Keen to travel for good in Victoria? Help protect Victoria's beautiful and diverse landscapes, wildlife and culture, as you travel around the state. Learn how you can look after our unique environment and support local communities. We've put together a list of top travel tips, to help reduce your environmental impact as you explore Victoria.
1. Seek out sustainable experiences
Victoria has a diverse array of eco-friendly travel options. Book into off-grid tiny houses, eco-lodges and farm stays. Answer the call of the wild at our diverse national parks and green spaces. Try a meat-free meal at local eateries, or sit down to a delicious degustation loaded with local produce, sometimes sourced from the kitchen's own garden. Take a tour with a difference, on a certified eco experience. Explore not-for-profit enterprises with a strong social impact.
2. Learn about Victoria's rich Indigenous culture
South Eastern Australia's first people have a living history which reaches back more than 60,000 years. There's plenty of opportunities to connect to Victoria's Indigenous culture and acknowledge the traditional owners of this land. Visit cultural centres, take a tour with an expert guide, and pull up a chair at restaurants and cafes showcasing native ingredients, such as Mabu Mabu and Big Esso in Melbourne and GLaWAC Bush Cafe in Gippsland.
3. Embrace and protect local nature and wildlife
Help protect our unique flora and fauna. Give our wildlife space to be – observe them from a distance. Don't feed birds or local wildlife, as it can make them sick. Be sure to properly store and dispose of food, when you're out in nature. Keep your shoes and bicycle wheels clean to avoid spreading disease and harmful bacteria, by scrubbing and disinfecting them before you set out on walking tracks. Always keep to the paths, so as not to destroy sensitive habitat.
You can still have an unforgettable wildlife experience in Victoria. Book some time with sustainable tourism operators directly involved in conservation projects, such as Sea All Dolphin Swims in Queenscliff and Wildlife Wonders at Apollo Bay, along the Great Ocean Road.
4. Camp in designated areas
Camping is permitted in national reserves and holiday parks around Victoria, and is an easy and pleasant way to connect with our nature. You can pitch a tent in 25 of Victoria's 35 national parks. Some sites are fully serviced, while other camping areas are without facilities. Fees and permits may apply. To book a campsite ahead of time (which is recommended), visit Parks Victoria or call 13 19 63.
While camping, you can help look after our beautiful parks and reserves. Please leave firearms at home, observe total fire bans and light fires only in designated fireplaces, or use a gas or fuel stove. Some but not all campgrounds are dog-friendly. Hounds on holiday may be required to remain on-leash, to help protect our native plants and animals.
5. Be a tidy traveller
Please take responsibility for your litter, as you travel around Victoria. Most towns have designated waste and recycling facilities, where you can easily dispose of any accumulated rubbish. Bring your own reusable bottle and coffee cup to cut down on waste. Go further and pack your own reusable cutlery and personal items such as shampoo and soap, to eliminate the need for plastic items and mini bottles. Avoid answering nature's call while immersed in nature, by using a bathroom wherever possible. Leave no trace to keep Victoria clean and beautiful.
6. Support local communities
Many of our regional communities rely heavily on tourism and there's plenty of ways to support them. Eat at locally owned cafes and restaurants and drop into family-run breweries, distilleries and wineries. Stay in regional towns and cities, at local hotels, B&B's, retreats and on farms. Pick up a unique souvenir or learn a new skill at a creative class or practical workshop.
7. Drive safely
Roads in Victoria might be different to what you're used to. With our diverse range of landscapes, narrow roads, weather extremes and long-distances must be taken into consideration, before you get behind the wheel. Observe road rules, stick to the speed limit and keep an eye out for local wildlife – particularly at dawn and dusk, when they are most active.
Please also keep to designated roads. Driving off track can damage soil, plants and cultural sites. Always check weather forecasts and conditions before you set off and allow for more time than you think you'll need. Make sure you factor in regular breaks, to rest.
8. Stick to the path
Tread carefully in Victoria. Keep to designated tracks in forests, bushland and national parks, and along coastal trails. Fences and barriers help keep you safe and protect our environment. Observe all warning signage and if you encounter wildlife, please don't approach the animal – it's best to keep a respectful distance.
9. Give time to yourself
Seek out time to relax and recharge, in nature and beyond. Victoria is home to an abundance of natural mineral and ancient geothermal springs. Soak aching muscles and cleanse your mind in the beautiful bush surrounds of Peninsula Hot Springs and delve into thermal pools at Deep Blue Hot Springs Warrnambool. Take time out from everyday stresses in our verdant parks, gardens, forests and arboretums, or curl up with a good book in secret gardens and hidden green spaces.
10. Get to know us
Victorians are a friendly bunch! We're a melting-pot of cultures – particularly in our capital Melbourne, which is one of the most culturally diverse cities in Australia.
Say hi on the street or strike up a conversation at a pub, bar, cafe or restaurant – you might even pick up some local's tips for your visit.