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5 Great Victorian Lookouts

Home > Melbourne > Day Trips | Escape the City | Family | Free | Lookouts | Lists
by Ian Gill (subscribe)
I'm a Victorian freelance writer & photographer living in the Macedon Ranges north of Melbourne.
Published September 6th 2018
Views To Die For
Covering more than 237,000 Square Kilometres Victoria is a magnificent mix of stunning coastal scenery, mountain ranges, inland waterways, dense forests and expansive plains, most readily accessible and providing visitors with an incredible diversity of spectacular viewing. Here are some of my favourites, 5 Great Victorian Lookouts to blow your mind.

Pinnacle Lookout, The Grampians

There would be few more recognisable lookouts in Victoria than the iconic Pinnacle high above Halls Gap and providing breathtaking views across The Grampians.

The only drawback with this great lookout is that you have to walk to get to it and none of the options available are particularly easy.

Victoria Melbourne Macedon Ranges Grampians Wilsons Promontory Queenscliff Great Ocean Road Shipwreck Coast Travel Get Out Of Town Escape The City
High above Halls Gap the Pinnacle Lookout provides spectacular views across The Grampians. Photo: Ian Gill / Footloose PhotoBank


The easiest access is via Sundial Carpark, a distance of just over 2 Kilometres and taking between 45 and 60 minutes return. The track, like most in The Grampians, is fairly steep and does involve rocky terrain and some water crossings.

The walk from Wonderland Car Park is a bit more challenging. The distance is the same, just over 2 Kilometres but involves walking through rocky canyons before ascending the Pinnacle itself. You'll need to allow about 90-minutes to complete the return trip.

The third option is far and away the most difficult and should only be attempted by fit and experienced walkers.

Starting at the Halls Gap Caravan Park this trek is 9.6 Kilometres via Venus Baths, Splitters Falls and then Wonderland Car Park. Allow 5-hours to make the return journey.

Getting There ..

Halls Gap is 254 Kilometres west of Melbourne, about a 3-hour drive via the National Highway/M8 and then the A8 via Ararat.

More Information ..

Visit the Halls Gap Visitor Information Centre at 117 119 Grampians Road, Halls Gap, telephone the Centre on 1800 065 599 or visit the website www.visitgrampians.com.au


Mount Macedon Memorial Cross

The original Mount Macedon Memorial Cross was erected by a local wealthy businessman William Cameron to commemorate all those Australians, including his own son, who lost their lives in the Great War.

The cross was unveiled in 1935 standing 21 Metres tall and 1001 Metres above sea level. Weathered and fire damaged over the years the original cross was replaced in 1995, a gift to the people of Victoria from the Grollo family.

Erected on a vantage point on the south side of the summit affords magnificent views to Melbourne, Port Phillip Bay, and the You Yangs and Geelong.

Victoria Melbourne Macedon Ranges Grampians Wilsons Promontory Queenscliff Great Ocean Road Shipwreck Coast Travel Get Out Of Town Escape The City
Apart from Melbourne's Shrine of Remembrance, Mount Macedon Memorial Cross is considered the most significant war memorial in Victoria, erected to commemorate all those Australians lost in the Great War of 1914 - 18. Photo: Ian Gill / Footloose PhotoBank


The Mount Macedon Memorial Cross is very easily accessible just a short 200 metre walk from the carpark, adjacent to the Top Of The Range tea rooms and gallery.

Disabled access and facilities are available and the Memorial Cross Reserve is a great spot to find local wildlife.

The nearby Major Mitchell Lookout has views to the west and northwest of the Mount.

Getting There ..

Mount Macedon Cross and lookout is on the summit of the mountain, 72 Kilometres northwest of Melbourne, just under an hours drive via the Calder Freeway/M79, Mount Macedon Road/C322 and Cameron Drive/C328.

More Information ..

Visit the Woodend Visitor Information Centre, High Street, Woodend, telephone the Centre on (03) 5427 2033 or visit the website www.visitmacedonranges.com



The 12 Apostles

The official viewing area for the 12 Apostles is just 280 metres from the Visitor Information Centre carpark at the intersection of Great Ocean Road and Booringa Road, Princetown.

The viewing platform comprises upper and lower levels, the former accessible to prams and wheelchairs but the upper or eastern platform is steep over the final section.

