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The Australian state of Victoria is known for its natural beauty, diverse landscape and unpredictable weather! From the vibrant city of Melbourne to the stunning coastal towns along the Great Ocean Road, there is something for everyone in Victoria.
We share 25 of the best places to visit in Victoria, Australia and why you don’t want to miss any of them on your next visit!
Beautiful Places To Go In Victoria: Quick Travel Tips
Before you plan your next bucket list trip, exploring beautiful Victoria and experiencing the best things to do in Victoria, let’s plan your visit:
Best Time To Visit Victoria
Spring and autumn are the best times to visit Victoria, as temperatures are usually mild and crowds tend to be fewer at the popular attractions. But summer is our personal favourite for enjoying the coastal towns!
It is a little bit of a running joke with us Aussies that Victoria is known for getting all 4 seasons in one day – sunshine, rain, and wind in a space of a few hours! But they do still have four distinct seasons, with mild summers and cold winters.
Even in the middle of summer, don’t forget to bring a warm jacket, just in case you get 35 degrees Celcius one day and 18 the next! Typically you will get summer temperatures between 25 and 35, with a dry heat.
Although one of the coolest things about visiting in summer is the extended daylight hours, where the sun doesn’t go down until around 9 PM, giving you plenty of extra time to get out and explore.
Of course, if it’s winter activities and the snow season you’re looking for, winter is definitely your best time to visit! During winter, daylight hours are much shorter and temperatures are cold.
RECOMMENDED READING: Plan the ultimate trip to Australia with our Australia Travel Guide!
Best Way To See Victoria
The best way to get around Victoria is by car. With road trips aplenty, each offering scenic views and plenty of stops along the way, having your own car or a rental car makes this very easy. Grab your rental car from Melbourne Airport or the Melbourne CBD.
Find the best price on a car or van to suit your needs on DiscoverCars or if it’s a budget campervan you’re looking for, check out Jucy. They also have a more luxury brand, Star RV.
Trains and buses are also available throughout most regions of Victoria, with V/Line being the best option for exploring regional areas.
Attractions & Tours
If you are visiting any of the highly popular tourist attractions in Victoria, especially during the Australian school holidays, you want to book ahead of time!
Book attraction tickets and tours via our favourite site Get Your Guide. They have a free cancellation policy too!
Victoria’s capital city is well worth visiting! Voted the most liveable city in the world many times over, it’s not somewhere you want to miss. Spend a few days exploring the city centre of Melbourne, known for its unique laneway cafes, amazing restaurants and bars, shopping, street art, historical buildings and culture.
Phillip Island is a classic and well-known travel destination in Victoria. For first-time visitors, it is a wonderful day trip or outskirt expedition among the cafe hopping and city walk in Melbourne.
Phillip Island lies on the southern coast of Victoria and it is about 140 kilometres away from the CBD of Melbourne. There are plenty of local tours that take visitors to the island, but the best way to visit Phillip Island is by self-driving and exploring the site at your own pace.
Phillip Island is famous for being one of the few colonies in the world of the Little Penguins. The penguin parade will be a highlight of the trip, where spectators can witness how the penguins return from the ocean every day during sunset.
Before heading to the Southpoint Lookout, have a stroll on the boardwalk at the Nobbies Center and take in the breathtaking sceneries, where you will also meet seagulls and fur seals, or spot a wild kangaroo hopping on the cliffs.
Drop by Cowes, the main town of Phillip Island, and enjoy lunch or ice cream while sitting on the Cowes Jetty.
The Yarra Valley is Victoria’s world-famous wine region and this is a must-visit if you love visiting award-winning wineries. But that’s not the only reason to visit the Yarra Valley!
The Yarra Ranges and Dandenong Ranges region is also home to spectacular scenery, wildlife and walking trails.
Best of all, it’s less than an hour away from Melbourne making the Yarra Valley one of the best weekend trips from Melbourne. You can check out our kid-friendly 2-day Yarra Valley itinerary to give you some ideas!
Whether you are sampling the treats at the chocolate factory or doing a wine-tasting tour, the Yarra Valley is a region in Victoria you won’t want to miss!
One of the best ways to experience the area is getting a hop-on hop-off bus ticket which stops at various wineries, distilleries, the chocolate factory and other points of interest throughout the day.
Echuca is definitely one of the best places to visit in regional Victoria for a unique experience. This town on the banks of the Murray River was once an important river port, and thanks to much of its history being preserved, it’s a fascinating spot to visit.
