With Winter well and truly underway in Australia, Victoria and its southern state counterparts are certainly bearing its brunt. Long gone are the desires for beach filled days, instead replaced with a longing for cosy weekends spent away from the city’s hustle and bustle; ones beside a roaring fireplace, complemented by carb-heavy food and the perfect bottle of red, of course.
Famous for its bountiful country landscapes, Victoria offers an abundance of exquisite getaways. So, if you’re growing tired the chilly weather and simultaneously craving a quick two-day escape, there’s no better place to refresh the mind than the vasts offerings of the Garden State. So get those stunning Winter ensembles ready and hit the road – because we’ve covered the best getaways all within only 2 hours of Melbourne City.
Only roughly an hour south from the heart of Melbourne sits the most charming hinterland region. Famous for its small-town coastal vibes and extremely laidback attitude, the stunning landscape is vast in award-winning vineyards and must-do activities.
As a leading food and wine hub, a visit to The Epicurean is nothing short of essential. Renowned for their Italian fare, the extensive menu far exceeds anything your tastebuds could anticipate, with the star attraction being their mouth-watering woodfired pizzas and perfectly paired wine.
Another hot spot to experience is T’Gallant Winery. Credited as Australia’s birthplace of Pinot Gris and Grigio, this locally-loved winery makes for the perfect outing. Combining their adoration for provincial-style dishes and fully-bodied wines, we promise you’ll leave with an overflowing stomach and fully content heart.
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Adorned with stunning timber and whiteboard interior, Red Hill Barn makes for the ultimate unique getaway. While mesmerized by the exclusivity of lush bushland, you’ll actually find yourself in the perfect position – only a stone’s throw from the heart of copious gourmet food and wine experiences.
Brimming with world-famous wineries and rich historical surrounds, this truly breathtaking region sits approximately 90kms east of Melbourne, making for one super easy, utterly perfect weekend getaway.
Be sure to indulge in what Yarra Valley is most famous for – its wine. Luckily, Balgownie Estate Vineyard Retreat and Spa offers everything you could ever need for a relaxing retreat; uniting an award-winning cellar door, luxury accommodation, plus indulgent spa treatments. In short, the entire concept seems nothing short of brilliant.
To cater for a more PG outing, take a trip to the delightfully quaint Mont De Lancy Homestead, in particular, its adorable Art Deco Tearoom. Offering a selection of delicate nibbles and soul-warming brews, there’s, quite frankly, no better place to warm your bones on a chilly Winter’s day.
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If you’re eager to be immersed in nature, look no further than Myers Creek Cascades Luxury Cottages. Boasting adorable whiteboard cottages framed with magnificent cathedral features and generous overhanging canopies, this charming abode makes for the perfect solution to truly switch off and recharge.
Famous for its goldfields location, this history-rich region oozes a simplistic charm. With heritage buildings lining its foliage laced streets, Castlemaine makes for an easy opportunity to reconnect with our historical Australian roots, being only a quick 120km, or 1.5 hours away from Melbourne’s CBD.
If you’re feeling a need to switch up from the wine, Shed Shaker Brewing is your next best bet. Home to a smattering of artisan craft beers, the long-standing brewery has proven a popular choice amongst both tourists and locals alike. Plus, you’ll even be entertained with various live music and trivia nights throughout the week.
When you’re done treating your tastebuds to the Shed Shaker experience, be sure to pay a visit to Boomtown Wine. Fashioned to cater perfectly to your every vino need, the rustic and functional charm transports you to an immersive space, putting you up close and centre to all the wine-making action. With live music and social weekends, the winery makes for a perfect thriving hub to escape the bitter Winter chill.
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This self-contained luxury abode unites the most dream-worthy location and even more impressive architecture. Featuring rich timber outskirts and a modish, industrial style, The Scout Hall promises to add nothing but a relaxing elegance to your magical adventure in Castlemaine.
The Gippsland region covers more than 40,000 square kilometres, but our focus here is on West Gippsland, specifically the shires of Cardinia and Baw Baw. Only roughly an hour-twenty drive south-east of Melbourne, this historically-infused region is brimming with both entertaining and deliciously scrumptious ideas. Nestled within and surrounded by the vast lush of nationally-protected parklands, this region is a popular spot for an overnight getaway.
Uniting hard-line features softened by expert interior styling, Cannibal Creek Winery sits atop a sloping hillside boasting generous views of its sprawling landscape. With an abundance of share plates, locally-sourced cheese and charcuterie boards, you and your loved ones will be spoilt for choice – plus, they even sell them for you to enjoy at home!
Offering a spoiling of breakfast, lunch and dinner sittings varying from Thursday to Sunday, Hogget Kitchen is the delightful solution to an entertaining late-week option. Centring around a philosophy of fresh, seasonal ingredients – all sourced from beloved local suppliers – the winery dining experience teams an exquisite menu, stunning vineyard views and exquisite floor-to-ceiling windows to boot.
But if you’re not nearly content with your hearty dose of nature and fine dining options, and fancy taking the scenic route back to Melbourne, head north-west to the Dandenong Ranges. Housed within the perfectly-kept 7 acres of gardens, Coonara Springs is not only bursting with vibrant flowers and foliage, but also a rich history of culinary expertise thanks to its 1893 entry into Victoria’s thriving hospitality scene.
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Whether you’re on the hunt for a floor-to-ceiling windowed retreat, an intimate studio or even an exquisite timber-floored cottage, Vivere Retreat has you covered for luxury accommodation. Opening out onto generous hinterland scenes, the view itself will surely be enough to convince you to stay.
Located an easy 1.5 hours outside of Melbourne, this adorable town offers a uniqueness that cannot be surpassed. Teaming with quirky and cosy cafes, sophisticated restaurants and awe-inspiring galleries, breathing in the fresh air of Daylesford is sure to be the exact recharge you need.
On the hunt for a fine dining experience? Look no further than Passing Clouds, a winery and cellar door accompanied by the most spectacular of hinterland views. Offering a truly homely ‘la famiglia’ style dining, a visit to this stunning establishment is much more reminiscent of having lunch at a very talented, culinary-skilled friend’s house.
While a vino or two is always a great idea, Daylesford Cider should certainly be another stop at the top of your list. Handcrafting their own ciders from organically-grown heritage apples, one mere mortal can only imagine how delightful their ciders must taste. With their own stone fireplace and English Tavern-style cellar door, this popular hotspot offers a charming, cosy setting for those dreaded cooler days.
Should you be up for exploring a little more, be sure to visit Cloud 9 Farm in the breathtaking Macedon Ranges, which is about 50-minutes from Daylesford. With a stunning alfresco area overlooking the mountains, the cellar door offers a chance to ingest the freshest of air while sampling various wines and perfectly paired platters, featuring locally-sourced produce and Cloud 9’s own farm-made cheese.
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With its A-frame architecture and simplistic, yet so-on trend styling, the contemporary Wombat Barn embodies the essence of Daylesford: utterly charming and completely unique. Inspired by Scandinavian buildings, this stunning retreat combines modish practicality with the cosiness of an English Cottage.
So what are you waiting for? Fire up the group chat and grab your best girlfriends for a Melbourne Winter escape you’ll never forget!
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