State of Victoria

Located in the south east corner of the Australian mainland, Victoria is the smallest of the mainland states in area but the second most populous and the most densely populated. Victoria has a wide diversity of landscapes which cover the whole gamut of the Australian experience - it has everything from semi arid desert areas to rugged coastal cliffs, lush farmlands, alpine ski resorts, historic goldmining towns and river gum forests.

Guide to Victoria

Top destinations

Capital City: Melbourne
Melbourne is very much an international city with a totally different look and feel to Sydney. A cosmopolitan city with just over 3 million inhabitants, it has a reputation for being a major ethnic melting pot. As a result, the city is known for its restaurants which serve a multitplicity of foreign cuisines, and for being at the forefront in fashion, style and the arts in Australia.
  • Go There

  • The Great Ocean Road
    One of Australia's great drives, the 273 km Great Ocean Road on Victoria's south west coast winds its way from Torquay to Warrnambool alongside some of the most dramatically scenic seascapes in the world. The most well known feature in the region is The Twelve Apostles rock formation near Port Campbell, carved out of the limestone headlands by rough seas over time.
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    • Phillip Island
      Just 140 kilometres south east of Melbourne, Phillip Island is the best place in Victoria to come face to face with the wildlife of Australia. Here you can drive down a road where hundreds of koalas sit dozing in their treetop homes above you; take a look at Australia's largest colony of fur seals, and at night, enjoy watching hundreds of Little Penguins returning to their burrows at the famous Penguin Parade. Phillip Island is also known for its spectacular coastal scenery.
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      • Wilsons Promontory
        The southernmost point of the Australian mainland, The Prom contains the largest coastal wilderness area in Victoria. A wild and desolate headland with open heaths, sand dunes, tall forest ranges, tree fern valleys, salt marshes, sandy beaches, islands, reefs and granite headlands, Walking trails provide access to the gorgeous coastal scenery.
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        • The Grampians
          An area of valleys, mountains and woodlands set amid three stark and spectacular ridges of upthrust sandstone. All sections of The Grampians offer fascinating bush walks for the nature lover, panoramic views to picturesque lakes and waterfalls, and some challenging country for rock climbers.
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          • High Country
            The alpine region located in the north eastern area of Victoria, it has ski resorts in Winter (operational from June to October), but in Summer the snow melts, revealing a vast horizon of breath-catching beauty including rugged alpine ranges and deep, mist-hung valleys, fields of colourful spring flowers, glorious summer sunsets and relics from the days when the area was in the grip of a goldrush.
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            • Mornington Peninsula
              A short drive from Melbourne, the peninsula is a diverse region with beautiful beaches, abundant flora and fauna, mixed farming, wineries and sleepy coastal towns. With a climate milder than Melbourne, it is the city's summer playground.
              • Go There

              • Goldrush Country
                In 1851 the Gold Rush began in central Victoria, with gold strikes drawing thousands of prospectors from all corners of the world to this area in search of wealth. The Gold Rush has left behind a rich and lasting legacy within towns in the region. Touring through Central Victoria you ll pass sights that are signatures of the region today  historic bluestone buildings, boutique shops with windows full of treats, and an impressive array of wineries and fruit-growing orchards in the region.

Getting There

By sea
The Spirit of Tasmania Car and Passenger Ferry operates daily from Station Pier, Melbourne to Devonport in Tasmania, running overnight, with additional trips in daylight hours during peak travel periods (mainly Summer); duration approx. 12 hours. There are two ferries operating, with one with travelling in one direction as the other travels in the opposite direction.

By Air:
Most domestic and international air traffic into Victoria is through Tullamarine International Airport on Melbournes northern outskirts. Avalon Airport near the city of Geelong to the south of Melbourne handles a limited amount of interstate flights, particularly those of Jeststar from Sydney. Flights to Victorias regional centres and the islands of Bass Strait depart from either Tullamarine Airport or Moorabbin Airport in Melbournes south-east. Daily direct flights to and from all other Australian capital cities operate out of Melbournes Tullamarine Airport. The main routes followed are:

Hobart to Melbourne: 1 hr. 15 minutes
Launceston to Melbourne: 1 hr. 15 minutes
Melbourne to Sydney: 1 hour 30 minutes
Melbourne to Darwin: 4 hours 40 minutes
Melbourne to Adelaide: 1 hr. 20 minutes
Melbourne to Perth: 4 hours 10 minutes
Melbourne to Gold Coast: 2 hours 5 minutes
Melbourne to Sunshine Coast: 2 hours 15 minutes
Melbourne to Alice Springs: 2 hours 55 minutes

By rail
Two interstate capital cites are linked to Melbourne by rail - Sydney by an XPT service via Albury-Wodonga, and Adelaide via The Overland. The Overland completes three return trips a week, travelling mostly during daylight. The train operates between the Melbourne terminal of Southern Cross Station, and Keswick Rail Terminal in Adelaide, and covers 828 kilometres between capitals in 10 hours 40 minutes. The service offers on board buffet meals and first and economy class seats and a lounge car.

