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Wildlife and adventure touring route

Life in the outdoors

Hit the highways and discover an adventure lover's playground, less than hour from the city. Take a ride in a hot air balloon, swim with dolphins in Port Phillip Bay, and get up close to seals and penguins along the coast. 

Cuddly koalas snooze in the branches of native eucalyptus trees while kangaroos hop about from field to field in the valleys. From the Yarra Valley to Phillip Island and the quiet beaches along the peninsula, Victoria's diverse regions offer up an endless array of wildlife and outdoor activities. So grab your walking boots, pack your bathers and start living the adventure.



Day one

Wildlife and adventure touring route

Yarra Valley

Leave Melbourne and head straight out to Healesville Sanctuary, located just 1.5 hours from the city centre. Spend the morning interacting with Australia's iconic animals and learn about some of the country's less-known species. For something a little different, sign up for the unique Wade with the Platypus experience, which is exclusive to Healesville Sanctuary.

Next stop is the renowned Rochford Winery. Look out over the hills of the Yarra Valley while enjoying a delightful lunch, and then follow it up with a tour of the winery and grounds on a Segway.

Settle into Yering Gorge Cottages for the night and relax in the tranquil surrounds. Usher in the evening with a quiet glass of red wine on your deck and watch the resident mob of kangaroos (including one rare white one) graze on the nearby lawns.

Day two

Wildlife and adventure touring route

Yarra Valley and Dandenong Ranges to Phillip Island

Day two begins early with a dawn flight with Global Ballooning. Rise high above the rolling green hills and watch the valley spring to life as the sun comes up. Round out your morning with a sumptuous champagne breakfast.

After freshening up, make your way south, around Western Port Bay to Phillip Island. Visit the Nobbies Centre on the western tip of the island to explore the rugged coastline and discover the virtual reality thrills of Antarctic Journey – a permanent exhibit.

Cross the island to see the cuddliest of locals at the Koala Conservation Centre and then head out on the Wild Oceans Ecoboat in the afternoon to see the 30,000 Australian fur seals that inhabit Seal Rocks.

Sundown brings with it the crème de la crème of wildlife experiences – the famous Penguin Parade. Book early for the Ultimate Penguin Tour, a small group adventure to a remote beach with night-vision goggles, which enables you to see the tiny birds as they leave the ocean and waddle past you en route to their nests.

Reward the day's efforts with an overnight stay at Clifftop B&B and wake to stunning views of the Southern Ocean.



Day three

Wildlife and adventure touring route

Phillip Island to Mornington Peninsula
Enjoy an early morning stroll on one of Phillip Island's beautiful beaches and make yours the first footsteps in the sand. If you prefer a more challenging morning activity, take a walk out to Pyramid Rocks or Cape Woolamai. Alternatively, hit the waves as part of a surfing lesson with OutThere Outdoors or see the Island from the air with Phillip Island Helicopters.

Make your way around Western Port Bay to the beautiful Mornington Peninsula in the afternoon. Travel out to Horseback Winery Tours and get an introduction to some of the region's iconic wines in a fresh new way. Ride through the hills and visit local vineyards and cellar doors on the back of one of their gorgeous horses.

Recharge after your daytime adventures with a soak in the Peninsula Hot Springs. Watch the sunset from the thermal mineral pools and then head off to Iluka Retreat for a unique and romantic glamping experience with Happy Glamper.

Day four

Wildlife and adventure touring route

Mornington Peninsula to Bellarine Peninsula

Wake early and be at Sorrento by 8am for a memorable trip with Polperro Dolphin Swims out into Port Phillip Bay. Search out the wild pods of bottlenose dolphins and visit the friendly seals at Chinamans Hut.

Keep the aquatic and coastal theme going through the afternoon. Pick up snorkelling gear from Bayplay and view the weedy sea dragons near the piers on the bay side of the peninsula, or hire a stand-up paddle board and see why this peaceful activity is so popular.

There are plenty of options for those who'd rather stay on dry land. Hire a bike from Bayplay and cruise around the national parks of the peninsula. Stretch the legs on a walk along some of the Mornington Peninsula Walk (we say some because there is over 100kms of trails), or try strawberry or cherry picking during the summer months.

Cruise across Port Phillip Bay with Searoad Ferries to the Bellarine Peninsula. The ferry to Queenscliff Harbour runs every hour until 6pm (7pm in summer) and takes 40-minutes. Stay overnight at BIG4 Beacon Resort and be ready to explore the best of the region in the morning.



Day five

Wildlife and adventure touring route

Bellarine Peninsula

Hit the waves and explore the depths of the Bellarine Peninsula's popular coastline. If you're a scuba diver, head out from Queenscliff with Dive Victoria and explore the site of the ex HMAS Canberra. The ship was scuttled in 2009 and the wreck now rests in 30-metre deep water. Alternatively, take a surf lesson with the experts at Go Ride A Wave at one of Victoria's iconic surf beaches – Ocean Grove or Torquay. 

Keen to stay dry? Head on out with South Bay Eco Adventures to learn about the wildlife of the bay, and the history of the treacherous stretch of water known as The Rip. 

Close out your Bellarine adventure with a delicious lunch at Jack Rabbit Vineyard before heading back to the city James Bond-style in a microflite helicopter. Catch a ride from the landing pad right in front of the restaurant and touch down in Melbourne's CBD.