Great Aussie Road Trips: Victoria. Part One

by Bethan Smyth on 21 December 2015, 13:12PM

Four wheels are the gateway to freedom, allowing for directionless travel, adventure and spontaneity - the desire to experience the ultimate road trip is the latest trend in travel. In this series of blog posts we look at what can be considered some of the best road trips in Australia, and maybe even the world!

If ever a region was created for such an adventure, it’s the Australian state of Victoria. Within 30 minutes of Melbourne the landscape completely changes and adventurers enter a patchwork of unique landscapes – this is a land made for a road trip like no other.

Head east from Melbourne to the luxurious white sandy beaches and vineyards of the Mornington Peninsula, the crashing surf of Wilsons Promontory - the southernmost tip of the mainland Australia, or the famous Penguin Parade on Phillip Island.

Head west and hit one of the world’s most celebrated coastal drives, the Great Ocean Road, with endless stretches of ocean on the left and temperate rainforests on the right.

For while Victoria is Australia’s smallest mainland state, it’s packed full of some of Australia’s most incredible landscapes, wildlife experiences, beaches and the most unforgettable food and wine.

The Great Ocean Road

The Great Ocean Road ranks amongst the world’s best driving road trips, including America’s Route 66 and The Garden Route, South Africa. It stretches 243 km, from the surf capital Torquay to the famous 12 Apostles, ending at historic fishing village Port Fairy and boasts panoramic ocean views at every turn.


The 12 Apostles are a breath-taking sight for any Great Ocean Road journey. You will stop in awe at the rugged splendour of these famous 12 rock-stacks rising up from the Southern Ocean. For the best view, a helicopter ride allows you to soar above these coastal giants and create unforgettable memories.

Wildlife is also an essential element of a Great Ocean Road trip, from whale watching to spotting koalas and the elusive platypus, there are a variety of wildlife encounters you can experience. Stop off at the small hamlet of Kennett River, one of the best places in Australia to see koalas in the wild. Simply step out of your car, look-up and you will be guaranteed to spot koalas in the gum trees.


For a different experience, play a round of golf at the Anglesea Golf Course and share the course with the resident population of eastern grey kangaroos. If you're not much of a golfer, just stop into the clubhouse for lunch and watch the kangaroos from the balcony. Time your trip to include whale watching from the dunes of Logans Beach in Warrnambool, Victoria's southern right whale nursery. Come within 100 metres of these beautiful mammals as they swim close to the shore and can be seen from a specially constructed viewing platform.


A rather unique wildlife story along this route is the Middle Island Maremma Project, which began in 2006 following a sharp decline in the colony size of little penguins on Middle Island due to fox predation. The project saw the introduction of (rather adorable) Maremma Guardian dogs to protect the little penguins. Now, during summer visitors can join the ‘Meet the Maremma Tours’ and experience the project first-hand. A journey on the Great Ocean Road would certainly not be complete without a visit to the Tower Hill Wildlife Reserve. Here, you can take a guided tour (or simply explore on your own) to meet kangaroos, emus and wallabies all roaming free in this extinct volcano crater and learn about the area’s rich Aboriginal heritage. 


Where you eat is important and to taste the best of the route, travel inland through the Otway hinterland for a taste of Dan Hunter's Brae which was Victoria’s Restaurant of the Year in The Age Good Food Guide. Another hot spot is Jack Rabbit Vineyard, where you’ll be able to relax with a glass of the winery’s award-winning bubbles to toast your journey, a bowl of fresh Portarlington Mussels with crusty bread, and one amazing ocean view.

Click here to book your next trip to Victoria, Australia.

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