INTERNATIONAL students frequently tour Victoria when their family and friends come to visit during school breaks. Deborah Goh recommends five travel destinations you might not know about that will certainly impress visitors next time they come.
When you think about Victoria, thoughts that spring to mind include the Great Ocean Road, Philip Island or any other attraction that thousands of tourists have already flocked to. Unsurprisingly, these destinations are typically number one on international students’ travel hitlist when they arrive in Melbourne for the first time.
However, these places grow old fast and frequent visits from our loved ones back home call for new, lesser-known locations to show off the state that we now call home.
If you really want to show off the Victorian landscape and impress your friends and family with your intimate knowledge of the state, here are our tried-and-tested hidden gems that will sweep your loved ones off their feet!
Tower Hill Wildlife Reserve
Nestled inside the crater of a dormant volcano, Tower Hill Wildlife Reserve is a fascinating ecological site and haven for local wildlife.
No trip to Tower Hill is complete without getting up close and personal with the many native Australian animals that roam freely throughout the reserve. Make sure to explore the area thoroughly on foot to maximise your chances of coming into contact with kangaroos, koalas, emus and many species of waterbirds!
If you want to make a day out of it, stop by the visitor centre managed by Worn Gundidj Aboriginal Cooperative. At the centre, you will be able to gain a better understanding of local Aboriginal culture and browse through the substantial collection of Aboriginal arts and crafts for sale.
Simply stunning views await those who are willing to endure the hour-long hike up Mt Oberon in Wilson’s Promontory National Park.
Make it to the top of Mt Oberon and you will be rewarded with a bird’s-eye view of mainland Australia’s southernmost point.
Do remember to pack a picnic lunch so that you can sit back and refuel while soaking up the breathtaking panorama of Tidal River, the coastline and the promontory’s offshore islands.
The Buchan Caves are a magnificent group of caves located in the East Gippsland region of Victoria. They were created by underground rivers which cut through limestone rock almost 400 million years ago.
Two of the caves in the Buchan region, namely Fairy Cave and Royal Cave, are open to the general public. Professionally guided tours of these caves are conducted daily, giving visitors the opportunity to marvel at the underground splendour of the stalactites and stalagmites as well as the amazing calcite rimmed pools.
Tarra Bulga National Park
The setting of Tarra Bulga National Park truly feels like a scene out of Jurassic Park. Situated within one of the only cool temperate rainforest regions in Victoria, the park is littered with towering Mountain Ash trees, ancient myrtle beeches and beautiful fern gullies.
A must-do in the area is definitely the walk that passes over Corrigan’s Suspension Bridge. It stretches through the rainforest canopy, affording incredible views of the lush fern gullies on the forest floor below.
Between late May and early October every year, Southern Right Whales return to their nursery at Logan’s Beach to give birth and raise their calves. This makes Logan’s Beach’s whale viewing platform one of the region’s best whale observation points.
Make a trip down during the calving season and you may just come within a hundred metres of these majestic mammals as they swim close to the shore!
To avoid disappointment, always remember to call the Visitor Information Centre beforehand to check whether the whales are around, as there are times where they are not visible even though they are in the region.