Victoria – Best Places to Visit in this Australian State
Victoria is a wonderful place to visit and live, with its state capital, Melbourne, often been said to be one of the best cities in the world to live in. However, with millions of international visitors flocking to Victoria every year, there’s plenty to see and do outside of Melbourne’s urban delights. Driving through the famous Great Ocean Road, relaxing on the beach in a coastal village, marvelling at the beauty of a national park, or visiting Phillip Island’s adorable little fairy penguin colony. It would take you weeks to explore it all, so, why not prioritize these amazing places first to get the most out of your Australian vacation.
Grampians National Park
You’ll find many picture-perfect shots for your Instagram here, from rugged sandstone ridges to lush waterfalls and colourful Spring wildflowers with absolutely must-see sunset views. The Grampians are home to many Australian marsupials and native birds, making it a great place to go wildlife-spotting while enjoying the area’s many walking trails.
There are also some fascinating examples of indigenous art from the past. There’s plenty of gorgeous modern art by local studios if you venture outside the park to Ararat or Halls Gap, and Ararat is a fairly popular destination itself, particularly attractive for its mysterious ghost tours.
Bendigo is known for its heritage buildings, thanks to the greatly preserved Victorian architecture, as well as its gold rush history. At one point in history, the output of Victoria’s goldmines was higher than anywhere else in the world besides California, with nearly 1 million kilograms of gold extracted in Bendigo alone since mining began in the 1850s.
The Discovery of Gold Monument, the Golden Dragon Museum, the Bendigo Tramways Museum and the Joss House Temple are all popular heritage and cultural tourist destinations in this now-thriving modern city, as are several buildings listed on the Victorian Heritage Register like the Bendigo Town Hall, the Sacred Heart Cathedral, the Memorial Military Museum and more.
Even beyond its heritage and cultural tourism, the growing city has a lot to offer, beautiful national parks, a science museum, the excellent Bendigo Art Gallery, and the Bendigo Botanic Gardens, which overlook the beautiful Lake Weeroona. The Central Deborah Goldmine is unbeatable for a fascinating taste of gold rush history, this subterranean tour of a genuine historical mineshaft is a truly unforgettable experience
The Mornington Peninsula in Victoria is a lovely little day trip from Melbourne. It’s just over an hour away by car and once you arrive you’ll feel as if you’re in a completely different world. The peninsula is known for its wineries, cherries and berries, as well as farm-fresh produce and, of course, delectable restaurant fare. It’s also a popular foraging spot for sea spray herb, mushrooms, seaweed and other such things.
The peninsula’s beautiful walking trails, like many other regional attractions, should not be overlooked, but there’s also plenty to do in the towns. The Peninsular Hot Springs in Sorrento are particularly enjoyable, especially given the scarcity of natural hot springs in Australia. Many family attractions can be found in Rosebud and Rye, and if you’re looking for a beachside drink, Portsea has a delightful pub.
Mount Martha is also worth a visit because of the bright, colourful shacks that line the beach. On the peninsula, there are several national parks that cover a total of 25,000 hectares. They include gorgeous locales like Cape Schank, the most perfect place in the world to catch a sunset.
The UNESCO World Heritage Site of Carlton Gardens is a short walk from Melbourne’s city centre. The Royal Exhibition Building, Imax Cinema, and Melbourne Museum are all well worth a visit within the complex. Wander through these gardens and you’ll find both a beautiful example of landscaping in Victoria and a rich source of biodiversity.
The Royal Exhibition Building is a beautiful example of heritage design. The Exhibition, French, and Westgarth Drinking Fountains are among the complex’s three major fountains. Exploring these gardens is quite the relaxing endeavour, a great palate cleanser after a more hectic adventure.