With the imminent arrival of the Queen’s Birthday long weekend in June, it’s the only opportunity during winter to get away for a three-day short break without the need to cash in valuable annual leave.
An extra day to play provides the perfect opportunity to extend a Victorian winter adventure without the stress of airport queues and the rage of baggage carousels.
The rugged coast and dramatic nature make seaside towns a perfect cosy getaway.
Celebrating its 100th birthday this year, the Great Ocean Road offers an endless bounty of cosy coastal destinations. Food loves can eat their way along the coast, beginning at Angelsea’s new hatted surf club Euro diner Captain Moonlight. Road trippers can then pit stop at MoVida Lorne after the popular Melbourne Spanish eatery opened their latest permanent home at the historic Lorne Hotel late last year. Further along the iconic journey is Port Campbell, famous for the 12 Apostles and now home to the region’s most exciting restaurant, Forage to Foreshore, which combines hand harvesting wild produce for its seasonal menu.
Alternatively, visitors and skip the winding coast and head straight for the cute Port Fairy. Located at the end of the Great Ocean Road, three-and-a-half hours from Melbourne, the coastal village is a thriving gastronomical destination. Stay at the boutique luxury Drift House before indulging in pizza at Coffin Sally, wholesome hearty winter dishes at the relaxed fine diner Merrijig Kitchen or tapas in a rustic wine shed at Basalt Wines.
Closer to Melbourne, the Bellarine Peninsula offers the same relaxed winter atmosphere with charming water views. Point Lonsdale’s new wellness offering Lon Retreat will have guests wishing they never had to leave. For those who manage to pry themselves away to explore the region won’t be disappointed. A cocktail and pizza in front of the open fire at The Whiskery, home of the Bellarine Distillery, is a perfect way to pass an afternoon or enjoy wine tasting in front of a wine at either Scotchman’s Hill or Curlewis Winery.
Home to an abundance of natural mineral springs and ancient geothermal springs, Victoria offers a unique spa and wellbeing experience. With its long spa tradition, more than 100 springs and every kind of luxury throughout the state, Victoria is the perfect place to celebrate world bathing day on Saturday 22 June.
Named the fourth best wellbeing destination in the world by Trip Advisor last year, Hepburn Springs is Victoria’s spa capital. The spa town is located in the middle of the largest concentration of mineral springs in Australia. Visitors are spoilt for choice with spa and wellbeing options in the Daylesford and Macedon Ranges region, including the popular Hepburn Bathhouse & Spa, The Spa at Lake House, The Mineral Spa and Daylesford Day Spa and Beauty. Visitors can step into the world of Japanese wellbeing at Shizuka Ryokan, where traditional hospitality and wellness treatments combine for ultimate relaxation and indulgence.
The Mornington Peninsula is home to Victoria’s the first natural thermal mineral springs and day spa at Peninsula Hot Springs. The property offers more than 20 globally-inspired bathing experiences set in a beautiful natural environment, including the new fire and ice experience. Visitors can combine their Mornington short break with a stay at the new RACV Cape Schanck resort, which features offers luxurious spa treatments or hydrotherapy in One Spa and fine dining in the Cape restaurant.
High Country may be popular with the snow fraternity during winter, the regional is also home to luxury spa and wellbeing. Dinner Plain’s Onsen Retreat + Spa features a Japanese-inspired 40-degree outdoor Onsen perfect for bathing and restoration after skiing and snowboarding. Located in shadows of Mount Hotham, visitors can enjoy a truly alpine experience of bathing outdoors while snow falls all around.
Lace up the boots, grab the jacket and dust of the beanie to explore some of Victoria’s spectacular natural beauty on foot. The Grampians is home to some of the most awe-inspiring wilderness, from gentle walks to multi-day adventures. Visitors can test their stamina with a hike through the Grand Canyon up to The Pinnacle or trek through heathy woodland to stunning views of Mount Abrupt. For something a bit less strenuous, wander out to spectacular Mackenzie Falls or revel in sweeping views of Victoria Valley from The Balconies, located just 30 minutes from Reed Lookout. For an unforgettable hiking experience, the first stage of the Grampians Peaks Trail has opened with a three-day, two-night trek through some of the park’s most popular scenery. Rugged mountain peaks, rocky gullies and breathtaking panoramic views dominate on this route.
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