Victoria is Australia’s smallest mainland state, yet it has so much to offer. From cute coastal towns to magnificent mountains, renowned wine regions and rainforest retreats, discover the best places to visit in Victoria.
So, what are the best places to visit in Victoria?
Pretty big question, to be honest. Sometimes, it feels like Victoria has it all.
A beautiful coastline. Pink lakes. Gorgeous national and regional parks. Lovely small towns and trendy regional cities.
And of course, the self-confessed ‘cultural capital’ of Australia – Melbourne.
The main draw card in Victoria is the lack of distance between destinations (which is rare in a massive country like Australia!).
You drive an hour from Melbourne and you’re at a beautiful beach.
Two hours will take you to thriving regional hubs.
Three hours and you’re in the mountains.
Four hours can see you exploring the desert.
It’s pretty hard to determine what the places places to visit in Victoria are. So this is more of a helpful guide as to what is unique and special about Victoria – and accessible too.
And for more, check out my guide to the best waterfalls in Victoria.
The best places to visit in Victoria
You can’t talk about the best places to visit in Victoria without mentioning the state’s capital.
Melbourne is one of Australia’s most exciting cities (although impossible to decide whether its ultimately better than Sydney).
No matter what your interest, you can while away time in Melbourne. It somehow manages to cater for just about everybody.
And outside of the city centre, each neighbourhood has it own vibe, its own scene, its own flavour.
It’s a city you could probably never get bored of – but you could possibly go broke.
Things to do in Melbourne
- explore the street art scene. Either jump on a tour, or check it out for yourself
- visit one of the city’s fantastic museums or galleries. The National Gallery of Victoria, ACMI, Melbourne Museum and Heide are great places to start
- wander through the Botanic Gardens
- attend an AFL game
- visit a hidden bar. Take a tour with a local expert or drop into one to experience it for yourself
- eat! Melbourne has some of the best restaurants in the country. You can fine dine at top restaurants or eat well on a budget
- shop! The city has an extensive shopping scene, from high-end fashion brands, to boutique local designers and op (thrift) shops
- get out and explore inner neighbourhoods, like Carlton, Fitzroy, St Kilda, Footscray
- time your visit with an event, such as the Australian Open (January), Melbourne International Comedy Festival (March) or RISING (June).
For more things to do in this city, check out this guide to one week in Melbourne. It’s an extensive itinerary that is handy no matter how many days you plan on spending in the city (and even better if you live here).
Where to stay in Melbourne
Melbourne City Backpackers has free breakfast and is close to Southern Cross Station.
The InterContinental Melbourne was built in 1891 (I would presume it has been renovated since then!) and features two restaurants, a lounge bar and a pool.
The Grand Hyatt is a high-rise with city views, which also boasts an indoor pool and spa.
The Alto is an eco-friendly, boutique hotel in the CBD – the first carbon neutral hotel in Australia.
The Dandenong Ranges are right near the Yarra Valley, a short distance from Melbourne.
Here you’ll find cosy pubs, crafty shops, wild nature, curated gardens and some epic views.
Things to do in the Dandenongs
- jump aboard the Puffing Billy Steam Train
- explore small towns in the Dandenong Ranges such as Olinda and Sassafras
- hit the trail in Dandenong Ranges National Park
- check out the many local gardens
- take in stunning views from the top of the mountain.
Where to stay in the Dandenongs
Hotels & motels
Each Clarendon Cottage has a fireplace, spa bath and outdoor patio.
Bunk down in front of a roaring fireplace at The Blackwood Sassafras.
Escape to Linden Gardens Rainforest Retreat, which is hidden away within rainforest and gardens.
Yarra Valley & Healesville
Located just an hour from Melbourne, the Yarra Valley is renowned for its food and wine scene. Particularly its wine.
It’s the perfect destination for a day trip. And if you don’t really like wine, there’s still plenty else to get up to.
It’s why it’s one of the best places to visit in Victoria – it’s for everyone.
