victoria australia

Spectacular places to visit in Victoria, Australia

Melbourne. Voted the most liveable city in the world seven times over. I mean, there’s gotta be more to it than our smashed avo on toast which, mind you, is the bomb diggity – or, our not-to-be-messed-with coffee culture. Right?

I don’t even know what the ranking is based on. Still, I can tell you one thing – despite the mind-blowing brunch selections or soul-soothing flat whites, Victoria is home to a vast number of captivating attractions that’ll make you see exactly why the capital of this state is the most liveable city in the world.

Suppose you’re seeking the perfect weekend getaway, or you’re looking to add some unforgettable day trips to your Melbourne itinerary. In that case, this epic list serves to inspire you to pack your bags and visit the most beautiful places in Victoria.

Places to Visit in Victoria: Quick Travel Tips

Rent a car, van or SUV. Let’s face it, Australia is big and vast – we don’t have much of a rail or bus network that connects everywhere. Renting a car is your best bet of getting around at your own pace and stumbling upon hidden gems.

Find the best price and car suited to your needs on Rentalcars.

Pay attention to the speed limit. To say it hurts getting a speeding fine in Australia is a vast understatement. It’s agonising. Torturous, even. It’ll throw you a couple hundred out of pocket and make your trip much less enjoyable.

Book a day trip on Klook. Not ready to brave it on the great Australian roads with a car? No problem. Take day trips out of Melbourne to the Great Ocean Road, Yarra Valley or Mornington Peninsula with Klook.

Take a look at these popular one-day trips in Melbourne:

Get the Entertainment Book. Australia is expensive. Save a ton on activities, dining, shopping and accommodation in Melbourne and regional Victoria by getting this handy money-saver.

Pack clothes suited for all seasons. Because the weather in Victoria is, basically, like Melbourne weather, this state is notorious for experiencing a “4 seasons in one day” climate.

Pick up a 4G SIM card. You’ll need data to navigate the roads. WiFi can be sketchy in country towns Victoria, so be prepared and grab yourself a reliable SIM provider with plenty of data.

21 Beautiful Places to Visit in Victoria

Strap in your seatbelts, guys. This list will overload your summer road trips from Melbourne plans for the next two years straight. Who would’ve thunk that there are this many beautiful hidden places in Victoria to unravel? 

1. Wilsons Promontory National Park

wilsons promontory national park

Deemed one of the most beautiful places in Victoria, it’s safe to say that you haven’t experienced the magnificence of Aussie beaches until you’ve been to Wilsons Promontory. Located in the Gippsland region, roughly 2.5 hours from Melbourne, the national park is a natural marvel that you need to feast your eyes on.

Prepare to be astounded by gorgeous trails and hikes, spotless white sandy beaches, unique Australian wildlife, and views to die for.

Camp under the stars, skip along the ‘Prom’s iconic Squeaky Beach, or conquer the summit at Mount Oberon – it’s a haven for hikers, family adventurers, and photographers alike. Get out of the city, slow down a few paces, and immerse yourself in the beauty of the outdoors.

THINGS TO DO IN WILSON PROM

▪︎  Watch the sunset from Mount Oberon. One of the most scenic places in Victoria, the hiking trail to the summit is a booty-busting and leg-demolishing exercise that’s worth all the blood, sweat and tears.

▪︎   Explore Squeaky Beach, Whisky Bay & Norman Beach. Sink your feet into bright white sand and turquoise water at these glorious beaches found within the national park.

▪︎   Go on a wilderness cruise. Jump onboard one of Wilson Promontory Cruises amphibious boats and experience the breathtaking granite coastline from the serenity of the water. If you’re lucky, you might even spot dolphins, whales and seabirds.

UNIQUE STAYS IN WILSON PROM

Unless you’re a keen camper – no accommodation can be found within Wilsons Promontory, as the National Park aims to protect its pristine beaches, rainforests and wildlife.

▪︎ Stay inside an Eco Tent. Not quite a glamping, not quite camping – this unique experience sits somewhere in between. Powered by solar and fitted with an ensuite bathroom, kitchen and deck BBQ, this is the perfect place to stay for semi-nature lovers.

▪︎ Spend a night inside a cottage at a lighthouse. Visitors can get a taste of the lighthouse keeper lifestyle by staying in one of the three gorgeous cottages right next to the lighthouse.

2. Inverloch

inverloch

One of the best summer family holiday destinations in Victoria, the laid-back coastal town of Inverloch is the perfect retreat for beach lovers, families and water-sport junkies.

Tucked safely inside Andersons Inlet, the beach and waters are protected by Venus Bay peninsula, making it an ideal spot for little swimmers and beginner surfers. 

