Victoria

Victoria’s Best Kept Secret

Most of us around Australia would recognise images of Victoria’s Great Ocean Road, but what about some of the other coastal areas outside of Melbourne?

RELATED Whale Watching Sites Around Australia

Located about half an hour past the turn off to Philip Island lie towns such as Kilcunda, Wonthaggi, Cape Paterson and Inverlock. If you’ve never heard of them and/or haven’t had the chance to visit, you really are missing out. The coastline of this region is absolutely breathtaking with the likes of Bunurong Marine National Park making for a sensational view. There’s also the rock formations and beaches there, which are a little slice of heaven.

I was fortunate enough to live in this coastal paradise for a couple of years and I can honestly say I loved every minute of it. Everything was right at our door step and the lifestyle was unforgettable. Plus, the flora and fauna is abundant, while kangaroos, echidnas, koalas and wombats inhabit the area and are pretty easy to spot.

For some families, this area is well known – it’s where they enjoy their annual summer holidays. And when the weather warms the population in these towns seems to explode overnight. The usually sleepy towns of the Bass Coast come alive as they gear up for tourist season. However, it’s in the colder months that tourists can get a feel for the lifestyle the locals enjoy.

It isn’t that far from Melbourne, so it’s close enough for a weekend stay. If you can spend a week however, I’d thoroughly recommend it. Sound enticing? Wait until you see some the images I’ve sourced.

Kilcunda

As you drive over the hill into Kilcunda, the scene in front of you is astounding. It’s not unusual to see cars parked along the side of the road as people try to capture the incredible view. No matter how many photos I took, it never did the reality justice. It’s one of those sights you need to see yourself to fully appreciate its beauty.

Kilcunda, Victoria, Australia, Travel

The view from the foreshore heading back toward Philip Island is simply remarkable.

Kilcunda, Victoria, Australia, Travel

If you like to walk along the beach there are plenty of opportunities.

Kilcunda, Victoria, Australia, Travel

Wonthaggi

Wonthaggi is the largest town on the Bass Coast and is growing exponentially. It’s a major shopping hub complete with specialty shops and a relatively new mall. It has excellent medical facilities, including a hospital, and this is where locals generally source everything they need.

Wonthaggi, Bass Coast, travel, Victoria, Australia

The giant whale bone at the front of this hotel is an iconic piece of Wonthaggi. Directly across the road a loud horn sounds at 12pm each day recollecting a tradition of the old mining town.

Wonthaggi, Bass Coast, travel, Victoria, Australia

Cape Paterson

This tiny little place lies directly on the coast, 7km outside of Wonthaggi. In summer, the holiday homes are filled with families enjoying the sun, sand and surf. At one end of the beach the surf is usually pounding and is a popular place to throw in a board. At the other end, rock pools have been created for children to swim in serene waters. This area is so popular that two caravan parks are positioned with direct access to the beach.

Cape Paterson, Victoria, Australia, travel. holiday destinations

Cape Paterson is a prime place for surfing, swimming, water sports, fishing, kite flying and kicking back to relax.

Cape Paterson, Victoria, Australia, travel. holiday destinations

The rock pool is a perfect place for children to swim safely.

Cape Paterson, Victoria, Australia, travel. holiday destinations

Bunurong Marine National Park

Along a windy stretch of road between Cape Paterson and Inverlock, ancient rock formations are dotted along the coastline. It’s been proclaimed a national marine park to preserve its magnificence. Fishing is banned in this area, as is taking anything from this nautical museum. So, if you wander along the shore you might be lucky to find star fish, crabs, small fish and even shells the size of your hand!

One of the most visited formations is Eagle Nest, pictured below. However, there are several places to turn off, have a walk and soak up the view. If you like to tinker with photography both above and below the water, this place is spectacular.

Bunurong Marine National Park, Victoria, Australia, travel. holiday destinations

Taken at Bunurong Marine National Park.

