Australasia

Road trip Australia: The best stops in Victoria

As road trips go, there are few better destinations to fuel up on unforgettable experiences than one of the world’s most diverse destinations: Australia.

We’re firing up the motors in Victoria; Australia’s second-smallest state, which still manages to make up an area roughly the same size as the British Isles. It’s steeped in fun, high on adventure, and aching to be explored. What are you waiting for?

Here’s six of Victoria’s most outstanding spots to pull off the highway and whip out your camera.

A blend of urban excitement, and some of Australia’s most outstanding scenery, Victoria has emerged as one of Australia’s most energetic, and creative regions, with a stack of offerings to suit all budgets.

Start your engines, we’re kicking off the road trip in Victoria!

1. Rock up in Melbourne

First up in the six pack, is to park your fun bus in mighty Melbourne, the state’s famous capital and rightfully touted as one of the world’s best places to live. Explore the city’s secret laneways and street art, and discover covert fashion boutiques, famed restaurants, hole-in-the-wall cafes and eclectic bars. On the off chance that a tiny laneway isn’t hiding a boozy dens or caffeine lairs, you’re likely to find colourful street art (aka graffiti) as part of the annual Laneway Commissions.

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If you’re British (or up for a laugh), Melbourne hosts one of the world’s most revered pilgrimages: that’s right, we’re talking about Neighbours (everybody needs them).

Join the trivia night extravaganza at the Elephant and Wheelbarrow, one of St Kilda’s greatest pub venues, to enjoy a performance from Dr Karl Kennedy’s band, Waiting Room, and embrace your inner Harold. Cap it off with a stroll along the foreshore in St Kilda, visiting the iconic Luna Park and drifting into some of the city’s cruisiest eats.

2. Pick up the pace in Phillip Island

Just 90 minutes from the urban playgrounds of Melbourne, lies Phillip Island, domain of the Penguin Parade, a Phillip Island institution, where you’ll get the chance to shoot (photos of) little penguins emerging from the sea.

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While you’re there, jump on a wildlife cruise to see the colony of 16,000 Australian fur seals at Seal Rocks, plus the Kings of Australian Icon, the koala. What’s more, the surf’s up almost every day of the year at Phillip Island, with varied surf locations offering waves to suit all levels.

3. Get on the Great Ocean Road

Next up on the inaugural road trip, crank up the tunes and hit one of the world’s most famous stretches of tarmac: the fabulously named, Great Ocean Road. Spanning 243 kilometres along the sublime coastline of Victoria’s south-west, the road sweeps along panoramic views of cliff tops, beaches, river estuaries and lush rainforests.

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Look out for the stretch between Lorne and Apollo Bay, considered by many to be the most premium section. The highway is carved out of the cliff sides, that slump into the ocean, offering commanding views of the dramatic waves crashing onto the rocks and beaches below.

The remaining stretch visits the 12 Apostles, which have been carved out of the headland by the fierce waves of the Southern Ocean, leaving impressive 45 metre high rock formations, isolated from the shore.

4. Get over the Grampians

Knock it up a gear, and ramp up the road trip with a detour to the incredible Grampians National Park featuring sandstone mountains and awe-inspiring lookouts, spectacular wildflower and waterfalls and Aboriginal culture.

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The Grampians are a beautiful series of sandstone ridges running north to south with the contrast of craggy slopes on the eastern side, and gentler slopes to the west. There are lookouts with stunning panoramic views as well as a number of picturesque waterfalls.

5. Live it up in the Yarra Valley

The famous Yarra Valley is the perfect place to get to grips with the state’s famous vineyards. Linger for a while and sample wines, or tuck into some sensational local produce, matched to the wines in vineyard.

While you’re in the Yarra, make time to visit Healesville Sanctuary, home to native Australian birds and animals like platypus, koalas, Tasmanian devils, lyrebirds, echidnas and more.

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6. While away the days at Wilsons Promontory

Words will never do this road trip destination justice. Be awed by one of Victoria’s scenic coastal wilderness areas, Wilsons Promontory, the southernmost point of mainland Australia.

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Affectionately known as ‘The Prom’, it is one of Victoria’s best loved national parks – and with good reason. This 50,000 hectare reserve is threaded with a labyrinth of walking tracks, sheltering abundant wildlife. Rent a cabin, or pitch a tent beside meandering rivers, intimate coves, granite mountaintops and lush, forested valleys. You’re never far from secluded beaches, cool fern gullies, and spectacular rock formations.

Have you got the urge to jump in a campervan and travel around Australia? Have a scoot around our Melbourne & Victoria Travel guide for the latest deals, and ideas on the best places to visit!