Best Places to Visit in Victoria (Australia)
Victoria is a great place to travel and a great place to live: The state capital, Melbourne, has been named the most liveable city by The Economist for six consecutive years, surpassing Rome as the world’s best coffee city.
But with 2.6 million international tourists flocking to Victoria in 2016 alone, Melbourne has much more to see than the hustle and bustle of the city: drive the famous Great Ocean Road, relax on the beaches of seaside villages and enjoy the national parks for stunning views, or Check. The cute little fairy penguin colony of Phillip Island.
Victoria has a lot of work to do and if you can, spend a few weeks exploring it. You will gain a fascinating insight into Australia’s urban and rural culture, meet many friendly locals and create memories that will last a lifetime.
Have a look at our list of the Best Places to Visit in Victoria and make your trip enjoyable.
Top 17 Best Places to Visit in Victoria
Here are the top 17 Most Beautiful and Best Places to Visit in Victoria:
1. Fairmont Empress
Built for the Canadian Pacific in 1908, like the Château Frontenac in Quebec City, the Fairmont Empress Hotel in the Inner Harbor is one of Victoria’s most popular landmarks. The historic hotel has hosted celebrities and celebrities for decades, including members of the British monarchy.
Designed by architect Francis M. Rattenbury, the Empress is like stepping back in time before World War I as you enter the spacious lobby of this luxury hotel.
Enjoy a nice afternoon tea in the Lobby Lounge, one of the most popular things to do when visiting the city. If you want to guarantee a place, be sure to make a reservation.
The extension on the north side of the Queen’s Hotel hosts dozens of miniature scenes from miniature worlds. Models of historical events, castles and dollhouses attract young and old alike.
Address: 721 Government Street, Victoria
2. Parliament Building
Dominating the south side of the Inner Harbor is the House of Parliament, the magnificent seat of British Columbia’s government. Designed by Yorkshire architect Francis M. Rattenbury and erected in 1897, these imposing stone buildings feature tidy gardens and look very attractive, especially when illuminated at night.
Towering above the enormous dome is a gilded statue of Captain George Vancouver (1757-98), who completed the first circumnavigation of Vancouver Island. Images of famous personalities from the province adorn the façade. A large statue of Queen Victoria overlooks the Inner Harbor from the terrace.
Guided tours of the building are available for free on weekdays from 8:30 am to 5 pm. This is also allowed if you prefer to roam alone. A security check is required prior to entry.
The horse-drawn carriage tour of the city center departs nearby.
Address: 501 Belleville Street, Victoria
3. Shopping or dining in the market square
One of Victoria’s most exclusive shopping areas is Market Square. Hidden from the street, the market is an open-air space behind a beautifully restored historic building. Verandas cover the multi-level space and the sunny main square hosts regular performances.
The Market Square is home to more than 30 retailers, including one-of-a-kind boutiques, restaurants and services. Wander and go to various places to find local arts, jewelry, crafts and one-of-a-kind items. A pleasant ambiance and relaxed atmosphere can keep you entertained. A bite to eat at a hipster restaurant is a great way to satisfy that craving.
There are three main entrances to Market Square: Johnson Street, Pandora Street, and Store Street. Across Johnson Street and down a cobbled side street is the entrance to Il Terrazzo, one of Victoria’s most enduring and popular restaurants.
4. Wander through Cook Street Village
One of Victoria’s trendiest areas is Cook Street Village. This funky little area just down from Beacon Hill Park has lots of good restaurants and nice shops. The main area is compact and stretches three blocks from Oliphant Street to Oscar Street.
For most of the year, the restaurant’s patio is packed with patrons who soak up the atmosphere and engage by letting some serious people watch. The food truck has its own little area with picnic tables under a big tree.
A very enjoyable afternoon to have lunch on the patio, explore the village and then take the 10-minute walk from Cook Street to the Dallas Road Boardwalk. The route stretches for miles, and on a clear day, the views from the Strait of Juan de Fuca to the Olympic Mountains are spectacular.
