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A modern metropolitan capital city of Victoria, Melbourne has been hailed the most liveable city of 2017 for the seventh time in a row. Situated on the mouth of Yarra River on Port Phillip Bay, the city boasts of tourist attractions that invite both local and international visitors alike. In its laneways and arcades, bars, cafes, restaurants, and shops are abundant. 

Aside from its bustling city life and rich cultural heritage, the city is a good place to be as a gateway to the scenic places around it. After spending some time in the city, you may want to explore the quaint spots outside of Melbourne.

The Great Ocean Road

Off the west of Melbourne is one of the world’s spectacular coastal drives at the Great Ocean Road that stretches through the Otways and Port Campbell westward. A day trip to the Great Ocean Road would bring you to the ancient rainforest of the Otways and its many waterfalls and waterways; to the beautiful seaside and surfing towns of Torquay, Lorne, Anglesea, and Apollo Bay; and to the limestone shorelines of Port Campbell where the iconic 12 Apostles and Loch Ard Gorge stand.   

Enjoy nature and wildlife in the Otways rainforest and hit the beaches on its shorelines. You may want to brave the rough surf with your surfboard. Torquay is surfing capital of Australia.

The main highlight of the trip would be the picturesque views of the 12 Apostles, Gibson Steps, and Loch Ard Gorge. Watch the colorful sunset by the iconic collection of limestone stacks or hit the pristine beaches of Loch Ard Gorge while listening to the tales of its tragic past.

Mornington Peninsula

Drive southward to Mornington Peninsula and a number of scenic spots would welcome you. From the soothing hot springs to a relaxing beach walks with the bathing boxes as a backdrop, from beautiful gardens and mazes to wonderful ocean views, and from gourmet farms to vineyards and cellar doors. Mornington Peninsula is a great place to visit.    

Climb to the highest viewpoint of the region at Arthur’s Seat and get lost in the maze and enchantment of the themed gardens. Then visit the historic 19th-century lighthouse of Cape Schanck on the southernmost tip of the peninsula or to the nearby defense facility of Fort Nepean that used to protect the narrow entrance to Port Phillip Bay. 

But don’t forget to visit the vineyards and wineries. The region is Victoria’s second-biggest producer of wines. Don’t miss the Pinot Gris and Pinot Grigio of T’Gallant that pioneered their production in the region. The cellar doors on Main Ridge and Red Hill are worth the visit.    

Phillip Island

With a little over an hour drive southeast of Melbourne, you will reach Phillip Island which is home to the famous “penguin parade” and Seal Rocks. The island is also home to a diversity of wildlife. The northern beaches of the island are great for swimming and relaxation while the rugged surf of its southern waters is ideal for surfing.

Visit the Nobbies Centre in the western part of the island to see the fur seals, sharks, whales, and dolphins. You may take a virtual tour to the Southern Ocean and the Antarctica. At Seal Rocks, you can get up close with the fur seals playfully resting in their largest colony on the island. And at the Koala Reservation Center, have a closer look at your favorite koalas lazily dozing off on tree forks or chomping on eucalyptus leaves.

The main highlight of this trip to the island is the spectacular penguin parade. On the sands of Summerland Beach, watch the over 32,000 Little Penguins waddle back to their burrows in the dunes at sunset.  

Yarra Valley

A little more than an hour drive from Melbourne CBD, Yarra Valley is Victoria’s premier and the largest wine region. 

Although known for its vineyards and cellar doors, you can’t miss Yarra Valley’s scenic views, gourmet farms, and great food. They produce not only the best temperate wines but also the best gourmet food in all of Victoria.

Be enchanted by this unique wine tour to Yarra Valley. Experience the magic and enchantment the wine brings to your senses. You can have a relaxing excursion with a twist of alcohol that hits just at the right spot. Enjoy the great wine, great food, great vistas, and great people. Explore local culture through food and wine.  

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