When visiting Melbourne, you may become completely fascinated by the city. It's alive with people, good coffee, and arts and culture. However, not everyone experiences Melbourne's distinct "vibe," which has captivated many visitors. In this situation, you might want to look into other areas of the state and learn more about how to get to Victoria.
Despite its modest size, Victoria offers a remarkable array of scenery, from the Southern Ocean to the Grampians National Park's sandstone escarpments. You'll learn about Aboriginal culture, pan for gold, witness wildlife and wilderness, sample local food and wine, and relax in some of Australia's best thermal mineral springs.
What To Expect
- The Great Ocean Road is one of the world's best coastal drives, so get out there and enjoy it!
- In the midst of the sandstone peaks of Grampians National Park, you may learn about Aboriginal culture.
- Experience the excitement of the 1850s gold rush at the Sovereign Hill Living Museum.
Visit Victoria In 1 Week
Day 1: Melbourne
Of course, one day in Melbourne won’t do much for you, and we highly recommend spending more time in this popular place.
Check out Flinders St Station and Federation Square
The first task in Melbourne should be a visit to Flinders Street Station.
It's the nerve centre of the city's public transportation system and a great place to hang out on day one if you're new to town and don't know your way around yet (locals tend to meet under the clocks that line the entrance).
The structure itself is not only one of the city's oldest but also one of its most attractive. A fascinating feature is a crumbling ballroom on the third level, which is only accessible at certain times (such as Open House Melbourne, and even then, not every year the event is held).
The Australian Centre for the Moving Image (ACMI) and a number of bustling bars and restaurants can be found at Federation Square, which is located just opposite Flinders Street Station.
Visit the ACMI website in advance to see whether there is an exhibition on art, culture, or film that interests you.
Have A Poke Around The Laneways
Melbourne's laneways have become well-known all over the world as a result of the urban art and graffiti that has been splashed across their walls.
Hosier Lane (just next to Fed Square), Tattersalls Lane, Union Lane, and AC/DC Lane, named after the iconic Australian rock band, are some of the most famous laneways in Melbourne for art. However, it would be best if you didn't miss out on Hosier Lane.
Degraves Street, Centre Place, and Hardware Lane are great options for dining out.
You should explore the area and see what you can find. Once, when they were feeling particularly down, they decided to take refuge in a quiet alley, where they were pleasantly surprised to find a photography exhibition posted on its walls.
Melbourne is full of surprises; you never know what you'll find there! You should also check if Queen Victoria Market is open if you have time.
Tour The MCG
The Melbourne Cricket Grounds (commonly known as "The MCG" or "The G") is an absolute must-see for any sports fan visiting Australia (the shorter, the better in Australia).
The Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG) is the city's cathedral if sports are a faith. Located in Sydney, Australia, this arena is the most well-known in the country and the tenth largest in the world. The grounds play host to cricket throughout the summer, as the name suggests, but in the winter, the grounds host matches for Aussie Rules, the primary league of which is known as the AFL.
Try to see a game if you're in Melbourne between late March and October. But, even if you don't have tickets, you may still take a tour of the grounds and learn about Australia's rich athletic heritage.
Visit the National Gallery of Victoria
The National Gallery of Victoria is one of the most beautiful art museums in the country and is located far from sporting events. The museum has recently hosted exhibitions featuring works by Escher, Van Gogh, Calver, and Dior and is regularly the site of highly regarded international shows.
The permanent collection is free to the public, and most temporary exhibitions cost less than $30 AUD. So a day spent in this Melbourne museum is time well spent. But if you want to avoid the crowds, you must either get there early or go during the week.
Check out the Shrine of Remembrance and the Royal Botanic Gardens
The Botanic Gardens and the Shrine of Remembrance are only across St. Kilda Road from the NGV, and both are well worth a visit.
There is no admission fee to visit the Shrine, which is dedicated to Australia's war dead. There are great views of the city from the summit, so make the ascent.
