Are you planning a road trip along the Great Ocean Road, Australia? Wonder if there are other things you could visit in Country Victoria, Australia? We help you with ideas and tips along the way!
When people talk about Victoria, the state in Australia’s south, they immediately will follow up with one of Australia’s most famous tourist attractions: the Great Ocean Road.
But there is more to it that meets the eye, as many Melburnians will be able to confirm. Despite Victoria being Australia’s most urbanised state, the real treasures can be found outside the cities: majestic mountain ranges and stunning surf beaches, romantic river systems and cute wildlife are all part of the state’s attraction, oftentimes easily accessible from Australia’s second biggest city, Melbourne.
What to eat
Eat straight from the producer: visit the many farms in Victoria for fresh berries, honey and dairy products, and sip a glass of chardonnay from one of the wineries in the Yarra Valley. Attend the Lobster Festival in Kilkunda or the Seafood Festival in Apollo Bay. Abalone, a sea snail which is found off the coast of Victoria and Tasmania, is a popular and pricey export which can also be enjoyed at selected restaurants in the region.
What souvenirs to buy
Victoria’s slower pace cannot compete with the beating heart of Melbourne which is one of the best shopping destinations in Australia. However, don’t return home from the Yarra Valley without a bottle or two of locally produced wine. Gold nuggets and precious stones are perfect souvenirs if you are hitting the historic gold fields.
Victoria is blessed with 2,000 km of coastline and literally hundreds of unspoilt and stunning beaches. However, the coast in Victoria is wild and untamed (hence the name Shipwreck Coast which applied to a certain stretch of that coast). Also, the water is close to the Arctic Circle and thus rather chilly. Swimming can be very dangerous and is outside of patrolled beaches not recommended. Surfing conditions are amazing in many locations. For family-friendly beaches, try Rye Beach and Frankston Beach.
What to Pack for your Trip
Depending on where you want to go and when, you need to consider different options. The weather in the south of Australia is notorious for being unreliable and unstable, with four seasons sometimes showing in a single day. Winters can be extremely unpleasant and chilly so that you will need windproof jackets and beanies, and summers can be scorching hot, but nothing is for sure.
When to Visit
A lot of Victoria’s tourism is sourced from within the state, which means that most tourists to the regional destinations will hail from Melbourne. If you want to avoid the crowds, stay clear from destinations that are close to the big city. The 12 Apostles see a lot of visitors, many of them bus tourists, throughout the year. Overall, consider the weather when you plan outdoorsy activities which will no doubt be more enjoyable when the sun is out and the temperatures not too low.
Good to know
Road trips are a great way to get to know the state of Victoria but don’t underestimate the distances. Pack your camping gear and simply lose yourself in the stunning beauty of this destination, or travel the Great Ocean Road all the way to its end. Also, koalas can be found in some places high up in the trees, so keep on looking!
What I like most about the Victoria
The Great Ocean Road and the small townships dotting the coastline are probably some of most charming areas that you can explore in Australia. But the historic gold rush area around Ballarat is also fantastic to explore, with Sovereign Hill being the perfect family-friendly attraction to learn more about the first years of the budding Australian colony.
What I Don’t Like About Victoria
Coming from Sydney, I have a hard time adjusting to the cooler temperatures in Victoria. But as they say, there is no such as thing as bad weather, just bad clothing (or something like that).
Must-do’s When Visiting Victoria, Australia
If you can afford it, hop in a helicopter and see the famous 12 Apostles from above. Less pricey but still enchanting, watch the fairy penguins on their daily migration ashore on Phillip Island. Whale-watching is big in the state, and there are many great vantage points to spot a whale during the season. Enjoy the special atmosphere at Eastern Beach in Geelong. Spot wild native animals in Tower Hill Reserve near Warrnambool.
Where to Stay When Visiting the Great Ocean Road and Country Victoria
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