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Thanks for subscribing! Look out for your first newsletter in your inbox soon! If you're looking for a break from the inner-city grid, there's no better cure than a day trip from Melbourne. The state of Victoria is full of friendly neighbourhood towns, whether you're in the mood for a winery toura road trip or a national park to explore. These one-day escapes are just what the doctor ordered, so get out there and explore Melbourne's beautiful backyard. Note: please check with individual venues before arrival. Many venues have not opened to the same capacity after lockdown.
Eighty per cent of the country's mineral springs are in this region, which makes it perfect for spa treatments and for growing high-quality produce, which you can enjoy at one of Daylesford's top restaurants. The region is extremely popular with weekenders from Melbourne, and once you visit you'll soon realise why many of them decide to make the tree change. If you have the cash to splash and you want the best Yarra Valley local hotties my area bear the best, there is one restaurant you must visit: Lake Houseperched on the titular body of water. The multi-course menu changes all the time, depending on what is in season and what nearby Dairy Flat Farm, owned by the Wolf-Taskers and part of the Lake House mini-empire, is growing at the time.
Everything is fresh and treated with the utmost respect, with a vegetable-forward menu that heroes local produce but is the opposite of ascetic. For a breakfast of champions, Cliffy's Em porium is very popular with locals, and for good reason. Cliffy Hauser's original s general store is now a providore, offering local produce, smallgoods, the region's justly famous mineral water, preserves and specialty groceries. Make sure you stop into Daylesford Ciderwhich makes traditional and not-so-traditional cider onsite from the onsite heritage apples.
Owners Mackie and Clare are serious about cider, and they make numerous drops in both sparkling and still varieties. Many are traditional English ciders made using traditional methods, but there are also a few that are just for fun. Paddles are the most popular way to taste all the ciders on offer at the venue, which is also dog-friendly. You could also stay here and not leave for days: there are open-air mineral pools, fine dining at the Argus Dining Room and huge, elegant rooms.
If you only do one thing For a simple slice of tranquillity, pick up some picnic goods at the gourmet food shops on the main street and head to the pristine Lake Daylesford. You can take a walk around the lake or make a meal of your picnic on a bench. Keep an eye out for birdlife.
Known for its colony of Little Penguins, Phillip Island is an island packed with coastal wildlife experiences, cultural events and a growing food and wine scene. The property is a labour of love by Jude Mayall, whom you may know as the founder of bushfood company OutbackChef and author of a cookbook of the same name.
Fresh, native ingredients make the food here sing, and you can have a wander through hectares of native bushland and carefully cultivated bush tucker plants before or after your meal. Every day at sunset, hundreds of little penguins waddle in from the sea on Summerland Beach. If you're looking for a relaxing and bucolic place to stay, Five Acres farm stay could be just the place to unwind.
Spanning the titular area, the farm has views across fields to the sea and friendly chickens, goats, sheep and two highland cattle, Rory and Ivy. The guesthouse is fully equipped with everything you need, including breakfast provisions procured from the farm's resident chickens. If you do one thing The clifftop walk offers pretty spectacular views, and the path is wide, mostly flat and easy to navigate. There are a few steps and undulating terrain, but for the most part, it's easy on the calves. The Berrys Beach end of the walk is along a paved road, but most of it traverses grassland.
Keep an eye out for wallabies and the ubiquitous Cape Barren geese. The coast gets all the glory, with its shining vistas and its glittering seascapes. But central Victoria should be your next weekend away destination, particularly the arty hub of Castlemaine. In recent years, Castlemaine and its surrounding towns have developed a reputation for being home to artists, musicians, writers and creatives.
Castlemaine punches way above its weight when it comes to cultural festivals and activities — not to mention restaurants that are well worth the drive north. In what used to be the ice-creamery of the Theatre Royal, you'll find Bistro Lolaa snug, two-tier restaurant with clusters of small tables and booths. Looking for a chill, feel-good place to enjoy a beer? Head to the Millan woollen mill given a new lease of life when it was taken over in by a biodynamic sheepfarmer and a GP and transformed into a giant hub for food and artisan manufacturing.
The biggest drawcard is the giant Vintage Bazaaropen seven days a Yarra Valley local hotties my area bear and packed full with groovy clothes and homewares. The Mill is also home to the cellar door of the Boomtown Winemakers Co-optraditional Viennese coffeehouse Das Kaffeehausand the Taprooma haven of craft beer. Those who do not stay at the Empyre Hotel stand outside and take photos. The Empyre was built in the late s and is an exemplar of gold-rush architecture with its lace balconies and stained-glass windows.
This boutique hotel offers a full breakfast and has its own luxurious bar. It's luxe, but you have to treat yourself now and again, no? Do you know how to have a gouda time? Sorry, sorry, no cheese puns here — the people at the Cheese School in Castlemaine take the dairy arts very seriously, as well they should. Not one but two experienced French cheesemakers, Ivan and Julie Larcher, have upped sticks from the French countryside to Castlemaine to open Australia's first ' university of cheese '.
The school aims to teach cheesemakers and mongers traditional French techniques to create and sell the most delectable artisan cheeses in the Australian market. Although primarily aimed at industry professionals, the school also offers classes for laypeople to better appreciate cheeses yes, there are tasting classesas well as half-day or two-day intensive courses in home cheesemaking.
