Victoria is Australia’s smallest mainland state with its second biggest population. Melbourne at its epicentre is a city known for its culture, arts, food and coffee. With Melbourne taking up much of the spotlight, it’s easy to forget that Victoria is actually made up of 36% forest and is home to over 1800km of coastline. The hustle and bustle of city life often distracts from the geographical wonders Victoria has to offer. From dense rainforest and waterfalls to ancient volcanoes and caves, Victoria’s diverse landscape is something really worth discovering. Before jumping on a plane for your next holiday, check out 15 of Victoria’s best kept secrets:
Wilsons Promontory National Park- Wilsons Promontory
One of the most idyllic spots the country has to offer, Wilsons Promontory is the southernmost point of Australia’s mainland. Spanning 50,000 hectares of the some of the most untouched greenery, bush and coastline, Wilsons Promontory is a nature lovers dream. With hikes, camping and wildlife galore, you’ll want to take the time to soak up everything ‘The Prom’ has to offer.
The Pinnacles- Cape Woolamai
Travel the 4km track on Phillip Island’s most southerly point and you will find a group of granite rock formations that sparkle pink and red in contrast to the blue of the sea. The formations are thousands of years old and endure the waves breaking on them day after day. Best enjoyed during low tide, this is a must-see when visiting the Phillip Island region.
Organ Pipes- Keilor North
In this natural amphitheatre lies the remnants of Mount Holden, a volcano that erupted roughly one million years ago. What is left is the spectacular 70 meter basalt columns that starkly resemble cathedral organ pipes. This geographical wonder is located just outside of Melbourne’s CBD and is part of the greater Organ Pipes National Park which is worth exploring.
Pink Lake- Westgate Park
Nestled in an industrial part of Melbourne’s West, this natural phenomenon is caused by a combination of factors. High salt levels, high temperatures and low rainfall leads to this lake turning a remarkable shade of deep pink. The pink lake is in stark contrast to the busy Westgate bridge towering overhead. Experience this natural wonder during the summer months as this is when the water changes colour.
The Blowhole- Port Campbell
One of the Great Ocean Road’s best kept secrets, experience the oceans tide within this limestone cave. The noise the waves make against the limestone walls are particularly remarkable so take the time to sit and take it all in. Blowholes are common around the world and are caused by constant erosion by the sea against the limestone cliffs. While exploring the Great Ocean Road, keep this one on your list.
Hanging Rock- Woodend
The fictional novel ‘Picnic At Hanging Rock’ is a tale about a group of female students who disappear at Hanging Rock. The novel gives visitors a harrowing feeling when they visit this geographical wonder and leaves you feeling mesmerised. Created approximately 6 million years ago, Hanging Rock is truly a testament to the history of Australia’s natural landscape.
Red Rock Reserve- Alvie
One of Victoria’s youngest volcanoes, the KanawinkaGeopark in which the Red Rock Reserve resides features maar craters, lakes and scoria cones. This volcano was the site of over 40 eruptions and the relics are something to behold. If you’re fascinated by volcanos, this is one you don’t want to miss.
William Rickets Sanctuary- Mt Dandenong
Nestled within the lush mountain trees and ferns lies the William Rickets Sanctuary, home to over 100 sculptures created by William Rickets between 1934-1993. The ‘Forest Of Love’ shares the likeness Rickets felt towards the Indigenous community and their respect for Mother Nature. The park is truly impressive and is nuzzled between archways, grottos and streams.
Mackenzie Falls- The Grampians National Park
Victoria’s largest waterfall and certainly its grandest lies within the remarkable Grampians National Park. With sandstone mountain ranges and Indigenous rock art dating over 20,000 years, this place is so much more than a waterfall. With several platforms to experience the water cascading down the threshold of the rocks, make time to explore the rest of the National Park.
Pulpit Rock- Cape Schanck
A jagged geological formation sticks up from Cape Schanck, looking almost like it could reach the clouds. On the southernmost tip of the Mornington Peninsula overlooking the ominous Bass Straight, this untouched wonder looks like something straight out of an explorer book.
Cleft Island- Cowes
Just 5km off the shores of Wilsons Promontory lies this remote island that resembles a human skull. This astonishing formation has had less visitors than the moon, making it a truly remarkable secret. The sheer magnitude of the island makes it worth hiring a boat for the day to truly take it all in.
Pink Lakes- Murray-Sunset National Park
Four extraordinary salt lakes line the northwest corner of Victoria’s Murray Sunset National Park. Red algae changes the lakes colours from salmon pink to bright white. A natural phenomenon in a impressive surrounding.
Buchan Caves- East Gippsland
Experience an underground wonderland of glistening stalactites and stalagmites that date back 400 million years, a time so incomprehensible to our modern minds. The limestone surfaces tell an ancient story of formation and survival. Take one of the guided tours to get a greater insight into this wonder.
Alfred Nicholas Memorial Gardens- Dandenong Ranges
This fairy tale garden extends over moss covered ponds, wooden bridges, sculptures and a waterfall. Established in 1933 by namesake Alfred Nicholas, this magical garden is located in one of Victoria’s most picturesque spots, Sherbrooke Road in the Dandenong Ranges. Plan your trip in spring or autumn to experience the blooms come alive.
Petrified Forest- Cape Bridgewater
These cylindrical limestone pipes bare their name due to the fact that they look like fossilised trees. The limestone tubes are formed with millions of years’ worth of rainfall and are a demonstration of nature at work.