Family getaways in Victoria for memories that’ll last a lifetime
Make your way to these top holiday destinations over the school break.
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With the school holidays knocking on our doors, there's never been a better time have a family getaway in Victoria.
Will it be a trip inland to hike a national park, an animal encounter on Phillip Island, or an adventurous time at the snow?
Wherever you wind up, remember to check and follow the state's current travel restrictions. This includes maintaining good hygiene and social distancing practices and avoiding any COVID-19 hotspots.
Our favourite family holiday destinations in Victoria
1. Alpine National Park
A favourite with active families, Alpine National Park will get them away from their tech and reconnecting with nature. During winter, visit Mount Hotham, Mount Buller or Falls Creek to hit up the slopes. In summer, challenge yourselves to mountain biking tracks, hiking trails or white water rafting opportunities.
- Best for: Outdoor adventures
- Where to stay: Buller Holiday Apartments, Mopoke or Shamrock Apartments.
- What to do: Snowshoe walk, Mount Buller snow trip or horse riding at Angeler's Rest.
2. Great Otway National Park
One of the many highlights along the famous Great Ocean Road, Great Otway National Park is a destination in itself. It's a forest by the sea, with waterfalls to discover and beaches to dip your toes into. After tiring yourself out on the track, pay the famous Cape Otway Light Station a visit. It's the oldest working lighthouse in the state and has educational talks and activities for the little ones. You can stay at the station or on the nearby campgrounds.
- Best for: Scenic drives and outdoor adventures.
- Where to stay: Cape Otway Light Station, Bimbi Park Campground or Shearwater Cottages.
- What to do: Otway Treetop Forest Adventure Walk, private horse riding tour or zip line tour.
This southeastern region is a gem of the state. Within it are quiet beaches to play on, lakes to dip your toes into, farms where you can meet the locals and taste fresh produce and national parks with rewarding ocean views.
- Best for: Beach getaways, young families and outdoor adventures.
- Where to stay: Glamping in Trafalgar South, Bellevue on the Lakes or Prom Country Lodge.
- What to do: Quad biking, hiking through Wilsons Promontory, horse riding or a scenic cruise through WIlsons Promontory.
4. Mornington Peninsula
This enviable stretch of land is an hour's drive south of the CBD and has something for everyone. Adults can unwind at the hot springs, older kids can kayak the waters and the nippers will love the sugar soft beaches and naturally carved caves.
- Best for: Relaxation and outdoor activities.
- Where to stay: Booklands of Mornington, Frankston Motel or Portsea Village Resort.
- What to do: Horse riding along the beach, cable car over Mornington Peninsula, kayak with dolphins or get lost inside the Enchanted Adventure Garden and Maze.
5. The Murray
Australia's longest river runs right through the heart of Victoria. As one of the world's most navigable rivers, cruising down it – or at least part of it – is a breeze and allows you the chance to reconnect with nature and the native wildlife. Popular ports that mark the way are Albury, Wodonga, Echuca, Swan Hill and Mildura,
- Best for: Animal lovers, culture and history.
- Where to stay: Albury Paddlesteamer, Mercure Port of Echuca or Moama on Murray.
- What to do: Paddle steamer cruise along the Murray, white water rafting or ride an F1 style race car (ages 16+).
Renowned for its blissful beachside views and fantastic surfing conditions, Lorne is a short drive from Melbourne CBD and has all the makings of a short summer break. It's often used as the starting point for a drive along the Great Ocean Road, which you can tack on for an even longer break.
- Best for: Beach lovers.
- Where to stay: Grand Pacific Hotel and Apartments, Anchorage Motel & Villas or Lorne Foreshore Caravan Park.
- What to do: Zip through the forest at Live Wire Park, hit the surf at Lorne Beach or wander the small town.
7. Phillip Island
A magnet for visitors wishing to witness the island's penguins who return to its shores every evening, Phillip Island is a fascinating place for young and old with its rolling plains, coastal walks and myriad of wildlife. You can stay overnight, but for something extra special, book into a campsite to sleep under the stars just moments from the beach.
- Best for: Animal lovers.
- Where to stay: Kaloha Holiday Resort, Ramada Resort by Wyndham or Coachman Hotel and Holiday Units.
- What to do: Watch the penguin parade, go on a kayak tour, hit the waters on a glass bottom cruise or hike the island's highlights.
Australia's culture capital is a hotbed of entertainment and activity. Make your way into the big smoke for a staycation that involves cafes, museums, river walks, market foods and live entertainment and sport.
- Best for: Arts, culture and sport.
- Where to stay: Adina Apartments Flinders Street, Great Southern Hotel, Mantra on the Park or Roar & Snore Sleepover at Melbourne Zoo.
- What to do: Meet the underwater creatures at SEA LIFE Melbourne Aquarium, see the city from above at the Melbourne Star Observation Wheel or learn to kiteboard in St Kilda.
9. Daylesford & Macedon Ranges
Best known for its relaxing atmosphere, Daylesford is where romantics go for spa breaks, making it one for families with very young kids or babymooners. Sweet townships speckle the region where you can wind back the time and walk along cobblestoned streets filled with local art galleries and artisan boutiques.
- Best for: Relaxation, young families and babymoons.
- Where to stay: Bilsons Landing, Central Springs Inn or Daylesford Holiday Park.
- What to do: Explore at your own pace or taste the local produce.
Top weekend family getaways in Victoria
These getaways are just a short drive out of Melbourne CBD, which means they work a treat for families who'd prefer to spend only Saturday and Sunday away from home. The drives are under two hours and the activities are fairly relaxing.
- St Kilda: This famous beach sits right outside the city and is always buzzing over the weekend. Check out the markets, visit Luna Park or hit the water.
- Mornington Peninsula: An hour south of Melbourne CBD, busy families with older kids can unwind at Mornington Peninsula's hot springs. There's a handful of outdoor activities to check out too, if you get itchy feet, including kayaking.
- Phillip Island: Although it's possible to do as a long day trip, it's worth spending the night on Phillip Island to soak up the atmosphere. An overnight trip means you won't have to drive back after nightfall, either.
- The Great Ocean Road: A drive you can do time and time again, this coastal drive has beaches, small towns and hiking trails aplenty. Pick a handful of them to fill your weekend itinerary.
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