After having taken a look around New South Wales, we’re now jumping in our rental car and heading south, to the awesome state of Victoria, the most southeastern state on the mainland of Australia. The mighty Murray River forms most of the border between Victoria and New South Wales; South Australia lies to the west; and the state’s southern border is the Southern Ocean and the Bass Strait.
The smallest, yet most densely populated and second-most populous state on the Australian mainland, Victoria has a lot to offer, not only in terms of urban highlights, but also in terms of nature and activities. The state is packed with attractions.
Let’s take a look at the top 10 attractions in Victoria.
Top 10 Attractions in Victoria
Alpine National Park
One of the most surprising national parks in Australia, Alpine National Park, located in the northeast of the state, encompasses a part of the Australian Alps and offers fantastic hiking, fishing and cycling in summer, and excellent skiing, snowshoeing and snowboarding in winter.
Visiting Sovereign Hill is like stepping 150 years back in time. This fascinating attraction is located in the former gold rush town of Ballarat and features a look into the life in a mid-19th-century Australian gold mining town, rides in horse-drawn carriage, mine visits and street performers.
Probably the least-known destination on this list, Walhalla is a place I stumbled upon by accident when road tripping across Australia. This is also an old gold mining town, set in the lush green rainforest of southern Victoria. The one big difference with Ballarat is that Walhalla is nearly completely deserted. Nowadays, the town is pretty much a ghost town, full of abandoned buildings and home to less than twenty people.
Together with the Hunter Valley in New South Wales and the Barossa Valley in South Australia, Victoria’s Yarra Valley is one of Australia’s main wine-producing regions. Located about an hour by car from Melbourne, this is a wonderful (and tasty) area to visit.
Wilsons Promontory National Park
The Prom, as it is affectionately called, is one of the most spectacular national parks in the country. Located at the southernmost tip of mainland Australia, Wilsons Promontory National Park offers world-class hiking, fishing and camping, and is home the vast numbers of wildlife.
The main highlight on Philip Island is the so-called Penguin Parade – every evening around sunset little penguins walk up out of the ocean to their nests on land. To see this, you have to pay an admission fee, though. Other highlights are the Nobbies and Seal Rock, home to seals and penguins, and spectacular coastal scenery.
The Healesville Sanctuary is situated in the middle of the Yarra Valley and is well-known for being one of the best places to see Australian wildlife in their natural habitats. Home to kangaroos, platypus, koalas, wombats, dingoes, emus, birds of prey and so on, it offers an unparalleled Australian wildlife experience. There’s also the opportunity to enjoy some of the finest wines and greatest food that the Yarra Valley has to offer.
Grampians National Park
Grampians National Park is without question one of my favorite national parks in Australia. Made up of rugged mountain ranges, valleys and rivers, this is a fabulous place for hiking and camping and a definite highlight in Victoria.
Capital and by far the biggest city of the state, Melbourne in itself is home to many attractions. There is the Melbourne Cricket Ground, Federation Square, the Eureka Skydeck 88, Queen Victoria Market and so much more. Melbourne is also the best place to base yourself, as many of the top 10 Victoria attractions can be done as a (multi-)day road trip from the city.
Great Ocean Road
Taking in Cape Otway National Park, some of Australia’s best surf beaches, quaint seaside towns and Port Campbell National Park with the iconic Twelve Apostles, the Great Ocean Road is truly one of the most breathtaking roads in the worlds. If you do anything in Victoria, let it be the Great Ocean Road (and Melbourne).