But, the town is not all about the beach life – wander inland, and you’ll be greeted with serene boardwalks and nature trails that take you through the marshlands and stunning viewing platforms of Anderson Inlet.

THINGS TO DO IN INVERLOCH

▪︎   Explore the rugged coastlines at Eagles Nest. One of Victoria’s most beautiful hidden places, this gem is located between Inverloch and Cape Patterson. Soak in the views from the lookout or climb down to the secluded beach for a swim or surf.

▪︎   Take kids on a Dinosaur Discovery tour. Embark on a prehistoric adventure to The Caves and unravel plant and dinosaur fossils on this geological landscape

▪︎   Taste wine, beer and local produce at Dirty Three Wines. Spend a lazy afternoon enjoying local wines and delicious food inside this small industrial estate.

UNIQUE STAYS IN INVERLOCH

▪︎   Relax in a Beach Shack with a private outdoor cinema. Retreat into a 1960s inspired beach shack with a designer flare. Chill out by the fireplace or enjoy lying on bean bags while watching a movie on the big screen outside.

▪︎   Spend the night inside a glamping tent. Set on scenic farmlands with gorgeous ocean views – enjoy luxury bell tents with private bespoke bathrooms while you switch off from the world.

3. Lakes Entrance

lakes entrance

A solid 3-hour road trip from Melbourne, Lakes Entrance is found in the eastern corner of Victoria. Known for its picturesque intertwining lakes, amazing camping grounds, and the famous Ninety Mile Beach – it’s a popular spot for families and nature seekers.

Grab your sleep bags and snooze under the starry night sky on a quiet stretch of beach, try your luck at fishing, explore the coastline, or visit all the quaint little towns dotted around the lakes. 

For more destinations in Gippsland (and a cheeky trip to NSW South Coast), take a look at this Melbourne to Sydney road trip itinerary.

THINGS TO DO AT THE LAKES ENTRANCE

▪︎   Drive inland to the Buchan Caves. Formed by a system of underground rivers cutting through limestone, inside, visitors can tread beneath hundreds of stalactites that line the ceiling (whilst trying not to freak out about one dropping on your noggin’).

▪︎   Rent a houseboat. Be your skipper and wake up to a different view each morning aboard your floating island. 

▪︎   Hop on a ferry and explore Gippsland Lakes. Uncover the beauty of the waterways from the comforts of a large ferry and cruise through stunning inland waterways consisting of lakes, marshes and lagoons.

UNIQUE STAYS IN LAKES ENTRANCE

▪︎  Stay inside a luxury off-grid home. Switch off from the world and experience sustainable living at an utterly off-grid home set on 3 acres of rolling green hills.

▪︎  Sojourn at a wooden lakehouse. Ever dreamt of living in a lakehouse complete with a private jetty and pool? Time to convert that dream into a reality.

Lakes Entrance accommodation booked out? Take a look at this family holiday park in Bairnsdale that’s only a 15-minute drive away.

4. Mallacoota

mallacoota

Surrounded by the glittering beauty and wilderness of Croajingolong National Park, the pretty little town of Mallacoota is graced with cool ocean breezes in the hot summer months and the warmest winter temperatures in Victoria.

Enjoy nature strolls, boating, fishing, canoeing, 4WDing, surfing or golfing – there’s something enjoyable to be found in Mallacoota for every type of traveller.

THINGS TO DO IN MALLACOOTA

▪︎  Explore the ancient forests of Croajingolong National Park. Delve into the unique landscapes and enjoy boating, fishing, canoeing, 4WDing, surfing and golfing.

▪︎  Visit Gabo Island Lighthouse. Join in on tour with the keeper, learn about the town’s history, and look out for whales, dolphins, seals, and even penguins.

▪︎  Captain your motorboat. Hire a small boat for the day and explore the scenic waterways and secluded coastlines.

UNIQUE STAYS IN MALLACOOTA

▪︎  Stay inside a secluded Riverhouse inside the forest. Immerse yourself in pristine bushlands and forest life inside this magnificent home by the river.

5. Mount Dandenong

mount dandenong

Country, bush, coast – Victoria’s got them all. But, if the mountains are callin’ – we’ve got a set of those, too. And, you better heed that call.

Take a trip out to the Dandenong Ranges, a mere one hour drive from the city – it’s a short trip from Melbourne that makes for a perfect ‘quickie’ retreat from the fast-paced city life. Explore eclectic mountainside villages, wander through forest-scape, discover magical falls and stunning viewpoints.

THINGS TO DO IN MOUNT DANDENONG

▪︎  Ride the Puffing Billy Steam Train. Travel through lush forest land, fern gullies and farmlands of the Dandenong Ranges on Victoria’s most famous train.

