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The Ultimate Victoria Bucket List

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

#40 - Swim with Seals at Queenscliff

Where is it? Queenscliff Boat Harbour, Queenscliff, VIC

The beautiful Port Phillip Bay area isn't just pretty to look at - its waters are rich in a variety of marine life, including fish, dolphins and, most distinctively, its local colony of Australian Fur Seals that can be encountered via a relatively short trip to the man-made shopping channel marker "Chinaman's Hat" off shore. The seals congregate at the site in large groups, and operator Sea All Dolphin Swims take those looking to come face to face with these "dogs of the sea" and witness their inquisitive nature's firsthand - this is a site we're they're used to encountering humans and as such it's easy to put on snorkel gear and swim alongside them. This part of the bay is renowned for the visibility of its waters, too, so it's not a huge challenge to come away with some quality underwater photography of this once-in-a-lifetime experience. All of this is conducted within a safe and well-supervised environment, so even those not entirely confident in the water can come away with some great memories of one of Victoria's most must-do wildlife encounters. Image credit: Mark Chew via Tourism VictoriaVIEW TOUR

#39 - See the Bathing Boxes at Brighton Beach

Where is it? Dendy Street Beach, Brighton, VIC

One of the Victorian beachfront's signature icons, the bathing boxes on Brighton Beach have added their splashes of character and creative colour to this lovely stretch of waterfront for over a century. Numbering 82 in total, each of the privately-owned boxes - which were originally constructed for modesty reasons - has its own distinct decoration and colour scheme, adding a charming "rainbow effect" that's a pleasant backdrop for either a swim in the beach or a stroll on the shore. Their timber frames and corrugated iron roofs hark back to a previous era of construction, and the clash of colours between the boxes and the sand makes for a wonderful setting for photography - it's easy to come away with one of the state's best "selfies" by posing here on sunny days when the lighting is just right. Convenient and easily accessible from the heart of Melbourne, Brighton Beach's combination of lovely foreshore and unique architecture make it a must for those warm summer days. Image credit: David Mitchener via Tourism Victoria VIEW TOURS

#38 - Treetop Fun at Otway Fly

Where is it? 360 Phillips Track, Weeaproinah, VIC

The towering trees of the Otways are more than just an impressive sight to look at; visitors to this part of the Great Ocean Road's innards can experience the scenic landscape of the area high above at Otway Fly Treetop Adventures. Providing a great chance to take in wonderful views while still feeling "immersed" in the forest treetops, the experience comes in both treetop-walk and zip-line flavours, with the former more laid-back and the latter more adventurous. Ziplining brings with it the joy of traversing flying-fox style from treetop to treetop, with guides providing additional insight on the region and the ecosystems of the forest along the way. Those who want the ultimate views of the surrounding panorama can ascend a spiral staircase that visitors can climb to add an additional 45m worth of height onto the already tall outlook. BOOK ONLINE

#37 - Catch a show at Her Majesty's Theatre

Where is it? 219 Exhibition Street, Melbourne, VIC

The pure embodiment of the mixture of charm and glamour of the "glory days" of theatre-going, Melbourne's Her Majesty's Theatre is a historic and richly-decorated venue where comfort and atmosphere are palpable and the impact of decor on the viewing experience is easy to recognise. The theatre is an impressive edifice that dates back to 1886, and as such experiencing a musical here is akin to stepping back in time, despite the theatre having been both restored and modernised multiple times throughout its history. Seating here is plush and comfortable, making the viewing of performances with several-hour run times far more bearable than in your average, modern theatre, and this plushness extends through to the grandly-decorated lobby that's abuzz with anticipation prior to the curtains raising. Many of the classics both historic and modern such as Les Miserables, Chicago, Miss Saigon and, most recently, Strictly Ballroom have graced the stage here, with a lineup that typically changes multiple times per year. Her Majesty's Theatre is also easily accessed via public transport, making for the perfect night out for cultural enthusiasts. Image credit: Peter Dunphy via Tourism Victoria

#36 - Do the Kokoda Trail Memorial Walk

Where is it? 1211 Burwood Hwy, VIC

This fitting tribute to the harsh conditions forced upon Australian soldiers in Papua New Guinea during the Second World War contains just a small slice of the endurance-draining path walked by our countrymen that's also rich with curated information stations and plaques detailing the original walk's history. Various significant sites and engagements of the campaign are explained at each station using photographs, maps and firsthand interviews, accompanied by an audio element throughout the walk. The flora surrounding the track has been intentionally cultivated to simulate the tropical environment of the original Kokoda Track that you normally wouldn't encounter within this area at the gateway to the Dandenong Ranges, and the greenery is both impressive and home to abundant birdlife that add additional atmosphere to the 1000-step journey. The track is steep and narrow throughout while only periodically broken up by flat resting points, but the invested effort results in a rewarding and moving experience for both the history, context, and sense of paying respects that it provides.