Things to do in the Yarra Valley
- make furry friends at Healesville Sanctuary
- drink all the wine on a wine tour
- grab some sweet treats at the Yarra Valley Chocolaterie & Ice Creamery
- load up on cheese at the Yarra Valley Dairy
- explore the town of Healesville.
Discover the top things to do in the Yarra Valley.
Where to stay in the Yarra Valley
Hotels & lodges
Stay in the heart of the action at the Healesville Hotel.
Or for something a little more fancy, the Yarra Valley Lodge is within stone’s throw of 80 wineries and is one of the area’s top places to stay.
Raynella’s Alpaca Farmstay is an adults only retreat, where you can get up close to alpacas and feed them.
Marysville & Lake Mountain
A short and scenic drive from the Yarra Valley will lead you to the town of Marysville, a great base for epic hikes, scenic views and in the midst of winter, snow play.
Marysville is a short distance from Lake Mountain, an alpine resort which can easily be visited on a day trip from Melbourne.
Of course, you can always stay a little longer and soak up everything this part of Victoria has to offer.
Things to do in Marysville & Lake Mountain
- go for a hike. There’s plenty of hikes to do around Marysville, for all experience levels.
- check out Steavenson Falls. This is one of the highest waterfalls in Victoria and floodlights in the area allow you to view it day and night.
- ski and snow play at Lake Mountain.
- road trip Black Spur Drive. This short but scenic drive takes you through ancient rainforest
- see unique art set among rainforest at Bruno’s Art and Sculpture Garden.
Where to stay in Marysville
Crossways Country Inn offers comfortable rooms at affordable prices.
Peppers Marysville is right in the heart of Marysville and a twenty minute drive to Lake Mountain.
You Yangs Regional Park
Located an hour from Melbourne, the You Yangs are dramatic granite peaks, covered with bushland.
There’s plenty of paths to walk and 50 kilometres of mountain bike trails. Keep an eye out for native wildlife as you wander.
Flinders Peak and Big Rock have panoramic views out the Melbourne on a clear day.
Those with accessibility issues can check out the scenery along The Great Circle Drive.
Take your walking boots, bring a bike or pack a picnic, to enjoy at one of nine designated picnic spots.
Things to do in the You Yangs
- tackle a walking trail. There’s a bunch of walks for different abilities, from the ten minute walk to the Big Rock to the more challenging Northern Range Walk. View the visitor guide for more information
- book onto a free walking tour with a volunteer guide
- take to the trails with your mountain bike (see map) – or horse
- bring your dog. As the You Yangs is a regional park, your four-legged friend is welcome
- pack a picnic or bring some friends for a BBQ. Facilities are available around the park
- see native wildlife in their natural habitat. Echidnas, kangaroos and koalas have all been spotted here and there’s abundant bird life
- check out the view from Big Rock and Flinders Peak Lookout, the highest point in the park. You can see views out to Melbourne and Geelong
- continue onto Geelong for lunch or a full day trip.
Geelong is the second biggest city in the state and fast becoming one of the trendiest, making it one of the best places to visit in Victoria.
Only an hour from Melbourne, it’s a popular day trip destination from the city.
It offers a lot of what Melbourne does (good food, great wine, street art), against a laid back, beachy vibe.
Things to do in Geelong
- visit Eastern Beach
- explore the urban art along Little Malop Street
- drift around in a hot air balloon, over the city
- see public art along the waterfront, including the Baywalk Bollards
- have a woolly good time at the National Wool Museum and grab a drink next door at Black Sheep.
Where to stay in Geelong
Hotels & motels
Novotel Geelong has lovely water views.
Belmercer Motel is similarly in a good location.
Check yourself into a tiny house on top of a truck on a farmstay between Geelong and Torquay.
The Bellarine Peninsula
Spreading out west from Melbourne and down from Geelong is one of Victoria’s best kept secrets.
Nowhere near as popular as the Mornington Peninsula, the Bellarine as it’s known, is home to wineries, restaurants, parks and some fantastic beachside and marine experiences.