▪︎  Soak in panoramic views at Sky High. Drive up to Victoria’s highest natural viewing point – stop at the restaurant for a feed or roam the hedge maze and secret gardens.

▪︎  Visit the charming towns of Olinda and Sassafrass. Stop for tea, coffee or lunch in one of these laid-back mountain towns.

▪︎  Take a stroll inside William Ricketts Sanctuary. A free outdoor exhibition that winds through nature paths dotted with beautiful sculptures.

UNIQUE STAYS IN MOUNT DANDENONG

▪︎  Spend the night inside a medieval-style cottage. Be awed by the Tudor-inspired lodging experience surrounded by rainforest views, walking tracks and picnic areas.

▪︎  Sleep inside a converted 1966 vintage caravan. Experience a stay inside a lovingly restored train complete with a hot tub, free WiFi and a private patio with a BBQ.

▪︎  Frolic inside a wooden Barnhouse. This cosy country-style home is surrounded by breathtaking views and boasts a double spa in the living room, a gas log fire and a private balcony with a BBQ.

6. Healesville

healesville

For a splendid one day trip in Melbourne that’s guaranteed to please kids and grown-ups alike, there’s no place quite like Healesville. A haven for food and wine lovers, the region is enveloped by awe-inspiring scenery, iconic Australian wildlife, artistic inspiration, and award-winning wineries and restaurants.

It’s also, without a doubt, one of the best places to visit in Victoria with kids, where little ones are allowed to encounter rescued wildlife at Healesville Sanctuary or run wild at one of the many outdoor picnic grounds with playgrounds.

THINGS TO DO IN HEALESVILLE

▪︎  Encounter Aussie wildlife at Healesville Sanctuary. One of Victoria’s top places of interest is where you can meet rescued wombats, kangaroos, Tasmanian Devils, koalas, and more native animals. 

▪︎  Have a picnic at Maroondah Reservoir Park. Pack a picnic and chill inside the considerable park space, or climb up to the dam wall for a gorgeous vista of Healesville from above.

▪︎  Pop into some of the region’s finest wineries. Soak in views of rolling green hills and indulge in some of the state’s most delectable cuisine and wines.

UNIQUE STAYS IN HEALESVILLE

  • Stay inside a glamping pod at a holiday park. Sleep inside an eco glamping pod with an ensuite bathroom and enjoy roaming the great outdoors.
  • Romantic vacay at a tiny house on the edge of a hill. Be awed by this adorable country-style cottage nestled on rolling green hills.
  • Experience living inside a luxury warehouse. Enjoy one of the unique weekend trips from Melbourne by staying in a warehouse-style shed.
  • Experience the best attractions of the region. Join in on one of these top-rated tours and activities in the Yarra and Dandenong Ranges.
  • You are puffing Billy & Winery LunchHop on the famous steam train and choo your way through Dandenong Ranges National Park, followed by lunch and wine tasting in the Yarra Valley.
  • Sunrise Hot Air Balloon FlightKick off the morning feeling like you’re on top of the world (literally) with an unforgettable flight over the Yarra Valley.
  • Full-Day Yarra Valley Wine Tour & Lunch Hop between Victoria’s top wineries and enjoy tastings with an expert guide, including lunch at a winery restaurant.

7. Warburton

 

Lovers of the outdoors rejoice. warburtonis one of the most adorable country towns in Victoria you’ll come across and fall instantly in love with. 

Located in the upper reaches of the Yarra River, the area is surrounded by lush, green mountains and age-old trees that soar into the skies. Take the opportunity to see some of the state’s most picturesque countryside via bicycle, 4WDing or foot. 

THINGS TO DO IN WARBURTON

▪︎  Experience snow in winter on top of Mount Donna Buang. Drive up the windy road to the summit and experience snow play toboggan runs in the cold months.

▪︎  Stroll through the majestic Redwood Forest. Pack a picnic and explore this magical forest lined with towering Californian Redwood trees.

▪︎  Visit the Warburton Rainforest Gallery. Float along with enormous mountain ash and myrtle trees and be mesmerised by the beauty of this forest.

UNIQUE STAYS IN WARBURTON

▪︎  Spend the night inside an American-style eco barn. Prepare to be blown away by this collection of hand-built barn-style rooms tucked away in the Yarra State Forest.

▪︎  Sleep inside an off-grid mudbrick house. Built with reclaimed timbers and handmade mudbricks, this rustic cottage is the perfect way to switch off.

▪︎  Retreat into a Gaudi-inspire art house. Let your creative muse loose inside this artsy space and find inspiration for your next project.

8. Marysville

marysville

Nestled in the foothills ofthe state’s great alpine region is the delightful little town of Marysville, indeed, one of the tip-top beautiful places to visit in Victoria. The drive up the Black Spur alone is a jaw-dropping experience that’ll make you tear up with all the beauty that this corner of the state has to offer.