5. Beacon Hill Park
Green and well-maintained Beacon Hill Park is the most popular open space near the city center. From the highest point, there is a view of the Juan de Fuca Canal and the snow-capped peaks of the Olympic Peninsula.
The park has large trees, gardens and ponds. Walkways through the park lead to quiet benches and quiet resting areas. You can spot all kinds of wildlife here, from deer to peacocks, ducks and sometimes even otters. The trail also leads to high points with beautiful views of the ocean and mountains.
Other features of the park include recreational areas for baseball, tennis, cricket, and lawn bowling. Two water parks provide summer fun for kids.
At the southwestern end of the park, a milestone called Mile 0 marks the western end of the transcontinental Trans-Canada Highway. Nearby is a statue of Terry Fox, who was trying to cross Canada in 1980 to raise money for cancer research.
Address: 100 Cook Street, Victoria
6. Craigdarroch Castle
The Victorian fairy tale mansion Craigdarroch Castle is a gem of Victorian architecture and is considered a National Historic Site. Scottish immigrant entrepreneur Robert Dunsmuir, who made a fortune in coal mining, commissioned the house in the 1880s but died before his mansion was completed. The family drama surrounding the house ensued.
The house is located in a particularly affluent area of Victoria. Elegant Rockland is in the center of Rockland Avenue and is surrounded by magnificent heritage homes, including Government House, the official residence of Her Majesty’s Representative from British Columbia. The house is open to the public but has no ramps or elevators.
Address: 1050 Joan Crescent, Victoria
Official website: http://thecastle.ca/
7. Hiking Trails and Scenic Areas
Victoria is one of Canada’s most scenic cities, and if you want to experience some of the beauty, head to the parks and try some of the local hiking trails. Many are short and can be done in half a day or a few hours.
For coastal scenery, Sooke’s Coastal Walk is an amazing coastal walk overlooking the mountains. The Mount Work Trail is another great hiking trail and a good way to exercise, leading to a high point with views of Mount Olympic and the Saanich Inlet.
For a bit of history, head to the Trestle Trail in Goldstream Provincial Park, stopping at Niagara Falls along the way. Or try the Kinsol Trestle Bridge Trail for all abilities for a little bit of convenience.
8. Fort Rodd Hill National Historic Site
The battery at Fort Lord’s Hill National Historic Site, about 13 kilometers west of Victoria, was used to protect the sheltered waters of Esquimalt Harbour, which was once a British naval base. These guns were in service from 1895 to 1956. Today, the well-preserved castle can be visited.
Fort Lords Hill National Historic Site is the perfect family getaway when visiting Victoria. The castle has lots of fun hideouts for kids to explore, guns can be climbed, and the dock at the front usually has some fun. It is about a 10 minutes walk from the beach to Point and Fisgard Lighthouse. This iconic Victorian photo spot is the first light on Canada’s west coast.
Address: 603 Fort Lord Road, Victoria
Official website: https://www.pc.gc.ca/en/lhn-nhs/bc/fortroddhill
Bendigo offers fascinating insights into Victoria’s past. Less than 2 hours drive from Melbourne and easily accessible by train, Bendigo is a Victorian gold rush city.
The town’s many well-preserved Victorian buildings have made Bendigo famous for its heritage architecture and gold rush history; Victoria’s gold mines were once more productive than anywhere else outside of California, and nearly 1 million kilograms of gold has been mined in Bendigo alone since mining began in the 1850s.
Like the Gold Rush in the United States, the Victorian Gold Rush attracted large numbers of immigrants from Australia and overseas, transforming the town from a quiet sheep herding station into a large settlement.
In this now thriving modern city, some popular attractions for heritage and cultural tourists include the Discovery Gold Monument, the Bendigo Tramway Museum, and the Golden Dragon Museum. city population) and Joss House Temple, as well as several heritage-listed buildings: Bendigo Town Hall (1859), Old Post Office, Courthouse (1892), Sacred Heart Cathedral (1896), Shamrock Hotel (1897), and Military Memorial Museum (1921).