Things to do on the Bellarine Peninsula
- dine out on the Q Train, a moving restaurant train travels through the heart of the Bellarine, between Drysdale and Queenscliff
- explore Queenscliff and its harbour
- visit The Whiskery, a dog-friendly distillery in Drysdale
- lace up your boots and hit that trails at Brisbane Ranges National Park
- take a High Tea on the High Seas across to Sorrento.
Where to stay on the Bellarine Peninsula
Hotels & B&Bs
Check in to the Barwon Heads Hotel.
Or get cosy at The Oxley Estate, a bed and breakfast in Port Arlington.
Enjoy panoramic views from The Nest, a luxury ecoretreat in Point Lonsdale.
Located at the very tip of the Mornington Peninsula, this picturesque small town packs a punch.
Head here for the historic architecture, good food, and coastal walks and views.
Things to do in Sorrento
- browse the shopfronts in town for antiques, art, jewellery, clothes and home wares
- explore the Collins Settlement Historic Site and drop into the Nepean Historical Society Museum
- poke around the rockpools at Sorrento Ocean Beach
- check out the craggy limestone rock formations of Bay of Islands
- spend a thrilling three hours swimming with dolphins and seals.
Where to stay in Sorrento
Stroll down to the shore from the Sorrento Beach Escape.
Leap into luxury at the stately InterContinental Sorrento.
Kip down at the very cute Sorrento Beach Motel.
Phillip Island is one of the best places to visit in Victoria.
An easy 90 minute drive from the centre of Melbourne, Phillip Island is the perfect place to get up close to some of Australia’s cutest native wildlife, or relax at quiet bay beaches.
Drop into wineries, eat delicious meals at top cafes and restaurants, or hang ten along the region’s National Surfing Reserve.
Things to do on Phillip Island
- watch the very cute Fairy Penguins toddle in after a few hard day’s fishing at sea.
- check out The Nobbies for dramatic views south into the ocean.
- visit nearby Churchill Island to check out its historic farm and local wildlife.
- see seals in the wild at Australia’s largest fur seal colony.
- drop into Phillip Island Winery or the Purple Hen Vineyard to try their delicious wine.
A winter tip: Phillip Island is also one of the best places to see the Aurora Australis in Victoria.
Where to stay on Phillip Island
Motels & apartments
Stay centrally at Arthur Phillip Motor Inn, located in the popular town of Cowes.
Sleep in comfort at the self-contained Hilltop Apartments Phillip Island.
Relex and enjoy the views from Bimbadeen Phillip Island Farm Retreats, tucked away in the quiet plains of Ventnor.
Is Ballarat worth a visit? Absolutely.
Ballarat is the third biggest regional city in Victoria and being only 90 minutes from Melbourne, a popular destination for travellers.
The town has a thriving arts and events scene, fabulous restaurants and a whole lot of history – both from its gold rush-era and the rich Indigenous history of the the Wadawurrung and Dja Dja Wurrung People.
Things to do in Ballarat
- check out the exhibitions at the Art Gallery of Ballarat, the oldest art gallery in Australia
- explore Sovereign Hill, an open-air museum depicting Ballarat during its Gold Rush era
- drop into Kryal Castle, to experience the world through a medieval lens
- head out to the Pyrenees wine region, for a tasting or two
- feast away at Ballarat’s many restaurants, bars and cafes, such as Clothesline Cafe, Roy Hammond and Mitchell Harris Wine.
Where to stay in Ballarat
Hotels & motels
Bakery Hill Motel is budget accommodation within cooee of Sovereign Hill.
The boutique Craig’s Royal Hotel is a historic hotspot.
Tuki Trout Farm and Tuki Retreat is about 40 minutes from Ballarat, and has self-contained cottages on a private lake.
Daylesford & Hepburn Springs
This area of regional Victoria is the perfect destination for a bit of rest and relaxation.
Located in the heart of Victoria’s Spa Country, here you’ll find mineral springs and an abundance of bathhouses and day spas to soak in and enjoy.
Its relaxed atmosphere makes it one of the best places to visit in Victoria with your other half or a group of friends.
Things to do in Daylesford & Hepburn Springs
- have a soak at the Hepburn Bathhouse
- poke around Lavandula Swiss-Italian Farm
- drop into the Daylesford Cider Co
- stroll around Lake Daylesford
- eat at Koukla, Wombat Hill House or Cliffys Emporium. For something really special, book a table at Sault.
