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Top 12 Things To Do in Skipton, VIC Australia (with local Hidden Gems)

22/08/2023
10 mins read
Skipton
Source: Simone Alexander

Skipton, a charming town in Victoria, Australia, is situated 166 kilometers west of Melbourne and 52 kilometers southwest of Ballarat. Nestled on the banks of Mount Emu Creek, this quaint town is known for its thriving platypus population and rich history. Surrounded by picturesque landscapes and a variety of attractions, Skipton offers a unique blend of natural beauty and cultural experiences for visitors to explore.

Join us as we uncover the hidden gems and reveal the top things to do in Skipton, a captivating destination that promises unforgettable adventures. Immerse yourself in the area’s natural splendor, delve into its cultural treasures, and embark on a remarkable journey through the captivating world of Skipton.

Things To Do In Skipton, VIC

1. Ballarat-Skipton Rail Trail – Scenic Countryside Adventure

Embark on a journey through the picturesque countryside of Victoria on the Ballarat-Skipton Rail Trail. This 63 km cycling and walking trail offers stunning views of the landscape, passing through historic landmarks such as Nimmons Bridge. The trail is suitable for all fitness levels, making it a perfect outdoor activity for families, couples, and solo adventurers alike.

Along the way, you’ll encounter charming towns, native wildlife, and remnants of the region’s railway history. The trail is well-maintained and signposted, ensuring a safe and enjoyable experience for all. Don’t forget to pack a picnic and take breaks at the various rest stops to fully appreciate the beauty of the surroundings.

  • Best time of the year: Spring and autumn, when the weather is mild and the countryside is at its most picturesque.
  • Address: The trail starts at the corner of Ligar Street and Ripon Street South in Ballarat, VIC 3350.
  • Distance from Skipton: The trail is approximately 63 km long, with Skipton being the endpoint.

2. Mackinnon Nature Reserve – A Haven for Wildlife Enthusiasts

Discover the natural beauty of Skipton at the Mackinnon Nature Reserve, a haven for outdoor lovers and wildlife enthusiasts. This tranquil reserve is home to a variety of native flora and fauna, providing a serene escape from the hustle and bustle of everyday life. Wander through the reserve’s walking trails and immerse yourself in the sights and sounds of the Australian bush.

Keep an eye out for the diverse birdlife that inhabits the reserve, as well as the occasional kangaroo or wallaby. The reserve is also a great spot for picnics, offering several shaded areas to relax and enjoy the peaceful surroundings.

  • Best time of the year: Spring and autumn, when the weather is pleasant for outdoor activities.
  • Address: Skipton-Beaufort Road, Skipton, VIC 3361.
  • Distance from town: The reserve is located within Skipton.

3. Platypus Spotting at Mount Emu Creek – Encounter the Elusive Platypus

For a truly unique wildlife experience, head to Stewart Park in Skipton and try your luck at spotting the elusive platypus in their natural habitat. These fascinating creatures can be found in the tranquil waters of Mount Emu Creek, providing a rare opportunity to observe them up close. The best time to spot platypuses is during the early morning or late afternoon when they are most active.

As you explore the park, keep an eye out for other native wildlife, such as waterbirds and fish. The park also offers picnic facilities, making it an ideal spot to relax and enjoy the beauty of the creek and its surroundings.

  • Best time of the year: Early morning or late afternoon, when platypuses are most active.
  • Address: Stewart Park, Skipton, VIC 3361.
  • Distance from town: The park is located within Skipton.

4. Wineries and Vineyards – Savor the Flavors of the Region

Indulge in the flavors of the region by visiting the nearby wineries and vineyards. Each winery offers a unique selection of wines, showcasing the diverse terroir and winemaking techniques of the area. Here are some of the wineries you can explore:

  • Michael Unwin Wines: Known for their Umbrella Man range of wines. Located at 2 Racecourse Rd, Beaufort, VIC 3373 (approx. 37 km from Skipton).
  • Montara Winery: Offers a variety of wines, including Chardonnay, Riesling, and Shiraz. Located at 76 Chalambar Rd, Ararat, VIC 3377 (approx. 80 km from Skipton).
  • Off the Beaten Track Wine & Art Gallery: Features local artwork and a selection of wines. Located at 4121 Ararat-Halls Gap Rd, Moyston, VIC 3377 (approx. 90 km from Skipton).
  • Mt Langi Ghiran Vineyards Pty Ltd: Renowned for their cool-climate Shiraz. Located at 80 Vine Rd, Buangor, VIC 3375 (approx. 60 km from Skipton).
  • Eastern Peake Vineyard: Specializes in Pinot Noir and Chardonnay. Located at 67 Pickfords Rd, Coghills Creek, VIC 3364 (approx. 60 km from Skipton).
  • Mount Beckworth Wines: Produces a range of red and white wines. Located at 80 Hills Rd, Clunes, VIC 3370 (approx. 60 km from Skipton).
  • Best time of the year: Spring and autumn, when the weather is pleasant for wine tasting and vineyard visits.

