Travel Trade Journal

A walk through Melbourne Victoria

- Team TTJ

From colourful racing carnivals and Grand Slam tennis to performanc­es of Tony, Grammy, Olivier and Pulitzer Prize-winning musical Hamilton, there’s always something exciting happening in Victoria.

A wealth of diverse regions and attraction­s are packed into this compact area, with sweeping coastlines, pristine beaches and national parks and forests teeming with wildlife, plus wineries, lakes and mountains offering skiing, climbing and hiking. Best of all, many of Victoria’s unique and varied landscapes are easily reached as day trips from Melbourne.

The Great Ocean Walk and 12 Apostles

Created by constant erosion of the limestone cliffs of the mainland beginning 10–20 million years ago, the stormy Southern Ocean and blasting winds gradually eroded the softer limestone, forming caves in the cliffs. The caves eventually became arches, and when they collapsed, rock stacks up to 45 metres high were left isolated from the shore. View the 12 Apostles at sunrise and sunset as they change colour from dark and foreboding in shadow to brilliant sandy yellow under a full sun.

Stretching from the seaside village of Apollo Bay west to the 12 Apostles, the Great Ocean Walk passes along a dramatic coastline of soaring cliffs and remote beaches, with tangents exploring giant eucalypt forests full of kangaroos, wallabies and koalas, and meandering estuaries brimming with birdlife. Strap on your walking boots and hit the spectacula­r Great Ocean Walk. Taken as a multi-day adventure, the east-to-west epic has been labelled a ‘mild to wild’ journey as its remoteness and ruggedness increases the further towards the 12 Apostles you step.

Native Wildlife

Birdwatche­rs will love the 350 species of birdlife, including kookaburra­s, lyrebirds and brightly coloured parrots. Looking for bigger thrills? Head to the coast to see migrating whales or take a Port Phillip Bay cruise to see the dolphins and seals.

Watch Little Penguins dash home across the sand at Phillip Island Nature Parks’ Penguin Parade. Explore boardwalks after dark to see, smell and hear these penguins in the colony, greeting neighbours, partners and their chicks. While you wander, keep an eye out for resident wildlife including Swamp Wallabies, Eastern Barred Bandicoots, Cape Barren Geese and Short-tailed Shearwater­s.

Aboriginal Victoria

Journey through Aboriginal Victoria for a traditiona­l and contempora­ry experience of this ancient land. Learn more about the spiritual beliefs and unique traditions of South Eastern Australia’s first people, culturally significan­t sites, renowned art and original crafts, and a living history which reaches back more than 60,000 years.

Visit cultural centres, national parks, wetlands and wildlife reserves, public and private art galleries. Head to a cultural and community event like ‘Dreamtime at the G’ in Melbourne. Take a tour with a traditiona­l owner, or dine out at restaurant­s cooking with native Australian ingredient­s.

Road Trips and Itinerarie­s

Travel across Victoria and experience the region’s stunning landscapes, historic towns and renowned food and wine. The state’s compact size means you can travel from high in the mountains to the rugged southern coast and back to the city in just a short space of time. So hit the road on a touring route, make your own way around, or follow an itinerary and see the wonders of Victoria for yourself.

Spa and Wellbeing

Home to an abundance of natural mineral springs and ancient geothermal springs, Victoria offers a unique spa and wellbeing experience. Rejuvenate in the nutrient-rich waters and indulge at boutique spa resorts, luxury accommodat­ion and day spas. With its long spa tradition, more than 100 springs and every kind of luxury throughout the state, Victoria is the perfect place for an indulgent escape.

Fun Activities

Want to sprinkle a bit of fun on top of your stay? We’ve got awesome attraction­s, exciting adventures and leisure activities for the young – and young at heart – no matter how hard to please. For a relaxed day out, get beachy in Melbourne’s bayside suburbs. Keep boredom at bay on thrilling high-speed rides at Luna Park in St Kilda, or try your luck at carnival games and circle sweetly on the carousel. Buckle up for indoor gokarting or catch waves at an urban surf park.

Regional Victoria has a high fun quotient, too. Work up an appetite at mini-golf courses, and get lost with the little ones in mazes and adventure parks. Burn off energy on wetlands walks and waterways, or hike and cycle through diverse terrain, filled with Victoria’s natural beauty. Count koalas and kangaroos as you go, and soak in natural hot springs afterward. It’s easy to find parks and beaches too – just perfect for ball play, sandcastle­s and water fun.

And finally, Coffee

Not many cities take their coffee as seriously as Melbourne does. Here, the bean and beverage are almost as sacred as footy, which is good news if you’re in the mood for the perfect caffeine hit.

At the city’s best cafes, profession­al baristas will happily talk beans and machines while carefully tending to your brew. And, not content to simply perfect the cafe creme, these caffeine gurus are riding the ‘third wave’ of coffee, at the crest of which are pourovers, syphons and clovers and cold-drip coffees. Next to an old-school Gaggia these new coffee machines look more like Beaker’s lab equipment but promise a perfect drop.

Need your special single origin at home? Speciality roasters are springing up faster than ever and most of the best cafes sell their supplier’s coffee, so it’s easy to bag locally roasted beans to take home. Look out for local favourites Padre, Seven Seeds, St Ali, Five Senses and Di Bella.

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