Where to stay in Daylesford & Hepburn Springs
Hotels & Motels
For something inexpensive and close to the action, check in to Central Springs Inn.
I thoroughly recommend Old Chilli B&B, which has alpacas and a very yummy breakfast.
Consider spending some time at Bohemia, a holiday home 15 minute walk to Lake Daylesford.
Another one of Victoria’s spa country towns, Kyneton’s close proximity to Melbourne makes it an easy day trip from the city.
Travel to Kyneton to experience natural mineral springs, take in gorgeous architecture and dive into a fantastic food scene.
Things to do in Kyneton
- explore Piper Street for food, antiques and boutiques
- eat at Fook Shing, Midnight Starling and Home Grown on Piper, or pick up provisions at Piper Street Food Company Picnic Shop
- drop in for a tasting at Animus Distillery or a vino at Musk Lane Wines
- go bushwalking at Black Hill Reserve
- fill your bottles full of mineral water at Kyneton Mineral Springs Reserve.
Where to stay in Kyneton
Pull up at the Central Highlands Motor Inn, which is clean and has everything you need.
Relax at Loose Leaf Cottage, a holiday house right near Piper Street.
Bunk down in a tiny house at nearby Newham. Tiny Hideaway at Cloverhills welcomes furry friends as well.
Maldon is a small town in Victoria’s Goldfields region.
It’s also Australia’s First Notable Town in 1966, due to its authentic appearance.
This is because it’s been almost perfectly preserved since the goldrush era of the 1850’s.
There’s plenty of things to get up to in Maldon. Here’s a small sampling.
Things to do in Maldon
- explore the town on foot, taking in the gold rush era buildings
- shop for antiques
- time your visit with the Maldon Folk Festival
- take a trip on the Victorian Goldfields Steam Railway
- extend your trip with a visit to nearby Castlemaine.
Where to stay in Maldon
Find a range of accommodation options at the Maldon Caravan and Camping Park.
Sleep sweet dreams at Maldon’s Eaglehawk Motel.
Stay in a nature reserve at Treetops Tiny, a compact tiny house.
The King Valley
Nestled within the heart of Victoria’s High Country is a beautiful valley.
Famed for its ‘Prosecco Road’ and excellent gourmet food scene, it’s worth making a detour or dedicated trip to this part of Victoria.
Things to do in the King Valley
- drive the King Valley Prosecco Road and pop into wineries along the way
- drop into Milawa for gourmet goodies
- take in the view at Powers Lookout
- hike to Paradise Falls
- time your visit with La Dolce Vita Festival.
The King Valley is well worth a trip. There’s plenty else to do around this part of Victoria.
Where to stay in the King Valley
Motels & holiday homes
Milawa Motel is basic and clean, right in the heart of the gourmet region.
Church Lane Accommodation consists two private self contained apartments, with private Japanese alfresco baths!
Stay in The Yurt Alpine Retreat, quirky and eco-friendly accommodation in the King Valley.
Benalla is located three hours from Melbourne, just off the Hume Highway.
It has over 60 murals painted on the walls of its buildings.
There’s a yearly festival held, where artists flock to the town for a weekend of painting. One of the best times to visit one of the best places in Victoria.
Things to do in Benalla
- check out the vibrant and colourful street art that fills the town
- attend the Wall to Wall festival
- explore the nearby Winton Wetlands
- drive the northeast Silo Art Trail
- pose with Ned in nearby Glenrowan, setting of the Kelly Gang’s last standoff
Where to stay in Benalla
If you’re spending the night, I recommend the local Comfort Inn in Benalla.
Rest easy at the Little Farm of Calm, which has a seasonal swimming pool.
Drive along picturesque roads to find yourself in the equally photo-friendly Beechworth.
Set with stunning gold rush architecture, it’s known for its food and wine scene and the outstanding nature surrounding it.
Visit in autumn to see an explosion of colour wash over the town.