5. Beaufort Lake – A Picturesque Oasis

Discover the beauty of Beaufort Lake, a picturesque spot perfect for a leisurely day out. Surrounded by lush parklands, the lake offers walking trails, picnic areas, and birdwatching opportunities. Take a stroll around the lake, admiring the tranquil waters and keeping an eye out for the diverse birdlife that inhabits the area.

The lake is also a popular spot for fishing, so don’t forget to bring your fishing gear and try your luck at catching some local fish species. With its serene atmosphere and stunning scenery, Beaufort Lake is an ideal destination for a relaxing day trip or a peaceful weekend getaway.

  • Best time of the year: Spring and autumn, when the weather is pleasant for outdoor activities.
  • Address: Park Rd, Beaufort, VIC 3373.
  • Distance from Skipton: Approximately 37 km from Skipton.

6. Cundare Pool – A Tranquil Fishing and Picnic Spot

Escape to the peaceful Cundare Pool, a serene spot for fishing, picnicking, and enjoying the natural surroundings. Nestled along the banks of Woady Yaloak River, this idyllic location offers a quiet retreat from the hustle and bustle of everyday life. Cast a line and try your luck at catching some local fish species, or simply relax and soak in the beauty of the area.

Pack a picnic and make use of the shaded picnic areas, perfect for a leisurely lunch or a relaxing afternoon with friends and family. With its calming atmosphere and picturesque setting, Cundare Pool is a hidden gem waiting to be discovered.

  • Best time of the year: Spring and autumn, when the weather is mild and suitable for outdoor activities.
  • Address: Cundare Pool Rd, Cundare North, VIC 3251.
  • Distance from Skipton: Approximately 20 km from Skipton.

7. Lake Burrumbeet – A Serene Lakeside Escape

Experience the tranquility of Lake Burrumbeet, a large lake offering a serene setting for a variety of outdoor activities. The lake is a popular spot for boating, fishing, and birdwatching, providing ample opportunities to connect with nature and enjoy the picturesque surroundings. Pack a picnic and make use of the lakeside picnic areas, perfect for a leisurely lunch or a relaxing afternoon with friends and family.

Take a leisurely walk along the shore, keeping an eye out for the diverse birdlife that inhabits the area. With its calming atmosphere and stunning scenery, Lake Burrumbeet is an ideal destination for a relaxing day trip or a peaceful weekend getaway.

  • Best time of the year: Spring and autumn, when the weather is pleasant for outdoor activities.
  • Address: Lake Burrumbeet, VIC 3352.
  • Distance from Skipton: Approximately 60 km from Skipton.

8. Mount Cole State Forest – A Nature Lover’s Paradise

Immerse yourself in the beauty of Mount Cole State Forest, a stunning forest with walking trails, picnic areas, and opportunities for wildlife spotting. The forest offers a diverse range of landscapes, from lush fern gullies to towering eucalyptus trees, providing a picturesque backdrop for a day of exploration and adventure.

Choose from a variety of walking trails, suitable for all fitness levels, and keep an eye out for the native wildlife that calls the forest home, including kangaroos, wallabies, and a variety of bird species. The forest also offers several picnic areas, perfect for a leisurely lunch or a relaxing break during your hike.

  • Best time of the year: Spring and autumn, when the weather is mild and suitable for outdoor exploration.
  • Address: Mount Cole Rd, Raglan, VIC 3373.
  • Distance from Skipton: Approximately 70 km from Skipton.

9. Skipton Market – Discover Local Treasures

Experience the vibrant atmosphere of the Skipton Market, held on the second Saturday of every month. This bustling market offers a wide range of local produce, homemade goods, and unique crafts, making it the perfect place to find a special souvenir or gift. As you browse the stalls, you’ll have the opportunity to meet the friendly local vendors and learn more about their products.

In addition to shopping, the market often features live music and entertainment, adding to the lively ambiance. Don’t forget to sample some of the delicious food on offer, showcasing the region’s fresh ingredients and culinary talents. The Skipton Market is a must-visit for anyone looking to immerse themselves in the local community and discover the best of what the region has to offer.

  • Opening Hours: Held on the second Saturday of every month.
  • Address: Skipton Mechanics Hall, 37 Montgomery St, Skipton, VIC 3361.
  • Distance from town: The market is located within Skipton.

10. Enfield State Park – Discover Gold Rush History

Step back in time and explore the gold rush history of Victoria at Enfield State Park. This fascinating park offers walking trails, picnic areas, and opportunities for gold prospecting. Wander through the park’s diverse landscapes, from open woodlands to dense forests, and discover the remnants of the region’s gold mining past.

Try your luck at gold panning in the park’s designated fossicking areas, and who knows, you might just strike it rich! The park also offers several picnic areas, perfect for a leisurely lunch or a relaxing break during your exploration. Enfield State Park is an ideal destination for history buffs, nature lovers, and adventure seekers alike.

  • Best time of the year: Spring and autumn, when the weather is pleasant for outdoor activities.
  • Address: Misery Creek Rd, Enfield, VIC 3352.
  • Distance from Skipton: Approximately 45 km from Skipton.

