Things to Do in Victoria
The Yarra River winds its way through Melbourne’s Central Business District (CBD) plus a number of suburbs. In the city, bars, restaurants, and parks thrive along its banks, bringing locals and tourists together. Numerous festivals and sporting events take place on the Yarra, including the famous Moomba Festival and rowing regattas.
One of the world's most famous driving routes, Victoria's Great Ocean Road offers scenic surprises at every fork in the road. In signature Australian style, endless stretches of white sandy beaches are flanked by dense pockets of rain forest, charming coastal towns, and canopies populated by koalas.
A ride on the Arthurs Seat Eagle gondola whisks visitors to the 1,030-foot (314-meter) summit of Arthurs Seat—the highest point in the Mornington Peninsula. Spectacular views are guaranteed both during the climb and from the hilltop viewpoint, from which you can see Port Philips Bay and Melbourne on a clear day.
Amid the sweeping coastal vistas and jagged sea cliffs of the Great Ocean Road, the Great Otway National Park serves up some of the most spectacular natural scenery along the famous drive. Stretching over 100,000 hectares along the southwest coast from Torquay to Princetown, the park encompasses a startling variety of scenery, from lush rainforest, waterfalls and lakes, to rocky bays, dramatic headlands and golden sand beaches.
The park makes a popular spot for hiking, mountain biking or horseback riding, with a network of waymarked trails and the 91km Great Ocean Walk running through the heart of the park. It’s also a hotspot for spotting native Australian wildlife, with key destinations including the Cape Otway Lighthouse, a prime spot for watching whales and dolphins along the coast; the Melba Gully, renowned for its glowworms; and the Otway Fly, where adventurous travelers can see the rainforest up close on the world’s longest treetop walk or a thrilling zip-line course.
Get a taste of life during Australia’s gold rush era with a visit to Sovereign Hill. A reproduction of an 1850s mining town, this outdoor museum is perched on the site of the Red Hill Mine. The mine shaft you see—as well as much of the equipment—is original.
Need a break from nonstop wine tasting in Victoria’s Yarra Valley? Decadent desserts, creamy fondue and rich ice cream are waiting for you at Yarra Valley Chocolaterie & Ice Creamery. The scent of fresh chocolate alone is a treat, and here visitors can watch master European chocolatiers create edible masterpieces.
This shop is sure to satisfy the whole family with more than 250 chocolate products and free tastings. Devour sweet snacks or order from the café menu for breakfast or a light lunch. Once you’ve finishing indulging, work off those treats with a wander through the nearby gardens and wetlands conservation area.
Phillip Island is brimming with memorable wildlife experiences, but its headline act is the nightly Penguin Parade. Each night at dusk, thousands of little penguins—the largest colony in Australia of the world’s smallest penguin breed—can be seen along the shores of Summerland Beach, waddling back to their beachside burrows after a day at sea.
With a maze of mine shafts and tunnels descending to depths of up to 748 feet (228 meters), the Central Deborah Gold Mine is Australia’s deepest underground mine tour. Visit the former gold mine to experience the below-ground world and to gain insight into Australia’s historic gold mining industry.
Tucked into the serene and picturesque Yarra Valley of Victoria, the Dominique Portet Winery is renowned for its deep roots in French soil — Bordeaux to be exact. The art of winemaking has been passed down through the Portet lineage from 18th century France; a father and son duo (ninth and 10th generation) run this winery with experience that spans around the world. The modest space boasts an array of wines in a comfortable, Mediterranean-style setting. Get lost among the sprawling vines, or relax with a glass surrounded by oak barrels at Dominique Portet. Enjoy tastings from the cellar door, learn more about the Portet history and culture with a vintage tour, or stay for a leisurely lunch overlooking the valley.
Situated right at the end of Victoria’s Great Ocean Road, the Twelve Apostles are a set of eight rock formations—there used to be twelve—jutting out of the Southern Ocean. These limestone pillars were once connected to the nearby cliffs but have been eroded away into caves, pillars, and arches from the harsh conditions of the ocean.