Things to do in Beechworth
- jump on a late night tour of the Mayday Hills Lunatic Asylum
- visit the Beechworth Historic and Cultural Precinct, which includes a gaol where Ned Kelly was incarcerated
- fine dine at Provenance or grab a brew at Bridge Road Brewers
- shop antiques, art, boutiques and local produce in town
- take in the splendour of nearby Woolshed Falls.
Where to stay in Beechworth
Motels & holiday homes
Book a bed at Beechworth Motor Inn, with a convenient location in town.
Or make a weekend of it at the very cute Belmont at Beechworth.
Go hiking by day, then curl up in front of a roaring fireplace by night at Wiluna Sanctuary.
This seaside town is located at the foot of the Otway Ranges. It’s proximity to gorgeous coastline, the Great Ocean Road and the Otways makes it one of the best places to visit in Victoria.
Especially as the Great Ocean Road is Victoria’s top attraction and a must-see if you visit the state.
Frolic among the surf, feast on fresh seafood or dive into the Otways, one of the most scenic rainforests in Australia.
Make a stop on your Great Ocean Road drive, or plan a purposeful trip, to stay a few days and soak up all this town has to offer.
Things to do in Apollo Bay
- kayak, surf or swim at the beach
- tour Wildlife Wonders, a wildlife sanctuary near Apollo Bay
- explore the Otways. See waterfalls, take a hike and check out the glowworms of Melba Gully
- look for shy platypus at Lake Elizabeth
- eat fresh seafood or time your visit with the Apollo Bay Seafood Festival.
Where to stay in Apollo Bay
Hotels & holiday homes
Enjoy evening entertainment at the Great Ocean Road Brewhouse, before toddling off to bed. Then get up and hit the beach.
Or go to bed and wake up to ocean views at Seafarers Getaway, which has direct access to the beach.
Apollo Bay Eco YHA use passive solar design is used throughout their building and is located minutes from the beach.
This quiet seaside town is definitely one of the best places to visit in Victoria.
Here you’ll find some of the highest coastal cliffs in Victoria. There’s a colony of Australian and New Zealand Fur Seals that call this area home.
You can extend your drive along the Great Ocean Road with a visit to this town, or drop in on the way from Melbourne to Adelaide.
Things to do at Cape Bridgewater
- wave hi to the local fur seals on a Seals by Sea tour
- explore a petrified forest, created by sand dunes covering moonah trees, thousands of years ago
- and checkout the nearby Blowhole, formed from the lava flow of an extinct volcano
- walk part or all of the Great South West Walk
- visit in the cooler months of the year for whale watching vantage points.
Where to stay in Cape Bridgewater
Settle into Cape Bridgewater Seaview Lodge. Some rooms have views of the Southern Ocean.
Spend the night at Panoramic Drive Holiday House, which is only a 300 metre walk to the beach.
For something completely different, check into the Cape Nelson Lighthouse at nearby Portland.These self-contained cottages unsurprisingly have pretty stellar sea views.
Nestled within mountains, this tiny town was once one of the richest in Victoria, thanks to its close proximity to gold mines.
Now home to 20 residents, it’s best visited in spring or autumn, when the surrounded flora puts on a show of blossoms or colour.
The town is also the starting point for the 650 kilometre Australian Alps Walking Track to the ACT.
- Step into Walhalla’s past, with a tour of the Long Tunnel Extended Mine
- explore what is nearly a ghost town on a creepy ghost tour
- take in the sights of Stringers Creek Gorge aboard the Walhalla Goldfields Railway
- take a short or longer stroll along the Walhalla Tramline Walk
- use the town as a base for exploring the nearby Baw Baw National Park.
Where to stay in Walhalla
Hotels & holiday homes
Spend a cosy night or two in the Mill House, boutique accommodation right in town.
A booking at the boutique Walhalla’s Star Hotel includes both breakfast and dinner.
Camp out or pitch your caravan at nearby Erica Caravan Park.
Wilsons Promontory National Park
Wilsons Promontory, or ‘The Prom’ as it’s affectionately known, is hands down one of the best places to visit in Victoria. It’s totally unique and there’s nowhere like it in Australia.