Only a 1.5-hour drive from Melbourne, this alpine resort village is the ideal destination for all-year-round outdoor activities. Take the family on a snow adventure to Lake Mountain for toboggan runs in the colder months or trail to Keppel Lookout for breathtaking scenes of Steavenson Falls. 

THINGS TO DO IN MARYSVILLE

▪︎  Hike up to Steavenson Falls. Embark on a leisurely climb up to the top of this magnificent waterfall for amazing regional views.

▪︎  Trek along the Keppel Lookout Trail. Drive or hike up to this beautiful viewing spot where you can soak in the invigorating panoramas of Marysville.

▪︎  Visit Lake Mountain Alpine Resort for snow-filled shenanigans. Ski through 37 kilometres of cross-country trails or let the kids loose on the fun toboggan runs.

UNIQUE STAYS IN MARYSVILLE

▪︎  Experience country hospitality at a secluded lodge. Wake up to kangaroos outside your window on a 68-hectare property surrounded by dense forests.

▪︎  Stay inside a German Alps-inspired mountain chalet. Enveloped by untouched rainforest and native Australian wildlife – this place is one of the best escapes from the hustle and bustle of city life.

Short on time? Take a day trip to Lake Mountain with a guide that includes skiing, tobogganing and chocolate sampling.

9. Cathedral Ranges State Park

healesville cathedral ranges state park google search goog

One of the craziest and adrenaline-fuelled hikes that I ever agreed to embark on – hiking up Cathedral Ranges is not for the faint-hearted. 

However, I can assure you that the view at the summit is entirely worth the near-death experiences encountered along the way. Enjoy one of the most beautiful places in Victoria, overlooking vast farmlands, charming towns and mountain ranges.

Clamber through claustrophobia-inducing narrow cave passages and cliff-edge climbs that’ll make your heart rate drop. If adrenalin is what you seek, then adrenalin you shall find.

THINGS TO DO IN CATHEDRAL RANGES

▪︎  Drop by the township of Lake Eildon. Explore this quaint little town and its rich history or partake in water-based activities, such as houseboats and wakeboarding.

▪︎  Camp and hike to the top of Cathedral Ranges State Park. Climb to the summit for inspiring views and experience one of the most challenging hikes in Victoria.

UNIQUE STAYS IN CATHEDRAL RANGES

▪︎  Experience a family stay at a 40-acre rural retreat. Spend a few nights inside a substantial 4-bedroom house with views of the Cathedral Mountain range, splendid sunsets and a private pool.

10. Kinglake

kinglake

Before we dive into the beautiful attractions of Kinglake, let’s set the record straight – there’s no lake. Alright, now that we got that out of the way, let’s talk about this great town that’s an absolute paradise for outdoor lovers.

Situated 50 minutes north of Melbourne CBD, the town is home to countless natural marvels, such as the Kinglake National Park, berry farms, lush walking trails and adventure playgrounds that the kids will go nuts over.

THINGS TO DO IN KINGLAKE

▪︎  Enjoy a bushwalk in Kinglake National Park. Go camping, wind down the myriad of nature trails and find a quiet spot to admire the powerful Kinglake Waterfall.

▪︎  Pop by the magical playground at Bollygum Park. Moulded after the award-winning children’s book ‘Bollygum’, this outdoor playspace features a skate park, animal houses and a bird’s nest, making it a hit amongst kids.

▪︎  Visit one of the most giant berry farms in Australia. Sink your teeth into the fresh and juicy raspberries at Kinglake Raspberries during harvest season.

11. Bright

Inch your way towards the Alpine National Park, one of the best places to visit in Victoria in the autumn and winter seasons, and enjoy the splendour and allure of the high country. 

Wander along Ovens River and soak in the stunning forest and call the giantthe mountains that the town is engulfed in. Bright also boasts a first-rate foodie scene, where you’ll stumble upon boutique wineries, village cafes and mouthwatering restaurants serving up delicacies sourced from local ingredients.

THINGS TO DO IN BRIGHT

▪︎  Embark on an easy walk to The Canyon. Follow Ovens Valley River, bask in the natural scenery and cross a picturesque suspension bridge.

▪︎  Swing by Bright Splash Park in the summer. Cool off in the warmer months and chill out in this free public space that features bucket dumps and ring sprinklers where kids will have an absolute ball.

▪︎  Day trip to Mount Hotham or Falls Creek. If you’re after snow-capped adventures in the wintertime, these two popular snow resorts are a must for ski enthusiasts.

UNIQUE STAYS IN BRIGHT

▪︎  Stay inside a new tin hut. Experience a memorable stay inside a modern tin house with designer touches.

