From the Yarra Valley’s vineyards to the Great Ocean Road’s sweeping coastal vistas, Victoria serves up a slideshow of postcard-worthy landscapes. But it’s not all about nature: the region is also renowned for its gastronomy and the cultural hub that is Melbourne, Australia’s second-largest city. Here are some essential Victoria experiences.
Cruise the Great Ocean Road
Touted as one of the world’s best coastal drives, the Great Ocean Road doesn’t disappoint. The 150-mile (243-kilometer) route winds past golden beaches and soaring sea cliffs, and is dotted with charming oceanfront towns. Join a day trip or fly overhead in a helicopter, with stunning views of the iconic Twelve Apostles, Apollo Bay, and Shipwreck Coast.
Catch Wildlife on Phillip Island
The Penguin Parade on Phillip Island is a wildlife wonder not to be missed. In addition to koalas and Australian fur seals, this destination is known for its fairy penguins that waddle to shore at dusk. Watch them from a viewing platform as they emerge from the sea and cross the sand to their burrows.
Indulge in Melbourne’s Food Scene
Melbourne has deservedly earned its place among Australia’s top culinary destinations. Queen Victoria Market showcases the city’s multicultural heritage with an abundance of local purveyors. Options include a food-tasting tour, a multicourse meal on the Colonial Tramcar Restaurant, or a dinner cruise; the nearby Mornington Peninsula offers divine cheese, food, and wine experiences.
Sip Australian Wine in the Yarra Valley
Wine lovers will find plenty to get excited about in the Yarra Valley—a hotbed of local artisan producers. Take time away from Melbourne to tour the wine region and sip beer, cider, or wine paired with gourmet sweets. A hot-air balloon flight takes you high above the scenic, vineyard-speckled landscape.