We found the ideal holiday destination for every kind of family
Melbourne, Victoria has something to offer every kind of personality — and appetite
Planning a family vacation can sometimes feel like a game of Tetris. You have multiple options — after all, you have to cater to each family member’s personality — and a limited time to decide. Should we plan a trip to wine country to satisfy Dad’s budding sommelier hobby? Maybe a safari for the kids, who must be otherwise satisfied with crows, mynahs, and the occasional feral cat. Or should you just find a beach to laze on to sip margaritas in peace while your mini-mes practice their snorkelling skills? You might think we’re prescribing a 3-month cross-continental tour, but what if you could have all these experiences, and more, encapsulated in one region? By visiting Melbourne, Victoria, which, incidentally, also has the largest Indian-origin population in Australia.
The state features an entire atlas worth of landscapes. Spend the day discovering the rugged ranges, wildflowers and Aboriginal rock art at the Grampians National Park. Drive across the Great Ocean Road, a 243-kilometre drive along the stunning Victoria coastline. And there’s a smorgasbord of beaches to choose from, with safe, shallow waters for your kids to frolic in and build sand castles while you plan your picnic and get some vitamin D.
With a glut of colourful choices comes understandable indecision. We’re here to simplify your vacation with suggestions for every kind of family. Just make sure you have enough cloud storage for all those holiday photos.
4 reasons visiting Victoria should be on top of your bucket list
For those who are all about taking in the scenery
Pack your swimsuits, but buy your sunscreen in Australia because they have the best ones. Melbourne will spoil you for choice when it comes to getting your daily dose of vitamin sea.
Add Mornington Peninsula to your travel bucket list because it has spectacular coastal drives where papa can point to birds and reminisce about childhood birdwatching. At the same time, mom can make him stop at one of the many sandy beaches along the way. Take some shots for the Gram in front of the colourful beach boxes that will make all her friends jealous. Better yet, head to the award-winning coastal oasis Peninsula Hot Springs, less than 90 mins from Melbourne, to hit them hard with FOMO.
You can breathe in the fresh sea air, sample innovative local cuisine, and soak up the relaxed lifestyle of the locals. Spend the day exploring galleries, relaxing at spas, and sipping cappuccinos at cafes in breezy seaside villages. There really is something for everyone to enjoy here.
For the wildlife enthusiasts
As animal lovers ourselves, we consider this our top choice for vacation orientation. We would make a beeline for Healesville Sanctuary to gawk at over 200 species of Australian animals. At this point, we should tell you that trying to smuggle a Koala home is illegal, even if they’re too cute to resist.
If you’re pumped to see penguins, join a guided tour of Phillip Island Nature Parks. Time your trip to catch the sunset, where you might lose your breath but gain a priceless memory watching a parade of little penguins (the smallest in the world) come ashore. Book these tickets in advance as this spectacle is the Taylor Swift of Melbourne’s wildlife scene.
Top off the safari experience with a visit to the Melbourne Museum’s natural history section, where apart from the rich biodiversity of Australia, you’ll also learn about the first humans to set foot on the continent.
For the soon-to-be sommeliers
When you think wine country, if you’re not thinking Yarra Valley, you’re selling yourself short. Home to 200 wineries producing some of the world’s best chardonnay and pinot noir, your tastebuds will be tested. We’d recommend booking yourself overnight at the Balgownie Estate, where you can stay in converted shearers’ quarters, or The Farmhouse at Meletos. If you need to work off those wine calories, hire a bike and hit one of Yarra Valley’s famous bike trails.
For the enthusiastic gastronome
Melbourne is a paella of cultures, which means its cuisine is as diverse as one season of MasterChef Australia. Whether you’re a seafood lover or have been waiting to try authentic Chinese dishes in the city’s Chinatown district, mealtime is often the best time of the day. Plan in advance to score yourself a seat at Attica (reservations sell out months in advance) for Chef Ben Shewry’s maestro touch using native ingredients like bunya nuts, finger limes and local herbs. If you like your seafood with a view, opt for Cumulus Inc on Flinders Street and enjoy fresh grilled octopus with chorizo or the pan-fried barramundi with fennel puree.
After catching a game at the Melbourne Cricket Ground, you might find yourself a pint dehydrated. Head over to The Old Bar, a local institution sending customers home in good spirits since 1853.
And don’t you dare leave without sampling some of the best local delicacies off the streets. Souvlaki is the Greek version of the shawarma we’re more familiar with and one of the most popular on-the-go foods in Melbourne. Carb-overload with a Banh Mi then hit that sweet tooth with a freshly baked Lamington or a plate of Dutch poffertjes.
Visiting Melbourne, Victoria will leave your heart full and your belly fuller and a lifetime of moments for the whole family to bond over. Now excuse us while we check out flight tickets and plan our itinerary.