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UnDiscover Melbourne and surrounds
With the foodie, cultural and sports-loving city of Melbourne as its hub, experience Victoria’s diverse adventures all within just a few hours drive. Enjoy intimate encounters with Australian wildlife, one of the world’s great coastal drives, beautiful gardens and relaxing mineral springs, plus superb food, wine and coffee throughout the state.
Be your own guide. Drive through an autumn of colours
Regional Victoria is home to some spectacular spots that are best explored at your own pace. Given the relatively small size of the state, you’ll be pleased to discover that you can see a range of beautiful landscapes - from tall mountains to sweeping coastlines - in a short time. Take Victoria’s Go Beyond Melbourne Touring Route and road trip through the Yarra Valley and Dandenong Ranges, Phillip Island and through to the Mornington Peninsula and the Bellarine. You’ll taste wine, see wildlife and relax in hot springs. If it’s autumn, be sure to drive through Marysville to see the changing autumn hues. Alternatively, take a three-day trip along the Great Ocean Road to admiring stunning coastline or the Grampians to visit the Silo Art Trail.
Taste and celebrate exquisite local culinary creations in Melbourne and beyond
A great way to get an introduction to the foodie scene of Victoria is by attending one of the many festivals that celebrate the gastronomic delights of the region. Melbourne Food and Wine Festival hosts over 300 events in Melbourne and across the state, celebrating the bounty of each distinct region. The Grampians Grape Escape is a fantastic regional event that was voted in the top Grape Harvest Festivals in the World by American Express. There are also countless events on to celebrate everything from barbecue to craft beer, so bring your appetite and discover all the flavours of Victoria at any of these great food festivals.
Explore beyond the beaches and into the woods
You might think the Great Ocean Road is all about beaches as you drive the impressive coastline carved by nature, but take the time to venture off the main road and you’ll discover impressive hidden gems that many visitors miss. One of the most unique wonders in the area is the California Redwood forest in the Aire Valley. These towering trees were planted as a softwood logging experiment in the 1930s but were never cut down. Today they rise as high as 60 metres, creating a twilight effect of light through the canopy. Walk the eerily quiet trails, take photos and stop for a picnic. Nearby you’ll also find Hopetoun and Beauchamp Falls, where you can take in the spray as the water comes cascading down to the forest floor.
Meet the locals
Phillip Island’s resident fur seals are some of the most entertaining animals in Victoria. Onlookers can watch as the seals frolic and play before diving into the cool water. During breeding season (October to December), see the population grow as young seals are welcomed into the colony. Encounter the seals lounging on rocks from a wildlife cruise. You might even come face-to-face with the playful seals when they approach the boat to say hello. If you’d like to join the seals in the water, join a licensed tour for an unforgettable animal experience.
Dine in the hidden laneways at night
The laneways of Melbourne are known for their bright and ever-changing street art, but there’s plenty more to discover after dark. Hit the cobblestones for night time dining at one of the laneways’ exciting eateries, like Chin Chin down Flinders Lane. This Thai diner is a local favourite, serving up spicy, shareable plates like suckling pig pancakes. Or, tuck into generous and contemporary Italian fare at Sarti. Enjoy local and Italian wines at the bar, or head up to the rooftop terrace and savour signature dishes. Melbourne’s laneways provide plenty of choice for a nightcap as the evening comes to an end. Check out Bar Americano in Presgrave Place, Section 8 in Tattersalls Lane, or Cherry Bar in ACDC Lane.