▪︎  Cosy up in a modern love shack, what great romances are made of. Plan a romantic getaway and enjoy views of the mountains from the outdoor bath.

▪︎  Tiny House with an epic mountain view. Switch off from the world and seclude yourself in this gorgeous tiny home surrounded by killer mountain scenery.

TIP: Plan a trip during the Bright Autumn Festival to experience breath-stealing autumn foliage and taste the rare seasonal produce of the region.

12. Alpine National Park

alpine national park google search google chro

Welcome to the state’s amazing High Country, where you can spend days hiking along towering alpine ridgelines, trek past lush river valleys, rugged bushland and revel in the unforgettable mountain scenery.

Some of the most amazing places to visit in Victoria are not always found along the coast. Albeit, Victoria is home to tear-jerkingly beautiful rugged coastlines that’ll make your heart skip a beat, but we also have mountain ranges that some might call ‘alps’ (as a German-born, I tend to disagree). With snow. Yes, plenty of snow.

THINGS TO DO IN ALPINE NATIONAL PARK

▪︎  Make a trip up to Mount Hotham or Falls Creek. Victoria’s most popular ski resorts are open all year round for adventure seekers.

▪︎  Trek or drive up to the highest mountain in Victoria. Nestled in the heart of the Alpine National Park, Bogong High Plains offer world-class mountain bike trails and hiking opportunities.

▪︎  Visit the hidden Lake Tali Karng. Camp out at the highest freshwater lake in the alpine region and bask in unforgettable mountain views.

UNIQUE STAYS IN ALPINE NATIONAL PARK

▪︎  Get cosy inside a Witcher-style stone cottage. Wake up to the sounds of the river and the forest in this detached mudbrick studio nestled at the foot of the mountain.

▪︎  Live it up inside a pod with breathtaking vistas. Enjoy stunning views from the bed or terrace of Kiewa Valley and Mount Bogong.

▪︎  Relax in a loft-style 3-bedroom chalet. Kick back in this Scandi-inspired mountain chalet boasting minimalist modern furnishings and to-die-for views.

13. Geelong & Bellarine Peninsula

geelong & bellarine peninsula google search go

Geelong. Better yet, Gee-to it, as the locals like to call it, to give Victoria’s second-largest city a ghetto edge. Although it’s far-flung from its colloquial name, you’ll be pleasantly surprised by all the delightful attractions and natural sights Geelong has to offer.

Roughly an hour’s drive from Melbourne, this easy-going coastal city is a burgeoning foodie scene, home to many new dining experiences, craft breweries and hipster cafes. Enjoy wading in the calm waters of Eastern Beach in the summertime, explore the historic streetscapes or drive off to the Bellarine Peninsula for a surf, swim or a scenic walk.

THINGS TO DO IN GEELONG

▪︎  Take a stroll down the scenic waterfront. Food, cafes, ice cream parlours, vintage carousels and an excellent public swimming pool is what awaits you at the Geelong Waterfront.

▪︎  Eat your way through Pakington Street. Discover cool laneways; cafes tucked into warehouses, shipping containers and even old churches – it’s a mini Melbourne outside of Melbourne.

▪︎  Uncover the beauty of the Bellarine Peninsula. Scramble along the rocky shores of Barwon Heads, explore the seaside resort town, Queenscliff or even jump on a ferry to the Mornington Peninsula.

UNIQUE STAYS IN GEELONG

▪︎  Stay inside an incredible converted Barnhouse. Constructed from traditional post and beam, this place even features a complete wooden chess corner on the top floor.

▪︎  Spend the night inside a beautiful Hobbit-style bungalow. This art deco-inspired private home is surrounded by magical gardens and whimsical footpaths that’ll whisk you off into a fantasy world.

14. Great Ocean Road

great ocean road

Hailed as one of the bucket list places to visit near Melbourne, the Great Ocean Road is one of nature’s most marvellous creations and a place you have to set out to visit at least once in your life.

The 243-kilometre coastal stretch runs along the rugged southwestern coast of Victoria, where the journey begins in a small beach town called Torquay, a paradise for surfers just over an hour’s drive outside from Melbourne.

Without a doubt, the most iconic stop on the Great Ocean Road is the legendary Twelve Apostles; only, there aren’t many left. So, be sure to make an effort to go and see these unique rocky pillars before they vanish from the surface of our Earth.

GREAT OCEAN ROAD: THINGS TO DO

▪︎  Kick back in the famous surf towns of Torquay, Bells Beach and Lorne. Bask in Australia’s beach culture, explore the cliffsides or trek up waterfalls in these chilled-out towns.

▪︎  See the best attractions on a guided day tour. Get blown away by the Twelve Apostles, Loch Ard Gorge and London Bridge.

