Top 10 Trips
  • Bairnsdale
  • Beechworth
  • Halls Gap
  • Port Albert
  • Port Campbell
  • Rutherglen
  • Stawell
  • Warrnambool
  • Wodonga
  • Yarrawonga

Top 10 Victorian Destinations 3 Hours from Melbourne

Sometimes the best things in life are just under your nose – so don't you think it's time you explored some of what our great state has to offer?

Victoria is full of little gems – towns and destinations forgotten by most and enjoyed by the rest, and we think it's about time we let you in on the secret.

As travelers and explorers, we live for the moments we can experience and feel like they are truly our own – memories which, no matter what everyday life may throw at us in the future, nobody can ever take away from us.

Each of the Top 10 Destinations we've put together here have their own little something special which makes travelling and holidaymaking a worthwhile experience – and they can all be found just three hours from the Melbourne CBD!

Whether it's beaches, rivers, forests or mountains, food or wine, fishing, walking, riding or discovering, art, history or the contemporary, we are sure there is something here for you.

It's time to find out what's in your backyard – so read on, pick your destination, and go make some memories.

  • Bairnsdale

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    Bairnsdale: Gippsland - Distance from the CBD - 282km
    Bairnsdale is one of the largest towns in our Top 10, but it certainly has all the attractions and charm of the smaller country towns elsewhere in the list. Several scenic parks give access to the Mitchell River, which wraps around the edge of Bairnsdale, and for those who want to venture close to the water the river provides good fishing areas. The town itself provides its own stunning attractions, not least of which is St. Mary’s Catholic Church, with its spectacular murals covering the walls and ceiling in a style resembling those found in European churches and cathedrals.

    Things to see and do in and around Bairnsdale
    Mitchell River National Park - www.parkweb.vic.gov.au
    East Gippsland Art Gallery - www.eastgippslandartgallery.org.au
    St. Mary’s Catholic Church - www.tripadvisor.com.au
    Macleod Morass Nature Reserve – Bird Watching - www.parkweb.vic.gov.au

    Things to see and do along the way
    Lillico Glass Studio -  www.lillicoglassstudio.com.au
    Gippsland Art Gallery - www.wellington.vic.gov.au/Enjoying-Wellington/Gippsland-Art-Gallery
    Latrobe City Parks and Gardens - www.visitlatrobecity.com/pages/parks-gardens
  • Beechworth

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    Beechworth: High Country - Distance from the CBD - 285km
    The town of Beechworth, in Victoria’s north-east, is a town trapped in time. A classic Australian country town, Beechworth is fantastically preserved - winning the 2009/2010 Australian Tidy Towns Awards – and provides a great example of historical architecture from its time as an 1850s gold rush town. The Historical and Cultural Precinct, on Ford Street, is perhaps the best example of the town’s heritage buildings – also including a cell which once held Ned Kelly. Also with a growing reputation as a wine-producing town, with various wineries available to tour, a trip to Beechworth is an illuminating and enjoyable trip back
    in time.

    Things to see and do in and around Beechworth
    Beechworth Wineries - www.beechworthonline.com.au/pages/wineries
    Beechworth Gaol - www.beechworthgaol.com.au
    Beechworth Ghost Tours
    Beechworth Honey Experience - www.beechworthhoney.com.au

    Things to see and do along the way
    Kerrisdale Mountain Railway and Museum -  www.kerrisdalemtnrailway.com.au
    River Country Adventours, Nagambie - www.adventours.com.au
    Skydive Euroa - www.skydivingassoc.com.au
  • Halls Gap

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    Halls Gap: Grampians - Distance from the CBD - 253km
    Set against the stark, rising peaks of the Wonderland and Mount William Ranges, Halls Gap is almost breathtaking enough to view in a photograph, but to visit is to experience the land on another level. Bushwalkers and wildlife enthusiasts will be at ease in Halls Gap, which is located in the heart of the Grampians National Park, with plentiful forest and bush tracks suitable for either walking or 4WDing. The town’s thriving art culture is open for all to see at the MOCO Art Gallery, and Halls Gap is also proud host to Australia’s longest-running Aboriginal Culture Centre, Brambuk, for those interested in setting a slower pace.

