There are literally over 1000 towns in Victoria, but as they say not all towns were created equal! Here’s our top 5 regional Victorian towns to visit and what makes them so special.
1. Port Fairy
Victoria’s oldest port, Port Fairy is reminiscent of an Irish Fishing Village. The charming town features wide streets lined with over 50 historic buildings including white washed fisherman’s cottages and sprawling colonial homesteads.
The port is still one of the busiest in Victoria and each night the fishing vessels return to port flooding the local restaurants with their day’s catch. You can indulge in some of Australia’s best and freshest seafood at the abundant restaurants and cafes in town.
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The Crags offers spectacular views of the rocky, calcareous cliffs and 19 kilometres from shore visitors can see the volcanic Lady Julia Percy (Deen Maar) Island. The Crags is a wild and scenic section of our coast, with panoramic views. Lady Julia Percy Island is home to more than 4000 seals, fairy penguins, birds of prey and has the largest Australian rookeries of fairy prions and driving petrels. Many of the bird species can be viewed from The Crags as they move across the ocean in search of feeding grounds. #crags #deenmaar
Located in the beautiful Gippsland Lakes area, Bairnsdale boasts a bit of everything. Enjoy outdoor activities such as swimming, fishing, kayaking, surfing and boating in the surrounding Gippsland Lakes. Visit the local wineries and explore the Twin Rivers Food and Wine Trail. Take a self guided heritage walk around the town stopping at local galleries, museums, churches and antique shops or visit the Krowathunkoolong Keeping Place to learn about the local Koorie history and culture. Bairnsdale is also the finishing point of the Great Alpine Drive giving easy access to the beautiful alpine region.
3. Apollo Bay
It’s no coincidence that two of our top 5 Victorian towns are along the Great Ocean Road. With a back drop like that, it’s hard to go wrong. Flanked on one side by the beautiful Otway National Park, with its towering gums and lush rain-forests, and on the other side by a beautiful uncrowded beach, it’s easy to see why Apollo Bay is a popular holiday destination. The town itself is bustling with restaurants, shops and cafes serving up mountains of fresh seafood in every way you can imagine.
The centrally located Comfort Inn the International is close to over 20 cafes and restaurants and has a great range of services and features including an outdoor swimming pool making it ideal for all types of travellers.
Related: Great Ocean Road: Top Foodie Stops
Known as the Paddle Steamer capital of Australia, Echuca is nestled on the shores of the mighty Murray River. Once the largest inland port in Australia, Echuca is overflowing with museums, historic buildings and replica artefacts such as the carefully reconstructed foot bridge. The town centre is an eclectic mix of old and new with a great vibe and plenty to see and do. The river provides a range of outdoor and water activities and the surrounding country side can be explored on foot, by car or bike.
5. Halls Gap
Surrounded by the stunning Grampians Geriwerd National Park, Halls Gap is a little piece of untouched heaven. The rich aboriginal history can be appreciated by taking one of the many walking tracks into the beautiful bushland and keeping your eyes peeled for hidden caves filled with rock art, and carvings in the rock shelves and formations.
The town itself is quaint and quiet and has a small selection of restaurants, cafes and shops. Other activities in the area include fishing, rock climbing, cycling and abseiling and the local privately owned Halls Gap Zoo is not to be missed.