Things to do in Lara – Vic – Australia

Welcome to our guide on the top things to do in Lara, Victoria, Australia. Located just a short drive from Melbourne, Lara is a charming town with a variety of attractions and activities that will appeal to all types of travelers.

Whether you’re looking for outdoor adventures, cultural experiences, or simply want to relax and soak up the coastal beauty, Lara has something for everyone. In this article, we’ll highlight the best things to do and see in Lara, including must-visit places, top attractions, and local hotspots.

Key Takeaways

  • Lara is a charming town in Victoria, Australia
  • There are a variety of attractions and activities for all types of travelers
  • Outdoor adventures, cultural experiences, and relaxation are all possible in Lara
  • Stay tuned for our guide on the top things to do and see in Lara

Outdoor Adventures in Lara

If you’re an outdoor enthusiast, you’ll be thrilled to know that Lara is surrounded by breathtaking nature experiences. From hiking to wildlife spotting, there’s something for everyone.

Hiking Trails

Lara boasts numerous hiking trails with varying levels of difficulty and distances. One of the most popular ones is the Ted Wilson Trail, which starts at Serendip Sanctuary and spans over 10 km, offering stunning views of the surrounding plains and volcanic peaks. For a shorter but still scenic hike, try the Hovells Creek Walk, which follows the Little River for 5 km and showcases the area’s abundant birdlife.

Nature Experiences

Lara is home to several conservation areas and nature reserves, providing ample opportunities for nature experiences. You can visit the Serendip Sanctuary, which is dedicated to protecting Australia’s unique wildlife, including kangaroos, wallabies, and emus. Or, take a stroll through the You Yangs Regional Park, which features granite peaks, scenic vistas, and a range of activities such as mountain biking and rock climbing.

Wildlife Encounters

If you’re looking for a wildlife encounter, Lara won’t disappoint. The Serendip Sanctuary offers guided tours and birdwatching opportunities, while the Jirrahlinga Koala and Wildlife Sanctuary allows visitors to get up close with native animals such as koalas, wombats, and echidnas. For a more unique experience, head to the Point Wilson Reserves, where you can observe migratory birds and seal colonies.

With so many outdoor adventures to choose from, make sure to pack your hiking shoes and camera for a memorable visit to Lara.

Cultural Experiences in Lara

When it comes to exploring the cultural side of Lara, there are plenty of options to choose from. From museums to historical sites, art galleries to local events, Lara has something to offer for everyone.

Lara Museums

Lara is home to several museums, showcasing different aspects of the region’s history and culture. The Lara Heritage and Historical Museum is a must-visit for history buffs, featuring exhibits on the local indigenous culture, early European settlement, and important events that shaped the area. For those interested in aviation, the Avalon Aviation Museum is a great choice, with displays of vintage and modern planes, interactive exhibits, and even flight simulations.

Lara Historical Sites

There are several historical sites in and around Lara that provide a glimpse into the region’s past. The You Yangs Regional Park is a great spot for exploring the heritage of the local indigenous Wathaurong people, with ancient rock art and evidence of early settlements. The Mount Rothwell Biodiversity Interpretation Centre offers a unique opportunity to learn about the natural and cultural history of the area, with exhibits on local flora and fauna, as well as the early European settlement of the land.

Lara Art Galleries

For those interested in the arts, there are several galleries in Lara that showcase the work of local and regional artists. The Lara Art Gallery is a popular choice, with rotating exhibitions featuring a variety of styles and mediums, including painting, sculpture, and photography. For a more intimate experience, the Garden Gallery offers a serene setting surrounded by beautiful gardens, featuring works by local artists inspired by nature.

Local Events

Throughout the year, Lara hosts a variety of events that showcase the region’s cultural diversity and vibrant community spirit. The Lara Food and Wine Festival is a highlight for foodies and wine lovers, with local producers showcasing their products and culinary creations. The Lara Lantern Festival is a colourful and lively celebration of multiculturalism, featuring lantern-making workshops, music, and dance performances, and a lantern parade through the streets of Lara.

Whether you’re a history buff, art enthusiast, or simply interested in experiencing the local culture, there’s plenty to see and do in Lara. Be sure to check out the museums, historical sites, art galleries, and local events to get a taste of what this vibrant region has to offer.

Exploring Lara’s National Parks

If you’re a nature lover, you won’t want to miss out on the stunning National Parks and nature reserves near Lara. From breathtaking landscapes to unique wildlife, there is so much to explore and discover.

National Park Features Activities
Great Otway National Park Coastal views, rainforest, waterfalls Hiking, camping, wildlife spotting
Brisbane Ranges National Park Ancient volcanic landscapes, wildlife Hiking, birdwatching
You Yangs Regional Park Granite peaks, grasslands, diverse flora and fauna Hiking, mountain biking, rock climbing

Great Otway National Park is a must-visit for its stunning coastal views, rainforest, and waterfalls. You can hike the Great Ocean Walk or camp in one of the park’s campgrounds.

Brisbane Ranges National Park is known for its ancient volcanic landscapes and diverse wildlife. Take a hike and you might spot kangaroos, wallabies, and even echidnas.