More Things to Do in Victoria
Lush greenery and rolling hills dotted with twisting vines create a picturesque backdrop for sipping some of Yarra Valley’s finest wines. Rochford Wines, located just an hour’s drive from Melbourne, offers first-class vino, a top-notch culinary experience and panoramic views of the iconic Great Dividing Ranges. Meander through the winery’s sprawling vistas to visit the on-site art gallery and retail shop. Try a tasting from Rochford’s cellar door or dine at the winery’s award-winning restaurant Isabella’s at Rochford.
An oasis of natural beauty located in the heart of Victoria’s wine country, Rochford is known for hosting a range of events, concerts and functions. The winery boasts activities to suit all tastes— from hot air ballooning and segway tours to wine and cheese pairings.
The largest stadium in the Southern Hemisphere and one of the most famous sporting venues in Australia, Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG) is more than a Melbourne landmark. The legendary stadium has hosted the Olympic Games, the Commonwealth Games, the annual Boxing Day Test Match, and Australian Football League (AFL) Grand Final.
One of Victoria’s most significant landscapes, Point Nepean National Park spans more than 1,000 acres (560 hectares) on the pristine Mornington Peninsula. Visitors can immerse themselves in the coastal views and native grasslands while exploring the rich history of the park. What began as indigenous land became one of the earliest European settlements in Victoria during 1845, then a quarantine station before the site turned into a military center. In addition to its rich culture, the park is host to a world of marine life, including emerald-colored sea shrubs and invertebrates.
Discover Victorian landmarks, such as the park’s highest point, Cheviot Hill, overlooking the jetty where Prime Minister Harold Holt disappeared in 1967. History buffs can visit Fort Nepean for panoramic views and explore military fortifications used in both World Wars. Numerous hiking trails and beach walks of varied length start in the park. To get the most out of your trip, visit the park’s information center for a self-guided walk brochure or audio tour equipment.
The Cape Schanck Lighthouse has been operational since it was built in 1859. Constructed from limestone and sandstone, to this day the lighthouse still uses its original mechanisms to function. Situated in the Mornington Peninsula National Park in Victoria, the Cape Schanck Lighthouse offers a glimpse into the past.
As well as regular guided tours, the lighthouse station has a kiosk, a museum, and an information center. Visitors can also stay the night in the old lightkeeper’s cottages, making the Cape Schanck Lighthouse a unique base for exploring the Mornington Peninsula.
For many travelers, Phillip Island is known for the penguins that stumble ashore at sunset, but for anyone into high speed racing on motorcycles, go karts, or stock cars, it’s known for the Phillip Island Circuit and the legendary, ocean view course. With a total lap length of 2.7 miles, the Phillip Island Grand Prix circuit is not only technically challenging with all of its twist and turns, but considering the sweeping ocean views, is generally regarded as one of the sport’s most scenic and popular tracks. If there happens to be a race while in town, head to one of the spectator spots to watch the fast-paced action, where professional riders accelerate to speeds that can often top 200 mph. On days when races are not actively in session, go kart rides are offered for visitors to get the feel for the course, or you can also whip through the track at high speeds while accompanied by a professional driver. To learn even more about the history of the Grand Prix circuit, and relive its memorable moments, join in a guided tour of the track that takes place at 2pm, where you’ll finish the tour on the winner’s podium like the greatest racers in the world.
Federation Square, just across from Flinders Street Station, is Melbourne's beating heart and favorite meeting spot. Numerous city events take place here throughout the year, making it a must-visit attraction for all travelers. The square is surrounded by many bars and restaurants, and is home to the Ian Potter Centre, an Australian art museum.
The Great Ocean Road is one Victoria’s most naturally stunning sights, and Loch Ard Gorge is a dramatic highlight of an already dramatic journey. It was at this spot in 1878 where a ship carrying settlers from England to Melbourne was tragically wrecked on the rocks. Of the 54 passengers aboard the ship only two of the passengers survived—a teenage boy who heroically rescued a fellow teenage girl. After spending the night in a coastal sea cave, the duo found help with local settlers after scaling the rugged cliffs. Today those cliffs have a set of stairs that lead to the golden sands, where a protected beach is tucked beneath the towering, time-sculpted bluffs. Though the weather can be spectacularly stormy in winter, summer days are an invitation for picnicking, swimming, and sunbathing, and the striated cliffs form a natural amphitheater of coastal beauty around you. The gorge is located just a ten minute drive from the famous Twelve Apostles, which are arguably the most popular and visited site on Australia’s Great Ocean Road. At the top of the cliffs above the gorge, a modest cemetery has a memorial dedicated to the victims of the Loch Ard shipwreck—just one of an estimated 700 ships that have sank off this southern coast.