Heritage and cultural tourism aside, there is so much more to this thriving city: beautiful national parks, science museums, excellent Bendigo art galleries, and the Bendigo Botanical Gardens overlooking beautiful Lake Verona.
To learn about the history of the gold rush, the Central Deborah Gold Mine is unrivaled – this authentic historical mine tour underground is a very memorable experience (if not perhaps for the claustrophobic). You can even earn gold at the end of your visit!
10. Mornington Peninsula
Mornington Peninsula is a lovely little day trip away from the hustle and bustle of Melbourne. A little over an hour away (and a very enjoyable ride), you’ll discover a different world.
The peninsula is known for its wineries, cherries and berries, and is produced straight from the farm door (and delicious restaurant food!). It’s also a popular foraging spot, including spraying marine plants, seaweed, and mushrooms (mushroom tours provide helpful advice on distinguishing between poisonous and tasty!)
Like many regional attractions, the peninsula’s beautiful hiking trails are unmissable, but there is plenty to do in the city. The Peninsula Hot Springs in Sorrento is particularly delightful as there are very few natural hot springs in Australia.
Rosebud and Rye have many family venues, and Portsea has a nice bar if you want a drink by the sea. The bright and colorful cottages on Mount Martha Beach are also worth a visit.
There are several national parks on the peninsula with a total area of over 25,000 hectares. These include beautiful spots like Cape Schank (home to a lighthouse built in 1859, still in operation today and ideal for catching the sunset).
11. St. Kilda
Melbourne has a lot to offer its visitors, but one of the must-see attractions is St. Kilda.
This suburb has a wide variety of attractions, from beachfront entertainment to thriving nightlife, the famous Esplanade market, and some of the best dining in the city (if not the state). The suburb is ethnically diverse, and Aklan Street in particular is famous for its Greek and Jewish bakeries and bakeries, so this is the perfect place if you’re craving dessert.
There are also many vegetarian restaurants here (especially pay-as-you-go lentils).
St Kilda is also known for its boutiques, antique shops and iconic colorful beach cottages. The pier is beautiful, especially at night when the lights are bright and you can see the penguins.
Botanical gardens are also a great way to whet your appetite for local delicacies (or eat that delicious cake).
Here you will also find Luna Park, an iconic amusement park that opened in 1912. The Natural Railroad opened in the park that same year, making it the world’s oldest continuously operating roller coaster (with great views of Port Phillip Bay). It’s free to enter, just pay as you get on, it’s even fun to walk around.
12. Butcher’s Gardens
While the gardens are only a short drive from central Victoria, they are one of the area’s premier tourist attractions and well worth your time. This is also where you can visit several times a year to see the changes in the seasons. The gardens are a welcome sight even in winter, with an outdoor ice rink and a great light show at Christmas.
The garden was built in 1904 by Jeanne Butchart, the wife of a wealthy quarry owner. He arranged a fragrant garden in this abandoned limestone quarry. The garden, which flourished mainly due to the mild climate, has become a 20-hectare horticultural tourism destination with no competition in Canada.
Italian gardens, rose gardens, Japanese gardens, and sunken gardens are the cutest. Open spaces between swimming pools, fountains and many exotic plants are used for art and musical performances.
Address: 800 Benvenuto Ave, Brentwood Bay
Official website: http://www.butchartgardens.com/
Daylesford is a beautiful spa town, about an hour and a half drive from Melbourne, very popular with locals and tourists. Originally a gold mining town, Daylesford has been a popular spa destination for a century.
The town is famous for its natural hot spring mineral hot springs; The town and the wider region contain more than 80% of Australia’s effervescent mineral water.
In addition to its numerous hot springs, Daylesford is known for its wineries, galleries, restaurants and beautiful lake views.
The Wombat Hill Botanical Gardens are also a welcome attraction, and the stunning Hepburn Regional Park is just a stone’s throw away.
