1. 12 Apostles
Whether you’re a local or a tourist, witnessing the tremendous splendour of the 12 Apostles should be at the top of every Victorian travel list. These naturally-forming limestone rock pillars are the result of 10 to 20 million years of erosion. Aim to arrive for sunrise to beat the crowds and see the 12 Apostles dusted in a spectacular golden glow.
2. The Pinnacle
It’s a choose-your-own-adventure situation to arrive at the breathtaking Pinnacle lookout, which gifts visitors a stunning vista over Halls Gap and the Grampians. The easiest route is a two-hour return trip starting from Sundial carpark via Devils Gap. More challenging walks can be discovered from the base of the mountain at Halls Gap caravan park, or at Wonderland carpark where the trail ascends via the Grand Canyon.
3. Organ Pipes
This natural basalt amphitheatre was formed over a million years ago, when molten lava flowed and cooled over the Keilor Plains. True to its namesake, the Organ Pipes take after cathedral organs. Bring a picnic to enjoy the best of Organ Pipes National Park, which offers an array of unique and fascinating rock structures including Rosette Rock and Tessellated Pavement.
4. MacKenzie Falls
This majestic waterfall is one of the largest waterfalls in Victoria and is best viewed from the MacKenzie Falls lookout. A variety of hikes and viewing platforms are arranged around the falls themselves, including a trail leading to the base of the waterfall via a steep 260-step descent. Alternatively, MacKenzie River Walk is a delightful, 7km return hike featuring water crossings, rock hopping and MacKenzie Falls’ smaller cousin, Fish Falls.
5. Tower Hill Wildlife Reserve
Just ten minutes from Warrnambool lies Tower Hill Wildlife Reserve, Victoria’s largest dormant volcano and one of the richest displays of flora and fauna in Victoria. The reserve is home to an abundance of wildlife, including native birds, emus, koalas, kangaroos, wallabies, echidnas and reptiles. This magnificent natural destination was also declared Victoria’s first National Park back in 1892.
6. Buchan Caves
Discover the mysterious Buchan Caves in eastern Victoria. The largest cave system in the state, visitors can also picnic or camp in the surrounding area. Guided tours are available for both Fairy Cave and Royal Cave, weaving through the 400-million-year-old limestone formations. Royal Cave is known for its calcite-rimmed pools while Fairy Cave boasts intricate stalactites and stalagmite pillars.
7. Pink Lakes
These naturally-occurring pink lakes contain solid salt beds, so when water levels are low, red algae (Dunaliella salina) give the usually-clear water a rosy complexion.