It's within a short distance of the Botanic Gardens. Admission to the garden is free. However, excursions and punting on the lake will cost you.
The Aboriginal Heritage Walk is a must-do if you want to learn about the significance of plants in Australia's Indigenous culture, participate in a traditional smoking ritual, sip some lemon myrtle tea, and see some stunning artworks.
The nearby Eureka Skydeck at Eureka Tower offers the best views of Melbourne. This is the southern hemisphere's highest open-air observation deck!
Grab Dinner at Chinatown
You've probably worked up an appetite from all that sightseeing, so it's time to return to the city's energetic centre and take a tour through Chinatown on Bourke Street.
Chinatown in Melbourne was established in the 1850s when Chinese immigrants arrived in search of economic opportunity during Australia's gold rush.
Many remained, and now the area around Bourke Street—known as Chinatown—is one of the city's busiest and most vibrant commercial districts, complete with numerous restaurants serving authentic Chinese cuisine.
The Bourke Street Mall is conveniently located nearby, making it a must-see for any shopper in Melbourne.
Day 2 and 3: Great Ocean Road
The Great Ocean Road is a popular tourist route in Australia. Some claim it's an absolute must if you're ever in Oz, while others point out that there are more impressive roads in places like New Zealand or Montenegro. So this path may perhaps seem overly touristy to you. But no matter how often you've driven the Great Ocean Road, we insist you do it when you visit Victoria.
What to see along the Great Ocean Road?
Many interesting places can be seen along Great Ocean Road, although it would be impossible to do so in just two days. So although you're free to take as much time as you like to enjoy this voyage, we understand if you don't. Bear in mind that the section of the Great Ocean Road we are discussing lies to the west of Melbourne, as that is the direction in which we recommend travelling.
- Wildlife spotting There are several excellent vantage points for seeing native flora and fauna along the Great Ocean Road. Whales travel to the southern tip of Australia between June and September to have their calves. Koalas are abundant in the eucalyptus trees, where you can take a drive. The area is also home to a wide variety of parrot species. Keep an eye out for kangaroos, wallabies, and other animals.
- Rainforest Walks You can still appreciate the woods even though the road is a great OCEAN road. Feel free to pick your rainforest journey, the Maits Rest Rainforest Walk, Madsen's Track Nature Walk, or something else entirely.
- Lighthouses –The Great Ocean Road is dotted with lighthouses. Cape Otway Lightstation and Split Point Lighthouse are the two most notable. Go outside, take a stroll, and pay a visit to these places to learn about the local culture and history.
- Great Otway National Park This is one of our favourite spots. It's a great spot to go camping because of the variety of scenery and the abundance of animal and plant species. You should think about staying there for the night.
- Twelve Apostles – The most well-known spot along the Great Ocean Road. It would be an understatement to say that there were a lot of people there. Although it is not the final stop on every road trip, it is nonetheless an essential stop. While exploring these water-carved limestone formations, enjoy the scenery but don't try to find all 12; only 8.
- Loch Ard Gorge –Just another popular beach and ocean view location. Includes a tale about a shipwreck with only two survivors and the item.
- Waterfalls –Sadly, we did not have any success and did not get to visit any waterfalls along the way. Since it had been so hot, a few of the ones we stopped for were nearly dry. And we didn't pause to help anyone else. However, the Great Ocean Road is home to numerous breathtaking waterfalls like Erskine Falls, Hopetoun Falls, Triplet Falls, Carisbrook Waterfall, Beauchamp Falls, and many more. You may have to walk off the beaten path to find them, but if that's what you're after, by all means.
- Lookouts – A plethora of vantage points can be found. You can find a viewpoint every 5 to 10 minutes: Teddy's lookout, Anglesea overlook, Cinema Point, and more. You don't have to pull over every time you see a sign, but you should check out a few of them.
