The Ultimate Victoria Bucket List

You haven’t truly “done” Australia’s state of Victoria unless you’ve done these 100 experiences.

#30 - Explore Point Nepean National Park

Where is it? Ochiltree Road, Portsea, VIC

This beautiful part of Victoria is a wonderful mix of both natural beauty and historical impact, having been a key area in the state's early development and to this day remains dotted with memorials and other landmarks that make exploring its offerings a joy. Point Nepean National Park is a simply spectacular part of the coastline that doubles as one of Victoria's most scenic places for a walk - there are numerous pathways branching off its main bitumen road that lead to wonderfully photogenic outlooks that will be a delight for any passionate photographer, while those looking for secluded stretches of beach will also find some great spots to simply laze in the sunshine. The National Parks association have done an excellent job of making this part of the state accessible while leaving it relatively undisturbed, and its comprehensive signage means you're never in fear of getting disoriented. Once a site of strong military significance, simply grab a bike and you'll soon stumble upon the likes of forts, tunnels, guns and various other relics all interspersed amongst lovely greenery and coastline. Image credit: David Mitchener via Tourism Victoria

#29 - Visit the National Sports Museum

Where is it? Melbourne Cricket Ground, Brunton Ave, Melbourne, VIC

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Sports and Melbourne go hand-in-hand, with the sporting culture long ingrained into the city's psyche. If you happen to be a sports enthusiast, then the National Sports Museum located at the Melbourne Cricket Grounds will serve as one of the most extensive displays of all things sporting you'll come across in Australia. Spread across two levels, the museum covers all aspects of Australian sporting history, with memorabilia from a number of different sports including cricket, soccer, Australian Rules Football and many more, detailing both historic matches and events as well as some of the greatest icons of Aussie sport. Displays include past players uniforms, equipment used in some of Australia’s greatest sporting feats, and some of the trophies of major events including Olympic games. There's also plenty of interactivity incorporated here which will keep the kids entertained, and guests can try their hand at kicking a footy, bowling, or even shooting a bow and arrow.

#28 - Hike Mount Macedon

Where is it? Mount Macedon, VIC

One of the highest peaks in Victoria's Great Dividing Range, Mount Macedon is an excellent walking hotspot for hikers looking to explore the outdoors, and is home to a number of different walking trails of varying lengths. The mountain is draped in a blend of gardens and wild bush, with various natural attractions such as large trees, flowers and interesting rock formations interspersed throughout, many of which can be reached on foot. The most time-consuming - but also most rewarding - of these tracks is the summit walk; it's a relatively easy and relaxing climb to the top, signified by its towering Memorial Cross monument which was erected as a tribute for fallen war veterans. Views from atop this vantage point are wonderful, with an expansive panorama encompassing the entire southern plain and further out towards Port Phillip Bay. There are also various lovely spots to enjoy a picnic along the way, as well as a lovely restaurant near the Cross at the top. Around 1 hour drive from Melbourne is all it takes to reach this wonderful natural showcase.

#27 - Admire the flowering Fitzroy Gardens

Where is it? East Melbourne, VIC

This large, significant and beautiful garden close to the Melbourne CBD is both historic and beautiful, with a spectrum of scenery that includes sweeping pathways complete with Elm tree canopies above, serene ponds, and wide-open grassed fields in which to relax. Landscaped in traditional Victorian-era style, this oasis from the hustle and bustle of one of Australia's largest cities is home to a number of distinctive attractions including Cook's Cottage (a tribute to the explorer who discovered Australia's east coast), a model Tudor village, and perhaps most significantly, its excellent Conservatory built in Spanish Mission architectural fashion. Although it's fairly small in size, its floral contents are visually impressive, with wonderful arrangements full of a wide variety of flowering species such as daffodils, camellias and more (when in season). A number of fountains and water features dotted throughout the grounds add an additional layer of tranquility to Fitzroy Gardens' atmosphere, all of which when combined makes for the perfect location for a relaxing spell from wandering Melbourne. Image credit: Emily Godfrey via Tourism Victoria

#26 - View an Exhibition at the National Gallery of Victoria

Where is it? 180 St Kilda Rd, Melbourne, VIC

Melbourne is a capital that's renowned for embracing all things art, and there are few more comprehensive displays of the entire spectrum of the medium than the NGV. Located in the city centre, a visit here will allow you to explore the incredible gallery of modern, contemporary and antique pieces on display; hosting more than just paintings, the gallery proudly boasts over 68,000 pieces of work including sculptures and life-size pieces from world famous artists. Alternatively, take a guided tour of the National Gallery of Victoria and fall in love with the beauty of art on a whole new level as you're provided with further insight on each of the pieces, their artist and hidden meanings. Hosting multiple temporary exhibitions throughout the year - including an upcoming exhibit to celebrate the artwork of Andy Warhol - to complement its robust permanent display, the National Gallery of Victoria will truly allow you to appreciate the raw talent of both local and international artists to the fullest. Image credit: Peter Dunphy via Tourism Victoria

#25 - Witness the cascading MacKenzie Falls

Where is it? Northern Grampians Rd, Zumsteins, VIC

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One of the core highlights of the spectacular Grampians National Park, MacKenzie Falls is the only true year-round flowing waterfall in the region that can be viewed from both a lookout above and from ground-level for some more up-close-and-personal appreciation. The falls' waters cascade over the side of sheer cliffs into a deep pool waiting below, and are extremely photogenic for the aspiring photographer. While the falls are best viewed in winter or early spring when the volume of water is at its fullest, even in the warmer months MacKenzie Falls are an enjoyable spot to relax in front of; the sound of the running water makes for a wonderfully tranquil spot to simply sit and contemplate. The best outlook of the falls can be taken in from a viewing platform reached via a reasonable walk from the MacKenzie Falls carpark, and serves as an enjoyable alternative to descending the rather steep walk to the falls' base. Adjacent to the falls are several picnic tables at which to enjoy a packed lunch - just watch out for the resident magpies!