The focus of any visit will be the former river port. Start with a walk through the Historic Port precinct, past the many heritage-listed buildings, before visiting the Discovery Centre. This free museum contains exhibits about the town and displays of old machinery.
Don’t also miss taking a paddle steamer cruise on the Murray. Multiple steamers still operate from Echuca, generally for one-hour tourist cruises or longer lunch and dinner cruises.
The history doesn’t end with the port era of the town. Just around the corner is the Holden Motor Museum, with its impressive collection of vintage Holdens and memorabilia, up until the brand ceased production in Australia.
While the main sights of the town can be covered within a day, there’s plenty more to see nearby that warrants a longer visit. And if you’re travelling with your dog? Echuca is very dog-friendly, with pups allowed at the Discovery Centre, on selected paddle steamer cruises and in the Holden Motor Museum.
Contributed by Shandos from Travelnuity: Dog-Friendly Travel
If you have plans to drive the Great Ocean Road while you’re in Victoria, there’s no doubt you will be visiting Port Campbell. Port Campbell National Park is home to some of the most well-known attractions on the Great Ocean Road, including the 12 Apostles and Loch Ard Gorge.
While some of these scenic places are in neighbouring Princetown, Port Campbell is the perfect place to base yourself for exploring.
It is also a gorgeous coastal town that is worth spending a few days, especially if you are visiting Port Campbell in summer!
Port Campbell Bay is one of the best places to swim at the beach along the Great Ocean Road plus there are some lovely walking tracks to explore the area.
Best Things To Do In Port Campbell
Explore Port Campbell National Park & see the 12 Apostles, Loch Ard Gorge, London Bridge & The Grotto
Swim at Port Campbell Beach
Enjoy a beer at Sow & Piglets Brewery
Drive the 12 Apostles Food Artisans Trail through Timboon
If you’re looking for a coastal escape in Victoria, then Mornington Peninsula is undoubtedly one of the best places to visit! The region is perfect to visit as a day trip from Melbourne or as a relaxing getaway.
From sandy beaches and epic lighthouses perched atop dramatic cliffs to romantic wineries, hot springs, and stately homes, there are many things to do in Mornington Peninsula to keep you busy.
For the best scenery and spectacular hikes, head to Point Nepean National Park or visit the lighthouse at Cape Schanck. Nearby, Arthur’s Seat Eagle cable cars are an accessible, family-friendly attraction, perfect for enjoying aerial views with the whole family.
For romantic activities – or for anyone looking to treat themselves – explore the Mornington Peninsula wineries. Finally, wind down at the award-winning Peninsula Hot Springs to pair a natural thermal spa with exceptional views.
Sorrento is the perfect coastal spot to stay overnight, with many charming accommodations and restaurants to choose from. For more relaxing beachside strolls, take the boardwalk in Sorrento to the Bay of Islands viewpoint and Diamond Bay before watching the sunset over Sorrento pier.
If it’s a trendy beach vibe you’re after, St Kilda is the place for you. This iconic beachside suburb of Melbourne has been a popular summer spot since its days as a holiday destination in the late 1800s.
Today, it’s an exciting mix of art galleries, independent shops, great restaurants and plenty of cultural attractions — including the historic Luna Park amusement park that first opened in 1912.
Luna Park is still one of the most popular attractions for families visiting Melbourne and St Kilda, with loads of thrill rides.
Walk along St Kilda pier or swim at St Kilda beach if the weather is nice. St Kilda Botanical Gardens is home to some unique art installations, along with a range of plants that nature lovers will enjoy.
Located about six hour’s drive northwest of Melbourne, sunny Mildura can feel a long way away from the rest of Victoria with its hot summers, edge-of-Outback feel and its closeness to the NSW and South Australian borders.
Those who make the drive will be rewarded, as it is different to elsewhere in Victoria. A few days is enough to experience the main attractions.
Mildura has a range of attractions. As a Murray River town, it has the usual paddle steamer rides, but here the P.S. Melbourne is the best option. Built in 1912, it is the only steam-powered boat still in action.
During the ride, live commentary details the history, fauna and flora of the region as well as talks about the other vessels that once worked around here.
A visit to Orange World is a must.
There are one-hour tours of the orange farm here which include an introduction to the farm and how they grow great oranges as well as a demonstration of how they sort them. The rest of the tour is on a tractor-pulled train that the guide drives around the farm as he explains how they grow their oranges.
