OzTREKK Ambassadors: Overnight Trips in Victoria
We know all work and no play makes Jack a dull boy, and we also know that when you’re studying in Australia, you will have some study breaks.
Think you’ll be bored? No way!
Wilsons Promontory National Park
Out of all the must-see places in Victoria I have been to thus far, Wilsons Promontory was the most beautiful. The park sits at the southernmost tip of the Australian mainland, offering visitors stunning scenery and wildlife.
I went on a two-day hiking trip early in semester one with the Wilderness Medicine Students’ Society. I loved the trip because it was an amazing opportunity to meet many new medical students in all year levels.
It is approximately a three-hour drive, so either make friends with an Australian who can drive on the opposite side of the road or rent a campervan/car if you are comfortable driving. I would highly recommend dedicating at least two full days to do things at Wilsons Promontory as there is so much to do, and we only scratched the surface of the beautiful hikes, views, beaches, and wildlife.
Great Ocean Road
The famous Great Ocean Road is a 243 km-stretch of road along the south-eastern coast of Australia. We spent three full days driving the coast, which I thought was more than enough time to get out, enjoy, and hike all the essential sights without feeling rushed to do it all. We made the mistake of attempting to camp out in the middle of the winter. I would highly recommend against that, not even the truest Canadian would be comfortable in those cold temperatures and conditions overnight. There are many surrounding towns with great hostels, and small restaurants you can enjoy.
Some must-do’s along the way: Great Ocean Road Memorial Arch, Bells Beach (home of the famous Rip Curl Classic Surf competition), Great Otway National Park (for some hikes, waterfalls, and treetop adventures), and Port Campbell National Park (Gibson Steps, Twelve Apostles, the Grotto, and Loch Ard Gorge).
Grampians National Park
Did you even go to Australia if you didn’t see kangaroos? Well, here you not only see wild kangaroos, but you can also camp out with them. I learned from my old mistakes and rented the “Mystery Machine” camper van for the three-hour drive so we did not have to tent out in the cold. I spent a weekend and felt that I made it through a vast majority of the biggest hikes The Grampians has to offer. The must-dos here include the hike to The Pinnacle lookout, the walk from Zumsteins to Mackenzie Falls, and watching the sunset from The Balconies.
Next up… Phillips Island.
I would highly recommend all these trips to everyone if you end up studying abroad in Australia whether you are an outdoorsy person or not! There are many outstanding itineraries online if you are seriously considering any of these overnight trips.
First-year Melbourne Medical School student