Things to Do in Victoria
First opened in 1912, Luna Park Melbourne is a slice of theme park history. Enter through the mouth of Mr. Moon and ride historic attractions, including the Great Scenic Railway wooden roller coaster. Old-time favorites, such as a ghost train and hall of mirrors, offer thrills to kids, as do bumper cars, carousels, and modern rides.
Australia might be famous for its kangaroos and koalas, but the Werribee Open Range Zoo offers all the excitement of an African safari on Aussie shores. Lions, rhinoceros, giraffes, and gorillas all roam freely in the park’s 494-acre (200-hectare) grasslands, affording visitors some incredible wildlife-watching opportunities.
Chugging its way through the rugged bushlands, fern gullies, and ancient woodlands of the Dandenong Ranges, the Puffing Billy Railway is one of Australia’s most scenic train journeys. The spectacular views of the Yarra Valley are just part of the experience—the historic steam engines, Victorian-style interiors, and open-air carriages that allow for dangling legs make it a fun and memorable activity for the whole family.
The Yarra River winds its way through Melbourne’s Central Business District (CBD) plus a number of suburbs. In the city, bars, restaurants, and parks thrive along its banks, bringing locals and tourists together. Numerous festivals and sporting events take place on the Yarra, including the famous Moomba Festival and rowing regattas.
The Melbourne Zoo has been open since 1862, making it Australia's oldest zoo. Modeled after the London Zoo, the Melbourne Zoo houses more than 300 species from around the world, from elephants and lions to Aussie natives like kangaroos and koalas. The zoo is also a conservation center dedicated to fighting wildlife extinction.
See thousands of marine animals without leaving the city at the SEA LIFE Melbourne aquarium. Boasting more than 10 themed zones, the aquarium features penguins, sharks, rays, crocodiles, starfish, and much more. The ocean’s diversity and marine conservation efforts are the focus at this popular family attraction.
One of the world's most famous driving routes, Victoria's Great Ocean Road offers scenic surprises at every fork in the road. In signature Australian style, endless stretches of white sandy beaches are flanked by dense pockets of rain forest, charming coastal towns, and canopies populated by koalas.
Situated right at the end of Victoria’s Great Ocean Road, the Twelve Apostles are a set of eight rock formations—there used to be twelve—jutting out of the Southern Ocean. These limestone pillars were once connected to the nearby cliffs but have been eroded away into caves, pillars, and arches from the harsh conditions of the ocean.
Melbourne Museum provides a great experience for adults and children alike. A series of permanent exhibitions relating to the culture, history and the environment of Melbourne and Victoria are housed in several galleries including a lush Forest Gallery, an Aboriginal gallery and a Children’s area.
Exhibitions include Science and Life, Melbourne Story, Evolution, Mind and Body, and many more. Get to see bones and displays of Australia’s mega fauna (giant animals), experience the Dinosaur Walk, Bugs Alive!, Amazing Animals and The Human Body.
Temporary exhibitions run about twice a year and cover a variety of themes.The Museum also houses a good café, an IMAX center and – the museum’s most popular object – a taxidermy original of Australia’s most famous racehorse, Phar Lap.
Housed in a striking building with a huge glass façade, Melbourne Museum is not immediately visible if you approach from the CBD as it stands behind the impressive Royal Exhibition Building in Carlton Gardens.
Amid the sweeping coastal vistas and jagged sea cliffs of the Great Ocean Road, the Great Otway National Park serves up some of the most spectacular natural scenery along the famous drive. Stretching over 100,000 hectares along the southwest coast from Torquay to Princetown, the park encompasses a startling variety of scenery, from lush rainforest, waterfalls and lakes, to rocky bays, dramatic headlands and golden sand beaches.
The park makes a popular spot for hiking, mountain biking or horseback riding, with a network of waymarked trails and the 91km Great Ocean Walk running through the heart of the park. It’s also a hotspot for spotting native Australian wildlife, with key destinations including the Cape Otway Lighthouse, a prime spot for watching whales and dolphins along the coast; the Melba Gully, renowned for its glowworms; and the Otway Fly, where adventurous travelers can see the rainforest up close on the world’s longest treetop walk or a thrilling zip-line course.
More Things to Do in Victoria
Dive into nature’s wonderland! The Enchanted Adventure Garden, situated on the Mornington Peninsula at scenic Arthurs Seat, offers 22 acres of outdoor thrills and adventures. Seasonal gardens bursting with vibrant colors set the backdrop for activities, as travelers can cruise through the treetops with a canopy walk, get lost in the hedge maze, or zipline through the greenery.
