Victoria is full of incredible things to see and do. But, sometimes, we all feel like going somewhere a little different. Luckily, if you’d like to leave Victoria, without actually leaving Victoria, there’s a way to do it. From magnificent sand dunes to rugged pink cliffs, these otherworldly places around Victoria will make you feel as though you’ve travelled to another country, or even another world. Check out our list for these unique and interesting places to visit.
1. Big Drift
Are you in Victoria? Or are you on Arrakis? These breath-taking sand dunes are located in Wilsons Promontory National Park. Take a hike on the trail, and gaze in amazement at the vastness of the inland sand dunes. It’s easy to get lost in the terrain, so stick to the trail and enjoy the view! Learn more here.
📍Walk from Stockyard Camp, Meeniyan-Promontory Rd, Wilsons Promontory VIC 3960
2. The Redwoods
Venture into the Otways and feel transported to California, or even the forest moon of Endor, with stunning, tall redwoods. Take a stroll through the lush forest, and look in amazement at towering redwood trees. Planted in 1939, these trees are now over 60 metres tall. For more information, click here.
📍Beech Forest VIC 3237
BONUS: If you’re on the east, you can also see incredible redwoods near Warburton. Vehicle and pedestrian entry is currently closed due to improvement works, but if you’re in the area, you can access the forest by bike or on foot on the O’Shannassy Aqueduct Trail. This is a 16km round trip. Learn more here.
3. Pink Cliffs Geological Reserve
Close to Heathcote, you’ll discover colourful mini gorges and cliffs. Known as the Pink Cliffs Geological Reserve, this intriguing area was created by early gold-mining activities. Hydraulic sluicing used high pressure jets of water, revealing the pink landscape that you see today. Go for a walk around this unique landscape and enjoy the view. Find more details here.
📍Pink Cliffs Rd, Heathcote VIC 3523
4. Skull Rock
Skull Rock, or Cleft Island, looks like something out of a storybook. Journey off the southwest cost of Wilsons Prom, and see this eerie, granite island, shaped like a skull. The rugged island features a massive cavern that’s 130 metres wide and 60 metres tall.
You can see Skull Island from the safety of a guided boat tour, thanks to Wilsons Promontory Cruises. This 2.5 hour tour departs daily from Tidal River, and will take you on a journey to Skull Rock, and the rest of the marine national park. While you’re there, keep a look out for seals, dolphins, birds and whales. More info here.
📍Wilsons Promontory National Park, Gippsland VIC 3960
5. Cactus Country
Leave Victoria behind and journey to Mexico, the Sahara and the Patagonian Desert in Cactus Country. Located in Strathmerton, less than three hours from Melbourne and an hour away from Echuca, you’ll walk past thousands of cacti and succulents in this 12-acre garden. Meander along eight sandy trails, spot the different varieties and learn all about them. After that, rest in the bar and restaurant, sip on frozen margaritas and try their delicious cactus ice cream and cake. Dogs are welcome to come along and explore too! Find more info here.
📍4986 Murray Valley Hwy, Strathmerton VIC 3641
6. Hollow Mountain
The Grampians is already impressive. But the Hollow Mountain walking track is something truly special. On this two hour journey, you’ll move across increasingly rocky terrain, climbing up past wind-scoured caves and even seasonal rock pools. Once you’ve completed the track, take a break and enjoy stunning views over Mt Stapylton Amphitheatre and the Wimmera Plains.
This track is 2.2km long, and is suitable for fit walkers. See more details here.
📍Grampians VIC 3314
7. Buchan Caves
Underneath the valley in Gippsland, you’ll find Victoria’s largest cave system. This site is highly significant to Gunaikurnai Traditional Owners and was carved out by an underground river almost 400 million years ago.
Take a guided tour to either the Royal Cave or Fairy Cave to see this labyrinth of limestone. Of the two, Royal Cave is easier for visitors, and features stunning calcite-rimmed pools. Meanwhile, Fairy Cave has elaborate stalactites and stalagmites for you to admire. Find more details here.
📍98 Caves Rd, Buchan VIC 3885
8. Pink Lakes
Journey to Victoria’s northwest and marvel at the dazzling Pink Lakes in Murray-Sunset National Park. This picturesque destination features four salt lakes, which range in colours from deep pink to white. The pink hue come from the red algae that grows in the water. Walk around the lakes, feel amazed by local wildlife and see the vivid colours that come at sunset.
📍Pink Lakes Rd, Murray-Sunset VIC 3509