    Things to see and do in and around Halls Gap
    Brambuk – The National Park and Aboriginal Culture Centre - www.brambuk.com.au
    Halls Gap Zoo -  www.hallsgapzoo.com.au
    The Gap Vineyard - www.grampianswine.com.au/the_gap_vineyard
    MOCO Art Gallery - www.mocogallery.com

    Things to see and do along the way
    Brisbane Ranges National Park, Bacchus Marsh - www.parkweb.vic.gov.au
    Sovereign Hill, Ballarat 
    Aradale Lunatic Asylum Ghost Tours 
  • Port Albert

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    Port Albert: Gippsland - Distance from the CBD - 222km
    The historic sea port town of Port Albert is one of Victoria’s oldest established sea ports, dating back to 1841 – it was the original gateway to Gippsland. Today, the town’s population is small, but it remains a base for fishing fleets in the area and provides a marvellous destination for tourists and those dreaming of an escape. Port Albert is revered in fishing, boating and surfing circles, housing an almost picture perfect coastline for all these activities. Away from the sea, the Turra Bulga National Park is full of opportunities to get out and explore with breathtaking waterfalls, bushwalks and wildlife to discover.

    Things to see and do in and around Port Albert
    Gippsland Regional Maritime Museum - www.yarrampa.customer.netspace.net.au/pamm
    Port Albert Studio Art Gallery – Award Winning Artist Warren Curry
    Turra Bulga National Park - www.visitmelbourne.com
    Fishing in and around Port Albert - www.visitmelbourne.com/Regions/Gippsland

    Things to see and do along the way
    South Gippsland Tourist Railway
    Koonwarra Day Spa - www.koonwarraspa.com.au
    Wilsons Promontory National Park - www.parkweb.vic.gov.au
  • Port Campbell

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    Port Campbell: Great Ocean Road - Distance from CBD 227km
    The small but vibrant community town of Port Campbell is the perfect place to base your Great Ocean Road experience. A tourist’s paradise, Port Campbell is home to some of Australia’s most majestic natural wonders - perhaps the most well-known of these being the famous Twelve Apostles, of which eight remain today – with others including London Bridge, the Loch Ard Gorge and Gibson’s Steps, all set against the rugged coastline of the Great Ocean Road. But when you’re done taking in the natural attractions, the quaint town centre on Lord Street and pristine beaches set Port Campbell apart as a perfect getaway destination.

    Things to see and do in and around Port Campbell
    Port Campbell National Park - Including 12 Apostles - www.parkweb.vic.gov.au
    Scenic Flights - www.visitmelbourne.com/Regions/Great-Ocean-Road
    Port Campbell Boat Charters - Diving and Snorkelling Tours - www.portcampbellboatcharters.com.au/diving

    Things to see and do along the way
    Geelong Botanical Gardens - www.geelongaustralia.com.au/gbg
    Otway Fly Treetop Adventures and Zip Line Tour - http://www.otwayfly.com/
    Winchelsea – Barwon Park Mansion and Ostrich Farm - www.winchelsea.vic.au/what-to-do-see
  • Rutherglen

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    Rutherglen: High Country - Distance from the CBD - 296km
    Think Rutherglen – think wine. Right in the heart of Australia’s oldest wine-growing region, Rutherglen is famous for its many wineries – many of them family-owned, ensuring the history of the region is well-preserved through the practices of the winemakers. Take a tour of the wineries, or if that isn’t your thing, the area is excellent for riding bikes or walking on the various tracks in and surrounding Rutherglen. The main street harks back to previous generations of residents, including the gold miners who built the town, with buildings well maintained, making for picturesque viewing as you sit back and relax.

    Things to see and do in and around Rutherglen
    Behind-the-Scenes Winery Tours - www.rutherglenvic.com/behind-the-scenes-tours
    Ladies Getaway – Victoria Hotel - www.rutherglenvic.com/boobs-bikes-and-bubbles
    Rutherglen Heritage Walk - www.rutherglenvic.com/operators/attractions/282
    Muscat Trail 

    Things to see and do along the way
    Mount Disappointment State Forest
    Glenrowan Blacksmith Shop and Armoury 
    Violet Town Heritage Walk
  • Stawell

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    Stawell: Grampians - Distance from CBD 236km
    Most know Stawell for its Gift – that is, its famous annual foot race – but there are many reasons to visit this former gold rush town more than just once a year. Stawell still hosts one of Victoria’s largest gold mines, the Magdala Gold Mine, and its rich history of prosperity is celebrated around town, as well as preserved in the many historic buildings still standing today, such as the railway station and courthouse. Stawell is the gateway to the Grampians National Park, and as such the beauty of the town extends into the natural beauty of the surrounding land.