- Shipwreck sites – If you're into that sort of thing, you'll be psyched to hear that the coast of Victoria is littered with shipwrecks. You can unearth fascinating details about the history of certain beaches by looking for things like ship parts or anchors.
Where to stay?
There is a wide variety of accommodation options along Great Ocean Road, albeit they do vary depending on the mode of conveyance you select. The tour operator often books accommodations for those taking tours.
Travelling by automobile provides the opportunity to stop in any of the nearby cities. Travellers can find lodging at a variety of hotels, hostels, and inns in many of these areas. Rental cabins and trailers are available at several campgrounds and caravan sites. Campgrounds are available in the area for those travelling in a van or a camper. The WikiCamps Australia app was a lifesaver for us, and we think you'll find it useful. Campgrounds, hiking paths, waste disposal areas, and other adjacent attractions will all be displayed. We spent the first night at Mortlake Caravan Park in Bimbi Park before heading to Halls Gap.
Day 4 and 5: The Grampians and Halls Gap
The truth is that our one day in Halls Gap wasn't nearly enough time there. For starters, it's a big shift from spending two days staring at the beach. For another, the scenery is very breathtaking.
There are beautiful vistas, hiking routes, and wildlife in the Grampians National Park. It's already remarkable that this is one of the best sites to learn about Aboriginal culture. Aboriginal rock art is prevalent throughout Victoria but is especially abundant in the Grampians.
The first day should be spent adventuring in the national park. The Grampians Peaks Trail is now accessible and may be completed in three days. However, you may want to explore other regions of the land instead. Visit The Piccaninny, Mount Sturgeon Walk, or Mount Abrupt Walk. The Wonderland Loop Hike connects Halls Gap and Pinnacle, so give it a shot if you still have some steam left over after all that. Of course, you can always put it off until tomorrow and spend the day sightseeing instead.
We fell in love with Halls Gap for two key reasons. To begin, there are lots of kangaroos to see. Second, Colas Ice Creamery has some of the best ice creams around. In sum, the town is charming and deserves a visit.
After you've explored Halls Gap and The Grampians, continue to Yarra Valley. Keep in mind that because your route will take you via Melbourne, it may take longer than expected to complete the trip by car.
Where to stay?
We highly recommend staying in Halls Gap on the first night. We didn't have enough time, but we wished we did. You can split your drive the next day if you decide to drive in the evening. When visiting Victoria, you should stay in one of the cosy small towns, and now is a great time to do so. We spent the evening and night in Clunes, but you could stay in Ararat, another town, or near one of the lakes along the way.
Day 6 And 7: Yarra Valley And Back To Melbourne
The rationale for a two-day trip to Yarra Valley is open to debate. Isn't it merely a day trip to a winery? If that's what you want, it just might be. However, Yarra Valley has a lot more to offer inquisitive travelling than just the following.
What to do in Yarra Valley?
- Visit Healesville Sanctuary. Even though we generally dislike seeing wild animals kept in confinement, Healesville Sanctuary seems to be more than just a zoo. They have a comprehensive wildlife preservation programme, and they're working to save a wide variety of endangered species. It's possible that they set up breeding programmes to ensure the survival of threatened populations.
- Go on Black Spur Drive. Not as lengthy as Great Ocean Road but still well worth the trip if you find yourself in Victoria. Getting from Healesville to Narbethong involves travelling through a rainforest with eucalyptus trees. It's a place unto itself; yeah, indeed.
- Hike/walk-in Yarra Ranges. If you've read our other posts, you already know we are passionate about outdoor adventures. For this reason, our absence from Yarra Valley was particularly lamented. These two links should provide some inspiration.
- Enjoy adventures. In the Yarra region, you can go hot air ballooning, horseback riding, mountain biking, or visit a theme park.
- Explore wineries. Most visitors to Victoria and Australia will undoubtedly want to do that.
