When traveling in Australia, make sure you don’t get aggro, which means aggravated or upset, if you don’t have a chance to see all the Australian sites you wish.
The State of Victoria, Australia was founded as the colony of Victoria in 1851 on the site where Melbourne, the capital, now sits. Victoria is a relatively small state at a mere 228,000 sq. km (88,000 sq. mi.). This however is still a lot of ground to cover, which includes wineries, coastal beauty and the cutest penguins you ever set eyes on.
Check out our Melbourne page for information on the Victoria state capital.
Phillip Island and the Penguin Parade
Phillip Island is about 135 km (84 mi) south-east of Melbourne and is joined by bridge from the mainland. Fairy Penguins, every sunset, come in from fishing and return to their nests. Their parade is carefully monitored (and popular) so it recommended that you make a reservation with the tourist office. Phillip Island also has a seal colony and good surf beaches.
Great Ocean Road
The Great Ocean Road is 300 km (186 mi.) long and stretches along the coast between Torquay and Warrnambool. The towns of Angelsea, Lorne and Apollo Bay are examples of quaint seaside towns. Otway National Park is worth the visit for the various scenic lookouts, including the Cape Otway Lighthouse. In the Port Campbell National Park, check out the Loch Ard Shipwreck Museum.
As you leave the Great Ocean Road, and head further west, you will reach Port Fairy, one of the original settlements in Victoria to support whaling. However Portland is older.
To learn about the Gold Rush and its wild history Ballarat is the place to visit. Sovereign Hill is a recreation of and 1860s gold mining town.
In the northeast of Victoria, you enter the winder area around Glenrowan and Rutherglen. This area has a colorful history, particularly to do with Ned Kelly. He was and outlaw with a gang of bush rangers who killed three police officers and robbed banks. They had a final battle with authorities in Glenrowan and Kelly was later hanged in Melbourne in 1880. What makes this character compelling is his funky home made armor. Do you believe this stuff held up to bullets?
The wineries in the Rutherglen area are famous for their fortified wines, which many of us would call sherry and port. Take the time to do some tastings and enjoy the variety of wineries available. Also check out The Carlyle Cemetery, which dates back to 1865 with Gold Rush era Chinese burning Towers.
Beechworth is a quaint town in the Ovens Valley and is good for walking and cycling to admire the architecture.
As you head further east toward the NSW border you encounter Victoria’s alpine region. The centre piece of it is the Alpine National Park, which was only established in 1989. It is huge at 646,000 hectares (1.6 million acres). It is known for its bushwalking and, in winter, cross country skiing. If you want to take a bit of a walk (655 km – 407 mi.) you can take the Australian Alps Walking Track which runs from Walhalla to Canberra.
Gippsland is the south eastern section of Victoria and has a number of towns and sites worth exploring. Wilson’s Promontory is a favorite national park as it offers beaches, walks and visible wildlife including emus and kangaroos. Best is at dusk when you might see a wombat foraging by the side of the road.