Victoria 5 Must See Places

On compiling a top 5 list for every state in Australia we are bound to upset someone. Somebody’s favourite destination will have been left off while another person may find the inclusion of one place over another outrageous.

For instance the traditional Ballarat/Bendigo rivalry raised its head in the decision making process about which town/city was included. Ballarat managed to tip the scales in its favour because there are a few things it just does a that little bit better and most people we asked preferred it!

By narrowing the list down to 5 essentials we hope to include 5 completely different experiences for each state.

So in no particular order and with no apologies:

1. Mount Hotham, places like Hotham prove that Australia is more than a red desert. The snow skiing accommodates all skill levels and if you look hard enough it is possible to find a quiet slope. The views from the Mount are sensational whether its summer or winter and in certain places you could be forgiven for thinking you were looking at a European village. It’s not all skiing though as summer on the mountain offers cycle races, festivals, 4WD tours, scenic chairlift rides and a host of other activities.

2. Philip and French Islands are worthy destinations in their own right but allied to the fact that they abut Wilsons Promontry with its beaches, wildlife and bushland ensures they get a berth. As the southern most point of mainland Australia the region is full of history and charm and a visit to the islands for a meal of fresh local seafood and a chance to get up close and personal with koalas, seals and penguins tops it off.

3. Halls Gap, Grampians National Park. No other reason for selection is necessary apart from the sheer magnificence of the landscape with stunning cliffs, rock outcrops, crystal streams and lush valleys. Halls Gap is far enough from Melbourne to still feel rural and not so remote that any sense of Melbourne’s great taste and style are lost. Accommodation ranges from camping to 'Bed and Breakfast' to world class. When it comes to dining or locating a bottle of wine the options are plentiful and the quality and service usually superb. Did we mention the views?

4. Great Ocean Road is a must self-drive journey. Steal, borrow or hire your own vehicle and enjoy the trip along the coast at your leisure, choosing where to stay and when to end it. Again you are in Victoria so the food is usually great and the service sincere. Do a little history, view whales on the ocean – marsupials on the land, play golf, surf, sail, whatever takes your fancy the whole time sucking in the stunning coastline and amazing road.

5. Ballarat just takes the honours over Bendigo because of a quick survey on popularity. Both locale offers up a massive dose of history and both trace their origins back to the beginnings of Australia and the Victorian gold rushes. The architecture is inspiring, the surrounding countryside pretty and the services and dining are typically Victorian – terrific.

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