This Signature small group personalised tour lets you experience many regions of Victoria, from the plains and peaks of the Port Phillip Bay region to the central Goldfields with its goldrush history, to the mineral springs and spa country of Daylesford and the ex volcanoes and lakes of the Volcanic Plains.
Go on a Murray River Ecotourism cruise, travel through the Wimmera to see the silo’s of the Silo Art Trail. Venture into the valleys and along cliffs to see wildlife, waterfalls and spectacular views of the Grampians National Park. You will be treated like a guest and not a tourist as we go off the beaten track to see these parts of Victoria.
Nature tourism is the main theme of the tour as we visit 5 National Parks to see wildlife, birds, and the natural assets of each park.
2023 Departure Dates.
Please refer to our Terms and Conditions prior to booking
In the morning you will be met at *Southern Cross Railway Station, Melbourne by your Golden Nugget Discovery Tours Eco Guide. The adventure begins as we take the fast train to Lara. At Lara we transfer to our tour van and drive to the You-Yangs State Park, on the way stopping to see kangaroo’s in the paddocks. At the You-Yangs State Park we see panoramic views of Melbourne and Port Phillip Bay, as well as look for koala’s in the trees.
We drive a short distance to the Brisbane Ranges National Park, where we look for kangaroos, wallabies, koalas and many native birds. We depart Brisbane Ranges National Park by an old gold town called Stieglitz, and head up the highway to Ballarat. On the way to Ballarat, we stop and have a look at Lal Lal Falls and the ex volcano, Mount Buninyong. At Mt Buninyong we view the crater and have excellent panoramic views of the surrounding countryside.
During the goldrush of the 1850’s, Ballarat was one of the largest goldfields, and today is one of the most beautiful cities of Victoria with its heritage buildings, parks and lake. During our visit to Ballarat, you will experience goldrush history and wild nature as we visit Woowookarung Regional Park, Eureka Centre, Lydiard Street, Lake Wendouree and Mullawallah wetlands.
Departing Ballarat, we pass through several old gold towns on our way to Daylesford/Hepburn Springs in the Central Highlands for our overnight accommodation.
After breakfast, we will go out and explore Daylesford/Hepburn Springs. Daylesford/Hepburn Springs are the Mineral Water centre of Australia with more mineral springs in the region than anywhere else in the country. Apart from the tasting the mineral water, we will see other attractions like the waterfalls, lakes and botanical gardens.
Departing Daylesford/Hepburn Springs we cross over the Great Dividing Range, leaving the tall blue gum and messmate forests and driving into the dryer Box-Ironbark forests.
We enter the Castlemaine Diggings Heritage National Park, which was once a vast goldfield. We stop and have a look at some of the remnants of the gold mining and see the trees and undergrowth that makes up the Box-Ironbark forest. Arriving into Castlemaine, we have a city tour before heading further north to Bendigo.
Bendigo was a large goldfield in the 1850″s goldrush, in the 1880’s it was the richest city in the world. Here you will go down underground in a goldmine, ride a heritage tram, and experience Chinese culture at the Joss House.
Leaving Bendigo, we travel through the Bendigo National Park, stopping several times to see the flora and fauna.
Travelling across the northern plains of Victoria, we arrive at the river port town of Echuca, for our overnight accommodation.
Today we begin our adventures to explore and discover the Murray region of Victoria. The Murray River is Australia’s longest river and this morning we travel out to the Barmah National Park to a cruise on the Murray River with Ecotourism Certified Kingfisher Cruises.
We travel up along the Murray Valley Highway stopping to see the attractions, flora and fauna. First stop is at the town of Cohuna, where we go into the Gunbower National Park to see the water birds on the Murray River and wetlands and maybe spot a mob of kangaroo’s.
We continue onto the town of Kerang, where there are numerous RAMSAR listed lakes, which we stop at to see the birds. The town of Swan Hill is our last stop of the day for our overnight accommodation.
Tonight we go and see the Laser Night Show, which depicted the Aboriginal culture and River boat history of Swan Hill.
This morning we go the Pioneer Settlement, which a re-creation of a Wimmera/Mallee town from 1830 to 1930. Ride through the town on a horse drawn carriage or vintage car, visit the bakery, blacksmith and see the work machinery display.
After the Pioneer Settlement, we travel to Lake Boga to visit the Flying Boat Museum.
We now leave the Murray region of Victoria, and head onto the northern plains to an area of Victoria called the Wimmera. Our first stop of the day is at the town of Sea Lake, then to the nearby Lake Tyrrell.
Lake Tyrrell is a large salt lake that was made famous by Instagram photo’s showing reflection photos of the lake surface and the sky. At Lake Tyrrell we will stop for photo’s , plus your Eco guide will tell you about the ecology of the lake.
We head further west to several small farming towns, the Wimmera is the wheat belt of Victoria, so these towns have wheat silo’s with large murals painted on the them. This collection of painted wheat silo’s is known as the Silo Art Trail.
We follow the Silo Art Trail stopping at each town to see the silo art mural on our way to the Grampians National Park.
In the afternoon, we arrive at the town of Halls Gap in the Grampians National Park, which is our night stop.
Renowned for rugged mountain ranges, rich cultural heritage and breathtaking views, the Grampians National Park is one of Victoria’s most popular destinations. Famous for its spectacular scenery and its ecological diversity and south-eastern Australia’s highest concentration of Aboriginal rock art.
When it comes to walks and drives, there are many taking you to spectacular waterfalls, lookouts, rock formations and escarpments.
After breakfast we head to the northern part of the park to see panoramic views from several lookouts and to the largest waterfall in the park – Mackenzie Falls, plus see the nearby Broken Falls.
We head back into Halls Gap for lunch, before going off the beaten track to see the central and southern area’s of the Grampians National Park.
Our overnight accommodation is in Dunkeld, the southern gateway to the Grampians.
This morning we depart from the Grampians and travel south onto the Victorian Volcanic Plain, the largest volcanic plain in Australia. The 400 ex volcanoes on this plain were active from 5 million to 10,000 years ago.
We stop at Penshurst and go the top of the ex scoria volcano Mt Rouse to see the crater and panoramic views of the surrounding plain.
Moving on from Penshurst, we travel across the plain, spotting the ex volcanoes as we head towards the town of Camperdown.
Arriving at Camperdown, we see the ex maar volcanoes, which are now large lakes, Lake Bullen Merri and Lake Gnotuk, and then to the top of Mt Leura, which is an ex scoria volcano in a nested maar. On top of Mt Leura you can see Camperdown and the surrounding lakes and ex volcanoes.
Leaving Camperdown we make our way across the volcanic plain passing Lake Corangamite, the largest natural lake in Victoria on our way to Geelong.
At Geelong we catch our fast train to Southern Cross Railway Station, Melbourne, where we say our goodbye’s.