famous landmarks in victoria

21 Famous Landmarks in Victoria, Australia

These famous landmarks in Victoria are the places you’ll want to check out while you’re in the state.

Victoria is one of the most interesting states in Australia and home to some fantastic sights. Victoria landmarks include the amazing Great Ocean Road, the intriguing gold rush town of Sovereign hill and the beautiful Wilson’s Promontory National Park.

The landmarks in Victoria are some of the best in the country and you can see amazing sights no matter where you are in the state. The Grampians on the border with South Australia and Cape Otway at the tip of Victoria are cases in point.

If you’re looking to plan a trip to Victoria and want to some of the places you have to check out, the following landmarks should all be included!

Famous landmarks in Victoria

Melbourne

Southbank in Melbourne

If you’re going to visit one place in Victoria, then it has to be Melbourne. It’s the biggest city in the state and one of the best cities in the world, never mind Australia!

There are so many things to do in Melbourne you won’t get bored even if you spend a week here. From the famous laneways to the amazing museums and world-famous Melbourne Cricket Ground, there’s just so much to do.

Melbourne is an incredible city and one I was lucky enough to live in for four months. Even during that time, there were lots to do, as there was always something happening and loads of cool places to check out.

Underrated places are the Immigration Museum, which is fascinating. Victoria market, especially when the evening market is in full swing and the Old Melbourne Gaol, which was where the infamous outlaw Ned Kelly was executed.

Wilson’s Promontory National Park

Whisky Bay

Wilson’s Promontory is one of the little-known national parks in Australia but it’s also one of the best.

It’s the southernmost point of mainland Australia and will take you three hours to get there from Melbourne. It’s a long drive but it’s more than worth it as the scenery here is incredible.

I was blown away by how beautiful Wilson’s Prom was. The deep blue waters, lush vegetation and gorgeous beaches were amazing. As it’s not the most well-known place, that means it’s not as busy as other places in Victoria too, which makes it even more special.

Places you have to check out at Wilson’s Prom include Squeaky Beach, where every step on the beach you make emits a squeaking sound and Whiskey Bay which is pictured above.

The Twelve Apostles

Twelve Apostles

The Twelve Apostles are to be found on the Great Ocean Road, along with many other sights. Instead of grouping them all together, I’ve decided to separate them as they’re all worthy of their section.

The best way to see the Twelve Apostles is to do an Adelaide to Melbourne road trip or a shorter one to the Great Ocean Road. You could also drive there as a day trip from Melbourne if you don’t want to do a road trip.

Once you get to the Twelve Apostles, you’ll be blown away by what you see. It’s hard to overstate just how impressive a sight they are. The Apostles are stacks that have been eroded from the cliffs and remain freestanding as they’re gradually worn down by erosion.

They’re simply breathtaking and the photo above gives you an idea of what to expect. They’re the highlight of the Great Ocean Road and easily one of the most famous landmarks in Victoria!

The Grotto

the grotto on the great ocean road, a small arch with water on one side and sand in the foreground

The Grotto is another one of the sights you can see on the Great Ocean Road. As impressive as the Twelve Apostles are, The Grotto might just be better.

The reason for this is simple:

Unlike the Twelve Apostles, you can go into The Grotto and experience it for yourself. I should note that you’re not supposed to do this. There are signs that say you shouldn’t enter but there’s no one there to enforce this and when we were there everyone just went in there anyway.

This is what makes The Grotto one of the best landmarks in Victoria. You can walk around it and see why it’s considered to be one of the many beauty spots on the Great Ocean Road!


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London Bridge

london bridge rock formation on the great ocean road

Another one of the main attractions along the Great Ocean Road is London Bridge.

As you might have guessed from the name, this is a rock formation that resembles a bridge. It still does but part of the formation collapsed in 1990 and is now separate from the main structure.

Still, it’s an impressive sight and undoubtedly one of the highlights of the trip along the Great Ocean Road. Take a few minutes to see it in all its glory and get a few good pictures!

Halls Gap

Halls Gap in the Grampians

Halls Gap is the main town in the Grampians mountain range which is just over the border from South Australia.

If you’re looking for a base in the Grampians, then this is the place to go. It’s also a brilliant place to go if you want to see some of Australia’s wildlife.

When I went to the Grampians I’d been in the country for three months and I hadn’t seen any of the famous native species such as kangaroos or koalas. That changed the moment I got to Halls Gap. There were animals everywhere!

Wallabies, kangaroos, and koalas in the trees, the place were teeming with wildlife. It was incredible and made my trip to the Grampians even more special. Halls Gap is one of the victoria landmarks you should check out if you want to see spectacular scenery and wonderful wildlife!

The Balconies

Balconies Grampians

One of the other main landmarks in the Grampians is a rock formation known as The Balconies.

As always with these types of formations, the name kinda gives it away. The Balconies is an interesting formation that has two levels, you have the upper level, and then a lower level beneath that you can stand on.

