A section of Victoria’s Great Ocean Road seen from above
Road trip

Victorian road trip ideas for the Easter holidays

Victoria is open again: and this Easter, there’s no better time to get back out on the road and explore the Garden State with one of these four driving itineraries.

By Shell on Mar. 16, 2022

Whether it's a short sojourn from Melbourne or a multi-day adventure further afield, Victoria has an abundance of world class road trips that take you from high country to the lakes, along the coast and into gold country. Here are four great drives to help you plan for the Easter holidays – which one will you choose?

Drive One: Great Ocean Road

Great Ocean Road

START Torquay
The END Apollo Bay
DISTANCE approx. 300km
HIGHLIGHTS Great Otways, Twelve Apostles, koalas, Apollo Bay

Great Ocean Road is one of Australia’s most iconic driveS – and the perfect multi-day road drive. While most people head direct from Melbourne until they hit the coast, continue the journey south by exploring the Great Otway National Park.

Once you hit the coast, head to Port Campbell National Park for the obligatory family photo at the Twelve Apostles. There are a variety of accommodation options all along the route, but Apollo Bay offers brilliant swimming spots and excellent seafood, including the famous Scallop Pie from Apollo Bay Bakery.

From there, little ones will love looking out for koalas in the Otways, while teenagers can be coaxed from their phones with a day of zip-lining through the forest. Detour to check out Hopetoun Falls, one of many waterfalls in the region.

Drive Two: Phillip Island

Phillip Island

START Melbourne
END Phillip Island
DISTANCE 300km round trip
HIGHLIGHTS Penguin Parade, Churchill Island Heritage Farm, wildlife encounters

Not every kid is ready for a long road trip, so for a brief break with plenty of fresh air and fun, head 90 minutes from Melbourne to Phillip Island for a short and sweet jaunt that’s big on natural attractions.

Get an early start and head to Churchill Island Heritage Farm, a working farm dating back to 1872. At midday, make a beeline to San Remo pier, where the local fishermen's co-op feed the pelicans each day. Afterwards, check out the koalas at the local Conservation Centre.

Stay overnight at Cowes and you’ll have plenty of time to catch Phillip Island’s number one attraction: the Penguin Parade. Come sunset, hundreds of fairy penguins waddle back to their burrows after a day’s fishing in the ocean.

Drive Three: Goldfields Way

Goldfields Way

START Ballarat
END Bendigo
DISTANCE 130km
HIGHLIGHTS Sovereign Hill Experience, Castlemaine, Bendigo

Start your journey along the Goldfields Way in Ballarat. Head first to the exceptional Sovereign Hill Experience, an outdoor museum that recreates the days of the gold rushes, where you can pan for gold or ride a horse and carriage.

From there, head north through Daylesford and stop at Hepburn Springs Mineral Reserve to take the waters at Australia’s first mineral spring reserve, before continuing on for lunch at one of Castlemaine’s cafes and art galleries. Afterwards, take a short detour or stop overnight to sample Heathcote’s exceptional wineries.

From there it’s a leisurely drive to Bendigo. Head deeper underground with a tour of Central Deborah Gold Mine, or if you prefer something more refined, check out the Bendigo Art Gallery.

Drive Four: Great Alpine Road

Great Alpine Road

START Wangaratta
END Metung
DISTANCE: 330km
HIGHLIGHTS: Beechworth, Mt Hotham, Gippsland Lakes.

While the Great Alpine Road might feel seasonal, it’s a versatile, autumnal drive allowing you the best of the mountains and finishing on the coast. Start in the highlands at Wangaratta and head to the historic goldfield town of Beechworth, before continuing to Mount Buffalo National Park. Here it's worth detouring up the Gorge to check out the view from Bents Lookout, before continuing on to Mt Hotham.

The famous ski resort offers excellent hiking trails that are open during autumn before the snow sets in. If you prefer something quieter, head 10 kilometres down the road to Dinner Plain Alpine village, which has a series of well-marked hiking, biking and horse-riding trails.

From there, make your way down through the alpine valleys to Omeo, an old gold rush town and growing adventure hotspot, before driving through the grazing lands to Metung, the gateway to the Gippsland Lakes, one of Australia’s largest inland waterway systems.

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