Overflowing with a rich arts and culture scene, natural beauty, gourmet food and drink experiences, and topped off with jam-packed events calendar - there truly is no other state to explore like Victoria.
From the Great Ocean Road to Phillip Island, the Yarra Valley to Mornington Peninsula, Victoria is bursting at the seams with sights and attractions that will leave you in awe (and never wanting to leave!). While it may seem overwhelming at first, we've narrowed it down to the top 10 must-see destinations and attractions that will guarantee you've experienced the best Victoria has to offer.
1. GREAT OCEAN ROAD
The Great Ocean Road is a 243km-long heritage-listed road that is undeniably the most famous road in all of Australia; home to an array of world class beaches and stunning natural scenery. The incredible drive takes you through the major coastal towns of Torquay, Lorne, Angelsea, Apollo Bay and Port Campbell. Lorne in particular is a popular holiday destination with plenty of lovely restaurants, pubs and cafés, while Torquay is the surfing heart of Victoria.
In Apollo Bay you can take a drive through the Otways Ranges to Australia’s oldest lighthouse, or perhaps catch a glimpse of a platypus in the wild at Lake Elizabeth, an ancient mountain lake. Port Campbell is home to the iconic Twelve Apostles, the most-photographed and best-known of all the Great Ocean Road attractions, and Loch Ard Gorge.
Top attractions on the Great Ocean Road
- Twelve Apostles
- Loch Ard Gorge
- Bells Beach
- Otway National Park
2. MORNINGTON PENINSULA
The Mornington Peninsula is just over an hour away from Melbourne's CBD, and what awaits visitors makes the drive more than worthwhile. Wine aficiondos will enjoy visiting the many cellar doors that dot the region, especially in Red Hill, and don't forget to refuel at the many restaurants that serve up fantastic dishes showcasing the local produce.
The coastline is equally as spectacular as the gourmet delights on offer, with the waves battering the cliffs at Point Nepean and Cape Schanck making for some impressive photo opportunitites. The ritzy seaside towns of Rye, Portsea and Sorrento add a touch of glamour to the area, and area hive of action during the summer months.
Places to visit on Morninton Peninsula
- Peninsula Hot Springs
- Cape Schanck
3. ECHUCA AND THE MURRAY
Echuca is known as the paddlesteamer capital, home to the largest fleet of paddlesteamers in Australia. It's also the gateway to the Murray River region, an area of Victoria that is steeped in rich history and culture. Echuca is a popular holiday destination for those wanting to take a break, enjoy the warm climate, and sit back and enjoy the endlessly sunny skies and spectacular sunsets.
Be sure to check out the Great Aussie Beer Shed, the sprawling Gunbower Island State Forest, and no trip to Echuca would be complete without taking a tour down the Murray River on a paddlesteamer, naturally.
Things to do in Echuca
- Paddlesteamer ride
- Gunbower Island State Forest
- Great Aussie Beer Shed
4. PHILLIP ISLAND
Phillip Island offers an undulating coastline bursting with charm and natural beauty, all within striking distance of Melbourne. The wild beaches of the region offer fertile environments for the native wildlive to thrive, in particular they offer a safe haven for the island's most famous inhabitants - the fairy penguins.
Thus, the island's most famous attraction is the Penguin Parade, where visitors can watch the daily migration of the black and white penguins from the ocean to their nests. Animal-lovers can also head to Seal Rocks to view over 16,000 fur seals entertain visitors with their playful antics. For those looking for water activities, Woolamai has some of the most dependable surf conditions in the country.
Places to visit in Phillip Island
- Penguin Parade
- Seal Rocks
- Township of Cowes
5. THE GRAMPIANS
Breathe in the fresh country air and embrace a rugged landscape in the picturesque and history steeped Grampians region. A series of almost flat-topped sandstone mountains rise steeply from rugged forest; the Grampians is a nature-lovers and adrenaline junkies paradise. So for those looking for an active holiday - the Grampians is undoubtedly the place to visit.