This is what gives it the appearance of a balcony as the bottom part steps out from the side of the mountain. It’s an incredible sight and if you’re feeling brave, you can make your way down to get a cool photo.

It takes about 30 minutes to get to the top from the nearby car park and once you’ll get to the top, you’ll be blessed with some of the best views in Victoria! It’s truly an incredible view from the top!

Dandenong Ranges

Mt Dandenong

The Dandenong Ranges is an underrated spot in Victoria that you should check out while you’re in the state.

The Ranges aren’t far from Melbourne and make a perfect place to explore for the day especially as there are a lot of things to do there. You can go on hikes, the biggest of which is Mount Dandenong at 633 m (2,077 ft).

Mount Dandenong is the highest peak but if you want an easier hike there are several other small climbs you can do. 

Another thing you can do at the Dandenong Ranges is to go on the Puffing Billy Railway. It’s a fun activity to do if you’re there with your family as your kids will love it!

Brunswick Street

Brunswick Street in Melbourne
Mat Connolley (Matnkat), CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Brunswick Street is one of Melbourne’s most interesting streets and is the city’s hipster centre.

I lived a short walk from Brunswick Street while I was in the city and the tram to my house from the centre went all the way through it. Each time I went down there I was overwhelmed by what I saw.

There are plenty of cafes, boutique shops and restaurants dotted along the street. Brunswick Street is a good place to go if you want to try out some unique food or find some kooky shops as the street has a real bohemian feel to it.

You’ll also find a lot of street art here too, which is another good reason to visit. Some of them are truly impressive. Brunswick Street isn’t that far from the centre and if you jump on tram route 11, you’ll get there in a matter of minutes!

Cape Otway

white lighthouse at cape otway with the ocean in the background

Cape Otway is another one of the many stops on the Great Ocean Road you should check out and one of the most impressive natural landmarks in Victoria.

The Cape is in the southernmost part of Victoria and is home to some spectacular scenery. You’ll find a mix of beautiful rainforest and stunning coastal scenery that will blow you away.

One of the best places in Cape Otway is Johanna Beach which is home to towering cliffs and an incredible pristine beach. The fact the area is quiet too just makes it even more dramatic.

You’ll also find Australia’s oldest lighthouse at Cape Otway. It’s an impressive sight and the views you get from the coastline are just as good if not better!

Apollo Bay

view of the beach at apollo bay

Apollo Bay can also be found on the Great Ocean Road and is located on the east side of Cape Otway on the coast.

It’s a beautiful place with a huge beach that seems to stretch around the bay forever! If you haven’t had an opportunity to get into the water during your road trip so far, then this is the perfect place. Apollo Bay is a great place to go swimming, surfing and paddleboarding.

You can also go kayaking if you want to get a bit further out into the water, which allows you to get up close and personal with the local seal colonies. Angling is another option if you enjoy fishing.

If you’d prefer to stay on land, then you can walk along the beach or one of the numerous trails and take in the stunning scenery at Apollo Bay.

Phillip Island

Phillip Island

Located just 90 minutes away from Melbourne, Phillip Island is a perfect place to go if you’re looking to get out of the city for a day.

The island isn’t the biggest but there are plenty of things to do here. The main attraction is the penguin parade which takes place every night as the penguins come back from a busy day at sea and scamper across the sand to get back to their nests.

It’s an amazing sight and one of the most popular things to do here, so make sure you book before you go! As well as the penguins, you can relax at Smiths Beach, which is a good place to go if you’re travelling with your family.

The wetlands of the Rhyll Inlet and a cruise to see nearby seal colonies are other things you can do on Phillip Island. The island is also home to the Australian motorcycle Grand Prix every year, so if you’re a fan, then you’ll want to plan your trip around that.

Melbourne Museum

entrance to melbourne museum

If you’re looking to visit one of the best museums in Melbourne, then the appropriately named Melbourne Museum is the place to go.

The museum is located in the Carlton Gardens, which is just outside the city centre and opposite the famous Royal Exhibition Building. Inside, you’ll find plenty of fascinating exhibits that will keep you hooked as you make your way around.

When I visited, the section I enjoyed the most was the one with the prehistoric animals. There were so many collections of fossils, dinosaur skeletons and other fascinating creatures that I didn’t know where to look!

If you love dinosaurs as much as I do, then you’ll want to visit to see the most complete skeleton of a Triceratops in the world! As well as the amazing fossils, you’ll lots of info on the history of Melbourne and the history of the indigenous population of Melbourne and the wider area too!

Federation Square

Federation Square
Francisco Anzola, CC BY 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Federation Square is the main square in the centre of Melbourne and a natural point that you’ll gravitate towards when you’re in the city.

It’s a central point makes it a useful meeting point and the fact it’s opposite Flinders Street station helps too. If you spend 3 days in Melbourne or longer, you have to check it out. As for what you can do at Federation Square, well, quite a lot actually.