    Things to see and do around Stawell
    Stawell Gift Hall of Fame - www.stawellgift.com/hall-of-fame/visit-hall-of-fame/
    Pioneers Memorial, Big Hill - www.monumentaustralia.org.au
    Great Western Wineries - www.visitmelbourne.com
    Stawell Historic Railway Station and Art Gallery - www.stawellrailwaystationgallery.com.au

    Things to see and do along the way
    The Giant Koala, Dadswells Bridge 
    Ballarat Wildlife and Reptile Park - www.wildlifepark.com.au
    Gum San Chinese Heritage Centre, Ararat - www.arts-events-tourism.ararat.vic.gov.au
    Dry Stone Walls Driving Trail, Melton - www.melton.vic.gov.au
  • Warrnambool

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    Warrnambool: Great Ocean Road - Distance from CBD 267km
    The Great Ocean Road is a staple on Aussie bucket lists and Warrnambool has become one of the favourite destinations of those travelling along it. The former port town is now a thriving paradise for lovers of coastal life. Calming sea breezes rising from Warrnambool’s numerous beaches and divine bays give the town a natural feel. Warrnambool is full of attractions for the whole family – from whale watching to a night time sound and laser show – and is steeped in heritage, including the historic Flagstaff Hill Maritime Village, home of the largest collection of shipwrecks in Victoria.

    Things to see and do in and around Warrnambool
    Logans Beach Whale Watching (approx. Late May - Early October) - www.visitwarrnambool.com.au/whale-watching
    Flagstaff Hill Maritime Village - www.www.flagstaffhill.com/
    Lake Pertobe Adventure Playground - www.visitwarrnambool.com.au
    Allansford Cheese World - www.cheeseworld.com.au/

    Things to see and do along the way
    Werribee Open Range Zoo - http://www.zoo.org.au/werribee
    Lake Corangamite - http://otway.biz/lakecorangamite.html
    Mortlake - http://www.visitportfairy-moyneshire.com.au/townsplaces/mortlake
  • Wodonga

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    Wodonga: Murray - Distance from the CBD - 332km
    Home of the first bridge to cross the Murray River, built in 1860, Wodonga and its twin town, Albury, form a small urban centre on the Victoria-New South Wales border. Wodonga has the strong feeling of a country town, with a connection to the River which is such a prominent and relaxing backdrop. A highly cultured town, Wodonga’s Museums and Art Galleries, including the cultural centre of Gateway Village, ensure there is plenty for visitors to immerse themselves in. For those with an interest in history, the Bonegilla Migrant Experience is an enlightening venture and a must see while in Wodonga.

    Things to see and do in and around Wodonga
    Bonegilla Migrant Experience - www.bonegilla.org.au
    Bandiana Army Museum - www.alburywodongaaustralia.com.au/directory_details
    Gateway Village and GIGS Art Galleries - www.alburywodongaaustralia.com.au/directory_details
    Lake Hume - www.wodonga.vic.gov.au/leisure-arts-visitors/things-to-see/lake-hume

    Things to see and do along the way
    Seymour Railway Heritage Centre -  www.srhc.org.au
    Ned Kelly Museum, Glenrowan - www.tripadvisor.com.au
  • Yarrawonga

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    Yarrawonga: Murray - Distance from the CBD - 282km
    Located right on the banks of the Murray River, the 2375km stretch of water which acts as the boundary between Victoria and New South Wales, Yarrawonga is a town far from the hustle and bustle of Melbourne life – indeed, you will feel like you have left the state. Well loved by tourists and holiday-makers for its steady climate and water-based attractions, Yarrawonga is the perfect place to relax and forget about everyday life. Visit Lake Mulwala for a kayak, swim or to fish, or even take a cruise to truly let go. And for lovers of the fruits of the vine, the Winery Walkabout is for you.

    Things to see and do in and around Yarrawonga
    Byramine Homestead and Brewery -  www.byraminehomestead.com.au
    Paradise Queen Cruises - www.paradisequeen.com
    Woods Winery Walkabout - www.yarrawongamulwala.com.au
    Antique Clock Museum - www.yarrawongamulwala.com.au

    Things to see and do along the way
    Vietnam Veterans Commemorative Walk, Seymour -  www.vietnamvetswalk.org.au
    Benalla Costume and Pioneer Museum - www.home.vicnet.net.au/~benmus/
    Eldorado, Wangaratta - www.visitwangaratta.com.au/pages/eldorado/

Points of Interest

12 Apostles - Scenic Helicopter Flights

Take to the skies in a chopper, seaplane or even an old Tigermoth for a bird's eye view of the stunning south west coastline taking you over the ocean and along the shipwreck coast.

Behind-The-Scenes Winery Tours

Take a tour behind the scenes and see what really goes on in a Rutherglen winery. View winemakers at work, have the winemaking process explained and conclude your experience with a tasting.

Bonegilla Migrant Experience

Block 19 Bonegilla is set out as part of a typical Second World War military war camp. Giving you the chance to see the buildings, but also to consider how the location framed arrival experiences.

Koonwarra Day Spa

Set amongst peaceful bushland in beautiful South Gippsland, the Koonwarra Day Spa offers friendly, professional service with a variety of pampering Day Spa treatments.

