Top 10

1. 12 Apostles

Jostle for a selfie spot at the 12 Apostles viewing platform at sunset or make your way down to the beach via the Gibson Steps to see the towering limestone stacks as waves lap at your toes. The famous 12 Apostles are unforgettable from any angle.

2. Koalas

Spot koalas in the wild: keep your eyes peeled for slumbering locals in the treetops of the Great Otway National Park. For guaranteed sightings, stop at nearby Kennett River, or ferry across to Raymond Island in Gippsland, and French Island on the Mornington Peninsula.

3. Penguins

Watch the impossibly cute waddle of Little Penguins making their way from the water to their burrows at Phillip Island's Penguin Parade. While you're there, take a boat ride to see Australia's largest colony of fur seals at Seal Rocks.

4. Wilsons Promontory

Discover Victoria's largest coastal wilderness area at Gippsland's pristine Wilsons Promontory. Watch for wombats, emus, kangaroos and parrots as you explore walking trails and white sandy beaches. Marvel at the arresting sight of Skull Rock. Build your visit to 'The Prom' into a four-day Gippsland Wilderness Escape round trip from Melbourne.

5. Grampians (Gariwerd) National Park

Enjoy peak nature as you hit the hiking trails in Grampians (Gariwerd) National Park. Venture to spectacular lookouts and plunging waterfalls. Enjoy displays of spring wildflowers, abundant birdlife and wandering wildlife – kangaroo close-ups guaranteed.

6. Tower Hill

Meet the locals – koalas, emus, kangaroos, echidnas and waterbirds – roaming freely at Tower Hill. Explore the walking trails within the extinct volcano or take a guided tour to learn about the local Aboriginal history and cultural heritage.

7. Nature tours

See wildlife in its natural habitat and take in spectacular scenery with an abundance of nature and wildlife tours to choose from. Let the wildlife experts lead the way with Echidna Walkabout Nature Tours, or saddle up for adventure on the Five-Day Man From Snowy River Heritage Ride.

8. Great Ocean Walk

Experience one of Australia's most spectacular walks: stretching 104 kilometres along the Southern Ocean coastline, the Great Ocean Walk takes in clifftops, beach, forest and dunes. Opt for a day walk or trek the whole distance.

9. Dolphins and seals

Dive right in: swim and snorkel with dolphins and seals in Port Phillip Bay on a boat tour from Sorrento or Queenscliff. While you're on the Mornington Peninsula, don your snorkel to spot resident weedy seadragons at Flinders Pier and seahorses at Rye Pier.

10. Rail trails

Two wheel it on Victoria's impressive rail trail network. Whisk along the Murray to Mountains Rail Trail into the Victorian Alps, wend your way through the Yarra Valley on the Lilydale to Warburton Rail Trail, or cycle through lush dairy country on the Gippsland Plains Rail Trail.


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Top 11 to 25

11. Birdwatching

Bust out your binoculars and get serious about twitching in the Dandenong Ranges, prized for its lyrebird sights, or further afield at Croajingolong National Park, home to half of Victoria's (and one third of Australia's) bird species.

12. Lake Elizabeth

Paddle with platypuses on Lake Elizabeth. Hidden deep in the Otways, the lake is one of the best places in Australia to see the elusive platypus in the wild. Be ready to paddle at dawn or dusk for your best chance to glimpse the curious monotreme.

13. Wilsons Promontory Cruise

Take a full-day Wildlife Coast Cruise from Port Welshpool to explore Wilsons Promontory from the water. Stop at pristine, deserted beaches for lunch, view the lighthouse from the ocean, and discover the fur seal colony at Kanowna Island.

14. Sanctuaries

Enjoy up-close encounters at Victoria's best wildlife sanctuaries. Feed the animals, talk to keepers and meet local fauna you might not get to see in the wild. Healesville Sanctuary and Moonlit Sanctuary Wildlife Conservation Park are both within easy reach of Melbourne.

15. Forests

Enjoy the tranquillity of temperate rainforest in the Dandenongs, the Otways and Tarra Bulga National Park. Find yourself dwarfed by the mountain ash of the Black Spur and by the California Redwood grove in the Otways (with nearby waterfalls to boot).

16. Glamping

Sleep in five-star comfort under millions more at Victoria's best glamping sites. Treat yourself to a stay at Metung Hot Springs or Halls Gap Lakeside Tourist Park in the Grampians.

17. Glow worms

By day, Melba Gully in the Great Otway National Park delivers lush self-guided rainforest walks. After dark, thousands of tiny glow worms transform the tranquil bushland into a spectacular constellation of tiny lights. Glow worms also reside at Mait's Rest, near Apollo Bay, and Kennett River.

18. Mountain biking

Set out on an epic adventure and explore more than 100 kilometres of cross-country trails at Mount Buller. Don't miss the Australian Alpine Epic Trail. Over at Falls Creek, Blue Dirt Mountain Biking will shuttle you up the mountain for a killer run back down.

19. High Country horse riding

Saddle up for an equine adventure through stunning alpine scenery. Whether beginner or Man From Snowy River, you'll find a single or multi-day ride at a comfort level to suit. Sleep under the stars in a swag or enjoy the creature comforts of a deluxe spa cabin.

20. Salt Lakes

See Victoria's true colours at dusk and dawn. Our salt lakes' vivid hues and reflections are a photographer's dream. Think pink at Lake Tyrrell, Victoria's largest salt lake, 75 kilometres from Swan Hill; at Murray-Sunset National Park's Pink Lakes; and at Pink Lake, Dimboola.

21. Desert landscapes

Discover the extraordinary diversity of Victoria's desert parks, ideal for off-road adventurers, wildlife watchers and twitchers alike. Don't miss Little Desert in the Grampians and, further north, the Murray's Hattah-Kulkyne National Park and Murray-Sunset National Park. Just make sure to check the Parks Victoria website for up-to-date flood warnings and closures. 

22. Rock climbing

Get to grips with Victoria's best rock climbing and take your pick of more than 2,000 designated climbs at world-renowned Mount Arapiles. At Mount Buffalo, cliff picnics take dining to new heights (a suspended ledge 300 metres above the valley floor).

23. The Murray River

Venture along the mighty Murray River for some of Victoria's best wildlife watching. See kangaroos, koalas, goannas, emus and abundant birdlife. Make time for a stroll through Barmah National Park, a sublime forest and wetlands area home to more than 200 native bird species, and to explore Gunbower Island, Australia's largest inland island.

24. Snow

Hit the slopes at Victoria's alpine resorts. Day tripper or expert skier, you'll find plenty of frosty fun to suit on downhill runs and cross-country trails, half pipes and terrain parks, husky rides and toboggan runs, snowshoe adventures and sunset snowmobile tours.

25. Waterfalls

Follow the roar to truly spectacular waterfalls. Seek Victoria's largest waterfall, MacKenzie Falls, in Grampians (Gariwerd) National Park; the tiered Toorongo Falls in Gippsland; and the cascading trifecta of Erskine Falls, Beauchamp Falls and Triplet Falls in the Great Otway National Park.


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Plan before you go

Make sure you check weather and terrain conditions and pack plenty of water before you embark on an outdoor adventure. Keep up-to-date with the latest warnings and advice via the Parks Victoria and Vic Emergency websites.