Victorians are incredibly lucky to have so many great hot spots for mini vacations around the state. From the mountains to the beach and even out into the gorgeous countryside, there are many places to get out of the city and explore the incredible scenery of Australia. If you’re not quite sure what type of weekend vacation you’re in the mood for, take a look at these seven secret vacation hot spots to get you’re holiday planning on the right track!
Head up to Mount Buller
Located just a 3 hour drive from Melbourne, Mount Buller is the place to be for Melbournians, dressed head to toe in snow gear for the popular winter months. But don’t discount Mount Buller in the summer months with plenty of activities including running, hiking and mountain bike riding. The Duck Inn Mount Buller sits on top of the mountain with a great view and is the newest spot in the area. Local owner of the Duck Inn Mount Buller loves the snow in winter. A quaint cabin on top of the mount is the perfect spot for a mini getaway.
Get your beachside glamour on in Portsea
Portsea is known to be the glamour hot spot of the Mornington Peninsula with many famous Australians taking up holiday residence in the area. There’s nowhere better to be for a Sunday session than the Portsea Pub, with an incredible menu and view overlooking the Peninsula. The Mercure Portsea Resort is a stand out accommodation pick in the area with a world class golf course for golfing enthusiasts. Safe to say Portsea is a stylish weekend away only 2 hours drive from Melbourne.
Visit wine country in the Yarra Valley
If you love the sound of an afternoon surrounded by lush greenery, taking hot air balloon rides and sipping on wine, then you’ll want to head about an hour out of Melbourne and into the Yarra Valley. With over 100 wineries in the area, the Yarra Valley is great for a couples getaway or a weekend away with mates. Oscars on the Yarra is a boutique hotel that was originally built in 1920s and is set in Warburton within the Yarra Valley Region. Check out the area in upcoming months for live music concerts, art exhibition, the Warburton fun run. You’ll be sure to leave the area with an overall sense of wellbeing.
Explore the Great Ocean Road to Apollo Bay
Apollo Bay is a seaside spot just off the Great Ocean Road and at the foothills of the Otway Ranges. Very popular with Melbournians in the summer months Apollo bay is home to galleries, gift shops and lots of restaurants specialising in freshly caught seafood. Apollo Bay is close to the adventure of the Otway Ranges, waterfalls and 12 apostles, all located within a short driving distance of the bay. The Apollo is our recommended place to stay in the area within close proximity to the local restaurants, shops and a safe swimming beach. Owners of The Apollo recommend dining at Vista Seafood Restaurnat, La Bimba for breakfast and the Great Ocean Brewhouse for a good pub meal.
Take it to the river in Mildura
There are plenty of spots along the Murray river that make for good vacations, but better than being riverside in summer is jumping aboard an awesome houseboat to cruise down the river. Mildura Houseboats are a great holiday option for people looking to relax and recharge in their daily lives, sailing down the beautiful wide stretched Murray River. Think summers filled with water sports and the gorgeous scenery of autumn and spring as perfect times of year to visit. Mildura is the home of many festivals, as well as monthly markets, regular golfing competitions and power sports races. For places to eat on the Murray River, apart from barbecues on your houseboat, check out Stefano’s and Seasons Restaurants or Trentham Estate Winery.
Drive through the Dandenong Ranges
The Dandenong Ranges is an escape to a different world of towering gums and forests bold with character and charm. Located just one hour from Melbourne, heading out to the Dandenongs in any season is a rewarding experience. Summer is a peaceful escape, the autumn leaves litter the woods in bright colours and the early morning mists in winter are particularly special. Our top pick for accommodation in the area has to be Marybrooke Manor, a magnificent National Trust listed guest house hotel nestled on the edge of the majestic Sherbrooke Forest. Built in 1940, it began as the grandest guesthouse in a chain of six guesthouses all using the pre-fix “Mary” designed and built by Eric Dowdle between 1927 and 1940. Over recent years Marybrooke has undergone extensive renovations to restore and reinstate the building to reflect it’s original charm and elegance.
Get out to the country in Echuca
Echuca is a popular country getaway close to the Murray River, about 2 hours and 40 minutes from Melbourne. There’s lots of activities for families, couples and groups visiting the area, so there’s certainly something for everyone in Echuca. For a place to stay The Winbi River Resort hosts beautiful gardens and wildlife for guests to explore within the grounds and with a private boat ramp, it’s a excellent spot for fishing and boating enthusiasts. Head out to the Murray in summer for the best swimming weather, although winter still has lots to offer with wineries and pubs with open fires.
Looking for somewhere to getaway to in Victoria – Pop over to the Victoria’s best kept holiday secrets page on Scoopon for some holiday hot spot ideas!
Do you have a secret vacation spot that you love to getaway to? Share with us in the comments!