Road trip through Vic­to­ria

Sunday Mail - Travel/Escape - - FRONT PAGE -

Vic­to­ria is a state with many dif­fer­ent faces, the weather can be un­pre­dictable and the sea­sons tend to dic­tate where and when it’s best to visit cer­tain ar­eas.

If you’re head­ing there in sum­mer, I sug­gest the Morn­ing­ton Penin­sula. Here you can in­dulge in winer­ies, mar­kets and beaches.

Dur­ing au­tumn, crowds flock to Bright, a lit­tle town in the Ovens Val­ley about three hours drive from Mel­bourne. It’s well known for the Au­tumn Fes­ti­val, which cel­e­brates the spec­tac­u­lar dis­plays of colour as the leaves of the golden ash and liq­uidambar trees change and fall.

Dayles­ford and sur­round­ing ar­eas of the Mace­don Ranges make for a lovely few days away from the hus­tle and bus­tle of the city dur­ing win­ter. A lit­tle over an hour’s drive through small coun­try towns and you will ar­rive in this re­gion well known for its min­eral springs, lo­cal pro­duce, quaint gal­leries and myr­iad ac­com­mo­da­tion with open fires.

Al­ter­na­tively, the Great Ocean Road is one of those must-do drives dur­ing spring or any time of the year. Over­all the drive is 664km, which is per­fect for a week-long ad­ven­ture.

Be­gin in Vic­to­ria’s surf cap­i­tal Torquay (about one hour from Mel­bourne) and spend the day wan­der­ing through the Surf World Mu­seum, along the Surf Coast Walk and ex­plor­ing the cafes.

Then make your way through the sea­side vil­lage of An­gle­sea and Aireys In­let, to per­haps spend a night in Lorne. While there, take in Ersk­ine Falls, the Cum­ber­land River Walk plus the Sheoak Falls and Swal­low Cave, where you may see these birds nest­ing.

Make your way through the pretty coastal towns of Prince­town and Port Camp­bell, be­fore ar­riv­ing at the vis­i­tor fa­cil­ity of the Twelve Apos­tles. I rec­om­mend brav­ing the brisk air and be­ing there for ei­ther sun­rise or sun­set, for ex­cel­lent photo op­por­tu­ni­ties.

Stop in War­rnam­bool to visit the Mar­itime Mu­seum and vil­lage at Flagstaff Hill, then con­tinue on an­other 15 min­utes drive to the his­toric fish­ing port of Port Fairy.

Spend a cou­ple of days ex­plor­ing this area, it’s full of old cot­tages, stone churches, bou­tiques and an­tique stores. There’s loads of art and craft in­side an ex­tinct vol­cano is great for a wan­der, you will eas­ily see kan­ga­roo, emu, koalas and plenty of wa­ter­birds.

Dis­abled fa­cil­i­ties on cruises

to Kan­ga­roo Is­land or the three-night com­edy-themed cruise may suit. All P&O ships have some wheelchairac­ces­si­ble cab­ins and there are lim­ited-mo­bil­ity shore tours avail­able in some ports.

These shore tours and the cab­ins for both com­pa­nies must be re­quested at the time of book­ing.

Spend Schoolies in Bali

CUL­TURAL MIX: Se­nado Square is a paved town square in Ma­cau, China, and part of the UNESCO His­toric Cen­tre of Ma­cau World Her­itage Site. Pic­ture: iStock

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