Blue is beau­ti­ful

Dis­cover the great di­ver­sity of aquatic ex­pe­ri­ences in Vic­to­ria.

The Star Malaysia - Star2 - - ADVERTORIAL -

THINK bright, sparkling blue when you’re in Vic­to­ria. It’s the famed Great Ocean Road we are re­fer­ring to. But that’s not the only gor­geous shade of blue you’ll see in this beau­ti­ful Aus­tralian state.

Spec­tac­u­lar ocean beaches, wildlife- rich is­lands, gourmet get­aways with easy beach ac­cess, wa­ter-rimmed wilder­ness and the best min­eral springs in the coun­try wel­come vis­i­tors. And the best place to kick off your aquatic ad­ven­ture is in the ex­cit­ing city of Mel­bourne!

Whether you’re shop­ping for de­signer clothes by the Yarra or swim­ming by Brighton Beach’s colour­ful bath­houses, Mel­bourne of­fers an edgy yet laid- back am­biance. The Mel­bourne Arts Cen­tre is by the river, while iconic mu­sic venues like the Es­planade or Espy and the Palais are right across the beach in St Kilda.

While in St Kilda, rent a bike and ride the trails be­hind the beach all the way to the colour­ful Vic­to­rian bathing boxes in Brighton. Al­ter­na­tively, cruise along the Yarra River from Fed­er­a­tion Square and you’ll get close- up views of Mel­bourne’s fa­mous row­ing crews in ac­tion.

For a spot of peo­ple- watch­ing, stroll along the beach front be­tween St Kilda and Al­bert Park to take in the roller- bladers, kite- surfers, vol­ley­ball play­ers and peo­ple in sail boats. You can stop for a drink or a bite at one of the beach- front cafes.

In Vic­to­ria, one of the great­est ad­ven­tures lies along the Great Ocean Road. There is a plethora of sur­prises at ev­ery bend.

Go on a he­li­copter ride to get scenic views of the ma­jes­tic lime­stone stacks called the 12 Apos­tles. De­pend­ing on your choice of flight and how long it takes, you can also get jaw- drop­ping vis­tas of the Bay of Is­lands and Lon­don Bridge ( a nat­u­ral lime­stone arch), or marvel at the en­tire Ship­wreck Coast, where more than 600 ships have run aground along Bass Strait.

For a more hands- ( nay, foot- on) ap­proach, take the Great Ocean Walk. It passes the tallest cliffs in main­land Aus­tralia, plunges into hid­den fern forests, and goes past wa­ter­falls cas­cad­ing down lime­stone walls, and windswept beaches.

If you pre­fer, you can also take in the spec­tac­u­lar sights from the com­fort of your car. Do a three- day drive from Mel­bourne to Lorne, Cape Ot­way and War­rnam­bool. Then ei­ther turn back to Mel­bourne – roughly a three- hour drive – or con­tinue on to Ade­laide via stun­ning sea­side town Robe, and the wine re­gion of the Fleurieu Penin­sula.

If you’re in need of real re­lax­ation, Aus­tralia’s spa coun­try ( Dayles­ford and the Mace­don Ranges) is the per­fect place. Just 80 min­utes northwest of Mel­bourne, this re­gion is full of rolling gum- cov­ered hills, pad­docks of sheep and cat­tle, and small towns dot­ted with in­ter­est­ing pubs and bou­tiques.

Spend some time savour­ing the good life on the Morn­ing­ton Penin­sula. With its val­leys of pine trees and acres of vine­yards, the penin­sula feels like a Mediter­ranean- style Middle Earth.

We sug­gest you end your ex­plo­ration of Vic­to­ria at Phillip Is­land, which is fa­mous for its most diminu­tive res­i­dents: The lit­tle pen­guins. Vis­i­tors who come to watch their nightly pa­rade along the beach will dis­cover a serene coastal spot with un­spoiled beaches – great for surf­ing and fish­ing, and fam­ily- friendly out­ings.

Sourced from tourism Aus­tralia. Malaysia Air­lines has twice daily/ 14 weekly flights be­tween Kuala Lumpur and Mel­bourne. For book­ings, go to www.malaysi­aair­lines.com.

Go on a he­li­copter ride above the Great Ocean road and you’ll see the ma­jes­tic lime­stone stacks known as the 12 Apos­tles. — Tourism Aus­tralia

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