Self-guided tour of Melbourne, Milawa and Nagambie Lakes

Whether you’re visiting from interstate or if you’re a local, on this nine-day self-guided itinerary from Tourism Australia, you ‘ll have some of the best experiences Victoria has to offer.

Spend three days in Melbourne exploring its quirky laneways and buzzing neighbourhood hubs before travelling to Victoria’s stunning King Valley, located at the foothills of the Alpine National Park, approximately three hours northeast of Melbourne. Soak up generous hospitality, warming food and new-release innovative wine styles at the wineries of the King Valley. Return to Melbourne via the Nagambie Lakes region, which is renowned for its premium wines and quaint cafes, local produce stores, antique shops and galleries.

Day one
Make your way to the Melbourne Gardens Visitor Centre at Royal Botanic Gardens Victoria for the Aboriginal Heritage Walk.

Set off into these ancestral lands with an Aboriginal guide and gain an insight into the area’s rich history and thriving culture.

Take a taxi to Charcoal Lane for lunch. This Mission Australia social enterprise restaurant provides guidance and opportunity to young Aboriginal people in need of a fresh start in life.

Check in to the QT Melbourne.

Take one of Melbourne’s iconic trams to St Kilda. Enjoy an afternoon stroll along the historic St Kilda Pier, then indulge in a sumptuous afternoon tea at one of Acland Street’s famous patisseries.

This evening, explore the Queen Victoria Night Market*, a Melbourne landmark for more than a century. Alternatively, grab dinner at Brunswick Street – a hive of activity, with ethnic eateries, pubs and rooftop bars.

*Wednesdays from 5pm seasonal

Highlights:

  • Discover Aboriginal heritage on a Melbourne Gardens Walk.
  • Take a tram to St Kilda, renowned for its pier and patisseries.
  • Explore the bustling Queen Victoria Market at night.

Day two
Make your way to the Arts Centre Melbourne for a VIP All Access Tour.

Journey underground and explore the hidden corridors, stages and exclusive backstage spaces at Australia’s largest performing arts centre. Finish with breakfast in an exclusive VIP lounge.

This afternoon, make your way to the Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG) for a Legends Package tour*.

Step out onto the hallowed MCG turf and go behind the scenes of the prestigious Melbourne Cricket Club (subject to availability) on this exclusive, fully guided tour of the MCG, including the Australian Sports Museum.

*Tour runs Thursdays only

This evening, soak up the exciting atmosphere of Southbank. Dine at a riverside restaurant or try your luck at the Crown Towers Casino.

Highlights:

  • Enjoy exclusive backstage access at the Arts Centre Melbourne.
  • Go behind the scenes on a personalised tour of the Melbourne Cricket Ground.
  • Explore Melbourne’s vibrant Southbank area.

Read more: Best day trips from Melbourne

Day three
Today, enjoy an Echidna Walkabout Nature Tours Koalas and Kangaroos in the Wild tour. Walk through natural bushland to meet wild koalas and join mobs of eastern grey kangaroos on the plains and open forests. The natural environments visited are also home to parrots, fairy wrens, emus, honeyeaters, possums, wallabies and lizards.

Highlights:

  • See Australian wildlife in its natural environment.
  • Help create new koala habitat for future generations of baby koalas.

Day four
Transfer to the Royal Melbourne Golf Club for a round of golf. Home of the 1998 President’s Cup, the composite course is often ranked amongst the top 10 in the world.

In the late afternoon, make your way to Federation Square from where the Hidden Secrets Progressive Degustation Walk will depart.

Tour Melbourne’s hidden and local favourite dining spots. Visit three unique venues, with carefully chosen wine tastings and tantalising savoury tastes from their menus.

Highlights:

  • Follow in the footsteps of some of golf’s greatest players at the Royal Melbourne Golf Club.
  • Sample the flavours of Melbourne’s hidden restaurants on a walking degustation tour.

Day five
Depart Melbourne and travel to Milawa and King Valley. Stop at Brown Brothers Milawa Vineyard, one of Australia’s oldest and most loved wineries. With four generations of winemaking experience, the Brown family are producing some of Australia’s most innovative wine from their King Valley winery in the stunning Victorian high country.

With the rugged and beautiful Victorian Alps as the backdrop, and the surrounding green pastures of the King Valley on its doorstep, Brown Brothers Milawa offers a unique and exhilarating location to experience Australian wine. Sit back, relax and unwind with a ‘feed me’ style menu of the chef’s favourite dishes, with or without matched wines.

Check into boutique hotel Lancemore Milawa for a three-night stay.

Highlights:

  • Discover the history behind four generations of winemakers at Brown Brothers.
  • Switch off and savour a slow lunch (approximately three hours)

Read more: Small Victorian towns well worth a visit

Day six
Travel to Pizzini Wines for a hands-on cooking class* at A’ Tevola! Cooking School. Join Katrina Pizzini and learn to master the art of making ‘Pastries and Puds’ or create the perfect ‘Pasta, Gnocchi and Risotto’!

*Set dates throughout the year.

Stay on at Pizzini Wines for the Barrels and Prosciutto experience. Enjoy a private barrel tasting in the beautiful kiln tasting room, accompanied by a plate of freshly sliced prosciutto.

Highlights:

  • Take an Italian-inspired hands-on cooking class.
  • Taste wines straight from the barrel, accompanied by freshly sliced prosciutto.

Day seven
Take a drive to the town of Bright in the Victorian Alpine region. Explore the main street boutiques and enjoy morning tea at one of the quaint coffee shops.

Travel to Feathertop Winery for a Pedal and Picnic in the Vines. Select your picnic spot, then wander or cycle around the vineyard as your picnic is getting set up and your wine is poured. Learn some vineyard insights and secrets from one of the Feathertop team.

Highlights:

  • Discover the village charms of Bright.
  • Enjoy a scenic bike ride and picnic amongst the vines at Feathertop Winery.

Day eight
Travel to the Nagambie Lakes region, stopping at Glenrowan for tales of Ned Kelly or discover one of the country’s best regional art collections at Benalla.

This afternoon, make your way to Tahbilk winery and learn the Winemaker’s Secret Art.

Guided by a wine ambassador, start with individual wines and blend them to create a wine that is truly yours. Take home a bottle of your own blend.

Stay overnight in the township of Nagambie.

Highlights:

  • Discover the site of the final siege and capture of Ned Kelly and his gang at Glenrowan.
  • Learn the art of winemaking and blend your own wine at Tahbilk.

Read more: Max Williams shares his ‘in-between lockdowns’ Beechworth holiday

Day nine
Return to Melbourne via De Bortoli wines and enjoy a Locale Restaurant Premium Experience. Sample the latest vintage at the cellar door that overlooks the picturesque vineyards, then enjoy a seasonal Chef’s Menu lunch with wine matches.

Make a stop at Healesville Wildlife Sanctuary – a bushland haven for Australian wildlife, including koalas, kangaroos, platypus, dingoes, wombats, emus and more.

Make a final stop at the Yarra Valley Chocolaterie and Ice Creamery before returning to Melbourne.

Highlights:

  • Enjoy a cellar-door tasting and premium lunch at De Bortoli.
  • Find your favourite animals along the trails at Healesville Sanctuary.
  • Indulge in sweet treats at the Yarra Valley Chocolaterie and Ice Creamery.

*Please note, experiences mentioned in the itineraries are subject to change and may not always be available.

This article was edited from original content available from Tourism Australia.

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