Ballarat Wildlife and Reptile Park

Get up close and personal to some of Australia's most famous native animals, including hand feeding roaming kangaroos.

Allansford Cheese World

Free tasings of Award winning cheeses are offered and a DVD filmed in the factory demonstrates the state of the art cheese making process.

Benalla Costume and Pioneer Museum

Specializing in costumes and local history, including the Ned Kelly Story. Visit the Research Room featuring early newspapers, books, documents and pictures stored.

East Gippsland Art Gallery

A Vibrant public gallery that exists to promote and develop arts and culture in the East Gippsland Shire through a program of high quality, innovative and accessible exhibitions and activities.

Latrobe City Parks and Gardens - Morwell Centenary Rose Garden

Featuring 4 acres of gardens, imaginatively landscaped with manicured lawns and over 100 beds in which are planted some 3000 roses.

Lake Hume - Wodonga

Lake Hume provides a perfect spot for a variety of water sports including sailing, jet and waterskiing, windsurfing, and fishing or take a walk along the Hume dam wall.

Byramine Homestead and Brewery

Enjoy an afternoon listening to the history and tales the Byramine Homestead has to share. or enjoy a sumptuous Devonshire Tea, Ploughman’s Lunch, or something off the specialities board.

Flagstaff Hill Maritime Village

Flagstaff Hill is a maritime museum with Australia's richest shipwreck collection, all contained in an 1870's village located on a state heritage listed overlooking Lady Bay.

Glenrowan Blacksmith Shop and Armoury

Watch a blacksmith making Ned Kelly armour letter boxes and statues. This authentic shop specialises in replica Ned Kelly Armour as well as Kelly Gang souvenirs.

Turra Bulga National Park

Well known for its giant Mountain Ash trees, beautiful fern gullies and ancient myrtle beeches. Walk to the impressive Corrigan’s Suspension Bridge stretching through the rainforest canopy.

Beechworth Ghost Tours

As night falls you will go deep into the heart of the asylum and experience the wards and their mysteries. Hear the stories, tales and myths that have led to this amazing tour.

Great Western Wineries

See the gnarled grape vines first planted in Great Western in 1863, placing the area at the forefront of one of Australia's internationally renowned wine-growing regions.

Brambuk Aboriginal Cultural Centre

Famous for its rugged mountains, spectacular waterfalls, wildflowers, wildlife and Aboriginal rock art sites - this Park is unique among Australia’s national parks.

Halls Gap Zoo

The Halls Gap Zoo comprises of 160 species of native & exotic mammals, reptiles and birds. Get up close and personal with many of their amazing animal encounters.

Stawell Gift Hall of Fame

One of the world’s most famous and prestigious foot races. Run on grass, athletes are handicapped according to form and ability, and start off varying marks accordingly.

Beechworth Honey Experience

Visitors can see the live bee display, taste amazing honey, enjoy our free honey tour and experience our passion. test test test test

Seymour Railway Heritage Centre

Operates special heritage rail passenger services throughout Victoria utilising its extensive fleet of preserved diesel locomotives and makes locomotives available for hire and long term lease.

Paradise Queen Cruises

An all weather luxury cruise boat, cruising on Lake Mulwala and the Mighty Murray River. Offering a wide range of menus and cruise options.

Otway Fly Treetop Adventures and Zip Line Tour

30 Metre high steel structured treetop canopy walkway that takes you right into the treetops. It’s the longest and tallest walkway of its type in the world.

Wilsons Promontory National Park

At the southernmost tip of mainland Australia, it offers spectacular scenery of huge granite mountains, open forest, rainforest, sweeping beaches and coastlines.

Rutherglen Heritage Walk

This gentle 90 minute ambles guides you through the historic streetscapes of Rutherglen one of Victoria's best preserved gold rush towns.

Werribee Open Range Zoo

Experience a unique African adventure closer to home and encounter the magnificent animals of the African savannah. Jump on the Safari bus and encounter the animals up close.

St Mary's Catholic Church

St Marys Catholic Church features European inspired designs and artwork of Italian painter Francesco Floriani. It's fascinating and intricate murals are definitely something to remember.

Skydive Euroa

Offering you the worlds most exhilarating experience in a safe and friendly environment. They will expose your body and mind to the extremes of skydiving.

Sovereign Hill, Ballarat

Discover all the action and excitement of life as it was in 1850s Ballarat during the greatest alluvial gold rush the world has ever seen. So much to see and do including digging for your own gold.

Port Campbell National Park - 12 Apostles

World famous for its extraordinary collection of wave-sculpted rock formations and the Twelve Apostles. Discover the heritage of the Shipwreck Coast on a short walk.