Destination Highlight : Victoria, Australia
It might be Australia’s second-smallest state but it is also arguably Australia's most scenic and most exciting travel destination. Welcome to Victoria -- where you can discover a wealth of regional areas and attractions; ranging from the sweeping coastlines and pristine beaches of Mornington Peninsula, to the wildlife and wineries of Kyneton, and the charming cafes and streets of Mildura.
Located just hours south of Melbourne, Mornington Peninsula is home to numerous sandy coves and quaint seaside towns offering an array of activities. Here you will be able to go hang gliding on the steep cliffs overlooking Point Nepean, surf the sun kissed waves of Port Phillip, tee off on one of the area’s many highly-ranked golf courses, and explore 19th century dive wrecks.
Families and beach bunnies alike will love the area's many diverse swimming beaches. Of these, Rosebud and Rye are the most family-friendly and laid-back, with calm waters and soft sands. Portsea, while rockier, boasts of wonderful coastal views.
Rising 305 metres above sea level, Arthurs Seat is a must-see with its natural bushland and magnificent views of Port Phillip. Its many attractions include the McCrae Homestead -- a historic property located at the foot of the small mountain. Built in 1844, it is one of Victoria's oldest homesteads and is a reminder of how early Aussie pioneers worked, farmed and lived.
This is a former defensive facility, built in 1873 to protect the narrow entrance to Port Phillip. Used right up until World War II, the fort is now a national park where visitors with a thirst for history can view and learn more about Australia's military past.
Mornington Peninsula National Park
One of Victoria's most popular and well-loved natural attractions, Mornington Peninsula National Park is a sanctuary to many forms of Australian wildlife.
Moonlit Sanctuary Wildlife Conservation Park
This 25-acre sanctuary showcases the fauna that existed on the Mornington Peninsula prior to European settlement. The park's nocturnal animal walks are very popular.
Where To Stay: Nepean Country Club & Day Spa
Rest and relax at the impressive Nepean Country Club & Day Spa while exploring Mornington Peninsula. Great for guests of all ages and during all seasons, the resort promises plenty to keep you (and your loved ones!) occupied. These include twice weekly tai chi classes, aqua aerobics four times a week, and daily yoga sessions -- all conducted by fully qualified instructors.
Still want more? The Day Spa is sure to please with its extensive and affordable spa menu. Here you will be able to treat your body to a range of therapeutic massages, facials, and other holistic body treatments.
Located only an hour's drive from Melbourne, the historic town of Kyneton draws visitors looking to escape the daily grind and gourmet food aficionados. After all, the area is famous not just for its stunning bush vistas but also its many gourmet food producers.
The Kyneton Farmer's Market
Held every second Saturday of the month, the Kyneton Farmer’s Market at St Paul's Park becomes a hub of activity for the town. Both locals and visitors gather to socialize, shop fresh produce, and sample regional offerings such as award-winning olives, olive oils and preserves.
Gold Rush History
Kyneton was originally a gold rush town -- and evidence of these halcyon days still abound on its buildings and streets. Take a walk through the town centre and check out the beautiful old bluestone churches and buildings, many of which still boast their original facades and ornate verandas.
It is one of Australia's most enduring mysteries -- the as yet unsolved disappearance of several schoolgirls and their teacher during a picnic at Hanging Rock on Valentine's Day in 1900. Today, you too can picnic at Hanging Rock and then explore the majestic peak of Mount Macedon nearby.
It's not just the food that draws visitors to Kyneton -- it's also the dry climate wines of the region. Here's your chance to visit one (or more!) of the region's many family-operated boutique wineries dotting the countryside.
Where To Stay: Kyneton Bushland Resort
Close to town, the Kyneton Bushland Resort is a perfect base for discovering the gourmet secrets of Central Victoria. The resort also offers plenty of on-site activities to keep families and individuals busy. You are welcome to take a hike through the resort's 50 hectares of natural bushland, swim in the resort's pool, play tennis, or unwind in the spa. You can also hire a rod and go fishing for your supper in the resort's own five acre lake!
Located in the far northwest of Victoria, Sunraysia is known for its sunshine, grapes and oranges. Its centre -- Mildura -- is known for its mediterranean charm, set as it is on the sandy banks of the idyllic Murray River and surrounded by vineyards.
Things to see and do include:
The Chaffey Trail
Discover the history and architecture of Mildura with this self-guided walk that will bring you to all the highlights of the town; including the Old Mildura Homestead and the original Rio Vista House. Both were built in the 1800s and offer a good peek into life back then.
Paddle Boats on the Murray
Paddle steamers and paddle boats have plied the Murray River since 1853. Today you too can experience this bygone era by taking a paddle boat ride down the Murray. Starts at various locations.
The Perry Sandhills make up 10 hectares of striking red sandhills that were once part of the huge Willandra Lakes System and date back to an ice age 40,000 years ago. There have been bones found in the sandhills that reveal that huge kangaroos, wombats and other creatures once roamed this region!
Where To Stay: Sunraysia Resort
The perfect place to call your home away from home. This resort features luxury self-catering apartments scattered amidst tranquil native vegetation. Settle in and take advantage of the unique tropical saltwater pool, play a spot of tennis on the courts, or hit the gym. The resort also has many barbecue spots where you and your loved ones can indulge yourself in this very Australian dining experience.