Other attractions include walking round the riverfront and checking out Lock 11 and Mildura Weir, visiting the unique vegetation at Australian Inland Botanic Gardens, tasting local wines and enjoying the Mildura Holden Motor Museum. Don’t forget to finish it all off with a drink at Fossey’s Ginporium and Whisky Distillery.
Grampians National Park is known for its outstanding natural beauty, a huge range of scenic hiking trails and abundant wildlife. Located in western Victoria, the Grampians is ideal as a weekend escape for those looking to reconnect with nature. It also makes a great stop on a road trip from Melbourne to Adelaide.
One of the most popular attractions in the Grampians is the spectacular Mackenzie Falls.
Nestled within a deep valley, getting to the base of the falls can be done by following a fairly steep 2km trail from the carpark. These falls are so big and powerful, no matter what time of year you visit, you are guaranteed to see them flowing.
If you’re looking for the best hiking trail in the national park, be sure to add The Pinnacle Lookout to your itinerary. Following a 2km trail, you will make your way up to a lookout that boasts a breathtaking panoramic view over the entire national park below.
If you want an epic view without doing a big hike, “The Balconies” and “Boroka Lookout” are absolute must-see stops that you should make when visiting Grampians National Park.
Tiny Raymond Island lies 300km east of Melbourne and is one of the best hidden gems in Victoria! Known for its native koalas and the famous Koala Walk, Raymond Island is one of the best places to see wild koalas in Australia!
The Koala Walk on Raymond Island is an easy self-guided walking tour that’s fun for young and old where you can see koalas up in the trees in their natural habitat.
Spend one or two hours watching the koalas in the trees – there are roughly 250 of them here so you’re bound to see a few! Whilst you’re here also look out for wombats, echidnas and kangaroos.
To get to Raymond Island, drive to Paynesville and then take the 5-minute ferry across. The ferry is free for pedestrians and $13 for vehicles but you won’t need your car as the island is so small and you’ll need to walk the trail to be able to look up in the trees and see the koalas!
Ferries come roughly every 20 minutes, and ideally, you should do the koala walk an hour or two before sunset as this is when the koalas are the most active!
Torquay is the official starting point of the Great Ocean Road and what a grand way to kick off this scenic coastal route! Torquay is one of those amazing places in Victoria that you can enjoy a day trip to or spend a week.
The main attraction in Torquay is Bells Beach, one of Australia’s most iconic surf beaches in the world and home to the annual Rip Curl Pro Surfing Competition that draws crowds near and far.
Apart from the beach, there is plenty to do in Torquay, such as visiting the Australian National Surfing Museum or one of the many water activities that are popular during the warmer season. Snorkel, scuba dive, swim or learn how to surf.
Or enjoy the many breweries in town, sampling some of the local craft beer.
Situated on the southwestern tip of Victoria, Cape Otway is one of the best places to visit in the state. Located along the winding Great Ocean Road, a scenic ocean-front drive, Cape Otway is known for its lush rainforest, expansive beaches and diverse wildlife.
Enclosed within the Great Otway National Park, Cape Otway is one of the best places to see some of Australia’s most iconic native animals, including koalas, kangaroos, wallabies, and even whales who migrate along the shore in Spring.
Escape into nature and start your visit at Maits Rest Rainforest Trail, a 30-minute boardwalk loop that is lined with huge ferns, moss-covered roots and 300-year-old trees.
Cape Otway Lighthouse is not to be missed and tourists can explore Victoria’s oldest working lighthouse on a tour, and even stay overnight.
Adventure seekers should head to Otway Fly Treetop Walk. Consisting of a 600-metre canopy walk and multiple ziplines, this is the best place to truly immerse yourself in the rainforest.
While nature lovers can explore some of the area’s many waterfalls, including Triplet Falls, a triple cascade, and the picturesque Hopetoun Falls.
Between two to five days is the perfect amount of time to spend in Cape Otway. There is a range of unique accommodation in the national park and those looking to camp can enjoy the secluded Blanket Bay Campground.
If you are looking for a perfect seaside town to visit in Victoria then you must visit Lakes Entrance.
Lakes Entrance is the largest town on the Gippsland Lakes system, located in East Gippsland, Victoria. The Gippsland Lakes is the largest inland lake system in Australia, consisting of 4 huge rivers feeding into it, all starting up in the famous Victorian high country.
Home to the unique Burrunan dolphin, seals and an abundance of native wildlife, the Gippsland Lakes Coastal Park was established to protect this amazing natural beauty.
Not only is the Lakes Entrance blessed with this system of lagoons, marches and inlets it is also situated on another amazing natural wonder – the 90-mile beach.
