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Go on an Autumn Adventure like no other!

Geelong and the Bellarine, Great Ocean Road, Mornington Peninsula, Phillip Island

As the sun mellows and leaves start their graceful descent, you can just feel Autumn making its grand entrance. In Victoria, from March to May, it’s nature’s own show, with crisp air, colours, and a gentle breeze nudging us to embrace the change.

So, why not pack up the car, escape your everyday and go on an Autumn adventure like no other?

Great Ocean Road

Culutral Experiences at Budj Bim

Budj Bim — the volcano sits over Lake Surprise, within the Budj Bim National Park. Near Macarthur, you can either reach Budj Bim National Park via the township or alternatively travel west from Heywood.

The Budj Bim Cultural Landscape is a unique place with universal heritage values that demonstrate how Gunditjmara people worked with the natural resources and environment of the Victorian southwest region to establish a permanent place of human society over the past 30,000 years and beyond. The First Nation’s owned and operated company provides guided tours of the landscapes’ various components, where visitors can engage with Budj Bim’s fascinating history – from the creation of the landscape to present times. A state-of-the-art Aquaculture Centre brings to life ancient freshwater eel farming techniques practised by Gunditjmara people for thousands of years, while the café offers eel tasting plates prepared using traditional Aboriginal techniques and flavours.

Autumn To-Do: Take a Guided Tour and learn about the unique cultural history of Budj Bim.

The Iconic 12 Apostles

Explore one of the most well-known highlights of the Great Ocean Road is The Twelve Apostles. Situated in the Port Campbell National Park, the massive limestone structures that tower 45 metres above the tempestuous Southern Ocean, leave its visitors awe-struck in wonder at their size and beauty. Behind the eight remaining stacks (five have fallen since their discovery) are majestic cliffs, around 70 metres high.

Autumn To-Do: Spend a sunset at the 12 Apostles

Cape Otway Light Station

Cape Otway Lightstation is considered Australia’s most significant lighthouse and is also known as the ‘Beacon of Hope”. The light established in 1848 is perched on towering sea cliffs 90 metres above where Bass Straight and the Southern Ocean collide.

Watch whales at play and soak up the natural beauty and atmosphere or stay overnight in the unique historic lightkeeper’s accommodation; great for families, groups, couples, friends and those hiking the Great Ocean Walk. The Cape Otway Lightstation is located a short drive off the Great Ocean Road, through the serene forest of the Otway National Park.

Autumn To-Do: Step out onto the Lighthouse Balcony for stunning views

Lighthouse Theatre, Warrnambool

Located right in the centre of the Warrnambool CBD, surrounded by cafes, accommodation and the spacious Civic Green, you will find the Lighthouse Theatre. From drama to comedy, dance and music, there is something for everyone to enjoy, with dozens of shows/performance and events each year.

Autumn To-Do: See a show or performance at the Lighthouse Theatre

Treetops Adventure, Yeodene

Re-tree-t into this Australian native forest and recharge with a 100 per cent natural high. Soar through the messmate trees of the Otway Forest. Ride through the air on a pegasus or relive your playground days on the 15-metre-high monkey bars. Featuring a double-storey ‘Home Tree’ deck, Treetops Adventure Yeodene gives climbers and spectators a 360-degree birds-eye view of this rustic forest.

A 2.5-hour session through the aerial challenges (including gearing up) will have you laughing along with the Kookaburras. After safety, your adrenaline is our top priority, so our courses are designed to challenge you, no matter what level you’re at.

Autumn To-Do: Gear up for an aerial session at Treetops Adventure

Phillip Island

Phillip Island Helicopters

Take to the skies and hop on a scenic flight with Phillip Island Helicopters. See iconic Phillip Island landmarks from above including the granite cliffs of Cape Woolamai, Phillip Island Circuit and the Penguin Parade.

Autumn To-Do: Take a scenic flight and spot iconic Phillip Island landmarks from the skies

Phillip Island Go Karts

Race to the finish line – Zip around the the 750-metre replica Go Kart track at the world famous Phillip island circuit and soak in the unparalleled views of the Bass Strait as you race.

Autumn To-Do: Go with Friends or Family to race the replica Circuit at Phillip Island Go Karts.

Stargazing

Don’t forget to look up – With many clear nights, there is no better time to go stargazing on Phillip Island. Clear skies and uninterrupted views on Phillip Island allow for some of the best star-bright spots across Melbourne, Victoria. With Autumn being one of the best times to view the skies, stargazers young and old can discover the wonders of the cosmos at these incredible dark-sky locations – no experience required. Did you know that you can sometimes see the Southern Aurora and Aurora Australis from Phillip Island?

Autumn To-Do: Slow down, spot cosmos across the skies with the whole family.

George Bass Coastal Walk

Follow the route of George Bass’ coastal discovery voyage – Starting in San Remo or Kilcunda, the George Bass Coastal Walk follows a cliff-top path which rises high above the pounding surf of Bass Strait and offers spectacular panoramic coastal views. It is 7km one way, so fuel up with lunch or brunch in San Remo or Kilcunda before you depart on this rewarding walk!

