Victorian Travel & Holidays Guide
Melbourne - capital city
Port Phillip Bay - Melbourne's beachside playground
Macedon Ranges - beautiful countryside and gardens
Yarra Valley & The Dandenongs - spectacular wine growing areas
The Gold Fields - some of Australia's earliest history
High country & ski fields - home of The Man From Snowy River
Gippsland Lakes & 90 mile beach - a place of peaceful tranquility
The Grampians - popular for mountain climbing and abseiling
West Coast and Great Ocean Road - Australia's most popular drive
Victoria At A Glance
The capital city is Melbourne, Australia's most cosmopolitan city.... current population 3.7 million. It is the sports capital of Australia hosting everything from all four football codes, Formula One car racing, ATP tennis tournaments and the Melbourne Cup horse race to name just a few. Melbourne is considered by many to be the food and fashion centre of Australia.
Much of Victoria comprises ranges of hills and mountains, extending from the Victorian Alps in the north east, the Grampians in the west and the Dandenongs and Macedon Ranges on the outskirts of Melbourne. The coastal areas are unique and range from the spectacular erosion profiles of the 12 Apostles in the west to the Gippsland Lakes to the east. The heartland has rich farmlands producing wines and fruit for the world and gourmet trails for the locals and visitors.
Victoria is not big by Australian standards so travelling times are not as intrusive as with some of the other states. You will find just about everything from beaches to high snow country, large lakes to white water streams, spectacular coasts to rugged mountains, fishing trawlers to paddlewheel steamers, vineyards to vegetables, modern casinos to historic sites, rock climbing to shopping malls. This is a very diverse and easy-to-enjoy part of the world.
The weather is variable and noted for sudden changes. It is often said of Melbourne that you can experience all four seasons in the same day. A word of caution.... if a Melbourne weather report says "fine" the sky can be completely clouded over...but not actually raining! If the locals are carrying umbrellas and coats, follow their lead.
What Will I Be Able To Do?
Victoria offers its visitors a wonderfully diverse selection of places to go and things to see. From the relics of early settlement, the history of the gold rush era through to the sophistication and elegance of modern Melbourne.... there's an attraction for every interest and every budget. Victoria offers diversity... from the pristine waters of Port Phillip Bay, the golden sands of Ninety Mile Beach, the iconic 12 Apostles, snow skiing in the high country, gourmet trails and wine routes and the many world class events for which Melbourne is famous.
Here are just some of the things to do in Victoria! Book your adventures from the ExperienceOZ ad block in the left column.
What Are My Accommodation Options?
Victoria offers a very diverse range of accommodation options. Hotels in the cities and major centres range from luxury to budget along with many smaller boutique hotels. An emerging market in serviced apartments in Melbourne caters to longer stay visitors who prefer the independence of self catering.
Much of rural Victoria is within easy reach of the major centres and this is where many of the personalised lodgings are to be found. Typical options include rural bed and breakfast, seaside beach retreats, country lodges, homely farm stays and historic guesthouses.
The north east region of Victoria is snow country and has several ski resorts where the accommodation is usually self contained apartments and chalets as well as ski resorts. Cities like Melbourne and the other major towns offer most of the traditional and boutique hotels and serviced apartments. The number of hotels declines in the country regions where motels and motor inns are more prevalent.
Victoria enjoys a deserved reputation for the quality and number of bed & breakfast choices available to visitors and locals alike. B&B's can be found in most of the state, and the popular destinations such as the Yarra Valley, Dandenongs and the Mornington/Bellarine Peninsulas offer some of the best. Visitors arriving into Melbourne should always consider their airport transfer needs as distances to some of the accommodation properties can involve a lengthy trip and incur significant costs.
Victoria has many very popular holiday destinations and there is always an increased demand for bookings during the the school holiday periods.
How Do I Get Around?
There are many transport options available throughout Victoria. A comprehensive train network system called VLine links all the major towns. Melbourne city has an extensive commuter train network that serves the outlying residential areas and a unique inner city tram system, much loved by locals and visitors.
The Princes Highway is a coastal route that links Melbourne and Sydney and most of the intermediate coastal towns. The Hume Highway is an inland route between the same two cities. Road travel to Adelaide is via the Princes Highway for the coastal route with options for the Hamilton Highway and the Western Highway for inland routes.
The state is well served by a comprehensive network of major arterial and linking roads. Several bus transport companies operate throughout the state. All the major car rental companies have depots in the major cities and towns throughout the state. If you are flying in at Melbourne to start your visit, consider picking up a Melbourne rental car at the airport and save on airport shuttle costs.
Camper and motor home rentals are a very popular way to see the best of Victoria and these vehicles are available for pick-up and return in Melbourne. Tour operators provide itineraries that cover all popular Victorian destinations. Self drive holiday enthusiasts will find driver information and maps at the Royal Auto Club of Victoria (RACV) which has offices throughout the state.
Some typical road distances are:
When Is The Best Time?
Like the rest of Australia, Victoria is a year-round destination. For activities in the snow fields, then winter is obviously the best time with the official season starting on the first week-end in June. The heaviest snow cover is usually later in the season. While very high temperatures are not unusual in summer, Victoria does not suffer from the humidity that occurs in other areas of Australia. The summer weather is seldom oppressive for long periods.
The weather can be quite variable, especially in Melbourne, and is subject to sudden changes. Melbourne locals will tell you they can experience all four seasons in the same day. A word of caution.... if a Melbourne weather report says it's "fine" the sky can be completely clouded over...but not actually raining! If the locals are carrying umbrellas and coats, follow their lead.
Winter in Victoria is June - August. Temperatures in the mountains and alpine regions can drop to around -5°C min. and 5°C max. In the inland regions the temperature range is usually around 0°C min. and 12°C max. Ocean influences affect a narrow strip on the west coast where minimums seldom drop below 5°C.
Summer is December - February. Temperatures in the mountains and alpine regions will usually be around 5°C min. and 20°C max. In the inland regions the temperature range is usually around 12°C min. and 25°C max. The northern areas of the state often experience maximums above 30°C.