You Yangs Regional Park is perfect for outdoor enthusiasts, with its granite peaks, grasslands, and diverse flora and fauna. You can hike, mountain bike, or even try your hand at rock climbing.

No matter which National Park you choose to explore, be sure to pack plenty of water, sunscreen, and insect repellent. And always follow the park’s rules and guidelines to preserve these natural wonders for future generations.

Relaxing at Lara’s Beaches

When we’re looking for a laid-back day by the shore, we head to one of the beautiful beaches in Lara. With clean sands and crystal clear waters, there’s no better place to soak up the sun and enjoy the seaside breezes.

Lara’s beaches are ideal for swimming, sunbathing, and beachcombing. For water sports enthusiasts, there are plenty of activities to enjoy, such as surfing, paddleboarding, and kayaking.

The Best Beaches in Lara

Here are some of our top picks for beaches in Lara:

Beach Name Facilities Activities
Sandpiper Beach Toilets, picnic tables, BBQ grills Swimming, surfing, beachcombing, fishing
Station Beach Toilets, showers, playground, kiosk Swimming, sunbathing, beach volley, paddleboarding, kayaking
Point Henry Beach Toilets, beach access for wheelchairs, parking area Swimming, fishing, beachcombing

Each of these beaches offer a unique experience and are perfect for a day out with family or friends. Don’t forget to pack sunscreen, a hat, and plenty of water to stay hydrated!

Best Places to Eat in Lara

When it comes to dining in Lara, there are plenty of options to satisfy any type of traveller. From local favourites to international cuisine, here are some of the best places to eat in Lara:

The Sphinx Hotel

A local landmark, The Sphinx Hotel boasts newly-renovated dining areas and a diverse menu featuring classic pub grub, seafood and Mediterranean-inspired dishes. It’s the perfect spot for a relaxed dinner with family or friends.

Zen X Restaurant

If you’re in the mood for Asian cuisine, Zen X Restaurant is a must-try. Their menu includes a range of Chinese, Japanese, and Thai dishes, made with fresh ingredients and served in a modern, stylish setting.

Little Teapot Cafe

For a cosy, laid-back atmosphere, head to Little Teapot Cafe. Their menu is full of delicious brunch options, homemade cakes and pastries, and specialty teas and coffees. Plus, their outdoor seating area is perfect for sunny mornings.

Big Pig Little Pig

A popular spot for meat-lovers, Big Pig Little Pig specialises in slow-cooked, BBQ-style meats and sides. Their menu includes everything from brisket to pulled pork to mac and cheese, and their casual, rustic decor adds to the down-home feel.

Fig & Walnut

If you’re in the mood for something sweet, Fig & Walnut is the place to go. Their menu is full of delicious treats like crepes, waffles, and cakes, all made with fresh, seasonal ingredients. Plus, their outdoor seating area is perfect for enjoying the sunshine.

No matter what type of cuisine you’re after, these top picks are sure to satisfy your cravings. Book a table and enjoy the diverse culinary offerings that Lara has to offer.

Best Places to Stay in Lara

If you’re planning a trip to Lara, you’ll want to find a comfortable and convenient place to stay. Fortunately, there are plenty of options to suit a range of preferences and budgets.

For those seeking luxury accommodations, there are several hotels and resorts in the area. The Lara Lodge, for example, offers a five-star experience with luxurious rooms, an on-site restaurant, and stunning views of the surrounding countryside.

If you’re looking for something more budget-friendly, there are also plenty of options to suit your needs. The Lara Motel offers comfortable and affordable accommodations with easy access to the town’s attractions and amenities.

For those who prefer a more home-like experience, vacation rentals can be a great option. The Lara House offers a charming and cozy three-bedroom rental with all the amenities you need for a comfortable stay.

No matter where you choose to stay in Lara, you’re sure to find welcoming hospitality and all the comforts of home.

Best Places to Eat in Lara

If you’re curious about the culinary delights of Lara, you’re in luck! Our town boasts a diverse range of restaurants and cafes, all eager to satisfy your hunger and taste buds. Here are some of our top picks:

Bite Me Cafe

If you’re in the mood for a hearty breakfast or lunch, Bite Me Cafe is the perfect place to go. Located in the heart of Lara, this cozy and welcoming cafe offers a variety of dishes made with locally sourced ingredients. We highly recommend their eggs Benedict and their homemade pies!

Strathmore Hotel

If you’re looking for a more upscale dining experience, the Strathmore Hotel is a must-visit. With its elegant decor and attentive staff, this restaurant offers classic Australian cuisine with a modern twist. Be sure to try their signature steak and dessert!

Lara Sporting Club Bistro

If you’re seeking a family-friendly atmosphere, look no further than the Lara Sporting Club Bistro. This restaurant offers a relaxed ambiance and a diverse menu that caters to all tastes. Their pizzas and schnitzels are especially delicious, and their kids’ menu is sure to please the little ones.