There are many bushwalking routes and hiking tracks to explore in Grampians National Park, and you'll be rewarded with the sight of stunning waterfalls and the deafening roar of torrents of water cascading over ancient rock formations. Make sure you check out the busy town of Halls Gap, and take a dip at MacKenzie Falls if the weather permits. Foreign visitors will be delighted by the chance to see an assortment of Australian wildlife including kangaroos and wallabies.
Top things to see in Grampians region
- Halls Gap
- MacKenzie Falls
- Boroka Lookout
6. YARRA VALLEY AND THE DANDENONGS
Yarra Valley is located a stone’s throw from Melbourne CBD, making it the perfect destination for a day trip or weekend away. The Yarra Valley is renowned across the world for producing fantastic wines, so make sure to leave plenty of time to visit the many cellar doors serving up award-winning cool climate wines.
Mt Dandenong is also close by so make sure to head to the top of the mountain for spectacular views of Greater Melbourne. Healesville Sanctuary offers the opportunity to get up close and personal with some Australian wildlife, or you might just want to pack a picnic, explore one of the many national and state parks in the area, and take in the serenity.
Places to visit in Yarra Valley region
- Mount Dandenong
- Yarra Valley wineries
- Healesville Sanctuary
If you're after space and solitude, you can’t beat the acres of rich farmland, untouched waterways and rugged mountains of the Gippsland region. Take the chance to explore the quartz beaches and lush fern gullies of Wilsons Prom National Park, or be mesmerised by the 400 million year old limestone formations at Buchan Caves.
Foodies will enjoy the chance to pick your own berries, sip delicious regional wines or buy organic fruit and veg along the 40 kilometre Gourmet Deli Drive, or why not cruise the Great Alpine Road, through Victoria's iconic High Country - there is truly an adventure for everyone in the Gippsland region!
Top places to visit in Gippsland
- Wilsons Promontory National Park
- Buchan Caves
- Gourmet Deli Drive
The old gold mining town of Ballarat, Victoria's third largest city, is a hub of culture and history. Gold was first found in the region during the 19th century, which significantly contributed to the development of this regional centre. Today, Ballarat is a booming community, where the past blends seamlessly with the present, and the city continues to thrive as it long has.
For a taste of what those early goldmining days were like in Ballarat though, head to Sovereign Hill, an exact replica of what 19th century Ballarat would ahve looked like, and make sure to have a fossick for gold in the river beds - you never know what is left to be discovered! Don't miss out on the Blood on the Southern Cross production either, which is a fantastic sound and light show detailing the development of Australian democracy.
Places to visit in Ballarat
- Sovereign Hill
- Blood on the Southern Cross
- Gold museum
9. DAYLESFORD AND SPA COUNTRY
To indulge in a spot of rest and relaxation, head to the Spa Country of Victoria. Daylesford is a town of pure indulgence, and there is a seemingly never-ending array of ways to enjoy yourself when you’re in the area. Head to the nearby Hepburn Springs, which is known for its highly mineralised and therapeutic waters, and unwind at one of the many spa and wellness centres.
For the active travellers, pack a picnic and head to Hanging Rock, or explore Mount Macedon where immaculate gardens meet wild rugged bushland. The vibrant food scene, abundance of local natural wonders and array of cute towns to discover means there has never been a better time to head to Victoria's Spa Country.
Places to visit in Spa Country
- Mineral pools in Daylesford or Hepburn Springs
- Hanging Rock
- Mount Macedon
10. CITY OF MELBOURNE, ST KILDA AND FITZROY
Despite its four-seasons-in-one-day-type weather, a trip to Australia's arts and culture capital is always a surprising and entertaining experience. You'll find a bit of everything in Melbourne, from world-famous coffee, live music, notable restaurants, hidden bars and galleries, plus a range of festivals held throughout the year.
Melbourne is also unashamedly sport-obsessed, with many sporting events held in the city including the Formula One, Australian Open Tennis, AFL Grand Final and the Boxing Day Test. The nearby suburb of Fitzroy offers a quirky, bohemian take on Melbourne life, or you can enjoy an ice cream and a wander down the foreshore in bayside St Kilda.
Top attractions in Melbourne
- Melbourne Cricket Ground
- Eureka Skydeck
- St Kilda Beach and Esplanade