This stretch of coast is the perfect place for surfing, surf fishing and sunbaking! People from all over the state and even internationally flock to the area to enjoy the water sports on offer in the lakes and on the beach.
While summer might seem like the best time to visit Lakes Entrance, you can enjoy a visit in any season. In summer you can make the most of the carnival on the foreshore, the New Year’s fireworks or the bustling markets.
At other times of the year, you can pop into one of the small cafes or restaurants to sample some of the local produce that is some of the freshest and best in the state.
If you are an early riser you are bound to witness an epic sunrise or if you prefer a sunset you will be blown away by the colourful display that Mother Nature puts on.
Towns that also line the Gippsland Lakes are full to the brim in the summer months but turn into quaint small villages in the cooler months and even in the shoulder season. No matter what you want to do there is something for everyone in Lakes Entrance.
Contributed by Bec from Explore Victoria Australia
Portland is my hometown and although I haven’t lived there since I was a child, it is always a special time to go back for a visit!
Portland has the best of both worlds – the small country town vibe mixed with being a beautiful coastal town too! It is also one of the most historically significant towns to visit in Victoria.
Portland is Victoria’s birthplace, as it was here where the first European settlers arrived in Victoria in 1834.
There is a lot of rich history to uncover at the many Portland attractions – from lighthouses to convict-built buildings and museums.
The beachside town’s picturesque harbour is surrounded by a stunning natural landscape with several fantastic hikes nearby. Take a stroll along the water or head to Bridgewater Bay for a swim at the beach or the 2-hour seal colony walk.
Ride the tram and explore the beautiful streetscape Bendigo is famous for.
However, there are more than historic sites to discover here. Bendigo has a vibrant arts and culture scene and is home to one of the best regional art galleries in Australia. You should also pop into the famous Bendigo Pottery.
Once you are done exploring, there is plenty here to satisfy the gourmet traveller with a great range of cafes and restaurants. For fine dining, Mason’s of Bendigo offers a superb chef’s menu. For something more casual, El Gordo’s tapas menu is a must. They also do an outstanding breakfast.
The city is surrounded by wineries and vineyards, making it a great destination for wine lovers.
Located in the heart of the state, you can reach Bendigo easily by train from Melbourne, alternatively, it’s just a two-hour drive.
Allow 2-3 days to see the main sites of Bendigo, longer if you would like to explore nearby walking trails and make the most of the food and wine on offer.
Lorne is a surprising stop along a Great Ocean Road drive but also a popular coastal destination for locals! If you visit in the summer months, you will see this little town hopping with activity. It is the perfect place for nature lovers, beach-goers and foodies.
In Lorne, you can take a stroll along the esplanade, trying the local food and drink. If you are feeling more active, get your walking shoes on and take the track to spectacular Erskine Falls – one of Victoria’s most beautiful waterfalls.
Don’t miss a stop at Teddys Lookout.
This is easily one of the best views along the Great Ocean Road! Lorne is also a great place for wildlife spotting, with a visit to nearby Kennett River where you can see one of the largest glow worm colonies in Australia or spot koalas in the trees along Kennett River Koala Walk.
Daylesford, located approximately 1.5 hours from Melbourne, has many reasons to visit, but most people come here to relax and enjoy some downtime in the many spa and wellness retreats dotted all over the area.
The reason is that the spas here are full of rich mineral thermal waters that include indoor pools and saunas.
Your day can be spent visiting the many drinkable natural springs and indulging in pure luxury by night bathing at the Mineral Spa at the historic Peppers Mineral Springs Retreat in Hepburn Springs.
This is the perfect weekend getaway that will have you relaxed in no time.
Still, suppose you decide to stay a week. In that case, there is plenty to keep you occupied with gorgeous little boutiques to shop in, quaint little cafes to eat in, Sunday Markets to explore, Wombat Hill Botanic Gardens to enjoy and Daylesford Spa Country Railway, where you can jump on board a heritage train and enjoy the countryside.
When it comes to learning about Victoria’s Gold Rush history, Ballarat is a fantastic place to visit. Ballarat is Victoria’s largest inland city, and the 3rd largest overall, situated approximately 75 minutes drive from Melbourne.
This was the site of the most famous gold rush in Australia, and it’s packed with museums, galleries, monuments and beautiful parks that commemorate this incredible part of Aussie history.
Start your visit by getting to know Ballarat’s colourful history at Sovereign Hill – a historical park full of activities like panning for gold and candle making! This is at least a half-day experience to really appreciate all the attractions. It is open from Tuesday til Sunday each week.