Sticks and Grace

For a unique dining experience, head to Sticks and Grace. This restaurant specializes in Southeast Asian fusion cuisine, offering dishes like laksa and soft-shell crab sliders. Their cocktails are also a must-try!

These are just a handful of the many excellent dining options in Lara. Whether you’re seeking a hearty breakfast, a fancy dinner, or something in between, our town has got you covered.

Entertainment and Nightlife in Lara

If you’re looking for a fun night out, Lara has plenty of options to offer. From live music to bars and events, there’s something for everyone.


Lara has a great selection of bars where you can enjoy a drink, mingle with locals, and soak up the atmosphere. Whether you’re in the mood for a quiet drink or a lively night out, there are plenty of options to choose from.

Live Music Venues

Lara is home to several live music venues where you can enjoy local and touring acts. From small intimate venues to larger concert halls, there are plenty of options for music lovers.


Throughout the year, Lara hosts a variety of events for all ages and interests. From festivals to markets and everything in between, there’s always something happening in this vibrant town.

Getting Around

If you plan on enjoying the nightlife in Lara, it’s important to plan ahead when it comes to transportation. While there are some local taxis available, it’s best to organize a ride in advance or designate a driver to avoid any issues.

Remember to always drink responsibly, look out for your friends, and have a great time exploring the entertainment and nightlife scene in Lara.

Planning Your Visit to Lara

When planning your trip to Lara, there are a few things to consider to ensure a smooth and enjoyable experience. Here are some tips to help you plan your visit:

Travel Tips

If you’re coming from Melbourne, Lara is just a short drive from the city center. Alternatively, you can take the train from Southern Cross Station, which takes around 30 minutes. If you’re flying into Melbourne, the closest airport is Tullamarine Airport, which is approximately a 20-minute drive away.

If you plan on exploring the National Parks or outdoor areas, make sure to bring adequate clothing and footwear for the terrain. It’s also a good idea to bring insect repellent and sunscreen, as the Australian sun can be quite strong.


While in Lara, you’ll find that driving is the most convenient way to get around. There are several car rental companies available at Tullamarine Airport, as well as in the city center.

If you prefer not to drive, there are also taxis and ride-sharing services available. Alternatively, you can take the train to nearby attractions.


Lara experiences a temperate climate, with warm summers and mild winters. The best time to visit is during the spring and autumn months, when the weather is pleasant and the crowds are thinner. Summer can be quite hot, with temperatures reaching up to 30 degrees Celsius, while winter is generally mild, with temperatures dipping down to around 5 degrees Celsius.

Overall, Lara is a great destination for travelers looking for a fun and diverse range of activities. With its natural beauty, cultural experiences, and delicious food scene, there’s something for everyone to enjoy. We hope these tips help you plan your visit to Lara and make the most of your time in this charming city.


Q: What are the top things to do in Lara?

A: Some of the top things to do in Lara include exploring the outdoor adventures, experiencing the cultural attractions, visiting the national parks, relaxing at the beaches, trying out the local eateries, finding suitable accommodations, going shopping, enjoying the entertainment and nightlife, and planning your visit to Lara.

Q: What outdoor adventures can I experience in Lara?

A: In Lara, you can enjoy various outdoor adventures such as nature experiences, hiking trails, and wildlife encounters. There are plenty of opportunities to immerse yourself in the beauty of nature.

Q: What cultural experiences are available in Lara?

A: Lara offers a range of cultural experiences, including museums, historical sites, art galleries, and local events. You can explore the rich cultural heritage and vibrant arts scene in the area.

Q: Are there any national parks near Lara?

A: Yes, there are national parks and nature reserves near Lara. These parks offer unique features and activities such as hiking, wildlife spotting, and picnicking. They are perfect for nature lovers and outdoor enthusiasts.

Q: What are the beaches like in Lara?

A: Lara has beautiful beaches where you can relax and enjoy seaside activities. Whether you prefer swimming, sunbathing, or beachcombing, the beaches in Lara offer a coastal retreat for all.

Q: Where are the best places to eat in Lara?

A: Lara boasts some of the best restaurants and cafes that offer a wide range of culinary delights. These dining establishments showcase the local food scene and provide a memorable gastronomic experience.

Q: What are the best places to stay in Lara?

A: Lara offers a variety of accommodations, including hotels, resorts, and vacation rentals. Whether you’re looking for luxury or budget options, there are suitable places to stay in Lara to suit every traveler’s needs.

Q: Where can I go shopping in Lara?

A: Shopping enthusiasts will find plenty of options in Lara, including shopping centers, local markets, and boutiques. You can explore these places to indulge in retail therapy and find unique souvenirs.

Q: What is the entertainment and nightlife scene like in Lara?

A: Lara offers a lively entertainment and nightlife scene, with various bars and live music venues. Additionally, there are often exciting events happening in the area, providing visitors with ample opportunities to enjoy the vibrant nightlife.

Q: What should I consider when planning a visit to Lara?

A: When planning your visit to Lara, it is essential to take into account useful travel tips, transportation options, and the local weather. These factors will help you prepare and ensure a smooth and enjoyable experience in Lara.