Bunurong Marine National Park, Victoria, Australia, travel. holiday destinations

Inverloch

Last but not least is Inverloch, situated directly on the coast. It’s a very popular tourist destination in summer because the beaches are to die for. It’s the perfect place for fishing and all types of water sports, with jet skiing being a favorite due to the calm waters. There are far more shops here than in Cape Paterson and Kilcunda, so this little place has everything you need for an awesome getaway.

Inverloch, Victoria, Australia, travel. holiday destinations

Inverloch has a host of outdoor activities including water sports and stunning walking trails.

Inverloch, Victoria, Australia, travel. holiday destinations

The Inverloch jetty is a popular fishing spot for locals and tourists.

Inverloch, Victoria, Australia, travel. holiday destinations

If you’d like to visit The Bass Coast, head to their website for more information.

Images via Various Sources

June 23, 2015

South Yarra – Melbourne’s Not-So-Secret Playground

It’s no secret that Melbourne is the capital of style, culture and shopping in Australia. People travel from all over the world to visit this city, the designer labels, flagship stores, quirky independent boutiques and markets with our vintage chic provide bloggers a canvas of artful outfits of the day, photos and street style snaps to provide the fashionista with their tips for browsing the best shops.

Only four kilometres out of the CBD lies South Yarra, home to Chapel St and Toorak Road; two of Melbourne’s most famous and iconic shopping precincts. From chic designer boutiques, cafe culture and the natural beauty of the botanic gardens in the daytime to restaurants and nightclubs after dark, South Yarra is one of Melbourne’s most desirable suburbs to visit, reside in, play and explore. Here’s your insider guide to the gems that are South Yarra.

Chapel Street

South Yarra houses the more fashionable and upmarket end of Chapel Street with best of the best designer labels, Top shop, Kenzo, Eliza Baker and Nudie Jeans, quality international imports plus exclusive Australian designers. From the perfect T-shirt and cap collection at Blackbook to neutrals in flattering styles made from sustainable materials at Cylk, and the killer selection of party dresses at Green with Envy, there really is something here to suit every style of fashionista.

Take a well-earned break with a coffee from an on-trend sidewalk cafe like ‘Found off Chapel’ or linger over a gourmet meal in one of the many fine food restaurants that line Chapel Street. With one of the liveliest alfresco cultures in Melbourne, you’ll find plenty of spots to put your feet up and watch the passing parade.

The Jam Factory

Originally a brewery then a jam factory and now, several makeovers later, the lifestyle and entertainment hub of the Chapel Street precinct this complex is the place to go for food, fashion, film and special events.

Royal Botanic Gardens

The Royal Botanic Gardens are Melbourne’s inner-city oasis. Offering the perfect balance to the 24-hour hustle and bustle of Chapel Street, here you can soak up the peace of sweeping lawns, tranquil lakes and majestic trees.

South Yarra Art House

From high fashion to high art. This wonderful little gallery showcases fine artwork and painting by local and upcoming artists. Current exhibitions include Michael Witnauer, Tessa Dodds and Georgie Call.

Toorak Road

Be sure to check out Toorak Road, at least the kilometre from Punt Road to Rockley Gardens. This quintessential Melbourne hangout has a warm and friendly atmosphere. As well speciality shops, fashion boutiques, sunny street cafes and fine dining, luxury hair and beauty services, it’s the place to find outstanding jewellery, handmade designs, home wares, special gifts, unusual accessories and vintage fashion. Must sees are the dreamy fabrics of La Modiste, the exotic accessories at Jfahri and the covetable fashion finds of designer consignment boutique Secondo.

With so much to shop, and see, you’ll need more than one day to indulge in all that South Yarra has to offer. “We have a lot of people book into our apartments for one night thinking that that is all they will need and end up staying at least another three,” Diana, the general manager for Amity Apartment Hotel South Yarra explains. “It’s amazing to see the number of shopping bags that people come back with from a day in our streets, they are exhausted and happy.”

So whether it is shopping, art, nature or classy restaurants you enjoy, South Yarra has it all. If you love all four, you must stay at least a week in the Melbourne’s not-so-secret playground.

July 30, 2014