An Expert's Guide to Victoria
Flight Centre's Victoria Expert Nikki Metcalfe has been to Australia 10 times and spent three months travelling around Victoria. She says "This small state is so diverse, with a cosmopolitan capital, abundant wildlife, wonderful wineries, fascinating Aboriginal culture and everything in between.” Here she shares her top tips and advice for visiting Victoria:
How to do it
From the UK, flights operate to Melbourne via Abu Dhabi, Sydney or Singapore. Victoria is perfect for a self-drive holiday, and Melbourne is an ideal base for trips to the Yarra Valley wine region or Dandenong Ranges. We can arrange car hire from £38 per day, or campervans from £47 per day.
What to see
I love visiting Phillip Island, home to thousands of little penguins. For more wildlife spotting, take a boat trip to Seal Rocks to see the nation’s largest fur seal colony or check out the Koala Conservation Centre. You can go to Phillip Island on a day trip from Melbourne, or stay overnight on a self-drive tour.
What to eat
Melbourne is a food lover’s dream. Brunswick Street in Fitzroy is a hip area with cafés and cocktail bars. Smith & Daughters is a divine vegan restaurant whose ‘meatballs’ will convince even the meatiest of eaters! Queen Victoria Market is a must – Australia’s oldest market, it has over 600 stalls.
What to do
Take a Hidden Secrets walking tour in Melbourne on your first day. It will help you get your bearings while taking you to tucked-away corners and hard-to-find locals’ haunts. It’s a brilliant way of soaking up the city’s laid-back, creative spirit.
When to go
It’s great to visit Melbourne during sporting events such as the Grand Prix (March) and the Australian Open (January), when the city is really buzzing. Be aware hotel prices will rise during these times. Visit between November and March for the best weather. Victoria is a state of all seasons, so winter (June to August) can be cold.
Where to stay
Victoria has accommodation for all tastes and budgets, from luxury and boutique hotels to quaint B&Bs. In Melbourne, try Hotel Lindrum or the Crown complex.