Take a whirlwind trip of Victoria via our virtual tour of Melbourne’s top attractions including the 12 Apostles, Phillip Island and more.
Melbourne offers a plethora of activities and attractions for visitors, from unforgettable encounters with nature to historical train journeys. While many of these experiences are currently on hold, you can enjoy a quick trip around the state of Victoria without leaving the house via our virtual tour. This itinerary would normally take you several days, but you can enjoy a taste of what is on offer in under an hour. Enjoy!
12 Apostles on the Great Ocean Road
No need to drive several hours along the Great Ocean Road to arrive at the 12 Apostles on a virtual tour! Skip straight to this iconic sight and soak up the view at one of Australia’s most popular attractions. How many Apostles can you see?
The incredible stacks started as billions of marine animal skeletons on the ocean floor 15 – 20 million years ago. The skeletons formed limestone rock that was exposed when the oceans receded, creating cliffs that were constantly battered by the elements and the Southern Ocean. The softer limestone slowly eroded forming caves, that became arches, that eventually became the stacks we see today. With erosion occurring of a pace of about 2 centimetres a year, it’s a slow process, but if you look closely you can see evidence of the constant change of the coastline. See that pile of rocks close to the shore? It wasn’t long ago that that pile of rocks was the eighth stack visible from the lookout point until it collapsed into the ocean in 2005.
Meander along the path to enjoy the various viewpoints of these astonishing rock formations and the spectacular power of the Southern Ocean. Also worth exploring in the area are nearby attractions Loch Ard Gorge and London Bridge.
Penguin Parade on Phillip Island
Easily the highlight of any Phillip Island trip will be watching the little penguins make their way home at the Penguin Parade. This world-class ecotourism facility offers the amazing experience of observing the cute penguins in their natural habitat as they emerge from the ocean and waddle across the beach to their burrows in the sand dunes. Travellers have been coming to witness the incredible event since the 1920s and it remains one of Melbourne’s most popular attractions.
While little penguins are found all along the coasts of southern Australia and New Zealand, the colony at Summerland Beach on Phillip Island is the largest in the world. They spend around 80% of their life out at sea searching for food, but return to the dunes to rest, breed and moult. The penguins will wait until after the sun sets to come ashore, moving in the shadow of darkness to avoid predators such as eagles. At the Penguin Parade, visitors have the amazing opportunity to watch as the penguins gather in a group by the shore and dash across the sand to the safety of the dunes. It’s an unforgettable chance to witness these adorable birds in their natural habitat.
Just a three-hour drive from Melbourne is one of Australia’s top snow destinations – Mount Buller. The snow season in Victoria usually starts at the beginning of June and runs until September, and Mount Buller is a popular choice for local Melburnians and visitors to get their snow fix. With 22 lifts and over 300 hectares of skiing terrain, Mount Buller offers runs for skiers and snowboarders of all abilities. Lessons are available for first time skiers and snowboarders, or those who want to improve their technique. If hitting the slopes is not your thing, Mount Buller offers a variety of alternative activities from dog sled tours to toboggan runs, or you can relax in one of the charming village restaurants. Whether you are seeing snow for the first time, or are an experienced skiing champion, Mount Buller is the perfect winter destination.
Puffing Billy in the Dandenong Ranges
Climb aboard the Puffing Billy and step back in time on this incredible heritage steam train. Running from Belgrave to Gembrook, Puffing Billy offers a unique way to experience the picturesque temperate rainforest of the Dandenong Ranges. Maintained by volunteers, it remains one of the most popular heritage railways in the world and is popular with travellers and local Melburnians alike.
The Puffing Billy track was originally opened in 1900, when it opened up remote parts of the Dandenong Ranges to Melbourne locals for day trips and scenic excursions. The track was blocked in 1953 by a landslide and was closed in 1954. The Puffing Billy Preservation Society was established to save the beloved railway and the track between Belgrave and Menzies Creek reopened in 1962, thanks in large part to the volunteers. Further parts of the track reopened over the following decades, with the final section to Gembrook recommencing trips in 1998. The volunteers still play an important role in the maintenance and operation of the railway and locomotives.
MacKenzie Falls at the Grampians
Hiking and nature enthusiasts will love a trip to the Grampians from Melbourne for spectacular bushwalks and wildlife encounters. The area is criss-crossed by numerous walking trails through the hills, and stunning lookouts with views over the surrounding region dot the area. The Grampians are home to an array of Australian wildlife, so keep your eyes peeled for kangaroos, wallabies, echidnas and more as you trek through the bushland.
While there are several notable waterfalls in the Grampians, MacKenzie Falls is by far the largest and most impressive. Water flows all year round, crashing over a 40-metre drop into the plunge-pool below and sending misty spray into the air. There are multiple walks and lookout points to admire the falls for hikers of varying abilities, including a set of stairs that will take you all the way to the base of the falls. Be careful though – the stairs and rocks can be slippery and swimming is not permitted in the falls. Relax on the rocks and enjoy the water spray on your face or admire the falls and views of the surrounding area from one of the lookout points.
Related article: Best Places to Enjoy Snow Near Melbourne
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