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Top 5 Great Victorian Lookouts

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by Ian Gill (subscribe)
I'm a Victorian freelance writer & photographer living in the Macedon Ranges north of Melbourne.
Published November 18th 2020
Views to die for
With some State borders closed due to Covid-19 and uncertainty surrounding the opening of others, there's never been a better time to travel Victoria and take in its magnificent mix of stunning coastal scenery, mountain ranges, inland waterways, dense forests and expansive plains. With all that on offer, it's not surprising that there are countless lookouts throughout our great State and I think it's timely to revisit some of my favourites, 5 Great Victorian Lookouts guaranteed 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.

The least strenuous 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 to Venus Baths, Splitters Falls and then Wonderland Car Park. Allow 5-hours to make the return journey.

Victoria,Melbourne,Macedon Ranges,Grampians,Wilsons Promontory,Queenscliff,Great Ocean Road,Shipwreck Coast,Travel,Get Out of Town,Escape The City
There really is no better place to take-in the grandeur of The Grampians than Pinnacle Lookout. Photo: Copyright Ian Gill / Footloose Media


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 wealthy local businessman William Cameron to commemorate all those Australian's, 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 of Mount Macedon the lookout affords magnificent views to Melbourne, Port Phillip Bay, and the You Yangs and Geelong.

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.

Victoria,Melbourne,Macedon Ranges,Grampians,Wilsons Promontory,Queenscliff,Great Ocean Road,Shipwreck Coast,Travel,Get Out of Town,Escape The City
The lookout at Mount Macedon's Memorial Cross provides expansive views to Melbourne, Port Phillip Bay and beyond. Photo: Copyright Ian Gill / Footloose Media


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.

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

Victoria,Melbourne,Macedon Ranges,Grampians,Wilsons Promontory,Queenscliff,Great Ocean Road,Shipwreck Coast,Travel,Get Out of Town,Escape The City
One of Australia's most recognisable natural icons The 12 Apostles are a feature along Victoria's Great Ocean Road and Shipwreck Coast. Photo: Copyright Ian Gill / Footloose Media


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.

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 or sunset viewed from up here is absolutely stunning.

Victoria,Melbourne,Macedon Ranges,Grampians,Wilsons Promontory,Queenscliff,Great Ocean Road,Shipwreck Coast,Travel,Get Out of Town,Escape The City
Sunset over Norman Bay viewed form Mount Oberon, Wilson's Promontory. Photo: Copyright Ian Gill / Footloose Media


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.


The Rip is the 3.2 kilometre-wide body of water connecting the 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.

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

Victoria,Melbourne,Macedon Ranges,Grampians,Wilsons Promontory,Queenscliff,Great Ocean Road,Shipwreck Coast,Travel,Get Out of Town,Escape The City
Passing through The Rip and entering Bass Strait a tanker is escorted by a Melbourne Sea Pilots high-speed vessel. Photo: Copyright Ian Gill / Footloose Media


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

So there you have it. Five great locations from which to enjoy a diverse range of the visual delights on offer here in Victoria. Go and enjoy yourself and don't forget in this post-Covid environment to support local businesses and communities throughout this great State.

Victoria,Melbourne,Macedon Ranges,Grampians,Wilsons Promontory,Queenscliff,Great Ocean Road,Shipwreck Coast,Travel,Get Out of Town,Escape The City
Photo: Copyright Ian Gill / Footloose Media

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Why? Don't miss the views from these 5 Great Victorian Lookouts providing incredible vistas over a variety of stunning attractions that can be found throughout the State.
When: All year round.
Phone: Email via the website only
Where: Locations throughout Victoria
Cost: Free
Your Comment
Great article and photos Gill. Have been to them all, although only looked from below at Mt. Oberon. I have sailed through and flown over The Rip many times - an impressive body of water.
by Neil Follett (score: 3|1132) 16 days ago
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