Designed by WWI veterans and architects Phillip Hudson and James Wardrop, the Shrine of Remembrance opened in 1934 in honour of Victorians who served during World War I and is now a memorial to all Australians who have served in a military operation. Located on Kings Domain, the Shrine houses over 800 objects, photos and uniforms that offer a reverent glimpse into Australian military service. Commemorative events are held at the memorial on ANZAC Day and Remembrance Day.
Approximately one million years ago, Mount Holden erupted. When the cooling lava fractured, it left behind tall basalt columns that resemble a cathedral’s organ pipes. Situated in Keilor North, the natural amphitheatre is just one of the many impressive geological formations in the 121 hectare Organ Pipes National Park. Upstream, you’ll see the Rosette Stone and The Tessellated Pavement.
Stretching 580 meters out into Port Phillip Bay, the historic Princes Pier was built between 1912 and 1915 and was a major arrival point for migrants in the post-war era. Following multiple fires, the first 196 meters of the pier were restored in 2006, while the remaining wooden pylons were preserved, leaving a haunting, derelict view of Melbourne’s past. Attracting photographers, Princes Pier provides a dramatic view of water.
Formed by erosion over millions of years, The Twelve Apostles is a group of windswept limestone pillars that rise out of Bass Strait. Attracting over 1.2 million visitors annually, the eight remaining rock formations are a must-see sight along the Great Ocean Road and are best viewed at dawn or dusk when the coastline is bathed in pastel light. The area is also known for its little penguin colony.
Established in 1854, the State Library of Victoria holds over two million titles and features seven reading rooms, including the magnificent octagonal La Trobe Reading Room where many Melbourne authors have chiseled away at their manuscripts. Australia’s oldest public library also holds the diaries of Melbourne founders John Batman and John Pascoe Fawkner, Captain James Cook’s folios and Victorian outlaw Ned Kelly’s original armor.
The southernmost point of Australia’s mainland, Wilsons Promontory National Park is a popular holiday destination for Victorians. Known as ‘The Prom’, the 50,000 hectare reserve features meandering walking trails, an abundance of native wildlife and spectacular scenery that meshes bush land with idyllic coastal vistas. There are camping and accommodation options at Tidal River as well as a visitor’s centre, general store and other facilities.
Designed by Joseph Reed, the Royal Exhibition Building was built to host the Melbourne International Exhibition in 1880 and more than a century later, it became the first building in Australia to receive World Heritage listing. Neighboring the Melbourne Museum in Carlton Gardens, the building held the first Parliament of Australia on the 9th of May 1901. In 1984, Princess Alexandra granted the building its royal title and today, the space holds exhibitions and festivals.
Concealed in a ferny inlet of Mt Dandenong is the William Ricketts Sanctuary, which features almost one hundred sculptures created by William Ricketts between 1934 and his death in 1993. The ‘Forest of Love’ illustrates the affinity Ricketts had with Indigenous people and their relationship with Mother Nature. In addition to the sculptures, the park features archways, grottos and streams scattered around the lush mountain ash trees and tree ferns.
Situated on the Great Ocean Road near Port Campbell, the London Arch once formed a double span natural bridge until the section closest to the mainland collapsed on the 15th of January 1990. Prior to the collapse, visitors could walk across London Bridge – in fact, two tourists were stranded on the furthermost point when the bridge collapsed. Nowadays, there are two viewing platforms and if you’re lucky, you may see little penguins.
Located on the picturesque Sherbrooke Road, The Alfred Nicholas Gardens lies within the Dandenong Ranges in the Burnham Beeches estate. Established in 1933 by Alfred Nicholas, the man who co-developed the Aspro painkiller, the gardens span across 13 acres and include moss coated ponds, charming bridges, sculptures, a rotunda and a mystic waterfall. At the bottom of the garden sits a quaint boathouse and ornamental lake, which reflects the vibrant foliage in autumn and blooms in spring.
Preserved under The Glass Cone at Melbourne Central, Coop’s Shot Tower stands as a reminder of Melbourne’s industrial history. Built in 1888, the nine storey tower was the tallest building in Melbourne until the mid-1940s and today it’s one of only three 19th century shot towers remaining in Australia. A free museum is located on the second floor of the tower providing an insight into shot production.
Located in Greater Melbourne, the Grampians offers a diverse range of scenery including sandstone mountain ranges and Aboriginal rock art dating back 22,000 years. Marvel at the tremendous panoramic view from The Pinnacle, scale The Balconies and see the wondrous MacKenzie Falls – Victoria’s largest waterfall. Popular with hikers, the area has a multitude of walking tracks including those that range from easy to the challenging.