Exploring the Cultural Chameleon That is Melbourne

Image courtesy of melodyayresgriffiths via flickr

Image courtesy of melodyayresgriffiths via flickr

There are hundreds of reasons to visit Melbourne, and millions of people from around the world flock to the city each year to dine at the remarkable restaurants, tour the incredible attractions and experience the vibrant culture of the Victorian capital. After you have spent some time shopping and dining at the Docklands, walking along the Yarra River or watching Australian Rules Football, you might want to see what else Victoria has to offer. Melbourne’s international airport and transportation hub makes it the perfect place to start a journey in the area, and there is certainly no shortage of trips to take throughout the region. Here are some of the best adventures that start in Melbourne and allow Australians make the most of their trip to Victoria.

Take a Road Trip on the Great Ocean Road

The Great Ocean Road, despite its name, is more than just a stretch of road through Victoria. It encompasses a large portion of the coastal region, and it represents the best way to see the entire area in one go. The most popular section of the Great Ocean Road runs for 243 kilometres, starting at Torquay and ending at Warrnambool. By driving along this part of Victoria, you will get to see surfing towns like Torquay, beautiful beaches like Aireys Inlet, and incredible natural landmarks like the Point Addis lookout, the Twelve Apostles and the Razorback Rock Formation. A road trip along the Great Ocean Road is perfect for romantic getaways and family holidays, providing ample scenic views for anyone who wants to glimpse the natural beauty of Victoria has to offer.

Explore the Yarra Valley’s Wine Region

Although the Yarra Valley is just an hour away from the centre of Melbourne, it offers a completely different environment from the hustle and bustle of the city. Visitors will be able to do everything from cycling through the mountains to riding in a hot-air balloon, but there’s no question that the region’s biggest draw is the sheer number of wineries and vineyards. For lovers of Pinot Noir and Chardonnay, Helen’s Hill Winery is a fantastic option that also includes a gourmet restaurant onsite. A few of the other popular wineries in the Yarra Valley include Tokar Estate, Oakridge Wines and Whispering Hills, all of which offer fascinating tours and a peek into their cellars.

Grampians National Park

While most travellers visit Victoria in order to visit the vibrant metropolis of Melbourne, Grampians National Park offers a completely different and unique experience. The stunning peaks of the mountains in the park make up part of the Great Dividing Range, and the area is ideal for those who want to hike, picnic outdoors, spot wildlife in their natural habitats, and understand more about Aboriginal culture. With more than a hundred and sixty kilometres of trails to hike or cycle, this is an outdoor adventure for anyone who wants to experience nature in its purest form; you will love natural attractions such as the Mackenzies Falls and Silverband Falls.

Philip Island

Thanks to its location, which is just a two hour drive away from Melbourne, Philip Island is a big hit with locals as well as travellers who are looking to get away for a few days. Philip Island is connected to the mainland with a bridge, and drivers can easily cross over to the island at any time. Once you are on the island, there is no end of fun things to do, see, taste and explore. If you’re a foodie, you’ll love the island’s emphasis on local produce, organic ingredients and seasonal menus. The biggest attraction on the island is undoubtedly the nightly Penguin Parade. You can see the local penguins make their way from the sand to the sea – a truly unforgettable experience.

While Melbourne has a handful of the best restaurants, nightlife spots, museums and historical landmarks in Australia, it is not representative of the entire state of Victoria. While you are travelling around, make sure to get the most out of the state and don’t forget to invest in travel insurance. Even when you are not venturing abroad, getting travel insurance quotes online can be a smart way to protect yourself, your family and your belongings as you hop from city to city throughout Victoria and throughout Australia as a whole.