I have put together some scenic drives and their websites to help you plan your Victorian Holiday.
I have done all of them, have travelled most of the backroads and main roads, so you may have guessed, I like Victoria.
* THE GREAT OCEAN ROAD.......Recognised as one of the world’s most scenic drives
The GOR follows the stunning coastline for 243 kilometres from Torquay, just south of Geelong, to Allansford, just east of Warrnambool.
Remember on this journey, you will be stopping a lot to see the sights. The road is not a race track either, although it is in good condition.
This is a great website that will give you all the information that you need to know, even the driving times, like from Melbourne to Warnambool along the GOR will take approx 51/2 hours to do the 350km journey.
Favorite thing: April weather is really unstable in Victoria (Melbourne is the capital city of this state), but you can pretty much count on it being quite cool through the days anywhere from 11-18 deg C and very cool at night 8-11 deg C, so bring warm clothes. Victoria has been in a drought for 10 years and we are currently on water restrictions, so rain hasn't been a problem, but as I said the weather is really unstable so be prepared for anything from hail to sun (People say the Crowded House song "Four seasons in one day" was written with Melbourne in mind)but it sure as anything will not be like Florida.
Favorite thing: When you're not looking at the beach, you'll be loooking at this, equally beautiful in my opinion, in its own way. Whole segments of the road look like this, rough scrub as far as the eye can see. Small sections pass through rainforest, and there are towns, but passing point to point, you see a lot of this.
I always like to add a few information tips about the plants and animals I see along my path.
Here is a picture of Bower Spinach (Tetragonia implexicoma), which is a common bluff plant found along the Victorian coast.
It has a beautiful yellow flower, and there are smaller red berries which are great food for lizards and birds.
The main purpose of this vegetation is to prevent landslides from coastal areas, and it has protected Phillip Island's "Nobbies" Nature Park from soil erosion.
One of the important first steps to planning a trip to Victoria is to visit the tourism bureau online. This site provides some excellent information on all of the "pieces" of Victoria, and uses the jigsaw puzzle to seperate the different tourism areas throughout it.
Victoria is split into several different territories:
Yarra Valley, Dandenongs and The Ranges
Melbourne's Bays & Peninsulas
Macedon Ranges and Spa Country
Goulburn Murray Waters
The Great Ocean Road
Legends, Wine and High Country
Phillip Island and Gippsland Discovery
Mildura and Murray Outback
Lakes and Wilderness
Fondest memory: http://www.visitvictoria.com
The weather at the Great Ocean Road is unpredictable so be prepared. I remembered starting in the rain, followed by long periods of sunshine and then the rain came again. The wind is very strong so extra clothing is essential.
Fondest memory: Taking a leisure walk along the famous Yarra River and experience the sights and sounds is indeed a very good experience. When you are tired, you can sit on the benches and watch the world go by.
Victoria as it seems centers on chiefly Melbourne and the Gold Fields, plus a few other places like the Great Ocean Road and Wilsons Promontory. But there are of course countless other little places which are out of the way thus yet to be discovered or at least worth a trip to if they are known.
In the early winter of 2002 I set out from Melbourne on a 4915Km bicycling trek to Darwin. I passed through the state's south west and discovered for my self some really nice off the beaten track places I hadn't even heard of. Many main towns I had learn't of years before, but knew nothing about, were often pleasant surprise to visit. To name a few there was Lavers Hill with it's cosy pub, and after getting there I felt I was truely out of the locations over influenced by Greater Melbourne. Although every artist and his dog has painted it I found Tower Hill an intriguing place to coast down into it's marshy crater. While in Koroit, which I saw in a rainstorm, I learnt of it's friendly bakery and fine humble Victorian era mainstreet. At the hamlet of Yambuk I stayed in a beautiful old Edwardian school building owned and run by the local Aboriginal community. The town of Portland nearby was to me the state's most unknown city, it's also the oldest.
Fondest memory: I took my own state for granted and didn't really learn to appreciate it until I got on my bike!
Favorite thing: The "London Bridge" was a famous natural bridge structure along the Great Ocean Road. Years back, the middle of the bridge structure collapsed and some tourists were trapped on the other side. After many hours in the cold coastal weather, they were finally rescued. This is a photo of the remains of the structure today.
Traditionally, Elders governed the clans, making decisions on matters such as deciding penalties for transgression of Aboriginal Law, directing hunting and gathering activities to maintain harmony with the environment, ceremonial activities, trade and clan gatherings.
In Victoria and throughout Australia, Elders are highly respected as the keepers of the knowledge. Elders know the Dreaming stories, the sacred sites, the traditions and cultural practices.
Aboriginal people have, for many thousands of years, had an association with Gariwerd, as the Grampians is traditionally known.
Linked culturally and linguistically, the numerous clans have left much evidence of their lives in the region. Ancient oven mounds, scatterings of stone left over from tool making, rock art sites and, of course, the beliefs handed down from one generation to the next.
To this day, descendants of the original clans of Gariwerd continue their strong connection with the Grampians region.
In 1991, the traditional names of 49 places within the Grampians region were restored, recognising the important heritage and mythology of western Victoria’s Aboriginal people.
The Dreamtime refers to the Creation era when Spirit Ancestors made epic journeys across a flat and barren landscape creating the geographical features of the land and every living thing.
During this creation period the Ancestors created the laws that govern Aboriginal life.
The events of the Dreaming form the basis of Aboriginal law, religion, spiritual values and social relationships. The Dreaming sets down the relationship of people to their land and to every living creature in it.
Through descent from Creation Ancestors, people belong to a certain stretch of country and maintain responsibility for caring for the environmental and spiritual wellbeing of that country. The stories, particular designs and images are ‘owned’ by those people as their Dreaming.
A person’s Dreaming is the place where that person’s spirit came from and to where it must return.
For over 40,000 years prior to the arrival of European colonists, 30 nations or clans of Aboriginal people lived in what is now the state of Victoria.
Their rich tribal culture developed through intricate social systems and a profound connection to the land.
For Aboriginal people, including those in highly urbanised communities, land is central to their identities, their heritage and their spiritual existence.
Here is the remains of the London bridge. One of the arches collapsed in January 1990 and visitors were saved by helicopters.
It is also here you can look down at the beach and see more penguin trails.
It was here that one of Victoria’s most tragic shipwrecks happened mopre than a century back.
The ship name gave name to the gorge.
Fifty-two people died after the sailing ship, the iron clipper Loch Ard, rammed into the sheer cliffs of Muttonbird Island in stormy weather on 1 June, 1878, just days from completing a three-month voyage from England to Melbourne.
Loch Ard Gorge - you need to do some walking to the lookout...but the view is really magi\nificent. There is a signange to tell the history of it.
The view is so beautiful and you may want to walk around the beach - take the wooden steps down etc...there you will be treated with towering cliffs, sparkling blue-green sea and a small, sandy beach.
Panoramic city views are breathtaking from this ideal location on the famous South bank Promenade....more
308-310 High Street, Princes Highway M1, Belmont, Geelong, Victoria, Australia
Good for: Couples
Had a wonderful 5 day stay in this Hotel, conveniently located close to Sovereign Hill. The staff...more