#24 - Hot Air Ballooning over the Yarra Valley

Where is it? 175 Swan St, Richmond, VIC

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The rolling, vineyard-draped tapestry that is the landscape of the Yarra Valley is an idyllic spectacle in its own right, and its verdant nature is a hand-in-glove fit for the tranquility of hot air ballooning. The region's calm, clear air is conducive to some stable and serene ballooning conditions, and operator Global Ballooning provide expertly-flown aerial tours conducted early in the mornings to take advantage of the dawn skies. While ballooning involves an extremely early wake-up time, the return for the bleary eyes is well worth it, as the rising morning sun plays with the green-brown foliage of the Yarra's terrain to produce a breathtaking tableau of patchwork vineyards, fields and rural farmland. Along the way points of significance and the history of the region are explained in detail, adding an extra layer of context to admiring the Yarra and preparing participants for further exploration of the valley. It's a cool, refreshing and overall meditative experience that's completed with a champagne breakfast at the end to cap things off.

#23 - Do the “Great Ocean Walk”

Where is it? Between Torquay and Allansford, VIC

With its incredible examples of dramatic coastal scenery, rocky cliff faces and vast stretches of open beach, what may be one of the world's most beautiful drives in the Great Ocean Road also makes for one of Australia's most essential walks. Spread out over the course of just over 100km, the combination of some of Australia's tallest coastal cliffs, the remnants of various historical shipwrecks and expansive stretches of uninhabited beach on the ostensible "Great Ocean Walk" make for a trek that provides a new highlight seemingly around every corner. The walk lasts for 8 days when done fully, from the starting point of Apollo Bay to the end of the track at Glenample Homestead where the iconic formations of the 12 Apostles come into view and serve as a major reward for completing the journey. The hike consists of a lot of beach walking - much of which is on hard sand making for slightly easier going - with 7 designated campsites spread throughout the track that serve as marker points for the end of each day. The Great Ocean Road may be Great, but the Great Ocean Walk provides a number of vantage points that views from a car simply can't offer. Image credit: Mark Watson via Tourism Victoria

#22 - Travel through time at Sovereign Hill

Where is it? Bradshaw St, Ballarat, VIC

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The Gold Rush that took place in Australia during the 1800's was a large contributing factor towards the development of many parts of rural Victoria with Ballarat being one of the most significant examples, and popular attraction Sovereign Hill in the region does an excellent job of recreating this intriguing era with an extensive pioneer setting that's the closest thing to a "time travel theme park" that Oz has to offer. Many aspects of everyday life during this period are covered with exceptional detail and passion, with plenty of characters wandering around the grounds dressed in era-accurate garb helping add to the immersion. Visitors can see multiple trades of the past being recreated through a variety of demonstrations, and it's easy to gain an appreciation of both the skill of the craftsmen as well as just how far technology has some since these times. Smelting gold, general blacksmithing, candle-making and even soldiers firing muskets can all be seen taking place, while visitors looking to get hands-on and try things for themselves can also take part; pan for gold, take an underground mine ride, or simply have a conversation with the many colourful characters that populate Sovereign Hill. Be sure to stick around for the dazzling night time performance of Blood on the Southern Cross which incorporates sound and light to tell an entertaining historic story.

#21 - Watch the tennis at Rod Laver Arena

Where is it? Batman Avenue and Olympic Boulevard, Melbourne, VIC

Home to numerous events covering the majority of the entertainment spectrum throughout the year, Melbourne's Rod Laver Arena is most renowned for one sport in particular: tennis. As the current host of the annual Australian Open, it's the card-carrier for the Australian tennis scene and has seen numerous classic clashes between tennis greats over its lifespan including Wilander vs. Cash, Federer vs. Safin, and Djokovic vs. Nadal. While tickets to the final rounds of the Open will set you back a pretty penny, grounds passes are reasonably priced and early-round visits will enable moving around the outer courts and viewing a range of matches. Fittingly named in tribute to one of tennis' all-time greats, if you're the type who enjoys the gentlemen's game then no other spot in the country can match the talent and prowess on display at Rod Laver. Image credit: Emily Fitzgerald via Tourism Victoria

Victoria MapVictoria may be Australia’s second-smallest state, however it’s also one of the most densely packed territories in Oz as far as depth and breadth of experiences are concerned; the state boasts immense variety and blends together wonderfully the coastal, verdant, cosmopolitan and architectural all together into an easily navigable package that’s a joy to explore.

Its relatively compact size means that travellers to Victoria can take in a wide array of visual and gastronomic delights within a relatively short timeframe, and while many may choose to initially use lovely capital Melbourne as a base for exploration, there are also plenty of more options for custom adventures that reveal some of the state’s more hidden delights.

All the character and artistry of Melbourne – one of the world’s most liveable cities and a true culinary and sporting hotbed – are an obvious drawcard, and numerous items on this Victoria bucket list can be found within and just outside the city’s limits. However stepping outside its borders soon reveals that the state is no mere one-trick-pony; heading in all of north, east and west will provide an impressive showcase of the experiences that make Victoria great.

Want to indulge the palate with quality wine and delicious produce? Go for it. After an incredible scenic road trip that ranks amongst the best in the world? Start your engines. A culture and history buff who wants to soak in Aussie and international attractions? Check.

The diversity that Victoria has to offer is reflected in its people, food, scenery and culture – and on this bucket list we hand-pick the 100 that we feel best sums the state up best.

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