A panoramic view of Melbourne's Yarra River

A panoramic view of Melbourne's Yarra River

Photo by DAVID ILIFF. License: CC-BY-SA 3.0

Melbourne Campervan Hire

Photo by Mugley - Flickr Creative CommonsMelbourne

Victoria as a state is relatively compact – so you can fit a lot in during a one-week stay starting in Melbourne. It’s also very diverse. There are alpine regions with excellent ski resorts, historic former gold mining towns, incredible coastline scenery, superb national parks, pretty spa country, and the mighty Murray River.

The state capital is cosmopolitan Melbourne. It’s a cultured, artistic city with a great food and nightlife scene, some of Australia’s most famous festivals, unique bars and boutiques, and fabulous shopping. Several campervan hire options are available in Melbourne to begin an adventure.

Suggested 7 day roadtrip from Melbourne Australia


Day 1
Melbourne is a walker’s city, but it’s always good to rest your legs by jumping on the free tram that rattles around the city grid.

Head first to Melbourne’s main gathering place Federation Square and see some wacky geometrical architecture. There are several attractions here, including The Ian Potter Centre. This arm of the National Gallery of Victoria contains one of largest collections of Australian art in the country.

Next, you could stroll along the banks of the Yarra River, or head to the wonderful Royal Botanic Gardens. Many people regard this as Australia’s most impressive botanic garden.

If you are an animal nut you have a good choice of venues, including Melbourne Zoo. Another option is Melbourne Aquarium, which has a new Antarctica exhibit featuring king penguins and gentoo penguins. These are the only Antarctic penguins in Australia.

Back in the city centre you could take a tour of Melbourne’s trendy laneways. You’ll come across lots of boutiques, bars, and great cafes. Melbourne is also a great place to shop so be prepared. For everything from sausages to opals, join the locals in the popular Queen Victoria Market.
 
Something you shouldn’t miss is Old Melbourne Gaol. You can walk into tiny 19th century prison cells, view death masks, and see the original gallows. Some 135 people were hanged here, including the notorious bushranger and Australian folk hero, Ned Kelly.

For amazing views over Melbourne head up to the Eureka Skydeck 88, the highest public lookout in the Southern Hemisphere. Here you’ll find The Edge, a glass cube that projects three metres (10 feet) out from the building. Imagine being suspended almost 300 metres (980 feet) above the ground, with just glass beneath your feet.

Day 2
It’s a scenic journey today, along Australia’s most famous coastal driving route, the Great Ocean Road. The 106-kilometre (66-mile) route offers some amazing ocean views, and incredible rock formations. Take your time to stop off at surf beaches, charming coastal towns, and koala-friendly rainforests.

Standing out as the most impressive section of the journey is a 27-kilometre (17-mile) stretch of the Port Campbell National Park. Standing out to sea are The Twelve Apostles rock structures which rise majestically from the Southern Ocean. Sunrise and sunset offer particularly impressive views as the Twelve Apostles change colour from dark and foreboding in shadow to brilliant sandy yellow under a full sun.

Day 3
Today, drive north to the Grampians National Park, an area of rugged mountains, spectacular waterfalls, wildflowers, and lots of wildlife.

Start off at Brambuk Living Cultural Centre that brings to life the history and culture of the local Aboriginal communities.

The Grampians are home to 90% of the Aboriginal Rock Art sites in Victoria. Some of these are estimated to date back 22,000 years. Local Aboriginal guides lead tours, and there are also plenty of scenic walks in the park.

In the late afternoon make your way to the city of Ballarat to see Blood on the Southern Cross at Sovereign Hill. This amazing outdoor sound and light spectacular celebrates the story of the Eureka Rebellion, a dramatic battle between gold miners and Government forces at Ballarat in December 1854.

Visitors travel between impressive open-air sets aboard a comfortable transporter. You stop to view a large part of the action inside the recreated Free Trade Hotel on the Eureka Diggings.

You can stay overnight at Sovereign Hill and explore the amazing recreated goldfields township in the morning. Expect staff in 1850s costumes, working craftsmen, shire horses, street theatre performances, a mine tour, and panning for gold.

Day 4
After looking around Sovereign Hill, check out the historic streetscape of Ballarat before heading to Daylesford.

Daylesford is a delightful hill town surrounded by native forests and peppered with deciduous trees. At its centre is an idyllic lake. You can walk around the lake or have a meal at one of Australia’s most awarded regional restaurants, The Lake House.

The area is also known for its mineral springs and day spas, its weekend markets, local wineries, exceptional regional produce, and top-class accommodation options.

Not too far away is the unique Hanging Rock lava formation, made famous by Joan Lindsay’s mystery novel ‘Picnic at Hanging Rock’. The views from between the oddly placed giant boulders that seem to hang on the top of a hilltop are panoramic.

Day 5
Drive to Echuca today for a cruise on a paddle steamer along the Murray River. Echuca is a bustling heritage port and is home to one of the largest riverboat fleets in the world. It includes the PS Adelaide, the world’s oldest wooden-hulled paddle steamer. It was built in 1866.

It’s worth staying here for the night because there is so much to do. As well as riverside walks, you can watch traditional shipwrights at work, take a ride on a horse and carriage, and visit the underground bar and escape tunnel at the Star Hotel that dates back to the 1890s.

Day 6
Time now to head to North East Victoria. It’s a bit of a drive, but you should arrive in time for lunch at a local vineyard perhaps.  North East Victoria is famous for its connection with the bushranger Ned Kelly. The bushranger once dressed head to toe in a home-made armour suit during a fateful shootout.

The small town of Glenrowan is where the Kelly Gang made their last stand against the police. The giant statue of the bushranger offers a photo opportunity.

From Glenrowan, hop across to the historical goldrush town of Beechworth. You can wander around the Beechworth Museum, which has some informative exhibits related to the Kelly Gang.

The local area with its wineries, alpaca farms, and nut and fruit producers is well-worth exploring. Stop off at the Milawa Cheese Factory for tasty local cheese, spreads and bread.

If you had a little longer you could make the run to Victoria’s High Country. There are several ski resorts here, including Falls Creek one of the best ski resorts in Australia. Outside winter, the High Country offers hiking across plains and through snow gum forests, mountain biking, fly-fishing, and general sightseeing.

Day 7
You could keep tracking north towards Sydney today, or head back towards Melbourne.

Along the way you could drop into Healesville Sanctuary. There are more than 200 species of Australian wildlife here, including kangaroos, koalas and birds of prey. The local Yarra Valley vineyards might keep you from rushing away too.

Thanks to http://www.media.australia.com/en-au/factsheets/3299_3898.aspx


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