Victoria is full of beautiful places a short drive from Melbourne. If Covid restrictions mean you're not able to visit in person right now, don't worry: many of the state's nature and wildlife destinations can come to you – on live-stream.

Check in with the animals of Melbourne's zoos, find local conservation projects in our forests and bays, and gaze out upon our stunning coastline via local surf cams.

Be inspired and start planning your next day trip out to Victoria's regions, for when the time is right to go.

1. Penguin Burrow on Phillip Island

View Phillip Island's cutest residents through the onsite Penguin Parade cam. This live-stream feeds directly from a burrow, where the Little Penguins like to congregate for a bit of R&R after a hard day's swimming and fishing. 

2. Parks Victoria

Head to the Parks Victoria YouTube channel to see what's going on and experience Victoria's diverse natural environment from the comfort of your home. Learn about local conservation projects and future volunteer activities. Discover wild locations and tag along with park rangers on location.

3. Animal House at the Zoos

Keen to catch up with the critters at Melbourne and Werribee Zoos and Healesville Sanctuary? Tune in with Animals at Home. Live-stream cameras in the enclosures star several of our favourite residents. See the snow leopard cubs snooze in their nesting box. Catch the giraffes and zebras going about their daily business – mainly munching on breakfast, lunch and dinner. Watch the mighty lions laze around in the sun. Meet dingos and the elusive platypus. Or tune in to see Ed the Fiordland Penguin strut his stuff across the screen.

4. Surf and coastal conservation cameras

Surf cameras keep a constant eye on Victoria's spectacular coastline. Check in on daily conditions at beaches and surf spots on Phillip Island, and the Bellarine and Mornington Peninsulas. Bookmark spots for fun in the sun later, when the time and weather are right.

Nature Conservancy Australia has set up two webcams, monitoring the residents of the rocky reefs of Port Phillip Bay. An above-reef camera streams a live-feed from Pope's Eye, which has been claimed by Australasian gannets and black-faced cormorants. Dive deep with the Reef Cam's underwater camera to keep up with Port Phillip Bay's marine life. Look out for fish, seals and even dolphins.

5. Dolphin Watch TV

Speaking of dolphins, don't miss your chance to see some very special guests via YouTube with See All Dolphin Swims, Queenscliff. Immerse yourself in the underwater world of dolphins on Port Phillip Bay and along the Bellarine Peninsula coast.

6. Mt Burnett Observatory in the Dandenongs

You don't have to travel far for a clear view of the night's sky. Thanks to the Mt Burnett Observatory, in the state's Dandenong Ranges, you don't even need to leave your house. The observatory has a live fish-eye camera set atop their "chook shed", offering 360-degree-views of the sky, day and night.

7. Birds in your backyard

There are plenty of ways you can help your feathered friends through Birdlife Australia – without leaving home. Create a bird-friendly space in your backyard and record the birds you see as part of a seasonal survey. Get the kids involved, with activity books containing puzzles and board games. Read stories, join campaigns, and help protect the birds you love.

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