It is generally accepted that, in Melbourne, you can expect to encounter four seasons in one day. Even though it is summer, you can have hail on Christmas Day and, in early spring and late autumn, you can have days of endless sunshine. Tourists and Victorians alike need to remember the boy scout’s motto: “Be Prepared”. Take a raincoat, a sun hat, and wear layers of clothing that can be removed, or added, as the weather changes.
Despite the fickle weather, Victoria is beautiful all year round and a visit to the beach in the middle of winter can yield all sorts of discoveries, the joy of walking on an isolated strip of coastline being one of them. Similarly, a summertime visit to the alpine regions offers hundreds of hiking and cycling tracks that are inaccessible during the snow season. But if you’re keen on making the most of the seasonal experiences, we can take you wherever you want to go so check out our suggestions.
Warm and sunny spring days are perfect for winery tours in Victoria. Visit the Yarra Valley or the Bellarine Peninsula for a day of wine tasting or choose one destination for a lovely long lunch and enjoy fine dining or a grazing platter with a bottle of local wine. The Mornington Peninsula is a wine destination too, and it has the added bonus of the Peninsula Hot Springs, a day spa and award winning natural hot springs.
For the more outdoorsy people, spring in the Grampians is blooming with wildflowers. They line the paths up to the lookouts and mountain summits. You’ll see the pretty pink Grampians’ Heath, thryptomene, orchids, sprouting fern and the quintessential burst of yellow wattle. Closer to Melbourne, Healesville Sanctuary is captivating. See the koalas, kangaroos, wombats, emus, dingoes, and their young, as you wander around the 70 acres of bushland. Don’t miss the daily Spirits of the Sky show, where the handlers demonstrate the power and speed of wedge-tailed eagles, black-breasted buzzards, and magnificent parrots from around the sanctuary.
Summer is for beach days and Victoria has 692 beaches for visitors to choose from. From Port Phillip Bay all the way north to East Gippsland, Victoria has thousands of opportunities for fun in the sun. Do a surf lesson or hire a kayak from Go-Ride-A-Wave in Anglesea or hire a boat (or join a tour). If you’re brave, you can surf the famous swells at Bell’s Beach.
The Gippsland rivers, lakes and beaches offer boating and fishing experiences that you will never forget. In Lakes Entrance, you can even book a Segway tour and race your friends along the famous Ninety Mile Surf beach.
A colourful bouquet of autumn leaves can be seen around Victoria when the season is upon us. The Dandenong Ranges (hike up the 1000 steps of the Kokoda Memorial Track) and the Macedon Ranges are ideal destinations for spectacular walks and charming country pubs to help quench your thirst afterwards. Marysville has a similar charm. Art lovers can visit Bruno’s Sculpture Garden. After the bushfires of 2004 decimated the town and his home, Bruno Torfs has spent the years since recreating his garden. The sculptures, set on his rainforest property, are whimsical, fantasy creatures that will inspire and delight. It’s a true wonderland hidden in this small town.
Head to Mt Buller for the day for downhill skiing and snowboarding with all the perks of an authentic alpine village. Lake Mountain is the perfect spot for cross country skiing and snowshoe walking. Snow play and tobogganing is awesome for the kids too.
For a country day trip in winter the Daylesford region has a plethora of restaurants and cafes that offer extraordinary dining experiences. The town is lined with art galleries and clothing stores to delight any shopaholic. If you’re there on a Sunday, check out the market at the railway station, then visit the Convent Gallery. Just make sure you rug up.
What’s your favourite season?
Have you been to see the Cherry Blossoms in Japan in April or May? Have you visited New Zealand during the winter ski season? Let us know some of the trips you’ve taken in a particular season and your favourite season to visit a particular part of Victoria.
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