▪︎  Otway Fly Treetops Walk or Otway Fly Zipline Tour. Discover the incredible Otway National Park from the treetops.

UNIQUE STAYS ON THE GREAT OCEAN ROAD

▪︎  Stay inside a 40 metre high suspended glasshouse. Staring into the Pacific Ocean, this is Australia’s most photographed luxury accommodation that will completely blow your mind.

▪︎  Sleep inside an award-winning designer eco-lodge. A stone’s throw away from the Twelve Apostles, you’ll find a group of unique sanctuaries where you can relax and heed the call of nature.

▪︎  Bunk up inside a converted steam train carriage. Disconnect from technology and reconnect with nature and those around you inside this renovated train carriage.

RELATED: 16 Must-See Spots on the Great Ocean Road

15. Warrnambool

warrnambool

Set out on a 3-hour drive to the remote western corner of the state – in our personal opinion, one of the best towns in Victoria to visit with kids or simply retire in. 

Better yet, add to your Great Ocean Road itinerary and make it your first (or last) stop to enjoy whale watching, beach swims, and stunning walks along the rocky coast.

It’s the ideal family vacation spot where you’ll find the historical Flagstaff Hill Maritime Village, Bay of Islands and a pretty lake that is the social gathering point of the town.

THINGS TO DO IN WARRNAMBOOL

▪︎  Catch the sunset at Warrnambool Breakwater. Climb around the rocky cliffs or trail down Pickering Point for impressive views of the islands.

▪︎  Take the kids to Lake Pertobe Adventure Playground. An epic outdoor play space that the kids will never want to leave. Stroll around the lake or hire a small motorboat.

▪︎  Visit the Flagstaff Hill Maritime Village. Travel back in time to a 19th-century replica maritime village and see Australia’s most precious shipwreck relic.

UNIQUE STAYS IN WARRNAMBOOL

▪︎  Call a shipping container your home for the night. Wake up to sounds of the river from within a converted shipping container with all the amenities you could need.

▪︎  A church that’s been renovated into a home. For a unique experience in Warrnambool, stay inside a converted church complete with stained glass windows and high ceilings.

16. Mornington Peninsula

mornington peninsula google search google chro

Crystal blue waters and silky soft and shallow sand beaches span into the horizon – the Mornington Peninsula is home to some of the best kid-friendly beaches in Melbourne. If this isn’t on your list of top places to see in Victoria, then you need to add it at the right moment.

Rent a car and make the gorgeous drive down yourself or book the Ultimate Mornington Peninsula Day Tour that covers prime attractions of the region, such as Fort Nepean National Park, Sorrento Beach, wine tasting and more.

Take a look at our complete guide to 12 must-dos in the Mornington Peninsula.

THINGS TO DO IN MORNINGTON PENINSULA

▪︎  Book a visit to the Peninsula Hot Springs. Dip in the toasty waters of thermal hot springs and experience ultimate rejuvenation in this peaceful sanctuary.

▪︎  Drive to the hidden back beaches. Explore the untouched sands of Bridgewater Bay, Gunnamatta Beach and Cape Shank.

▪︎  Take a scenic gondola ride on the Arthurs Seat Eagle. Soar through the skies and marvel at panoramic views of the Melbourne skyline and Port Phillip Bay.

UNIQUE STAYS IN MORNINGTON PENINSULA

▪︎  Sleep in a Tiki-style ocean cottage. Get whisked away to the Pacific Islands and chill inside this home with all the tropical beach vibes.

▪︎  Relax inside a luxury Mongolian-style yurt. Experience what it’s like to be a true nomad by sleeping in a traditional yurt with a modern touch.

▪︎  Bungalow tower with million-dollar views. Perched on the highest vantage point in Mount Martha, this architect-designed home will have you picking your jaws up from the floor.

The Best Time to Visit Melbourne

The most important thing to consider when planning a trip to Melbourne is the weather. The best time to visit Melbourne is during the Southern Hemisphere’s summer months of December to February. During this time of year, the weather is hot and sunny, and there are plenty of things to do across town. During this time of year, the city comes alive, hosting outdoor festivals, events, and things to do. But with hot weather comes more crowds and higher prices. 

Weather 

Ask any Melburnian about the weather in their city, and they’ll tell you that sometimes you’ll experience all four seasons in one day. It’s true. Melbourne’s weather has a mind of its own. Still, in terms of seasons, it follows the Southern Hemisphere’s summer (December to February), fall (March to May), winter (June to August), and spring (September to November) agenda. 

From November to February, temperatures will range from 70 to 80 degrees F. Peak summer weather can be ultra steamy, so much so that the city is known to have experienced power outages because of extreme heat.1 But that doesn’t stop Melburnians from frothing (Aussie slang for loving) the summer after a long winter. 