Adventure-seekers will love tree surfing and tube sliding. Other options include getting lost among the hedge topiary sculptures, wandering through the bushland obstacles and relaxing with a picnic at the onsite café and take it all in.
Put yourself in the picture at ArtVo, the first immersive art gallery, or “trick art” gallery, in Australia. Spanning 21,528 square feet (2,000 square meters), the Melbourne gallery displays more than 100 interactive, large-scale paintings on walls and floors that allow you to become part of the art through photos.
Get away from Melbourne’s bustling city center without actually leaving town at the Royal Botanic Gardens Victoria. This 89-acre (36-hectare) park is home to more than 8,500 plant species, tranquil lakes, and lush lawns. Join guided walking tours, workshops, or presentations, or feel free to walk around the flourishing oasis on your own.
Melbourne’s National Gallery of Victoria is Australia’s largest and oldest art gallery. Since 1861, it has housed many impressive collections and works by homegrown talent as well as Asian, American, Oceanic, and European artists, including Rembrandt and Picasso. It features a large free permanent collection and rotating, ticketed exhibits.
Grampians National Park offers more than 646 square miles (1,673 square kilometers) of rugged sandstone peaks, with wildflowers, waterfalls, fern gullies, and vineyards. The park is known for its stunning natural landscape and many ancient Aboriginal rock art sites.
The coastal outcropping of Wilsons Promontory is Australia’s southernmost point. Towering granite peaks and white-sand beaches dominate the scenery in the area known as The Prom by locals. Look out for kangaroos, koalas, and penguins in this remote-seeming area that's not far from Gippsland.
The building that once held Victoria’s most notorious criminals is now one of Melbourne’s oldest surviving structures and a museum devoted to its past. From 1845 to 1924, hundreds of violent criminals were jailed and hanged at the Old Melbourne Gaol, including the infamous bushranger and outlaw Ned Kelly and gangster Squizzy Taylor.
Phillip Island is brimming with memorable wildlife experiences, but its headline act is the nightly Penguin Parade. Each night at dusk, thousands of little penguins—the largest colony in Australia of the world’s smallest penguin breed—can be seen along the shores of Summerland Beach, waddling back to their beachside burrows after a day at sea.
Federation Square, just across from Flinders Street Station, is Melbourne's beating heart and favorite meeting spot. Numerous city events take place here throughout the year, making it a must-visit attraction for all travelers. The square is surrounded by many bars and restaurants, and is home to the Ian Potter Centre, an Australian art museum.
Dating back to the 14th century, St. Patrick’s Cathedral is a recognizable feature of Melbourne’s skyline. As well as being hailed as one of the finest examples of Gothic-Revival architecture in the world, the cathedral is the tallest and largest Christian structure in Australia. It’s also home to an organ that boasts 4,500 pipes.
Tumbling 122 meters from the steep cliffs of the Steavenson River valley, the Steavenson Falls make an impressive sight, with the river cascading over 5 tiers. Despite being among the areas damaged in Victoria’s 2009 bushfires, the area remains one of the region’s most scenic natural reserves, surrounded by the looming peaks of the Yarra Ranges, ancient woodlands and lush pockets of rainforest.
Most visitors to the falls follow the short trail to the viewing platform beneath the falls, but there are also ample options for hiking and bird watching in the surrounding countryside. The most atmospheric time to visit is in the evening hours before midnight, when the falls are dramatically floodlit.
A ride on the Arthurs Seat Eagle gondola whisks visitors to the 1,030-foot (314-meter) summit of Arthurs Seat—the highest point in the Mornington Peninsula. Spectacular views are guaranteed both during the climb and from the hilltop viewpoint, from which you can see Port Philips Bay and Melbourne on a clear day.
A signature Melbourne experience, Eureka Skydeck 88 is a 360-degree viewing platform set atop the 974-foot (274-meter) Eureka Tower. For the daring there’s the Edge, a cantilevered glass cube that slides out from the building, leaving you suspended above the city streets. Vertigo, a green-screen set-up, simulates falling from the building.
The largest stadium in the Southern Hemisphere and one of the most famous sporting venues in Australia, Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG) is more than a Melbourne landmark. The legendary stadium has hosted the Olympic Games, the Commonwealth Games, the annual Boxing Day Test Match, and Australian Football League (AFL) Grand Final.
- Things to do in Melbourne
- Things to do in Yarra Valley
- Things to do in Ballarat
- Things to do in Tasmania
- Things to do in South Australia
- Things to do in New South Wales
- Things to do in Hobart
- Things to do in Adelaide
- Things to do in Sydney
- Things to do in Hunter Valley
- Things to do in Queensland
- Things to do in South Island
- Things to do in Northern Territory
- Things to do in North Island
- Things to do in Western Australia