From skiing to surfing, scenic drives and fine food and wine–whatever you’re craving, Victoria has you covered.
There’s so many ways to go wild in Victoria. Glamp it up in the middle of a vineyard, eat at some of the country’s most acclaimed restaurants, fall asleep listening to the boom of the surf from your beachfront campsite, drive one of the world’s most scenic coastal roads, or touch the sky in the snow-capped high country. If it’s animal encounters you like, you’ll love the penguin parade on Phillip Island, dolphin swims in Port Phillip Bay, koala colonies, mobs of kangaroos and platypus-filled streams. And the bonus is that nowhere is more than a day’s drive from Melbourne–many of the best campsites are only a few hours drive from the city–so you can cram a lot of fun into a relatively short amount of time.
The Great Ocean Road west of Melbourne is one of the world’s great scenic road trips, but there’s much more to see and do than snapping a selfie at the Twelve Apostles rock stacks. Zipline above the rainforest in Great Otway National Park, climb lighthouses, watch whales, surf iconic Bells Beach and pitch a tent on any one of several beachside camping areas. Road tripping doesn’t get much better than this.
Gippsland stretches east of Melbourne to the sea and north to the border with NSW. Most of the coastline is protected by a string of national parks with fantastic seaside camping spots and holiday parks; you’re not a real Victorian if you haven’t camped at Wilsons Promontory (locals just call it the Prom) on the mainland’s southernmost tip at least once. This is also where you’ll find Phillip Island, home to the famous nightly penguin parade.
The High Country is the place to go for winter snow sports and summer mountain bike trails and bushwalking. If that sounds too energetic, it’s also home to the Great Alpine Road, one of Australia’s best food and wine touring routes (and yes, the scenery is pretty good too).
In the state’s west the Grampians are another mountain playground, with a network of bushwalking trails from quick two-hour walking tracks to three-day hikes in the Grampians National Park. This is also where you’ll find the highest concentration of indigenous art in the state. Hipcampers can opt for bush camping sites in the national park, or more luxurious campsites in caravan parks in Halls Gap or Dunkeld.
The mighty Murray, Australia’s longest river, forms most of the border with NSW to the north, and all along its length are great beachfront campsites–go for a swim or paddle a kayak, catch a fish, or sit back and watch the world glide by. Ride a restored paddle steamer at Echuca, take a cruise through the largest river red gum forest in the world at Barmah and dine out in the foodie hot spot of Mildura.