The southernmost tip of mainland Australia is an excellent place to escape to, to fully immerse yourself in nature.
Take to a trail, swim at a beach, go snorkelling and just soak up everything this national park has to offer.
The park is accessibile. People with a disability can book an all-terrain wheelchair, TrailRider or beach wheelchair, to explore.
Discover the Prom at your own pace or jump on a day tour from Melbourne with a knowledgeable guide.
For more information, consult the visitor guide.
Things to do in Wilsons Prom
- drop in for a daytime wander or go for an overnight hike
- enjoy panoramic views from the top of Mount Bishop or Mount Oberon
- check out inland sand dune system Big Drift
- feel the sand between your toes at any one of the Proms’ beautiful beaches
- take a boat tour out to the dramatic Skull Rock.
Where to stay in Wilsons Prom
You can choose to stay either in the park, or just outside it.
Outside the Prom
Prom Coast Apartments is located beachfront at Sandy Point, around 20 kilometres from the park entrance.
The Black Cockatoo Cottages are three minutes from Yanakie and two minutes from the Prom.
Within the Prom
If you’re not one for camping, huts cabins and units are also available at Tidal River.
Silo Art Trail
You can find silo art across Australia now, but Victoria is where it all started.
Street artist Guido van Helten painted the portraits of four locals onto the silo in the small town of Brim, in the state’s north-west.
The mural became a hit and shortly after, five other nearby silos were also painted, forming the inaugural Silo Art Trail of Victoria.
There are now eleven scattered across the Wimmera-Mallee region, in the towns of Patchewollock, Lascelles, Rosebery, Sheep Hills, Rupanyup, Nullawil, Sea Lake, Goroke, Kaniva and Albacutya – and Brim, of course.
We have an extremely comprehensive guide to the Silo Art Trail. Use it to plan a road trip out north-west, to see them for yourself.
Lake Tyrrell is a fantastic salt water lake in Victoria’s Mallee region, around a four hour drive from Melbourne.
The 120,000-year-old lake is one of the state’s premier areas for star gazing. The local Boorong People have long had a connection with both the lake and the night sky.
It’s fantastic to visit anytime of day (or night) but is particularly beautiful at sunrise or sunset, when vivid colours come out to play. This alone makes it one of the best places to visit in Victoria.
Visit the nearby town of Sea Lake, to see Lake Tyrrell rendered in amazing detail in artwork by Drapl and The Zookeeper.
Where to stay near Lake Tyrrell
Motels & holiday homes
Stay in the nearby town of Sea Lake at the Sea Lake Motel.
Settle into the very cute Skymirror Cottage, its pink walls reflective of the nearby great lake.
It’s sunny days in Mildura, one of the main hubs along the great Murray River, which divides Victoria and New South Wales, and flows on into South Australia.
Visit this part of the state for water activities, delicious food and quick access to some of the most beautiful national parks in the state.
Things to do in Mildura
- take a ride on a paddle steamer or hire a houseboat
- check out The River Runs Through, a unique art installation located on the Merbein Common
- eat your way along Langtree Avenue and settle in for a meal at renowned local restaurant Stefanos
- order an ale at Mildura Brewery or sniff, sip and slurp vinos at Chateau Mildura, Sunraysia Cellar Door and Trentham Estate
- explore epic nature at Murray Sunset National Park, Hattah-Kulkyne National Park and Big Desert Wilderness Park.
Where to stay in Mildura
Hotels & apartments
Quest Mildura offer self-contained apartments, five minutes from the town centre.
Quality Hotel Mildura Grand has an outdoor pool and four hotels on site, including Stefano’s in the hotel’s old cellars.
Rent a houseboat powered by a state of the art solar powered system, for a completely unique experience along the Murray.
Mungo National Park
This national park is known for being where Mungo Lady and Mungo Man were found. Dating back 42,000 years, they are the earliest human remains to have been found on the continent so far.
This ancient history alone makes it one of the best places to visit in Victoria.