The Melbourne  Sydney XPT operates a twice daily service between the two cities, one during the day and the other overnight. The service offers on board buffet meals and first and economy class seats with first class bunk sleeping births on the overnight runs. The train operates between the Melbourne terminal of Southern Cross Station, and Central Station, Sydney, with a running tome of 10 hours 40 minutes

By coach (road)
Numerous operators provide coach services between Melbourne and Sydney, Canberra, Brisbane and Adelaide. Services to other cities and towns across Australia are by connections to one of those destinations. The main routes followed are: 

Melbourne to Sydney (12 hours min.) via Canberra (8 hours min.)
Melbourne to Sydney (19 hours 10 minutes) via Sale (5 hours) and Bega (9 hours 50 minutes)
Melbourne to Brisbane (22 hours 30 minutes min.) via Ballarat, Dubbo and Moree
Melbourne to Adelaide via Stawall and Ballarat (9 hours 45 minutes)
Melbourne to Adelaide via Gt Ocean Road and Grampians.

Getting Around

By Rail
V/Line rail services operate daily between Melbourne and East Gippsland, terminating at Bairnsdale (3 hours 35 minutes); Melbourne and Albury (3 hours 34 minutes); Melbourne and Shepparton (2 hours 18 minutes); Melbourne and Echuca via Bendigo (3 hours 20 minutes); Melbourne and Swan Hill via Bendigo (4 hours 8 minutes); Melbourne to Ararat via Bendigo (2 hours 10 minutes); Melbourne to Warrnambool via Geelong (3 hours 14 minutes).

Self drive
Victoria's towns and cities are linked to each other, and to towns and cities in other states by a network of well signposted, well maintained sealed highways and major roads which allow for easy travel between localities. The capital cities are linked by highways that, in the main, bypass the smaller towns on the way, making the journey relatively uninterrupted. There are few parts of the state of interest to visitors that can t be reached in motoring comfort, although lesser roads, whilst sealed, do tend to be narrow. The major routes through regional Victoria are:

Sydney via Morwell, Sale, Bairnsdale, Bega, Batemans Bay, Wollongong (Princes Highway)
Sydney via Wangaratta, Albury, Yass (Hume Highway)
Sydney via Wangaratta, Albury, Wagga Wagga, Cootamundra, Young, Bathurst (Gt Western, Mid Western, Olympic, Hume Highways)
Canberra via Morwell, Sale, Bairnsdale, Orbost, Bombala, Cooma (Princes, Cann Valley, Monaro Highways)
Canberra via Wangaratta, Albury, Gundagai, Yass (Barton and Hume Highways)
Adelaide via the Great Ocean Road (Geelong, Apollo Bay, Warrnambool, Heywood, Mt. Gambier, Kingston SE, Meningie)
Adelaide via Ballarat, Ararat, Horsham, Bordertown (Dukes and Western Highways)
Adelaide via Geelong, Camperdown, Mortlake, Hamilton, Casterton, Mt. Gambier, Keith (Princes, Hamilton, Glenelg Highways)
Brisbane via Seymour, Tocumwal, Forbes, Moree, Goondawindi, Warwick (Newell and Cunningham Highways)
Mildura via Seymour, Shepparton, Echuca, Kerang, Swan Hill (Hume, Goulburn Valley, Murray Valley Highways)
Mildura via Kyneton, Bendigo, Kerang, Swan Hill (Calder, Loddon, Murray Valley Highways)
Mildura via Ballarat, Daylesford, Castlemaine, Maryborough, Avoca, St Arnaud, Birchip (Midland, Pyrenees, Sunraysia Highways)
Albury via Morwell, Sale, Bairnsdale, Omeo, Mt. Beauty (Princes, Omeo, Keiwa Valley Highways, Alpine Tourist Road)
Hobart via car ferry from Port Melbourne to Devonport, then by road via Launceston, Campbell Town (Tasman and Midland Highways)
Sale via Dandenong, Wonthaggi, Forster, Yarram (Gippsland Highway)

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