11. Beaufort Lake Caravan Park – A Relaxing Getaway

For a relaxing getaway, consider staying at the Beaufort Lake Caravan Park, located near the picturesque Beaufort Lake. This well-maintained caravan park offers a range of accommodation options, including powered and unpowered sites, as well as cabins for those seeking a more comfortable stay.

The park’s facilities include a camp kitchen, BBQ areas, laundry, and clean amenities, ensuring a comfortable and enjoyable stay for all guests. With its close proximity to Beaufort Lake and the surrounding attractions, the Beaufort Lake Caravan Park is an ideal base for exploring the Skipton region and beyond.

  • Address: 39 Park Rd, Beaufort, VIC 3373.
  • Distance from Skipton: Approximately 37 km from Skipton.

12. Linton Bike Hire – Explore the Countryside on Two Wheels

Discover the beauty of the Skipton region on two wheels with Linton Bike Hire. Rent a bike and explore the surrounding countryside, taking in the stunning landscapes and visiting the various attractions at your own pace. Cycling is a fantastic way to experience the area, allowing you to cover more ground and truly immerse yourself in the natural beauty of the region.

Choose from a range of bikes suitable for all ages and abilities, and set off on your own cycling adventure. Whether you’re an experienced cyclist or a casual rider, Linton Bike Hire offers a unique and enjoyable way to explore the Skipton area.

  • Address: Linton, VIC 3360.
  • Distance from Skipton: Approximately 20 km from Skipton.

Towns Nearby Skipton, VIC

Here are some nearby towns/suburbs around Skipton, VIC, along with their highlights, attractions, distance from Skipton, and reasons why they are worth visiting:

  1. Linton, VIC (approx. 20 km from Skipton): A small town with a rich gold mining history, Linton offers visitors a glimpse into the past with its heritage buildings and historical sites. It’s an ideal destination for history enthusiasts and those looking to explore the beautiful countryside.
  2. Beaufort, VIC (approx. 37 km from Skipton): Known for its picturesque Beaufort Lake, this charming town offers a range of outdoor activities, including walking trails, picnicking, and birdwatching. It’s a great destination for nature lovers and those seeking a peaceful escape.
  3. Snake Valley, VIC (approx. 22 km from Skipton): A small rural community surrounded by beautiful landscapes, Snake Valley is an ideal destination for those looking to explore the countryside and enjoy the tranquility of rural life.
  4. Mount Bute, VIC (approx. 21 km from Skipton): This small town is located near the Mount Bute Volcanic Complex, offering visitors the opportunity to explore the region’s unique geological features and enjoy the stunning views of the surrounding countryside.
  5. Raglan, VIC (approx. 70 km from Skipton): Situated near the Mount Cole State Forest, Raglan offers a range of outdoor activities, including hiking, picnicking, and wildlife spotting. It’s an ideal destination for nature lovers and those seeking a serene escape from the city.

Getting To Skipton, VIC

To get to Skipton, VIC from common destinations or origins as a local tourist, you have several options for both public transport and driving.

From Melbourne CBD:

  • By public transport: Take the V/Line train from Southern Cross Station towards Ararat and get off at Ballarat Station. From Ballarat, take the V/Line bus towards Hamilton and get off at Skipton. The total journey takes approximately 3 hours.
  • By car: Drive west on the M8 (Western Freeway) from Melbourne towards Ballarat. Continue on the A8 (Western Highway) and then turn left onto the C146 (Glenelg Highway) towards Skipton. The drive takes approximately 2 hours and 30 minutes, depending on traffic.

From Ballarat:

  • By public transport: Take the V/Line bus towards Hamilton from Ballarat Station and get off at Skipton. The journey takes approximately 1 hour.
  • By car: Drive southwest on the C146 (Glenelg Highway) towards Skipton. The drive takes approximately 50 minutes, depending on traffic.

From Geelong:

  • By public transport: Take the V/Line train from Geelong Station towards Melbourne and get off at Southern Cross Station. From there, follow the directions mentioned above for Melbourne CBD.
  • By car: Drive west on the M1 (Princes Highway) towards Colac, then turn left onto the C143 (Cape Clear-Rokewood Road) towards Rokewood. Continue on the C143, then turn right onto the C146 (Glenelg Highway) towards Skipton. The drive takes approximately 1 hour and 45 minutes, depending on traffic.

For public transport options from other nearby towns, use the Public Transport Victoria (PTV) website (https://www.ptv.vic.gov.au) or app to plan your journey, as it provides detailed information on train and bus routes, schedules, and ticketing.

Hafiz Kashif

Kashif, our associate writer at HumbleTrail, brings stories from across the globe to our readers. Originating from Pakistan, his journey has taken him through the vibrant cityscape of Dubai and now to the diverse and cultural melting pot of Melbourne, Australia.

His writing is a reflection of his own journey - rich in diverse experiences and filled with the excitement of discovering new places. Melbourne, with its unique blend of cultures and bustling energy, has captured Kashif's heart, a sentiment that deeply resonates in his work.

Kashif's articles for HumbleTrail are more than just travel logs; they are narratives that weave together the beauty of diverse cultures and the thrill of exploration, inviting readers to see the world through his eyes.

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