#35 - Ride the Puffing Billy Steam Train

Where is it? 1 Old Monbulk Rd, Belgrave, VIC

An exceptionally well-preserved example of steam rail transport combined with the wonderful greenery of the Dandenong Ranges make for one of the state's most pleasant journeys. Sightseeing, old world charm and simple transportation come together on its course that runs from Belgrave to Gembrook roughly 24 kilometres away that allows riders to feel the wind in their hair and breath in the exceptionally fresh air for which this part of Victoria is renowned. This is a journey that's all about the rattle of carriages and the smell of coal-powered steam wafting past as the train meanders its way along its track, and carries with it a communal feel as riders dangle their feet outside the carriages and wave to those waiting at the railway crossings. Tall eucalypt forests and lush ferns give way to the various small towns and villages that can be explored at the 21 stops in between the two end points, and thus it's easy to make the journey on the Puffing Billy Railway as extensive a day out as suits your desires. Those with deeper wallets can even choose a first-class, dining option to enjoy along the way! Image credit: Puffing Billy VIEW TOURS

#34 - Take a tour of Old Melbourne Gaol

Where is it? 377 Russell St, Melbourne, VIC

Built in the mid 1800’s, Old Melbourne Gaol is now one of Victoria’s most iconic monuments, with a tumultuous past that's exceedingly well documented in its current status as a veritable "living museum". After housing some of Australia’s most notorious criminals - including most famously Ned Kelly - this fantastic piece of Australian history is now open to the public for tours and visits, and each of the cells of the gaol comes curated with a brief recounting of its former occupants' histories and crimes. There are even death masks of the criminals on display, as well as a number of tools of punishment dating back to the era such as ball-and-chains, cat-o-nine-tails and more. Now a popular tourist hotspot, visitors can also explore the Old Melbourne Gaol at night for an extra thrill as it's become a popular location for ghost tours, or simply stick to the day experience with the help of one of its knowledgeable guides. Bursting with fascinating history and a look at the often-harsh practices of the past, there's a lot to take in here that will make you glad you live in the 20th century!

#33 - Go Skydiving over the Great Ocean Road

Where is it? 13 Macintyre Ln, Yering VIC

An essential entry on any bucket list, skydiving in Victoria is given an extra layer of enjoyment by offering one of the country's most picturesque dropzones - the Great Ocean Road. The sheer scale of this incredible stretch of coast truly registers when witnessed from several thousand feet above ground, and those adrenaline seekers looking to take the ultimate plunge (who can manage to keep their eyes open) will garner a vantage point of the stunning region that relatively few others get to witness. Operator Skydive the Beach and Beyond offer tandem skydives based out of their dropzone at Barwon Heads that take participants to a height of 14,000 feet in preparation for the free-fall to come - and upon exiting the plane, a 360 degree panorama that stretches out across the ocean, through to the inner green regions and further on all the way to Port Phillip Heads unfolds. If you're looking to tick one of life's must-do's off your personal list, there are few more scenic spots in Australia in which to do so. BOOK ONLINE

#32 - Visit the National Rhododendron Gardens

Where is it? The Georgian Rd, Olinda, VIC

The vivid show of colours on display at the National Rhododendron Gardens may change significantly throughout the year, but regardless of when you visit you'll be presented with one of Victoria's most visually impressive picnic spots. Situated in regional Olinda, it's possible to spend hours exploring the different species of plants in bloom ranging from rhododendrons, azaleas, camellias and daffodils that each add their own dash of dazzling botanic colour to the proceedings. The gardens are expansive and feature an array of paths that require some effort to navigate, however the visual rewards that come as a result of the exertion are well worth it - the immaculately-kept grounds and periodic lakes and ponds that break up the greenery augment the flowers themselves nicely, and there's a new site to see around every corner. Those who aren’t gardening enthusiasts will still share the admiration for the beauty that this garden holds; gorgeous whether in season or not, the National Rhododendron Gardens prove that simple nature often wins out when it comes to beauty. Image credit: Tourism Victoria

#31 - Take in the views from Eureka Skydeck

Where is it? Eureka Tower, Bright St, Southbank, VIC

If you’re looking to begin your visit to Melbourne by getting an idea of the city’s layout – including the location of a number of other landmarks contained on this list – there are few better places to do so than the Eureka Skydeck. Centrally-located in the city, a visit here will allow you to begin your journey with excellent views from the Southern Hemisphere’s highest viewing platform that serves as a great starting point for any trip to Melbourne. Starting here allow you to get your bearings and determine where you’d like to go while also providing some great scenery to boot; ticket prices are reasonable and on par with most other major cities’ “towers”, and there is also the option to purchase a “sun and stars” ticket that provides 2 entries in a single day so that you’ll be able to see Melbourne at both day and night. Our tip: sunset is the best time of day for a visit, with the colouring of the sky making for a wonderful contrast with the gradual transition from day to night as the city lights turn on one by one. BOOK ONLINE

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.

The Victoria Bucket List Map

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