As the gateway to Victoria, Melbourne is as cosmopolitan as it comes. It’s all here, from the chic bars and fashion stores of South Yarra to trendy cafés, ritzy restaurants, elegant Victorian facades and glassy skyscrapers.

Melbourne’s non-stop calendar of film and food festivals, art exhibitions and performing arts productions is matched only by its year-round sporting spectaculars – come here to grab tickets for the Melbourne Cup (the race that literally stops the nation) and the Australian Grand Prix for starters. 

Victoria’s regions are hugely varied – you’ll find gold fields at Ballarat where you can still pan for your fortune, and ski fields like Falls Creek and Mount Beauty in the High Country where bushrangers like Ned Kelly have staked their claim in the history books. Come here for winter sports in the snow season or simply indulge in a starlit soak in the rock spa at Dreamers, in the foothills of Mount Bogong.

East of Melbourne,  there are rolling hills of olive groves and vineyards on the Mornington Peninsula. You’ll find over 15 wineries within a 15 minute drive of Rye, as well as wide-open sandy beaches and golf courses. And you won’t want to miss seeing the colonies of fairy penguins at nearby Philip Island. 

Victorians are sports mad with everything from Aussie Rules football, soccer, tennis and cricket, to mountain climbing, horse riding, golf plus anything with adventure attached, on the agenda.

The unmissable Great Ocean Road stretching along Victoria’s western coast is one of the world’s most scenic drives. You’ll see the rugged splendour of the Twelve Apostles – giant rock stacks rising from the Southern Ocean – some brilliant surfing beaches and charm-packed old fishing towns like Port Fairy – a great base for exploring the region.   

Go bargain hunting at Melbourne’s Queen Victoria Markets, try snow shoeing at Mount Buller, hit the gas pedal on the majestic Great Ocean Road and try a tree-top walk in the great Otway national park.


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