The square is often used for art and cultural events, so when the Australian Open is taking in the city, for example, you can watch the action on a big screen. Fed Square is also home to several cultural institutions such as the Australian Centre for the Moving Image (ACMI) and Ian Potter Centre.

Perhaps what I liked about it the most was just sitting there for a while and relaxing. There are nearby bars you can head to if you want, but there are seating areas where you can just relax and people-watch before you explore the rest of the city.

Mornington Peninsula

Mornington Peninsula

The Mornington Peninsula is one of the most underrated Victoria landmarks you should check out while you’re in the state.

It’s located southeast of Melbourne and is a good place to go if you’re looking for a weekend away from the city. The scenery on the peninsula is spectacular and that is reason alone for visiting.

One of the best ways to see this scenery is to walk on one of the numerous trails. You can stroll along the cliffs at Portsea and take in the scenery or take on the tough Bushrangers Bay Walking track.

If that feels too strenuous then you can check out the Royal Botanic Gardens or pamper yourself at one of the numerous spas!

Erskine Falls

erskine falls, a waterfall cascading down in the background with greenery all around

Erskine Falls is a spectacular waterfall that’s located in the Otways.

Everyone loves waterfalls and Erskine Falls is one of the most impressive you’ll see in the whole of Australia. Water cascades over 30m into the fern tree gully of River Erskine below.

You have two choices when it comes to getting a view of the waterfall.

The first is to head to the upper lookout which is only five minutes from the nearby car park. The lower lookout takes longer to get to, as you have to walk down 240 steps to get there, but you’ll be rewarded with a spectacular view of the water dropping down up high!

St Kilda

St Kilda

St Kilda is the main beachside suburb in the city. Going there is one of the best things to do in Melbourne if you want to enjoy the numerous sunny days during summer.

Melbourne isn’t blessed with many beaches, so St Kilda is often busy during the summer months as everyone flocks there. The suburb is also busy and is home to an array of cafes, restaurants and bars.

As well as the beach, you can visit Luna Park, which is an old theme park that’s a lot of fun. If you don’t fancy going to the beach it’s a good alternative.

If you visit St Kilda during the summer months and just before sunset, you can witness a mini Penguin parade. It’s not comparable to the one that occurs at Phillip Island, but you can still see numerous penguins emerging from the rocks and heading into the water!

Eureka Skydeck

eureka skydeck at night

One of the most prominent landmarks in Victoria is the Eureka Skydeck which towers above Melbourne.

The tower is named after the Eureka Stockade, which was a rebellion in 1854 during the Victorian gold rush. The design of the building reflects elements of the stockade with the gold crown representing the gold and the red stripe representing the blood split.

The building is home to 556 apartments but the main attraction is the observation deck which occupies the 88th floor and is the highest vantage point in the Southern Hemisphere. You get a fantastic view of Melbourne and the surrounding area.

If you’re feeling adventurous, you can go into The Edge, which is a glass cube that projects out from the building and has a transparent bottom. It’s not for the faint-hearted as you’re suspended 300 m (980 ft) above the ground!

Loch Ard Gorge

loch ard gorge om the great ocean road, two cliffs protruding out into sea with a cove and beach in the foreground

Another one of the stops on the Great Ocean Road, Loch Ard Gorge is up there with The Grotto and Twelve Apostles as one of the most impressive parts of the route.

What makes the gorge so great is that you can wander down to the beach and see it first-hand rather than view it from a distance. This makes it more enjoyable and allows you to appreciate the beauty of Loch Ard Gorge.

The gorge can be found in Port Campbell National Park, which is a brilliant destination itself. You can walk along the numerous coastal paths here to truly appreciate just how stunning it is.

If you want to get a better perspective of Loch Ard Gorge, then the 1.4km Wreck of the Loch Ard trail is with doing as you’ll get to see it from a different perspective.

Sovereign Hill

old white buildings at sovereign hill

If you’re looking for a famous landmark in Victoria that’s unique compared to all the others, then Sovereign Hill would be the place.

It’s an open-air museum in a suburb of Ballarat that depicts the town after the first ten years of the Victorian gold rush when deposits of the precious metal were discovered nearby.

You’ll find 60 historic buildings that have been recreated with staff in costume who add to the experience. It’s a cool place to visit and does feel like you’ve gone back in time as you wander around.

You can also enter one of the mines that were used during the gold rush, where you find displays and exhibits explaining more about the town’s interesting past.

Shrine of Remembrance

Shrine of Remembrance

One of the most impressive and poignant man-made landmarks in Victoria is the Shrine of Remembrance in Melbourne.

This is a shrine to the thousands of Australian soldiers who lost their lives during the First and Second World Wars.

It’s humbling to walk up to the shrine and then inside where you see all the memorials and realise the sacrifices that these soldiers made to preserve the freedoms we cherish. One of the most parts of the shrine is the Gallery of Medals, which is a collection of medals won by soldiers during various wars.

You’ll also be provided with a brilliant view of Melbourne from the top of the shrine as you reflect on what you’ve seen inside.

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