The state of Victoria comes to mind every time “road trip” is mentioned. The best tourist spots in the state are very accessible and Victoria is also home to the most scenic coastal drive in Australia, the Great Ocean Road. Hiring a motorhome or a campervan can help you get around this picturesque place without leaving the comforts of a home on the road, and what better way to start your road trip than in a Hippie Camper?
Start at Melbourne or Adelaide
Before you go on that fun-filled journey, it’s best to start at Victoria’s capital city of Melbourne. This metropolis is known for its vibrant façade, a strong sense of artistry and inclination to sports, especially cricket. Find time to go around and immerse in Melbourne for free tram using the that goes around its CBD.
Adelaide nicknamed “the city of churches,” is an alternative starting point, especially if you are coming from the South. Adelaide is famous for their backstreet graffiti, boutique shops and chic bars.
Melbourne and Adelaide are 726 kilometres apart and takes about 8 hours to cross from one city to another. Rent or pick up your vehicle in any of these two cities. So if you’re all geared up and ready to go, here are 10 self-drive destinations in Victoria that you should not miss.
You don’t have to go far from Melbourne to experience nature. The penguin sanctuary in Phillip Island is a great place to see these cute mammals. Every night, tourists can watch the “Penguin Parade” where groups of penguins walk to shore. The Nobbies centre is another attraction that drives visitors to this island. It houses much wildlife including koalas, several species of birds and fur seals.
Drive about 100 kilometres south-east of Melbourne and you will arrive at the first point along the Great Ocean Road, the surfing town of Torquay. Its world-renowned waves attract amateur and experienced surfers alike. Bells Beach in Torquay is the site of the annual Rip Curl Pro, one of the top-rated surfing competitions in the world. The town is also perfect for a relaxing walk along the shoreline or sunbathing.
Otway National Park
Continuing on your Ocean Road journey, you will arrive at Otway National Park. This place is great for taking photos because of its scenic views. Be sure to drop by the Cape Otway Lightstation, mainland Australia’s oldest lighthouse. Dare to climb the 45-metre Otway Fly Treetop Walk, the longest and tallest treetop canopy of its kind in the world. The facility also has an exhilarating zip line ride that will leave you thrilled.
12 Apostles and Bay of Islands
Perhaps the most popular site on The Great Road, the 12 Apostles is a sight to behold. Million years of erosion has formed these 45-metre rock formation into how it is today. During dusk and dawn, it changes colour from dark to sandy yellow. To fully appreciate its beauty, simply head down the beach below through the Gibson Steps, where the coastline perfectly contrasts the 70-metre high vertical cliff line.
Just 3.5 kilometres from the 12 Apostles is the Loch Ard Gorge cliff. Not far from the area is another must-see: the Bay of Islands. This 32-kilometre coastal park has a great view of the ocean, rock stacks, sheer cliffs, and beaches.
BY Prerak Patel
Tower Hill State Game Reserve
Warrnambool is a place to be closer to nature. Just 15 kilometres from the town lies Tower Hill, a dormant volcano. Tower Hill was made into a state game reserve and is home to animals such as emus, kangaroos, and koalas. People can see its diverse wildlife while enjoying their barbie in a nearby picnic area.
A 15-minute drive from the reserve is Port Fairy, a coastal town known for their old stone churches, Norfolk pines, and 19th century cottages. During winter months, visitors can go whale watching here. Stay for the night at the country-style Merrijig Inn, the oldest in Victoria.
Geelong and Bellarine Peninsula
Less than two hours Southwest of Melbourne lies the city of Geelong. Victoria’s second largest metropolis has a bustling port. Kids will love its steam-powered, hand crafted carousel which is over a hundred years old. Tickets are sold at only $3.50.
Geelong’s waterfront is also riddled with bollard people and wood carvings of the city’s history and local figures. For a unique souvenir, drop by the Geelong Vintage Market. Here, you can choose from a huge collection of antique and quirky items.
The Great Aussie Beer Shed
Aussies just love their drinks! The Great Aussie Beer Shed has a huge collection of beer and beverage-related items that will astound anyone. The shed now has 16,000 collections from old bottles, retro bar signs, modern brewery equipment to beer barrels. Visit them at 377 Maryann Road, Echuca and get a personal tour from its owner Neil Thomas.
Peninsula Hot Springs
The daily grind may have worn you out. To relax your mind and body, head to the hot springs. Victoria’s Peninsula Hot Springs is just two hours from Melbourne. The place is famous for their natural thermal mineral waters that relax tired muscles and give plenty of medicinal benefits. The facility has over 20 bathing areas based on hot springs around the world like cave pool, reflexology walk, and Turkish steam bath.
Coorong National Park
Dive into the untamed wilderness and learn from the Ngarrindjeri people. Coorong’s tranquillity will instil peace into your being. The park also has a 140-kilometre narrow lagoon that runs parallel to the coastal dunes and a wetland ecosystem that includes freshwater lakes and estuaries.
Birdwatchers can also get a glimpse of several species of birds as pelicans, ibis, terns, wild ducks and terns head towards their breeding grounds.
Colac Culinary Tour
What’s a road trip without a great culinary experience? The town of Colac is the perfect gastronomic destination because of its restaurants that serve different cuisines. Brae, which serves home-grown organic food, received the illustrious Restaurant of the Year Award in 2015 by The Age Good Food Guide. Future Restaurant Colac is one of the top rated restaurants in the area. Their food choices range from sea food to home-cooked delicacies. Dishes cost an average of $13 to $57.
Victoria offers some of the best self-drive destinations in Australia. Renting a campervan will not only save you on accommodation but will also help you manage your schedule better. To get affordable deals on these vehicles, book a Hippie campervan today. *terms and conditions apply with travel in Adelaide- please check with our friendly reservations staff.