During the winter, temperatures don’t usually drop below 40 degrees F, but it’s accompanied by a gloomy and grey atmosphere. Winter is the off-season for tourists as it’s not the most attractive time of year to visit Melbourne.

Spring and fall are both very unpredictable in terms of weather. For instance, during the spring, you could wake up, and it would be 45 degrees F, and when it hits mid-day, it’s 70 degrees F. And then, of course, the temperature drops as soon as the sun goes down. Spring is known to be a bit wetter as the season transitions into the warm months of summer. It’s best to pack a warm jacket if you visit during spring or fall.

Crowds and Tourist Attraction Availability

crowd and tourist

Crowds in Melbourne increase during the summer months thanks to the hot and sunny weather. It doesn’t have a particular attraction—like Ayers Rock in Alice Springs or the Great Barrier Reef in Cairns—that crowds flock to at certain times of the year. Most of the top-rated tourist attractions in Melbourne are open year-round, such as Queen Victoria Market or Luna Park. 

Melbourne is a city that thrives on seasonal events and festivals. For instance, Queen Victoria Market (QVM) is open all year, but it hosts a summer night market from November to March and a winter night market from June to August.

Price

The price of airfare and accommodation in Melbourne may increase during the summer months when there’s an increase in domestic and international travellers. From November to February, hotel prices increase marginally but not significantly. Prices may also rise around significant events throughout the year, such as the Australian Open (summer), Melbourne International Comedy Festival (March/April), and Formula 1 Grand Prix (March). 

Prices for hotels and airfare will drop during the off-season winter months. 

Key Holidays/Festivals/Events

Melbourne hosts a bunch of international events throughout the year. These events attract visitors from all over the world. Don’t let the crowds deter you from visiting Melbourne when there’s a big festival happening. Instead, you should look at available tickets so that you can participate in the fun. See a complete list of events by month below. If you plan on travelling to attend one of these, get an early start on booking flights and accommodations.

Australia celebrates national and state-specific public holidays. Victoria takes a public holiday for Melbourne Cup (November), the Friday before AFL Grand Final (September or October), Labour Day (March), and the Queen’s birthday (June).

National holidays include Australia Day (January), Anzac Day (April), Good Friday, Easter Monday, Christmas Day, and Boxing Day. These holidays may affect travel in terms of crowds and the hours of operation for public transportation, tourist attractions, and restaurants. 

January

January is an ideal month to visit Melbourne—not only because of the temperature but also for things to do. The city experiences summer mode in full swing, so crowds (domestic and international) and prices may increase. Consider wearing sunscreen and a hat when walking around the city during this month as the sun is unforgiving.  

Events to check out: 

  • The Australian Open kicks off in January. Professional tennis players compete in four Grand Slam events played at Rod Laver Arena, Melbourne Court Arena, and Melbourne Arena. 
  • FOMO music festival is an annual one-day music festival that tours across Australia. It brings together local and international musicians on one stage.
  • Midsumma Festival is an annual celebration of LGBTQA+ arts and culture. It happens over 22 days, with events at more than 80 venues across Melbourne. *Editor’s note: Due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the 2021 Midsumma Festival will be held in April.

February

Warm weather continues into February, with daily average temperatures sitting at 70 to 80 degrees F. It won’t be as scorching hot as January, so outdoor events and festivals are a bit more enjoyable. 

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Events to check out: 

  • St. Kilda Festival is free, one-day music, art, and food festival on the beach. It attracts thousands of visitors each year, so expect a mass of crowds in St. Kilda during this time. 
  • Zoo Twilights is a month-long music event at the Melbourne Zoo. The event is all about music against wildlife extinction, with ticket proceeds going toward saving critically endangered species.

March

The month of March slowly transitions the city into fall. The temperature is comfortable, and the global events are plentiful. 

Events to check out:

  • Melbourne kicks off the Formula 1 Grand Prix circuit each year in March. As this race tours the world, it attracts a massive crowd of domestic and international travellers. Don’t blink, or you’ll miss the cars zoom past you! *Editor’s note: Due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the 2021 Formula 1 Grand Prix will be held in November.
  • Melbourne International Comedy Festival is one of the largest comedy festivals in the world. It hosts a program of comedy sets, theatre, and street performances by international and local talent. This festival takes place over three and a half weeks of March and April.
  • Melbourne Food and Wine Festival comes to Melbourne and parts of regional Victoria each year in March. It showcases the best of Australia’s restaurants, winemakers, and chefs.
  • Moomba Festival is a free community festival run by the city of Melbourne. You’ll find carnival rides, parades, music performances, and athletic events along the banks of the Yarra River. It’s a family-friendly event. 
  • Virgin Australia Melbourne Fashion Festival is held each year in March. It showcases the best in Australian fashion with runway shows, beauty workshops, retail events, and industry seminars.

