States & Territories


Beyond Melbourne

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There are a lot of trips that you can take from Melbourne. You can explore the Mornington and Bellarine Peninsulas and their wineries, which are south of Melbourne.  You can also visit wineries in the Yarra Valley, discover the wonderful "bollards" in the town of Geelong, relive the history of the gold rush era at Ballarat and Sovereign Hill, take one of the world's great coastal drives on the Great Ocean Road, visit a wildlife sanctuary, cruise the Murray River (which is on the border of Victoria and New South Wales), hike and enjoy one of the 35 national parks within the state - Grampians, Snowy Mountains and the Dandenongs, just to name a few, or watch the daily nocturnal Little Penguin Parade at Phillip Island.  


Ballarat is Victoria's largest inland city and is located 70 miles west of Melbourne.   It is the site of Australia's gold rush in 1851.  Sovereign Hill (above) has more than 40 buildings and actors recreating those gold rush times.  You can see how the miners and their families lived and
 even mine for gold.

Puffing Billy Railway is in the Dandenong Ranges in the town of Belgrave.  The train goes between Belgrave to Gembrook. This steam railroad is the only survivor of four experimental lines which were used to develop the rural areas of Victoria in the 1900's.

The Great Ocean Road begins 62 miles southwest of Melbourne and winds itself along the Shipwreck Coast, passing spectacular cliffs and beaches including the famous Twelve Apostles (above).   On the way, you can visit Werribee Park and the National Wool Museum in Geelong and walk the wharf in Geelong.


When Geelong restored its wharf area, Jan Mitchell, a local artist, took the existing pilings and turned them into these life-size scupltures that line the new wharf. 

Summerland Beach on Phillip Island is home to the Little Penguin Parade, which takes place nightly every night of the year at dusk, as the little penguns, (the world's smallest) come ashore to their burrows in the sand dunes.  

The Yarra Valley is a one hour drive east of Melbourne and is Victoria's oldest vineyard region.  The wineries specialize in Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, Shiraz and Cabernet Sauvignon.  You can also visit wineries on the Mornington and Bellarine peninsulas. 

The Koala Conservation Centre on Phillip Island is one place you can view koalas in a natural bush setting.   Koala translates into "no drink" - the koalas get both food and water from the leaves of the eucalyptus trees.  

Healesville Sanctuary is one of Australia's premier wildlife parks and is located in the Yarra Valley.  It is home to more than 200 species of native birds, mammals and reptiles, living in their natural habitats.

Photos courtesy of Tourism Victoria.