Being of vast importance to the Ngiyampaa, the Mutthi Mutthi and the Paakantji and all Aboriginal People, their remains have been returned to the land. However, there is plenty else to see and learn when visiting this ancient landscape.
Keeping in mind that as this is essentially outback Australia, the best time for visiting is between March and October – the cooler seasons.
Things to do in Mungo National Park
- drive the Mungo Track. Starting at the Visitor Centre, it links up the park’s main attractions. You can also cycle the track
- book onto a Discovery Tour, conducted by an Aboriginal ranger to learn about the area’s ancient history
- explore any one of Mungo’s short walks, which vary in length and difficulty
- or walk the more challenging Zanci Pastoral Loop.
Where to stay in Mungo National Park
Mungo Lodge is situated just oustide the park and offers accommodation in the main lodge and adjoinging cabins.
Within the park, you can pitch a tent at the Main Camp, or at the more remote Belah Camp, which is on the Mungo Track. Read up on information about camping within Mungo before you go.
Accommodation is also available at the Shearers Quarters, where bunkrooms can be hired.
Grampians (Gariwerd) National Park
The Grampians or Gariwerd is one of the best places to visitn in Victoria for hiking, wildlife spotting and epic views.
These rugged mountain ranges offer up a bunch of different outdoor activities and are home to ancient Aboriginal rock art sites.
Visit in the spring (between August and October) to see a spectacular wildflower display.
Choose your own adventure or leave it in the capable hands of an expert on a day tour from Melbourne.
Things to do in Gariwerd
- hike to the top of Mount William, highest point in the park. You’ll be rewarded with 360-degree views
- The Pinnacle offers equally amazing views. Choose between a medium and harder hike to get there
- Visit Brambuk, The National Park & Cultural Centre to learn about the Indigneous history of the area and see ancient Aboriginal rock art paintings and shelters
- hike all or sections of the Grampians Peaks Trail, a 160 kilometre 13 day hike through the park
- take in MacKenzie Falls, one of the largest falls in Victoria
- explore nearby towns of Halls Gap or Dunkeld.
Where to stay near Gariwerd
Hotels & motels
BIG4 NRMA Halls Gap Holiday Park has a range of accommodation options for different budgets.
Wake up to wildlife at Kookaburra Motor Lodge, in the centre of Halls Gap.
For something special, spend the night at the Royal Mail Hotel. Dine at two-hatted Wickens or grab a casual meal at Parker Street Project.
Grampians YHA is an eco-hostel conveniently located in the town centre of Halls Gap.
Bunk down in Aquila Eco Lodges, a nature retreat in the southern end of the park, at the foot of Mount Abrupt (Mud-Dadjug).
Very much the definition of ‘hidden gem’ (although hiding in plain sight), French Island is without a doubt one of the best places to visit in Victoria.
The island can only be reached by ferry and is both a national park and marine national park – home to an array of interesting bird, animal, plant and marine life.
Things to do on French Island
- cycle along the gravel roads. Bring your own set of wheels onboard the ferry or rent a bike from the general store
- go for a hike, leading to gorgeous vistas. Depending on the time of the year, you may see endangered birds, wildflowers and orchids
- keep a lookout for koalas, which were introduced to the island decades ago
- visit the historic chicory kilns (a substitute for coffee, the production of this was once the island’s main industry).
Discover more things to do on French Island.
Where to stay on French Island
Accommodation is rather limited on the island.
If you’re camping, you can stay at Fairhaven Campground, on the island’s west coast. It’s managed by Parks Victoria and you’ll need to secure a permit to stay.
Alternatively, the local general store/cafe offers accommodation in an onsite cottage and stables.
Final thoughts on the best places to visit in Victoria
In some respects this list feels totally arbitrary as just about everywhere in this tiny (by Australian standards) state is worth visiting.
However, if you’re looking to narrow down some of the best places to visit in Victoria, these places are a good starting point.
What do you think are the best places to visit in Victoria? Please let me know in the comments. For more on Australia, see my Australia Travel Guide.
We acknowledge the Traditional Owners of these lands and pay our respects to their Elders, past and present. Australia always was and always will be Aboriginal land.