Sometimes there's nothing more relaxing than jumping behind the wheel and hitting the open road. Road trips offer the chance to see some of Victoria’s most diverse natural landscapes from snowy mountains to coastal cliffs, through rainforests and old gold towns. Driving offers convenience and flexibility to stop at any given lookout and take in breathtaking views or jump in the cool ocean waves then dry off in the warm afternoon sun. Venture to picturesque towns throughout regional Victoria with breathtaking natural scenery along the way.
Head west from Melbourne along the Great Ocean Road which weaves along between the southern coast and Great Otway National Park. There are many places to stop along the way to see waterfalls, lighthouses and shipwrecks. Take 2-3 days and explore beyond Warnambool to Tower Hill Nature Reserve, Budj Bim National Park and Lower Glenelg National Park. See the marine wildlife off the coast in Discovery Bay Marine National Park, then take the inland route back to Melbourne via the Glenelg Highway with a stop off (or stop over if you have more time) in the southern Grampians National Park.
Drive north into the high country to some of Victoria's most breathtaking mountain peaks and wetland plains. Follow the Hume Highway toward Glenrowan to Warby Ovens National Park at the alpine foothills. The granitic hills and woodlands of the Warby Range, the Box-Ironbark of the Killawarra Forest and the Redgum forest and wetlands of the unregulated Ovens Heritage River provide an important link to the Murray River protecting some of the Victoria's most significant bushland. Stay for a few nights in one of the alpine villages such as Beechworth, Myrtleford or Bright, and take day trips to explore Alpine National Park boasting the highest peaks in Victoria, abundant hiking and bushwalking trails and historic huts, and Mount Buffalo National Park with 360 degree views of the ranges from atop The Horn lookout. Travel south along the Great Alpine Road and stop off at Buchan Caves Reserve for a cave tour. Before heading back to Melbourne via the Princes Highway, take a detour to Baw Baw National Park covering the Baw Baw Plateau and sections of the Thomson and Aberfeldy River valleys.
Journey to the eastern-most point in Victoria to Cape Howe and experience picturesque sights along the way, including Gippsland Lakes Coastal Park, Point Hicks Marine National Park and the breathtaking scenery of Croajingolong National Park. This great park is home to ancient forests, pristine inlets, giant sand dunes and abundant wildlife making it the perfect nature escape, completely away from civilisation. If you don't feel completely relaxed, then stop in at Cape Conran Coastal Park on your way home to enjoy some beach time, or book in advance and stay in one of the cabins or pitch a tent in the campground.
Top regional parks worth the drive
Build your own itinerary based on how many nights you plan to be away. Take your time to take in nature with our top picks on regional parks not to be missed on your self-drive tour of Victoria.