Victoria, or VIC, is Australia’s second smallest state, but that doesn’t stop there from being thousands of things to do.
Famous around the world for its beautiful beaches and national parks, and of course the city of Melbourne. There are endless opportunities for things to do when visiting Victoria.
However, as a true traveller, you might want to experience things a bit more unique, quirkier, off-the-beaten-track or outside of the essential standard “must-dos” when visiting VIC.
Therefore, here is a list of 10 of the best unique things to do in Victoria in 2023.
Top 10 Most Unique Things to do in Victoria
1. Go skiing or snowboarding
Did you know that sometimes there is snow in Australia? Victoria is actually one of the best states for experiencing the snow, with plenty of resorts and ski slopes. Mount Buller is one of the most popular resorts, only a 3-hour drive from Melbourne.
When visiting Australia, it’s unlikely skiing or snowboarding was at the top of your list, so it’s definitely a unique thing to do in Victoria. Not to mention how beautiful the slopes are!
Want to know where else it snows in Australia? Have a look at my Cradle Mountain guide.
2. Discover gold at Sovereign Hill
The gold rush was an era that really shaped Victoria and was the catalyst for the development of the state. When gold was discovered in Ballarat in 1851, the town, as you can imagine, boomed and Sovereign Hill captures the story perfectly. Today you can visit the preserved small town and the experience is like stepping through a time machine.
They even offer you the opportunity to find gold for yourself in the creek. And yes, the gold you find is real! It’s also less than 3km away from the true town of Ballarat, so it’s got a pretty authentic feel to it.
3. Become Willy Wonka at Phillip Island Chocolate Factory
If you are looking for unique things to do in Victoria, this one has to be up there. Phillip Island Chocolate Factory is home to the world’s largest chocolate waterfall, a one-tonne chocolate challenge and they even let you drive a chocolate train through a chocolate village. Not exactly things you would do every day, right? Not to mention how delicious the chocolate and other sweet treats are, the tastes alone make it worth visiting.
4. Visit the Penguin Parade
Yes, you read that correctly. Also on Phillip Island, the Penguin Parade takes place daily with the largest colony of little penguins in the world waddling in from the ocean to their burrows on shore.
When you think of Australian wildlife, you picture koalas, kangaroos and maybe even dropbears. Penguins certainly weren’t at the top of your list!
Every night at sunset, the penguins parade home from the ocean completely at their own will. The best viewing is from the boardwalks maintained by Phillip Island Nature Parks which you do need to pay for access to, but the money helps support the upkeep of the nature reserve and penguin conservation. You can also adopt a penguin and sponsor the conservation if you wish.
Book boardwalk access via Klook, there are also package options that include return transport from Melbourne.
5. Take a husky ride
As you already know, VIC can get pretty snowy. So snowy in fact, that you are able to take a husky ride. Choose between three locations in Victoria and Howling Huskys will take it from there.
It’s a once-in-a-lifetime sort of thing, providing precious memories and photos. Definitely one for Instagram! If you are visiting during the winter, taking a husky ride is one of the most unique things you can do in Victoria.
6. Soar high in a hot air balloon over the Yarra Valley
Taking a ride in a hot air balloon is always such a special moment. While you peacefully soar over a spectacular landscape, you can reflect on life and appreciate truly being in the moment.
Flying in a hot air balloon is literally like being in a fairy tale, it’s indescribable. Not to mention how amazing the views are.
In Victoria, the best place for a hot air balloon flight is Yarra Valley (bookable via Klook), where you can look out over the miles of vineyards. Words can’t describe an experience like this. But if you don’t have time to get out to the Yarra Valley you can do a flight over Melbourne which is a different but still very unique Victoria activity.
7. Walk a lap of the Formula 1 circuit at Albert park
If you’re a sports fan, or an F1 fan, in particular, you’ll know Australia is home to its very own Grand Prix, which happens to be in Victoria. Albert Park transforms from a normal park to an F1 track every year, usually in March, but outside of this time, it’s just like any other park.
The Albert Park Circuit is around 3 km (2 miles) and you can walk around it, cycle or jog, however, you wish. It’s pretty cool to walk a lap of the track while picturing the infamous races that have taken place where you place each footstep, plus it’s free!
8. See a ghost at Pentridge Prison
Previously VIC’s main prison, Pentridge Prison was in operation from 1851 until 1997 leaving 146 years for prisoners to live their final days within its walls, including many notorious Australians like Ned Kelly and Chopper Reed. Do you have the guts to take a haunted ghost tour through the old cells of Pentridge Prison?
The prison complex looks quite a lot like a castle but it definitely wasn’t a fairytale for those inside. It’s located in the suburb of Coburg on the outskirts of Melbourne, easily accessible by bus or tram. This is a great thing to do in Victoria for those who like spooky and supernatural experiences.
Famous in its time for the violent and harsh prison life, Pentrdige is now home to the haunted and enter if you dare…
9. Take photos at the ArtVo gallery
ArtVo is an art museum like no other. Described as an immersive art experience, you won’t find anywhere else in Victoria like here.
Take your photos in over 80 3D art pieces and optical illusions. They have turned “boring” art museums into a fun day out for art lovers and haters alike. With 9 themed zones, you won’t be short of photo opportunities here, in fact, you might have too many to choose from! It’s undeniably one of the most unique things to do in Victoria, the photos speak for themself.
10. Catch some fish at Albert Park Lake
Take a trip back to Albert Park but this time, hang around the lake. Albert Park Lake is actually one of, if not the, best spots for fishing in Melbourne and all of Victoria.
Although, it’s not the most authentic form of fishing if that’s what you are seeking. The Victorian Fisheries Authority regularly stocks the lake with rainbow trout, and silver and golden perch among others. It’s generally a catch-and-release job too. Nonetheless, a fun thing to do in Victoria.
Best time to visit Victoria
Victoria is known for having the most variable weather in Australia. In summer it gets as hot as Queensland or the outback, especially in rural areas and in winter it snows in places.
Therefore, the best time to visit Victoria is in spring (September-November) or autumn (April-May), when the climate is more mild and you can get beautiful clear sunny days without too much heat.
Getting to and around Victoria
The easiest way to get to Victoria is by flight into Melbourne. Melbourne’s two airports have daily international flights from all around the world as well as domestic arrivals from across Australia.
To get around Victoria, especially to access some of the most off-the-beaten-track activities on this list, you will need a car. Melbourne has decent public transport but the rest of Victoria doesn’t really.
Compare prices on hire cars in victoria at RentalCars.com
Unique Things to do in Victoria: Conclusion
And there you have it, 10 of the best unique things to do in Victoria. VIC is a state filled with many things and whether you choose to take a husky ride, become Willy Wonka or just snap some cool pics, you’re definitely going to have a great time here. Each of the 10 is as fun as the other, and one thing is for sure, they are definitely all unique.
Looking for more things to do in Victoria, how about a Melbourne girls’ weekend? Find your itinerary here.
This post was written by Josh Band from A Backpacker’s World. Josh loves to write about countries in Asia like Taiwan and Thailand and other popular backpacking routes around the world. Who doesn’t love budget travelling, right?!
Australia Travel Resources
- Find the best prices on hotels with flexible cancellation at Booking.com
- Pre-book your tickets to attractions on Klook
- Find awesome day tours on Viator
- Save on Sydney attractions with a Go City Pass
- Compare prices on cars and campervans at RentalCars.com
- Sort your Australian dollars with a Wise currency card