14. Dandenong Mountain Range
The Dandenong Mountain Range is a low mountain range on the outskirts of Melbourne, 35 km from the city center. Gorgeous, lush and green, it’s a popular nature day trip for locals and a must-see for tourists.
The particularly popular Puffing Billy Scenic Railroad is a great way to enjoy the beauty of the mountains. Its highest point is Mount Dandenong at 633 meters above sea level.
Here you’ll find quality farm produce, breathtaking bush walks, lovely hostels, quaint towns, immaculate gardens and well-preserved Australian architecture.
There’s also plenty of wildlife to see in the mountains: kangaroos, koalas, wombats and more!
Another famous Gold Rush town, Ballarat is now a thriving city with great cafes and restaurants and many events to appeal to the modern traveler (Ballarat Oktoberfest and Summer of Sounds are particularly popular. Welcome). The Ballarat Art Gallery is also a must see, wandering around the lake is a way to have fun and Ballarat Wildlife Park is a great place to see koalas!
Like Bendigo, it does an excellent job of preserving history: there are many examples of heritage buildings to find, and the fascinating Australian Democracy Museum in Eureka is actually the historic site of the 1854 Eureka Fence, a famous revolt against the British colonial authorities in the area, on Australia’s path to becoming an independent democracy It was a very important moment.
Sovereign Hill is a particularly enjoyable tourist attraction in Ballarat; Described as Australia’s best open-air museum, this open-air museum and the historical park will truly take you back to where the gold rush began more than 150 years ago. An exciting day! The experience is very authentic and informative; you can go underground and enjoy a fully guided tour of the gold mines, visit a shop from the 1850s, see the steam-powered machinery in action, and chat with the fully equipped staff who “make their trade”. candle makers, wheel makers and confectioners – makers of the past.
Eight kilometers outside of Ballarat, you’ll find Kryal Castle, which describes itself as “Australia’s only medieval adventure park and resort.” Fighting knights and dragons in Central Australia is a bit inappropriate in the middle of summer, but it’s still fun and entertaining for any of the little travelers in your group.
16. Walk along the Inner Harbor
Victoria’s scenic Inner Harbor is the main attraction and best starting point for tourists. Many of the city’s top attractions are located at the port or within walking distance. You can walk along the beach, past the Queens Hotel and Capitol, watch street performers on a sunny day, or stop for a bite to eat at a restaurant.
If you are looking for activities in Victoria, this is a great choice. Boat tours depart from the marina with horse-drawn carriages passing through the streets above. Festivals and other events are often held in the area and there is always a lot going on.
For travelers who do not have their own vehicle or want to park their car for a while, staying at the port is the best option. While the Fairmont Empress is the obvious choice, Delta Hotels Victoria Ocean Pointe Resort is a good option in less dense areas.
Inner Harbor is also where seaplanes land and take off and serves Vancouver and Washington state.
17. Royal British Columbia Museum
The British Columbia provincial museum and archive is one of the best natural and cultural history museums in Canada, with many 3D displays that offer a feast of sight, smell and sound.
Walk through the rainforest, see animals on West Coast beaches and tidal wetlands, sit between Aboriginal ritual poles and masks, walk through the big house, and learn about the struggles of Aboriginal people after they settled in Europe. Other interactive features include the ship that brought Captain Vancouver to these shores and a replica of HMS Discovery, a shopping street in the Old Town.
Outside, Thunderbird Park is home to a traditional carved monument and house pillars. Nearby, in the mid-19th century, Helmken House, British Columbia’s oldest residence, still stands in its original location. The house was once owned by the doctor and local politician J.S. It belonged to Helmcken. He actively campaigned for the then British colonies of Victoria and British Columbia to join the newly formed Canadian Confederation.
Address: 675 Belleville Street, Victoria
Official website: http://royalbcmuseum.bc.ca/
Hope you like our choice of the best places to visit in Victoria. If you think there are some more best and beautiful places to visit in Victoria, we should cover. Write us below in the comment box.