Victoria Melbourne Macedon Ranges Grampians Wilsons Promontory Queenscliff Great Ocean Road Shipwreck Coast Travel Get Out Of Town Escape The City
The official 12 Apostles viewing platform is adjacent to the Visitor Information Centre at Princetown .....


Victoria Melbourne Macedon Ranges Grampians Wilsons Promontory Queenscliff Great Ocean Road Shipwreck Coast Travel Get Out Of Town Escape The City
..... providing spectacular views up and down the coast. Photos: Ian Gill / Footloose PhotoBank


Although called the 12 Apostles there only eight of the spectacular limestone pillars remaining and only seven can be seen from the viewing area.

Other lookouts can be found at Gibson's Steps, Loch Ard Gorge, The Arch and London Bridge.

Getting There ..

The 12 Apostles are 275 Kilometres west of Melbourne, about a 4-hour drive via Great Ocean Road.

More Information ..

Visit the 12 Apostles Visitor Information Centre at the intersection of Great Ocean Road and Booringa Road, Princetown, call the Centre on 1300 137 255 or visit the website www.visit12apostles.com.au



Mount Oberon, Wilsons Promontory

The walk to the summit of Mount Oberon at Wilson's Promontory starts at Telegraph Saddle carpark, the southernmost car park on the Australian mainland, 4 Kilometres from the Tidal River Campground.

Victoria Melbourne Macedon Ranges Grampians Wilsons Promontory Queenscliff Great Ocean Road Shipwreck Coast Travel Get Out Of Town Escape The City
Wilson's Promontory National Park has been attracting Victorian holidaymakers for decades .....


Victoria Melbourne Macedon Ranges Grampians Wilsons Promontory Queenscliff Great Ocean Road Shipwreck Coast Travel Get Out Of Town Escape The City
..... no wonder with views like this from Mount Oberon overlooking Norman Bay, Tidal River and The Glennies. Photos: Ian Gill / Footloose PhotoBank


The return trip is a 6.8 Kilometre circuit of medium gradient and taking about 45 minutes each way.

From the summit you'll get a 360 degree view of the Park and in the right weather conditions a sunrise viewed from up here is absolutely stunning.

Getting There ..

Tidal River is 225 Kilometres southeast of Melbourne, about a 3-hour drive via the Princes Freeway/M1, the South Gippsland Highway and the A440 and C444.

More Information ..

Go to the website www.parkweb.vic.gov.au/explore/parks/wilsons-promontory-national-park or telephone Parks Victoria on 131 963.




The Rip

My lookout number 5 is not really a lookout at all but a carpark at the southern end of Hesse Street, Queenscliff, immediately behind Fort Queenscliff and providing views to Point Lonsdale and The Rip. It's a great place to watch ships of all shapes and sizes entering and leaving Port Phillip Bay.

Victoria Melbourne Macedon Ranges Grampians Wilsons Promontory Queenscliff Great Ocean Road Shipwreck Coast Travel Get Out Of Town Escape The City
Sometimes ships transitting The Rip appear close enough to reach out and touch. Photo: Ian Gill / Footloose PhotoBank


The Rip is the 3.2 kilometre-wide body of water connecting Bass Strait and Port Phillip Bay and recognised as the single most dangerous stretch of water along the entire Australian coastline.
With reefs on either side and passing over a shallow rock shelf tidal flows here can run at up to 15 KPH, presenting many challenges to a ships Pilot.

Victoria Melbourne Macedon Ranges Grampians Wilsons Promontory Queenscliff Great Ocean Road Shipwreck Coast Travel Get Out Of Town Escape The City
A Pilot Boat shadows a tanker departing Port Phillip Bay, ready to pick up the Pilot once he's guided the vessel through the treacherous waterway. Photo: Ian Gill / Footloose PhotoBank


In the last 180 years 30 ships have been lost here and hundreds of people have perished in The Rip's turbulent waters.

Getting There ..

Queenscliff is 106 Kilometres south of Melbourne, just over a 90-minute drive via the Princes Freeway/M1 and the Bellarine Highway/B110.

More Information ..

Queenscliffe Visitor Information Centre 55 Hesse Street, Telephone (03) 5258 4843 or go to the website www.queenscliffe.vic.gov.au




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Why? Don't miss the view from these 5 Great Victoria Lookouts providing incredible viewing over a variety of stunning coastal scenery, mountain ranges, inland waterways, dense forests and expansive plains.
When: All year round.
Phone: Email only via the website.
Where: Locations throughout Victoria.
Cost: FREE
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