Autumn To-Do: Take a walk with panaromic coastal views with the George Bass Coastal Walk

Mornington Peninsula

Seawinds gardens

Seawinds Gardens is located a short stroll from the Arthurs Seat Summit region. The combination of indigenous and exotic formal gardens and William Ricketts sculpture collection make these gardens a popular destination.  Seawinds Gardens have something to offer all year round. Spring brings colour as the trees and shrubs of the gardens begin to flower. Summer offers an environment which is cooler than the surrounding coast. Autumn showcases the gardens deciduous trees. Winter highlights the contrast between the bare birch and willow branches against the pine and cypress. Daffodils flower in late August.

Autumn To-Do: Explore William Ricketts sculpture gardens, Indigenous gardens and spot birdlife amongst the trees.

Red Hill Rail Trail

The old railway line between Merricks and Red Hill used to carry fresh apples on to Hastings where they were sent on to the markets of Melbourne. There are no trains running now, but you can walk this pretty trail for yourself. There are lovely views over Western Port and great coffee/wine/sustenance at either end. This is a shared trail for walkers, mountain bike riders and horse riders so be aware of your fellow travellers along the trail.

Autumn To-Do: Trade coastal views for canopy walk ways, and walk the Red Hill Rail Trail, or hire a bike and cycle.

Mornington Racecourse

Located only 45 minutes from Melbourne and at the gateway to the beautiful Mornington Peninsula, the Mornington Racecourse is a premier destination for thoroughbred racing, corporate entertaining and major events.  Mornington Racecourse offers a vibrant and exciting social setting giving you quality time with clients and colleagues. At Mornington Racecourse, each race day has its own individual and unique identity.  Autumn plays host to the ever popular Mornington Cup.

Autumn To-Do: Set up trackside with mates for day out at the Mornington Cup, or elevate your experience with tiered dining, marquees or the garden bar.

Arthurs Seat Eagle

Soar the heights of the Mornington Peninsula with scenic views across Port Phillip Bay towards Melbourne, around the coast and beyond.

Gliding quietly through the sky in a gondola at Arthurs Seat Eagle, you could be forgiven for thinking you’ve been transported a million miles away, rather than one hour’s drive from Melbourne. Named in honour of the Wedge-tailed Eagle, the experience is one of flight through an area steeped in history and surrounded by nature. Glide above and past the trees inside comfortable, all weather, fully accessible cabins.

At the summit, the cafe offers amazing views from nearly every table and an expansive outdoor deck.

Autumn To-Do: Glide above and past the trees in a gondola at Arthurs Seat Eagle

Geelong & The Bellarine

Brisbane Ranges National Park

Little more than an hour’s drive from Melbourne takes you to the state’s richest wildflower habitat. Set in a low range of mountains dissected by rocky gullies, the unusual geology of the Brisbane Ranges National Park has preserved plants that have long since vanished from other parts of the region.

There are a number of options for bushwalking ranging from short walks to three-day walks. This park is also popular for picnicking, scenic drives and camping.

Autumn To-Do: Take a short (or long) walk at the Brisbane Ranges National Park 

Geelong Botanic Gardens

Set on 200 acres, the Geelong Botanic Gardens were established in 1851. Since development, the gardens have grown and transformed to include a variety of gardens and lawns, including the modern and innovative 21st century garden. Iconic Geelong bollards and an assortment of sculptures are also scattered throughout the garden.

Entry is free, with easy access and level and paved walking tracks. Parking is ample and free and there are multiple public toilets situated around the gardens. Dogs must be kept on a lead and supervised at all times.

Autumn To-Do: Explore the gardens and sculptures with friends, or take a picnic for the family.

TARRA Queenscliff Dinner Series

“Savour the Story” at TARRA Queenscliff is an exclusive dinner series that brings the personal and professional journeys of our chefs to your table.

Each month, explore a new chapter from executive chef Michael Demagistris’ life, with themed menus inspired from the warmth of Nonna’s Kitchen to his global restaurant experiences and memorable moments from his time on MasterChef Professionals, plus many more.

Autumn To-Do: ‘Savour the Story’ and explore a themed menu at TARRA by Michael Demagistris

Dolphin Discovery Queenscliff With Searoad Ferries

To celebrate the school holidays, Searoad Ferries offer a range of fantastic onboard activities included in the ferry ticket price between 3 April – 10 April 2024.

A fun and interactive workshop learning all about Port Phillips unique dolphins and other amazing marine life, including seals and whales! Play games, see dolphin skulls and meet Bella Burrunan the dolphin. Departing Queenscliff 12pm and 2pm.

Autumn To-Do: Hop on a Searoad Ferry from Queenscliff over the school holidays and join in the onboard activities on offer

Know before you go

Conditions can change anywhere, fast, for many reasons. For the latest information on changes to local conditions, please visit the relevant park page on the Parks Victoria website.

Depending on your location, be water safe or bushfire ready in the great outdoors. Refer to the Safety in nature section on the Parks Victoria website for tips on how to stay safe.

Find out more