The perfect places to sneak away as a couple without leaving the state.
Whether you’re a couple of foodies, adventure-seekers or beach bums, there’s the perfect retreat in Victoria just for you. All within a few hours’ drive or less from Melbourne, these destinations are ideal for a weekend retreat or an extended Valentine’s getaway.
1. Great Ocean Road
One of Australia’s most famed drives, Great Ocean Road can get a bit crowded, but sneaking away into a private room or villa overlooking the coast is a sure-fire win.
- Starting about an hour south of Melbourne, the winding coastal road has more beaches than you can visit in a weekend, a range of walking tracks and mouth-watering local eateries in each town along the way.
- Best for: Beach bums.
- Where to stay: Seafarers Getaway.
2. Yarra Valley
There’s just something a little bit romantic about a wine region, and one of the country’s best just happens to be in Victoria. The Yarra, surrounded by the rolling hills of the Dandenong Ranges, is home to about 300 different vineyards.
- Less than 90 minutes from Melbourne, the Yarra is a popular place to take a serene hot air balloon ride. It’s definitely something to add to your bucket list.
- Best for: Wine lovers.
- Where to stay: Balgownie Estate Vineyard Resort and Spa.
This is the destination in Victoria to unwind and indulge in spa treatments. Soak in the goodness of nearby Hepburn Springs mineral water at a range of bathhouses including ones modelled after Japanese spas.
- About 90 minutes from the city, the area is home to more than 70 mineral springs and about 30 spas.
- Best for: Spa escapes.
- Where to stay: Hotel Frangos.
Image: Peninsula Hot Springs
4. Mornington Peninsula
A landscape that combines some of the best Victoria has to offer, Mornington Peninsula has it all: beautiful coastal drives, wineries, hot springs and a range of walks.
- Just an hour south of Melbourne, it’s perfect for a short getaway or even a day trip.
- Best for: A little bit of everything.
- Where to stay: Mercure Portsea Golf Club and Resort.
5. Murray River (Echuca)
If you’ve ever wanted to step back in time, here’s the place to do it. Find the world’s largest fleet of paddle steamer boats and town tours by horse-drawn carriage - or consider doing one that visits local vineyards.
Image: Falls Creek
6. High Country (Falls Creek)
Much quieter outside the peak winter season, Victoria’s high country is a tranquil, Alpine wonderland during the summer months where you can take quiet bushwalks, paddle on Rocky Valley Lake or just revel in the scenery by day and cosy up by a warm fire during the cool evenings.
- At a 4.5-hour drive from Melbourne, you might want to do this one on a long weekend, but similar alpine escapes can be had a bit closer at Mt Buller, which is 3.5 hours from the city.
- Best for: Adventure seekers.
- Where to stay: QT Falls Creek.
Feature image: visitvictoria.com