Clinging to Phillip Island by a single bridge, the tiny Churchill Island is one of Melbourne’s most unique attractions - a scenic patchwork of farmlands, heritage gardens and wetlands, where time appears to have stood still. Despite encompassing a mere 57 hectares, the small island boasts a significant history, as one of the first agricultural developments of European settlers back in the 18th century.
Today, the historic farmhouses and lands have been preserved as the Churchill Island Heritage Farm, a working farm where visitors can discover pioneer farming techniques and learn about the island’s long history. Visitors can follow the walking trails around the island, watch traditional activities like cow milking, blacksmithing, sheep shearing and working dog demonstrations, peek into the cottages and outhouses to gain an understanding of the lives of the early settlers, and even purchase local produce at the monthly farmers market or gift shop.
Get away from Melbourne’s bustling city center without actually leaving town at the Royal Botanic Gardens Victoria. This 89-acre (36-hectare) park is home to more than 8,500 plant species, tranquil lakes, and lush lawns. Join guided walking tours, workshops, or presentations, or feel free to walk around the flourishing oasis on your own.
A signature Melbourne experience, Eureka Skydeck 88 is a 360-degree viewing platform set atop the 974-foot (274-meter) Eureka Tower. For the daring there’s the Edge, a cantilevered glass cube that slides out from the building, leaving you suspended above the city streets. Vertigo, a green-screen set-up, simulates falling from the building.
Boasting a prime location on the banks of the Yarra River, Melbourne Southgate is a shopping, eating, and entertainment complex. As well as offering one of the most diverse shopping experiences in the city, Melbourne Southgate is just a few minutes walk from Flinders Street Station and Arts Centre Melbourne.
Melbourne Museum provides a great experience for adults and children alike. A series of permanent exhibitions relating to the culture, history and the environment of Melbourne and Victoria are housed in several galleries including a lush Forest Gallery, an Aboriginal gallery and a Children’s area.
Exhibitions include Science and Life, Melbourne Story, Evolution, Mind and Body, and many more. Get to see bones and displays of Australia’s mega fauna (giant animals), experience the Dinosaur Walk, Bugs Alive!, Amazing Animals and The Human Body.
Temporary exhibitions run about twice a year and cover a variety of themes.The Museum also houses a good café, an IMAX center and – the museum’s most popular object – a taxidermy original of Australia’s most famous racehorse, Phar Lap.
Housed in a striking building with a huge glass façade, Melbourne Museum is not immediately visible if you approach from the CBD as it stands behind the impressive Royal Exhibition Building in Carlton Gardens.
Put yourself in the picture at ArtVo, the first immersive art gallery, or “trick art” gallery, in Australia. Spanning 21,528 square feet (2,000 square meters), the Melbourne gallery displays more than 100 interactive, large-scale paintings on walls and floors that allow you to become part of the art through photos.
Expect the royal treatment on a visit to Kryal Castle—Australia’s top medieval adventure park and resort. Journey to the dark side on a haunting exploration of the Dragon’s Labyrinth and learn about the ancient history of torture and doom while wandering the Torture Dungeon and Museum. Tap into the thrill and excitement of a live dual during the Royal Joust, where travelers can pick their favorite knight and cheer him on in competition for the heart of a princess.
Whether it’s navigating the twists and turns of an epic royal maze, learning the essential of knighthood from an official knight, launching the Castle catapult or sleeping like royalty in one of the official castle rooms, Kryal Castle is sure to be a memorable adventure for travelers, families and history buffs alike!
- Things to do in Melbourne
- Things to do in Yarra Valley
- Things to do in Ballarat
- Things to do in Great Ocean Road
- Things to do in Tasmania
- Things to do in South Australia
- Things to do in New South Wales
- Things to do in Burnie
- Things to do in Hobart
- Things to do in Adelaide
- Things to do in Port Arthur
- Things to do in Queensland
- Things to do in South Island
- Things to do in Northern Territory
- Things to do in North Island