April

April is peak fall weather. The leaves change to a bright orange colour, and the temperature sits around 65 degrees F. This is a great month to visit if you’re on a budget or like to explore without the crowds. Melbourne is quiet during April, with no significant events taking place. Most locals take advantage of the Easter long weekend to travel.

April is an excellent time to visit the Great Ocean Road as the Rip Curl Pro surfing competition occurs at Bells Beach. It might also be worth making a day trip to the Dandenong Ranges because of the colourful Tesselaar KaBloom festival of flowers.

May

The month of May rides the curtails of April. It’s slightly colder (about 60 degrees F) but equally as quiet. The cool weather makes it a good time of year to check out the national parks, such as the Grampians or Wilsons Promontory. 

Events to check out: 

  • Grampians Great Escape is a regional food, wine, and music festival. It’s not in the city of Melbourne but a three-hour drive away. Grampians National Park is a great day trip from Melbourne. 

June

melbourne international jazz festival google sea

Hello, winter! When June rolls around, the city of Melbourne gets noticeably colder, wetter, and greyer. It may be the off-season for tourists, but Melbournians power through thanks to the rise of winter events that pop up. If you visit during June, get cozy in Melbourne’s hidden bars or shop at one of many indoor malls. 

Events to check out:

  • Melbourne International Jazz Festival is an annual event that takes over venues across the city. It brings together modern masters of jazz. *Editor’s note: Due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, 2021 MIJF will be held in October.
  • Good Food & Wine Show is an exhibition that lets visitors sample local foods and wines. It’s less fancy than the food and wine festival as it’s more of a learning and tasting experience over one weekend. *Editor’s note: Due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, 2021 MIJF will be held in November.

July

July is cold. Temperatures range from 40 to 55 degrees F, and the atmosphere is usually wet, grey, and gloomy. Not many tourists visit Melbourne during the winter as they’ll find warmer weather in Brisbane or Sydney. While the city might be dreary, it’s an excellent time to head to the surrounding mountains for skiing or snowboarding. Mount Baw Baw, Mount Buller, Mount Hotham, and Falls Creek are all accessible from the city. 

Events to check out:

  • Oz Comic-Con takes place over one weekend in July. It brings together pop culture fans of television, movies, books, and comic books. 

August

Come August, Melburnians are itching for summer. It’s still cold, wet, and gloomy, but a few events get people out of the house.

Events to check out:

September

Melbourne shakes off its winter jacket as the temperatures begin to rise to the 60s F in September. Melburnians come out of hibernation to be more social on the weekends.

Events to check out:

  • Melbourne Fringe is a two-week cultural festival. It unites artists of all genres to showcase their work, whether at a comedy show or a theatre performance.
  • Melbourne Writers Festival is a multi-day event that gives writers a platform to share their work and teach and inspire other writers to continue their craft. 

October

Spring has sprung in Melbourne. The temperature creeps up into the low 70s F, but the weather itself is unpredictable. It can be cold, rainy, sunny, and hot in one day. Pack everything before you leave the hotel. October is an excellent month to visit Yarra Valley as the countryside fully embraces spring.

Events to check out:

  • The Melbourne Marathon brings together thousands of athletes worldwide to race on one day in October. 
  • Melbourne International Arts Festival connects people, art, and ideas from around the world. It’s a 17 day festival with a range of dance, music, theatre, and visual arts events. 

November

Temperatures in November sit at a comfortable 65 to 70 degrees F. This month may not be flocked with tourists, but you’ll notice more locals out and about. Mainly because of the public holiday around the Melbourne Cup. It’s also an excellent month for hikes in national parks or wine tasting in Macedon Ranges or Mornington Peninsula.

Events to check out:

  • Melbourne Cup Carnival is an annual horse race on the first Tuesday of November (a public holiday). The race attracts thousands of visitors, all wearing their best to cheer on their favourite horse. A handful of other races follow the Melbourne Cup throughout November.
  • Macedon Ranges hosts a food and wine festival called Budburst Festival. A festival pass will get you access to all venues for wine tastings, live entertainment, and hospitality. 

December

Hello, summer! Melbourne thrives in December. Domestic and international travellers come here during the holidays to take advantage of the hot and sunny weather. Temperatures bounce around 75 to 80 degrees F, making it enjoyable for days spent by the beach. You’ll find people at outdoor restaurants, rooftop bars, and open-air cinemas. There are not many significant events happening during December, other than Christmas, Boxing Day, and New Year’s Eve celebrations.

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