A great place to start your Victoria holiday, sophisticated Adelaide has an artsy vibe and a packed festival calendar. Explore the city’s scintillating galleries, museums and restaurants from your base at the Mayfair Hotel. Stroll through Adelaide’s verdant parks and take in the floral aromas at its Botanic Gardens. Or, you may wish to just soak up the views of the Adelaide Hills from your hotel’s rooftop bar.
Choose between wine, wildlife and waves on your first day trip from Adelaide. Tour the renowned wineries of the Barossa Valley, cruising between vine-striped hills. Out west, you’ll meet the namesake marsupials of Kangaroo Island, along with platypus, koala, echidna, penguin and seal. And from Glenelg, Adelaide’s historic seaside suburb, you can swim with wild dolphin.
Set off for the Murray River, the Adelaide Hills and the vast saltwater lagoon of Coorong National Park. Roam the walking trails or paddle a kayak along waterways, watching for the massive pink bill of the Australian pelican. Discover ancient Aboriginal middens, piles of cockleshells left by the region's indigenous Ngarrindjeri people. You’ll end the day in Mount Gambier, the most important settlement in the Limestone Coast region.
The surreal sapphire hue of the volcanic Blue Lake at Mount Gambier is truly dazzling. Hike around its azure depths before delving into one its fabulous limestone show caves. In the early 19th-century fishing village of Port Fairy you can stroll among working wharves, preserved colonial buildings and maritime museums.
It’s finally time to hit the Great Ocean Road. Trace all 243km of it, but make sure you pause at the weepingly beautiful Twelve Apostles. Battered by the swells of the Southern Ocean, these mighty rock stacks stand like ancient sentinels in the surf. Time it right and you may even spot a whale or two. Apollo Bay is where you’ll bed down: and it’s perfect for exploring Australia's finest rainforest in the Great Otway National Park.
Surf the waves at Bell's Beach which offers some of the best breaks in Australia. Afterwards, stash your board and board the ferry to Sorrento on the Mornington Peninsula. If you’re not already hungry you soon will be: you are heading out to enjoy a combined gastronomic and wine tasting tour. Over 50 wineries beckon, plus restaurants showcasing the finest local produce, olives, cheese and fruits. There’s even a little natural pampering at Peninsula Hot Springs for afters.
It's just a short drive from Port Philip Bay to Melbourne, but there are plenty of distractions en route. Stop at Port Philip Estate winery, whose pinot noirs and chardonnays are second to none. Spot the world’s smallest (and most adorable) species of penguin, along with the other enchanting inhabitants of Phillip Island. You could also climb the cool, lush heights of the Dandenongs, and take a peek at the forthcoming attraction of Melbourne.
Melbourne really offers Australia at its cosmopolitan and multicultural best. On your last day, take some time to explore the city. Sport fans crowd the city’s stadiums to cheer cricket, horseracing and Aussie Rules footie. Grab a pie and a beer, and join in the fun! For something a little more relaxing, join Melbourne’s sophisticated fashionistas for a sip of the best gourmet coffee in a chic cafe.