Other popular Ballarat attractions include the medieval theme park Kryal Castle, Ballarat Wildlife Park and Bird World and the many museums in town. Ballarat is by far a great place for history buffs!
Halls Gap is 3 hours west of Melbourne in the heart of Grampians National Park. The Grampians’ amazing walks, abundant wildlife, and spectacular lookouts make Halls Gaps one of the best places to visit in Victoria.
Halls Gap is a great place for walkers. From the town you can do the Wonderland Loop that takes in some of the Grampians’ best attractions including Venus Baths, Splitters Falls,
The Grand Canyon and The Pinnacle. The shorter walk to Venus Baths is a fun, family friendly walk too.
There is also plenty of family fun to be had at the challenging Grampians Adventure Golf and the Halls Gap Zoo. There are plenty of animals to see outside the zoo too, there are kangaroos, emus and wallabies throughout Halls Gap.
Short drives from Halls Gap take you to the stunning Reed Lookout and beautiful waterfalls like Mackenzie Falls. Allow 3 to 5 days in Halls Gap and spring is a lovely time to visit with the wildflowers in full bloom.
If you have lunch outside the Stony Creek shops, keep an eye on the sky, cheeky kookaburras have been known to swoop in and steal food as you’re putting it in your mouth!
Apollo Bay is another of the stops along the Great Ocean Road that is worth spending a little extra time at. This small fishing village is surrounded by lush forests and provides access to a number of stunning beaches.
It is also home to some beautiful Australian animals so take care on the roads. We had to stop our car to allow a koala to cross at one point. If you’re feeling adventurous, explore some of the local walking tracks in search of wild koalas!
Or walk up Marriners Lookout for stunning views of the ocean, especially at sunset!
The town is also home to a number of cute cafes and pubs, including Apollo Bay Distillery and the Great Ocean Road Brewhouse, that make it an ideal spot to take a break from the road trip.
Warrnambool is a port city in Victoria and the largest settlement along the Great Ocean Road. It is full of interesting places to explore, from its rich maritime history at Flagstaff Hill Village Museum to its stunning beaches and recreational parks.
Warrnambool’s main attractions are all within easy walking distance, including Lake Petrobe – a popular spot for a family day out with the kids. Within the extensive recreation reserve, you will find playgrounds, paddle boats and walking tracks.
Visit Logans Beach Whale Watching Platform during whale season to see some migrating whales.
Or for native Australian wildlife, take a walk through Tower Hill Fauna Reserve where you high a high chance of seeing koalas in the trees or emus along one of the many walking trails.
If you have no luck, you can still head to Warrnambool Wildlife Encounters for a wildlife park experience.
Williamstown is an old port suburb of Melbourne, about 20 minutes by train from Flinders Street Station.
It has fantastic views across the bay to Melbourne, which is the main reason for most tourists visiting, but there is much more to it than that.
The beautiful palm-lined botanic gardens look like they could be straight out of LA, the beach is one of the most picturesque in Melbourne, Nelson Place has some of the best-preserved Victorian architecture in the city and (our personal favourite) Jawbone Reserve is one of the most stunning natural places in Victoria.
You can see much of what Williamstown has to offer in a day, either by getting the train or heading across on one of the ferry services that motor across from the city.
Whether you’re looking for history, relaxation or a bit of both, Williamstown has something for everyone, so plan a trip today and discover all that this charming coastal town has to offer.
If it’s a snow trip you are planning, Victoria is a fantastic place to visit in the winter! Here are some of the best places to visit in Victoria during winter:
Mount Buller is a paradise for winter enthusiasts, with stunning ski runs and plenty of fun activities for all ages and experiences. There’s also an array of accommodation options at Mount Buller!
Mt Hotham is a great place to visit in winter if you’re looking for some serious skiing or snowboarding. With plenty of nearby villages and accommodation options, it’s perfect for those wanting to stay longer and make the most of the winter season.
Falls Creek is another one of the great options for skiing or snowboarding in Victoria. With plenty of runs and ski lodges, you’ll be sure to find something to suit your style and skill level!
Book Your Trip To Victoria
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Victoria, Australia is a beautiful and diverse region with something for everyone. From the stunning, rugged coastlines to the lush national parks and unique Australian wildlife, there are many incredible sights to explore. Whether you’re looking for an active adventure or just want to take it easy while enjoying some local food and drink, Victoria has plenty of places to go and see that will make your trip unforgettable.
Did we miss one of the most beautiful places in Victoria? Tell us where!