Sitting at Australia's south-eastern tip, the state of Victoria is as diverse as it is beautiful, home to world-class wineries, natural springs, coastal villages, peninsulas and stunning alpine towns.
It can be hard to know where to start when an area has so much to offer, but Melbourne, Victoria's capital city, makes for a brilliant jumping-off point. It's famously one of Australia's most vibrant cities, home to a buzzing food scene, cool shops and a diverse array of culture from music to theatre. Soak up local culture with a trip to one of Melbourne's 100 art galleries, follow an art trail, or get to grips with Australia's history at The Melbourne Museum. Elsewhere, the city is known for being a foodie centre, so you can take a break from exploring to refuel with expertly brewed coffee and forward-thinking food.
Once you've explored the city, it's time to head out of the metropolis and into Victoria's natural landscapes. 140km north of Melbourne lies Phillip Island, where you'll find both land- and sea-based activities, stunning flora and fauna, and accomodation to suit every traveller. One of the main draws is the Phillip Island Parade, when the 'fairy' penguins march up the beach to their burrows after a day at sea. Then there's the colony of 16,000 Australian fur seals, and, of course, the Koala Conservation Centre.
Victoria is home to world-class wineries, natural springs, peninsulas and alpine towns
The best way to explore all this natural beauty is to take a car and drive the Great Ocean Road, an iconic 240-kilometre stretch along the southern coastline. En route, you'll pass fabled surf breaks, breathtaking vistas, clifftops and beautiful beaches.
And while you're here, we suggest combining it with a trip to Tasmania, Australia's only island state, home to swathes of incredible natural wilderness and colonial legacy. The island's national parks have everything from white-sand beaches to granite peaks and sparkling glacial lakes, as well as being home to unique native species like Tasmanian devils. Whatever you're after, one thing's for sure: you'll find it in Victoria.
Find out more about Austravel's itineraries here.
When you're travelling that far, who you choose to fly with really matters. Etihad has partnered with Virgin Australia to help create multi-centre itineraries and offers a variety of services to help you get the most out of your holiday. Etihad offers three daily flights from London Heathrow and a twice-daily service from Manchester to Abu Dhabi with fast onward connections to Australia. On its state-of-the-art aircraft you'll enjoy hundreds of hours of entertainment including live news and sports channels with destination-inspired on-board dining.
For greater levels of comfort, upgrade to Business Class and enjoy spacious full flat beds, all with aisle access and a Dine Anytime menu presented by a Food & Beverage Manager to enjoy at your preferred time – a real benefit as you change time zones. Elsewhere, First Class offers a truly luxurious experience with spacious apartments on the A380 aircraft and an Inflight Chef. With flights to key Australian getaways and working in partnership with Austravel, Etihad is the perfect choice for your big adventure down under.