With beaches, wineries, parks, gardens and spas, Mornington Peninsula boasts an embarrassment of getaway riches. Not to mention the views overlooking Port Phillip Bay are nothing short of amazing. A produce-led, fantastic restaurant, a fascinating sculpture garden and delightful wines crafted with care — Mornington Peninsula wineries don't get much better than Montalto.
There are also dolphin and seal swimswhich take you out into Port Phillip Bay, and a wonderful hedge maze in which to lose yourself at Enchanted Adventure Garden. It is not an exaggeration to say the Jackalope Hotel has changed the Mornington Peninsula. The cutting-edge, ultra-luxe hotel is what you might expect to find in New York's uber-hip Meatpacking District, not set among rolling hills and gently swaying vines.
It sits on almost 14 hectares of vineyards and gardens and inside it feels like one big, glam country house with all of the elegance but none of the kitsch. This coastal clifftop walk boasts picturesque vistas over Bass Strait. So pick your deated driver and get rolling. Giant Steps do excellent charcuterie and cheese platters that you can match with fresh drops from the vineyard. Or hop across the street to Innocent Bystander for delicious wood-fired pizzas and moderately priced moscato. Try the Single Block and Reserve ranges — the best chardonnay and pinot noir produced on the estate.
If you think the Yarra Valley resembles a pastoral wonderland from the ground, imagine how it looks from up in a hot air balloon. Finish off with a visit to the Yarra Valley Chocolaterie and Ice Creamery for chocolate balls, blocks and many scoops of ice cream. Glamping in a winery?
Why the hell not. The historic Balgownie Estate has glamping accommodation just steps Yarra Valley local hotties my area bear the cellar door. These handmade farmhouse cheeses pair all too well with the local drops. The pub serves up a great parma as well. Get close to animals in their natural habitat — the Koalas in the Wild Tour is great for spotting out eucalyptus-loving friends.
If you can bear getting up early, watching the sunrise at the Twelve Apostles is well worth the effort. If you do one thing… try surfing! The Bellarine Peninsula has stood in the shadow of its eastern cousin for too long. Switch up your winery visits with a trip to the Whiskerya whisky and gin distillery. Animal lovers will love a visit to Jirrahlingaa sanctuary for Australian native wildlife like kangaroos, echidnas, reptiles, dingoes and more. In the summertime, when the weather is fine, be sure to stop over at Adventure Park for some exhilarating water slide fun.
If you want to stay the night, you can go all out at the French chateau-looking Campbell Point House or whisk away your troubles at the seaside Lon Retreat. For a more boutique stay, try the Nest Point Lonsdale. If you do one thing… cycle the coast.
The relatively flat terrain of the Bellarine makes it ideal for a little two-wheeled tourism. You can even take your bike over on Port Phillip Ferries which travels daily between Melbourne and Portarlington on a schmick two-floor catamaran. From art galleries to winning dining destinations, this historic regional town is bursting with fun activities, especially during the colder months. The best part? VLine trains from Ballarat to Melbourne roughly run on the hour, and it takes less time than driving about an hour and 20 minutes. If you need a pick me up, head to Vegas and Rose for cakes and macaroons.
Try Hop Templea cosy food hall that serves a vast array of craft beers, ciders and wines, as well as OTT burgers, gluten-free sal and pizzas for one. One of the oldest and biggest regional art galleries, the space boasts a huge collection of Australian art as well as running exhibitions throughout the year.
A stand out is the Ballarat International Foto Biennalea month-long exhibition that features workshops, screenings, portfolio reviews, discussions and social events. This outdoor museum recreates what Ballarat was like ten years after the discovery of gold in Pan for gold nuggets, dress up in old-school garb and definitely take home some raspberry drops — they're really good. There are plenty of places a stone's throw from the CBD where you can lawfully pitch a tent — take a look at the best here.
If you've seen everything there is to see at the Royal Botanic Gardens, it might be time to stop and smell the flowers at these unsung gardens around Melbourne. Go to the content Go to the footer Close Melbourne icon-chevron-right Melbourne. Time Out Melbourne. Get us in your inbox up to our newsletter for the latest and greatest from Yarra Valley local hotties my area bear city and beyond. We already have this.
Try another? My My Profile out. My. Worldwide icon-chevron-right South Pacific icon-chevron-right Australia icon-chevron-right Melbourne icon-chevron-right The best day trips from Melbourne. EAT If you have the cash to splash and you want the best of the best, there is one restaurant you must visit: Lake Houseperched on the titular body of water. STAY If you're looking for a relaxing and bucolic place to stay, Five Acres farm stay could be just the place to unwind.
EAT In what used to be the ice-creamery of the Theatre Royal, you'll find Bistro Lolaa snug, two-tier restaurant with clusters of small tables and booths. DO Head to the Millan woollen mill given a new lease of life when it was taken over in by a biodynamic sheepfarmer and a GP and transformed into a giant hub for food and artisan manufacturing.
DRINK A produce-led, fantastic restaurant, a fascinating sculpture garden and delightful wines crafted with care — Mornington Peninsula wineries don't get much better than Montalto. EAT Giant Steps do excellent charcuterie and cheese platters that you can match with fresh drops from the vineyard. DO If you think the Yarra Valley resembles a pastoral wonderland from the ground, imagine how it looks from up in a hot air balloon.Yarra Valley local hotties my area bear
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