Great Aussie Road Trips: Victoria- Part Two

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

Sydney to Melbourne Coastal Drive- endless beaches, abundant wildlife & ocean-to-plate seafood


What is the best way to uncover Australia’s hidden gems that only the locals know about? The answer, an incredible road trip on the Sydney Melbourne Coastal Drive.  Sail through pristine waterways and get up close to iconic wildlife; stretch out in the sun on endless sandy beaches; sample fresh local seafood and enjoy a tipple at world-renowned wineries.

Finish your journey with a scenic drive up the coast. Driving is a wonderful alternative to domestic flights; no airport check-ins and no lugging your suitcase around, instead feel the freedom of the open road and travel at your own pace, stopping at secret coves and devouring fantastic seafood. 

The first stop on this mighty road trip is the serene landscapes of the Mornington Peninsula – just an hour from Melbourne city. Sample your way around peninsula's boutique cellar doors nestled amongst the hinterland for the region's renowned Pinot Noir.

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Crash into the waters of the region’s seemingly endless sandy bay inlets and rugged, wild surf beaches and feel a million miles from city life. Fill up with farm-fresh delights at the Mornington Peninsula's inviting roadside stalls, or taste the harvest cooked to perfection at esteemed eateries. Top eats include a visit to Montalto Vineyard and Olive Grove for a lunch of local produce with incredible views over the vines.

Or for something different, take a Horseback Winery Tour through the hinterland, stopping at some of the region’s top wineries to reward your adventurous spirit.

While you may want to experience all of the Mornington Peninsula’s 50 cellar doors, (as well as dairies, cider houses and breweries), the wildlife of Phillip Island awaits (and is just an hour away). Encounter quirky Australian animals on land and off, including a visit to Phillip Island’s Seal Rocks - Australia’s largest fur seal colony with the new Wild Ocean EcoBoat Tours and meet the sleepy locals at the Koala Conservation Centre.

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The magical Penguin Parade is one of the most famous Victorian experiences. Every evening at dusk the little penguins come home from the sea, cross the beach and waddle to their burrows. Around 32,000 penguins live around Phillip Island, and the nightly ritual of these little flightless birds will enthral you as you observe from the beach and elevated boardwalk.

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To extend your visit further, book on to the Aboriginal Heritage Tour, where you’ll be guided on a cultural journey through the sand dunes and then on to the numerous archaeological sites offering insight into the rich Aboriginal heritage of the area.

It is an exciting time at Phillip Island with a new Antarctic Journey experience set to open very soon at the Nobbies Centre. The journey will become the world’s first interactive Antarctic experience and was developed in partnership with WWF Australia. Forget the outside world as you take a virtual journey into the wonderful world of the Southern Ocean and Antarctica via the interactive and immersive experiences.

Just a few hours from Phillip Island is Victoria’s largest coastal wilderness area, Wilsons Promontory National Park - one of the state’s best loved parks and is a must see when travelling from Melbourne to Sydney.

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Affectionately known as ‘The Prom’, this 50,000 hectare reserve is threaded with a labyrinth of walking tracks that uncover abundant natural wildlife and is home to some of the state’s most beautiful and secluded sandy beaches. At the southernmost tip of mainland Australia, it offers spectacular scenery of huge granite mountains, open forest, rainforest, sweeping beaches and coastlines. Wilsons Promontory is also a refuge for an array of native wildlife including kangaroos, emus, wombats, echidnas and vividly plumed birds like rosellas.

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Further towards the bright lights of Sydney road trippers will discover the Gippsland Lakes - Australia's largest and most beautiful inland waterways and offer a network of lakes, marshes and lagoon for you to discover. There are three main lakes that are worth making a beeline for: Lake King, Lake Victoria and Lake Wellington, separated from the ocean by coastal dunes known as Ninety Mile Beach.

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


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