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Record Numbers of International Travelers Visit Regional Victoria

May 15, 2014 Destination Global No Comments Email Email

The ten distinctive regions surrounding Melbourne saw more international visitors than ever before in 2013 with a massive 10% increase year-on-year to December 2013 with a record 346,000 visitors.

This increased visitation was reflected in both east (+11.7%) and west (+9.5%) markets indicating that international travelers from the eastern markets are becoming more independent and adventurous and that western markets are recovering from a dip in recent years.

Most of Victoria’s ten regions reflected a surge in numbers with double digit growth in visitor numbers experienced by the Murray Region, Gippsland, Yarra Valley and Dandenong Ranges, Phillip Island, Great Ocean Road and Mornington Peninsula.235408_num755159_600x600

Diverse and spectacular, regional Victoria offers a wide range of indulgent and adventurous experiences including world-class wineries, natural springs and scenic touring routes. Comprised of coastal villages, alpine towns and breathtaking natural wonders, regional Victoria offers international visitors the chance to see the ‘real’ Australia with unique and boutique accommodation options ideal for short and long breaks.

Self-drive touring routes are an increasingly popular way to experience Victoria. As the most compact State on the Australian mainland, driving routes offer the option of ticking off several regions in one go and in one’s own time. Victoria has a range of easily accessible self-touring options within easy reach of Melbourne encompassing the Great Ocean Road and Twelve Apostles, boutique wineries in Yarra Valley and wineries and produce of the Mornington Peninsula.

As one of the world’s top foodie destinations, Melbourne is surrounded by a verdant and fertile food bowl in regional Victoria. Food and wine experiences can range from wine tasting to cheese making to farm gates and cooking classes and much more. One of the top drivers for international visitors, Victoria’s unique settings and provincial specialities are a must-do for food tourists. Top gourmet destinations include the Yarra Valley, Mornington Peninsula, King Valley and Goldfields – all just a short drive from Melbourne.

Experiencing Australia’s unique nature and wildlife is another essential item for most international visitors to the country. In Melbourne and Victoria – visitors have ample opportunity to see wildlife in their natural habitat, either by driving an hour outside of the city and looking up to the trees, or taking one of the many wildlife tours on offer. Wildlife experiences in Victoria range from the Little Penguins at Phillip Island, to thriving populations of koalas along the Great Ocean Road, and kangaroos aplenty. Platypus, echidnas and all manner of Australian birdlife can also be seen at the award-winning nature reserves including Healesville Sanctuary and Ballarat Wildlife Park.

Each of Victoria’s regions has a unique, though quintessentially Australian character. Whether it’s skiing the Victorian Alps, reclining on picture-postcard beaches, sampling award-winning wines or unwinding in luxurious day spas, regional Victoria is replete with immersive experiences year-round.

Phillip Island

Home to the Australian Motorcycle Grand Prix and one of the country’s most popular wildlife attractions – The Penguin Parade, Phillip Island – is vibrant and fun with interactive attractions and natural experiences for visitors of all ages.

Daylesford and the Macedon Ranges

Just 90 minutes from Melbourne, Daylesford and the Macedon Ranges is the perfect getaway to rejuvenate, relax and indulge. This region offers Australia’s largest concentration of natural mineral springs, rich with world class day spas and wellbeing centres. Sumptuous restaurants abound with award-winning chefs committed to using the best fresh local produce and ingredients.

Yarra Valley and the Dandenong Ranges

One of Australia’s premier winegrowing regions, the Yarra Valley’s sweeping collection of cellar doors and restaurants employ the bounty of local produce to create exquisite food and wine experiences. The nearby Dandenong Ranges offers quaint villages, eclectic boutiques and cosy tea rooms nestled among towering forests and lush gullies sure to delight visitors with its charms.

Mornington Peninsula

Just an hour’s drive from Melbourne, Victoria’s Mornington Peninsula is the perfect destination to unwind and savour its many delights – golden beaches, prestigious golf courses and elegant seaside villages replete with day spas, rolling vineyards, boutique cellar doors and acclaimed restaurants.

Great Ocean Road

Peppered with cosmopolitan villages, renowned surf breaks, idyllic rainforests and remarkable rock sculptures, among them the iconic Twelve Apostles, the Great Ocean Road is a quintessential coastal escape.  Easily discovered by foot, car or from the air, the region is home to one of the world’s most breathtaking touring routes and the dramatic Great Ocean Walk.


From renowned galleries, international exhibitions, local studios and art spaces to museums and historic theatres – there’s always plenty to see and be inspired by in the Goldfields. Visitors can pan for gold, experience the boutique wineries, contemporary art scene or simply admire the magnificent architecture and old world charm that this amazing region has to offer.


Discover the grand and rugged mountain ranges, spectacular wildflowers and the wealth of Victoria’s Aboriginal rock art sites in the majestic Grampians region. This region offers remarkable nature, wild life and outdoor experiences surrounded by breathtaking views.

High Country

Experience a natural high in Victoria’s outdoor adventure epicentre; a province that also boasts seven wine regions and some of the state’s finest epicurean villages, among them the foodie’s paradise that is Milawa & King Valley. A tour of the High Country by either by bike, hiking trail or horseback affords truly spectacular views of the region’s dramatic landscape and ski mountain ranges.


From the unspoilt landscapes of Wilsons Promontory to an incredibly diverse collection of wineries and culinary gems set amidst picture postcard scenery, Gippsland is an immersive and stirring destination. Visitors can experience the regions unspoilt beaches, lakes and mountains then dip into bustling waterfront villages.

The Murray

The Murray River is the perfect year-round holiday destination to enjoy the region’s barmy weather whilst indulging in renowned slow food, beaches, golf courses and red gum forests. Visitors can relax and unwind on a houseboat or one of the region’s iconic houseboats, or the more adventurous can take to the water with a range of river-based activities.

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