From waddling little penguins, cute Koalas and playful seals in Phillip Island to hearing the sand squeak at Squeaky Beach cover everything the state of Victoria has to offer in 5 days.
Day 1 – Melbourne to Phillip Island
Drive time: 1 hr and 30 mins
After spending some time exploring Melbourne it’s time to hit the road for Phillip Island. Home to little penguins, playful seals, sleepy koalas and pristine beaches, the tiny island is full of amazing experiences.
Kick off the wildlife encounters with a trip to the Koala Conservation Centre and get up close to one of Australia’s cutest creatures. Take a boat trip to Seal Rocks where Victoria’s largest fur seal colonies are lounging around awaiting your arrival. End your day watching one of the most magical and adorable phenomenons on the planet, the penguin parade. Each night at sunset, thousands of little penguins return from the sea after a day’s fishing and waddle home to their burrows.
Tip: For the petrol heads, try to time your visit during the Australian Motorcycle Grand Prix in October or the Supercars Championship in April.
Day 2 – Phillip Island to Wilsons Promontory
Drive time: 2 hrs
Make your way to Wilsons Promontory, or ‘The Prom’ as it’s known to the locals, one of Victoria’s most loved and cherished natural attractions. Enjoy discovering the diversity of this amazing international biosphere renowned for its breathtaking scenery, pristine white beaches, coastal forests, and abundance of native wildlife.
Start with a hike to the summit of Mount Oberon. The heart-pumping one-hour climb is well worth it to see the dramatic meeting of land and sea at the southernmost point of Australia’s mainland. A stroll along Squeaky Beach is must, just to hear that very unique squeak beneath your feet. Take a dip in the inviting turquoise waters or explore the large granite boulders which create a maze of passages. Make your way to the Prom Wildlife Walk to spot kangaroos, wallabies, emus and wombats during dusk.
Day 3 – Wilsons Promontory to Lakes Entrance
Drive time: 3 hrs and 40 mins
Drive out of Wilsons Promontory and delight in the curving roads and emerging views as you travel through lush farming landscapes. Stop for coffee along the way in one of the many quaint towns. Boasting Australia’s largest inland network of waterways, Lakes Entrance is situated on the edge of Ninety Mile Beach, the long (really long) stretch of pristine golden sand that separates Gippsland Lakes from the Southern Ocean.
Explore the lakes in a kayak, join a boat cruise or hire a paddleboat and hit the sparkling waters. You can also keep it simple with a swim, walk or dolphin spotting in the sunshine.Lakes Entrance is renowned as a seafood capital so catch your own fish or savour the catches from fresh seafood shops around town.
Tip: From here, you can continue along this epic coastline to Sydney. Allow for an additional 4+ days.
Day 4 – Lakes Entrance to Walhalla
Drive time: 2 hrs and 40 mins
Enjoy more time exploring the lakes and beaches of Lakes Entrance and set off in the afternoon for historic Walhalla. Once home to over 4,000 gold seekers, this sleepy mountainside town is now frozen in time and is home to only 20 residents. Walk through the lovingly restored centre full of heritage buildings including old hotels, shops and churches.
Try your hand at panning for gold at Stringers Creek, ride the Walhalla Goldfields Railway, or take a ghost tour to the old cemetery on the hill. Venture deep into the mountain on a tour of the original workings of the Long Tunnel Extended Gold Mine.
Day 5 – Walhalla to Melbourne
Drive time: 3 hrs and 30 mins
Depart back for Melbourne via the Yarra Valley. Home to more than 80 wineries, the region is renowned for producing Australia’s finest pinot noir and sparkling wine, along with a range of other cool-climate wines. The Yarra Valley’s not just about the wine though, it’s filled with lush scenery (think rolling hills and hot air balloon rides) and plenty of active hiking trails taking you around incredible views of the countryside.
Healesville Sanctuary is a great place to get up close to the Aussie wildlife you may have missed – echidnas, dingoes and even platypus. Be sure to stop by Four Pillars Gin Distillery and pick up some award-winning local gin on your way back to Melbourne.