For this reason alone, a visit to Yarra Valley warrants a minimum of two nights' stay. Especially if you want to take advantage of one of the wonderful talks they provide to tourists, Healesville Sanctuary is too worthwhile to visit in just one hour. Some hikes, more exciting activities, or a 30-minute journey will take some time. We hope you enjoy some wine throughout your trip, so we recommend giving yourself at least two days to see the region.
Where to stay?
Booking ahead is recommended if you plan to stay in Yarra Valley over the weekend (including Friday), even if you plan to use the campground. Healesville and the surrounding area have a wide variety of lodging options, including caravan parks, hostels, guest houses, and hotels. Find a place to stay with the help of the WikiCamps mobile app. Crystal Brook Tourist Park is a good option if you won't be able to make it to Melbourne on the final day.
Despite its modest size, Victoria offers a remarkable array of scenery, from the Southern Ocean to the Grampians National Park's sandstone escarpments. The Great Ocean Road is one of the world's best coastal drives, so get out there and enjoy it! Melbourne is full of surprises; you never know what you'll find there. The National Gallery of Victoria is one of the most beautiful art museums in the country. The Botanic Gardens and Shrine of Remembrance are only across St. Kilda Road from the NGV.
Chinatown in Melbourne is one of the city's busiest commercial districts. The Aboriginal Heritage Walk is a must-do if you want to learn about the significance of plants in Australia's Indigenous culture. Eureka Skydeck is the southern hemisphere's highest open-air observation deck. Great Otway National Park is a great spot to go camping because of the variety of scenery and abundance of animal and plant species. The Great Ocean Road is home to numerous breathtaking waterfalls like Erskine Falls, Hopetoun Falls, Triplet Falls, Beauchamp Falls, and more.
Many lookout points and shipwrecks can be found along the Great Ocean Road. Aboriginal rock art is prevalent throughout Victoria but abundant in the Grampians. The WikiCamps Australia app was a lifesaver for those travelling in a van or camper. The Grampians Peaks Trail is now accessible and may be completed in three days. Visit The Piccaninny, Mount Sturgeon Walk, or Mount Abrupt Walk.
The Wonderland Loop Hike connects Halls Gap and Pinnacle. Yarra Valley has more to offer inquisitive travelling than just the following. Yarra Valley is well worth the trip if you find yourself in Victoria. Healesville Sanctuary is too worthwhile to visit in just one hour. Some hikes, more exciting activities, or a 30-minute journey will take some time. Booking ahead is recommended if you plan to stay in Yarra Valley over the weekend.
Frequently Asked Questions
Road trips & itineraries. Travel across Victoria and experience the region's stunning landscapes, historic towns and renowned food and wine. The state's compact size means you can travel from high in the mountains to the rugged southern coast and back to the city in just a short space of time.
Bacchus Marsh. As you drive along the Western Freeway, you'll skirt around Bacchus Marsh and the city of Ballarat. Take the scenic route into Bacchus Marsh – the main road into town is The Avenue of Honour, which is lined with hundreds of elm, oak and plane trees. It's a glorious sight.
One of Australia's most spectacular coastal drives is New South Wales' Grand Pacific Drive. At 140 kilometres (87 miles) long, the Grand Pacific Drive is an easy yet epic road trip that begins just south of Sydney in the Royal National Park and clutches the coastline down to the Shoalhaven region.
A journey through Victoria by car that takes seven days is not exactly an ode to the concept of "slow travel." This stunning state simply has too many things to do, seeing as it is home to some of the most famous coastline in the world (with a total length of over 2,500 kilometres), a multitude of outstanding national parks, charming villages with incredible cuisine, and some classic Australian outback.
Drive one of Australia's great touring routes, The Great Alpine Road, and explore Victoria's north-east down to the jaw-dropping Gippsland Lakes. See the star attractions of the south on this five-day round trip taking in the Great Ocean Road, the Grampians, the Goldfields and spa country.