5 Reasons to Hit the Road in Victoria, Australia

November 6, 2014 Updated: November 6, 2014

Many travellers arrive in Victoria, Australia with plans to visit cosmopolitan Melbourne, but the surrounding countryside of this vastly diverse Australian state is also well worth visiting. One of the best ways to explore all of Victoria’s heritage, culture, and scenery is on a road trip. Whether you have an afternoon or a month, you won’t run out of sights to see. The following are a few reasons to plan a road trip in Victoria.

1. The Great Ocean Road

 

The Twelve Apostles, Victoria (Shutterstock*)
The Twelve Apostles, Victoria (Shutterstock*)

 

No discussion of road trips in Victoria would be complete without an obligatory mention of the Great Ocean Road, so we’ll get it out of the way first. There’s a reason why this road is famous, with its spectacular scenery and 12 Apostles rock formations. The route hugs the coastline between Torquay and Allansford, taking you past rainforests, rugged cliffs, and peaceful inlets. Along the way you can stop and enjoy the vibe at relaxed seaside villages and gaze at long-lost shipwrecks, for a truly memorable journey.

2. Alpine Adventures

Although Victoria’s best-known for its beaches, it also boasts snow-capped mountains for a change of scene. The Great Alpine Road passes through the high country, travelling from Wangaratta in the northeast to Bairnsdale in the Gipplsand region. In total, it covers 308 kilometres of alpine scenery such as meadows filled with wildflowers, quaint country towns, and snow-covered mountain peaks. Get out of the car and stretch your legs with a little cross-country skiing, snowboarding, fishing, or hiking.

3. Wine Tasting

 

Vineyards in the Grampians, Victoria (Shutterstock*)
Vineyards in the Grampians, Victoria (Shutterstock*)

 

There’s a multitude of wineries scattered throughout Victoria, which provide fine incentive to hop in your choice of vehicle from a local listings site like carsales.com.au and go exploring. One top route is through the Yarra Valley, which is home to over 90 wineries. Another exciting route to take if you have more time is down the full 659 kilometres of the Murray River. This takes you through the heart of Victoria, passing mountains and desert alike. Along the way, you can pop in at the remote wineries that use the fertile riverside soil to produce award-winning flavours.

4. Gold Rush Towns

Victoria’s Heritage Path is a route that will take you back in time to explore the state’s gold mining history. Two of the top attractions are the cities of Ballarat and Bendigo, which still feature classic architecture from the 1800′s along with museums, lavish gardens, and period features. This region is also known for its delectable agriculture, so be sure to stop at one of the farm stands along the trail to pick up some fresh berries to bring home with you.

5. Diverse Wildlife

From koalas to kangaroos, you can spot a variety of wildlife on your tour through Victoria. Admire wild seabirds along the Great Ocean Road or visit the famous little penguins on Phillip Island. The South Gippsland Circuit is a top route to follow, taking you to Phillip Island and along the Wilsons Promontory. These provide excellent landscapes to explore for wildlife lovers.

No matter which route you choose to take, Victoria is always full of surprises and charming towns to make your journey a pleasant one.

This article was written by Jeremy Albelda and originally published on www.topspottravel.com. Read the original here.

*Image of The Twelve Apostles, Victoria via Shutterstock

*Image of vineyards in the Grampians, Victoria via Shutterstock