Phuong Nguyen

From surf spots to ski hills, the Australian state of Victoria is the perfect place to enjoy nature

Melbourne, the capital of the state of Victoria in Southern Australia, is often described as having “four seasons in one day”. With its typical oceanic climate, the city possesses warm beaches and beautiful narrow bays, where wind, sun, and waves appeal to surfers. The area around Melbourne stands in stark contrast to the city, as the scenery shifts to towering, snowy mountains, dense forests, and vast valleys that shelter famous vineyards. Melbourne and its surroundings are full of surprises, as the area is filled with colors and emotions. Mother Nature has blessed this region with spectacular landscapes to satisfy travelers’ senses.

Mount Buller is the closest ski resort to Melbourne

Finding snow on Mount Buller

Melbourne’s winter was not as cold as I expected. The oceanic environment gives Melbourne a cool winter from June to August, while Vietnam is hot and muggy. A winter’s day in Melbourne is comparable to a day in Dalat with average temperatures ranging from 7 to 14 degrees Celsius. However, Melbourne does not disappoint lovers of snowy landscapes: approximately three hours northeast of the city stands the “Snow Queen” Mount Buller, its most famous ski resort.

The road to Mount Buller is exciting, as the rough terrain paints a beautiful picture and the climate transforms. The atmosphere gradually became frigid as I drew near the ski resort, which was covered in frost and snow.

Mount Buller is the closest ski resort to Melbourne

Mount Buller is the most accessible ski and snow resort near Melbourne. The resort has everything needed for a high-end retreat, with a variety of both indoor and outdoor activities. Highlights include a world-class skiing and snowboarding school with three terrain parks for skill-training at all levels, two fully-equipped ice-skating rinks, and a picturesque mountain village. Located at an altitude of 1,800 meters, Mount Buller boasts a climate that is completely different from Melbourne’s, with temperatures on the mountaintop 10-15 degrees Celsius lower than in the city. The winter lows allow enough snow to pile up for good skiing and snowboarding.

Hiking on Mount Buller

Visitors returning to Melbourne can marvel at the Yarra Valley, a wild and unique destination. After their fill of skiing, hiking, or climbing, travelers will be surprised by this valley and its magnificent national park. Yarra is famous for walking trails through dense forests of old trees and ferns wreathing the banks of babbling brooks. Nature in Australia is undoubtedly rich and generous, as travelers can explore lush and tranquil whispering forests only two hours away from Mount Buller’s icy peaks.

Enjoying the warmth of the Mornington Peninsula

The capital of the Australian state of Victoria is the second-most populous city in the country, with a population of over 4.5 million people. The city’s climate is temperate year-round: hot in the summer, cool in spring and autumn, and mildly cold in the winter, although not below freezing. Thanks to its weather, Melbourne is an ideal place to enjoy outdoor activities, including surfing and fishing at Port Phillip, southwest of the city.

Sunset at the Cape Schanck Lighthouse on the Mornington Peninsula

I traveled toward the Mornington Peninsula, which surrounds Port Phillip Bay. As the winters here are slightly chillier, it attracts fewer tourists than other places in the area. Nevertheless, June to July is the prime time for professional fishing, as this narrow bay hosts various species, such as squid, red snapper, salmon, and flatfish.

I chose a nice spot on the pier from which to enjoy a full view of Port Phillip in the mellow winter sunshine and cool, caressing ocean breeze. My next stop was a restaurant by the bay, where I enjoyed a light meal of different types of cheese, crackers, fresh fruit, and a delicious glass of wine. There are many famous vineyards nearby and a few factories that produce high-end wines. It was such a delight to enjoy a beautiful sunset while sipping a light Pinot Gris and listening to melodic ballads playing behind the bar.

The Mornington Peninsula boasts many tourist attractions, including a natural hot spring. I visited the Peninsula Hot Springs near Port Phillip. This resort offers various activities, but visitors should not miss out on sinking into an outdoor hot spring high up in the hills while admiring panoramic ocean views and the area’s magnificent nature.

An aerial view of the Mornington Peninsula at sunset

My trip to Melbourne and the state of Victoria was amazing. Air travel was very convenient since Vietnam Airlines’ flights to Australia have been fully resumed. As Vietnam enters a scorching summer, nothing beats an escape to wintry Australia to bathe in the coastal atmosphere and explore the country’s diverse nature and tourism services.