place to explore for arts and crafts and delectable food and wine. Regardless of what you choose for your weekend, this is a must-visit spot in Victoria. 

Top 5 things to see and do in Echuca Moama

  1. Walk through the Moama Botanic Gardens
  2. Waterski along the river between the cities of Echuca and Moama
  3. Explore Echuca Moama Market for snacks and souvenirs
  4. Ride on a paddle steamer for a lunch cruise
  5. Traverse the local walking trails 
     

Getting to Echuca Moama

Echuca Moama is under three hours from Melbourne, making it perfect for a long weekend getaway. There is public transport for those without a car, but it takes just over four hours to get there., so make sure to factor in the additional time.

 

19. Dandenong Ranges

Known for: Walking trails, the historic Puffing Billy Railway and quaint villages

The Dandenong Ranges Botanic Garden - Chelsea Australian Garden

Credit: Rob Blackburn for Visit Victoria

If you’ve been looking to explore some of Victoria’s extraordinary natural landscapes and charming villages, Dandenong Ranges should be on your list. Home to villages such as Olinda, Sassafras, Belgrave and Emerald, the Dandenong Ranges is known as a rainforest getaway just outside of Melbourne and is an ideal destination for those who enjoy walking trails, lusious gardens and scenic views. Walk up the 1,000 Steps or hike to explore Olinda Falls , where you’ll enjoy a beautiful view of Melbourne. While you’re here, you’ll see various wildlife, ranging from lyrebirds to wallabies to the Powerful Owl. One of the most unique attractions to experience is the Puffing Billy Steam Train in Belgrave, which allows you to see historic train stations and views of the beautiful farmland. Pack your best hiking boots and some water for the hike, and you’re all set to go!

Top 5 things to see and do in Dandenong Ranges

  1. Ride the Puffing Billy steam train through the mountains
  2. Hike the 1,000 Steps 
  3. Explore Olinda Falls after a short hike
  4. Have a picnic at one of the many natural parks
  5. Wander hrough the The Dandenong Ranges Botanic Garden
     

Getting to Dandenong Ranges

Dandenong Ranges is less than one hour from Melbourne by car and just under two hours by public transport.

 

20. Bright

Known for: Vibrant autumn leaves, wineries and food, and outdoor adventures

Streets of Bright with autumn leaves

Credit: Rob Blackburn for Visit Victoria

Bright, a small town near Mount Buffalo National Park and Alpine National Park, is the perfect place to visit if you’re interested in participating in outdoor adventures and exploring Victoria’s wineries. It’s also the most idyllic and picturesque destination to enjoy the vibrant colours of autumn foliage, with an annual Autumn Festival in April/May to celebrate the season. The town has the Bright Museum, where you’ll learn about the town’s unique gold rush history and walk through the former train station. Bright Splash Park is a fun water park for those travelling with kids for a day trip during the warmer months. Avid hikers will enjoy hiking up to Huggins Lookout, an easy 1.6-kilometre walk, for a memorable view. You’ll find no shortage of walking trails and wineries here to discover, making this town an idyllic setting for your next getaway in Victoria. 

Top 5 things to see and do in Bright

  1. Hike up to Huggins Lookout for a view
  2. Take a tour of a local winery in Bright
  3. View the stunning autumn foliage 
  4. Spend the day at Bright Splash Park
  5. Sip on local brews at Bright Brewery
     

Getting to Bright

To get to Bright, it takes three-and-a-half-hour from Melbourne. The drive from Melbourne takes you through some of the most stunning landscapes in all of Victoria. Public transport is also available, but it takes just under five hours to get there. Plan for at least a weekend trip to indulge in Bright’s beauty attractions. 

 

What are the best hidden gems and unique places to visit in Victoria? 

Streets of Bright with autumn leaves

Credit: Rob Blackburn for Visit Victoria

There are so many hidden gems and unique places to visit in Victoria, from Warrnambool to the stunning coastlines of Mallacoota. If you’re looking for some stunning destinations that offer a breath of fresh air and less tourist activity, here are some amazing places to visit in Victoria that should be on your list: 

  • Port Fairy 
  • Wilsons Promontory National Park 
  • Daylesford 
  • Portland 
  • Mallacoota 
  • Macedon, Mount Maceon, and Kyneton in Macedon Ranges 

 

What are the best family-friendly places to visit in Victoria?

Puffing Billy Railway

Credit: Safari Global for Visit Victoria

Victoria offers several unique attractions and family-friendly excursions for those travelling with families. In Melbourne, the Melbourne Zoo is the perfect place for kids to visit, but there are also numerous other kid-friendly museums and attractions, like the Royal Botanic Gardens and Scienceworks. Phillip Island is another family favourite because of the Penguin Parade and the various outdoor activities, like hiking and swimming at the beaches. Great Ocean Road is a scenic road with family-friendly fun, like the Great Otway National Park and Tower Hill Wildlife Reserve. Dandenong Ranges is also an excellent choice for a family excursion from Melbourne, with the Puffing Billy – Australia's oldest and best-preserved heritage steam railway – offering hours of entertainment for the kids. Finally, Yarra Valley is another family-friendly destination with hot air balloon rides and chocolate factory tours that satisfy any sweet tooth!

 

Where are the best places to visit in Victoria for a day trip from Melbourne? 

Jackalope Hotel, Mornington Peninsula

Credit: Jackalope for Visit Victoria

You have plenty of options if you’re seeking a day trip from Melbourne. The closest and one of the best day trips is Dandenong Ranges, which is only a short one-hour drive from Melbourne and offers beautiful scenery, scenic walking trails, and quaint villages. Mornington Peninsula is another excellent day trip for those who want to explore the coastline and relax or to visit renowned wineries. Phillip Island is an exceptional choice for those seeking a day trip of fun in nature, as you can watch the Penguin Parade, enjoy outdoor excursions, and visit beautiful beaches. No matter your choice, you’ll have an excellent day while taking a break from the city’s hustle and bustle. 

 

Flights to Melbourne

It's time to discover Victoria! Virgin Australia offers direct flights to Melbourne from major Australian cities, including: