At first glance, weekend getaways are primarily the province of summer. Surf, sun and sand draw crowds out to Victoria’s holiday hubs and people are in relaxation mode.
But winter pastimes needn’t be limited to shivering in front of the heater while lamenting the loss of your thongs and singlets.
Victoria’s regional escapes are just as alluring in the colder months, many hosting events that showcase the best things about the chill.
We scoured the five corners of Victoria (yes, there are five corners, count them) for the top winter weekend escapes.
1. Yarra Valley
@brumfieldwinery is hidden along the backroads of #seville to #wandineast but it is well worth discovering! For the #shortestlunch2016 David & Anda will delight visitors with their Brumfield beef #burgers, #cornfritters & home-made Turkish bread with salad & #dessert is a delectable flourless chocolate #cabernetsauvignon cake. Anda's preserves will also feature highly on the menu such as her tomato & red capsicum chutney. You may regret not making your way to #Brumfield. 🍷 🍷 🍔 🍔 🌽 🌽 🍷 🍷 #winery #bread #food #wine #winetouring #delicious #yum #sourdough #turkishbread #boutiquewine #wintersolstice #yarravalley #yarravalleysmallerwineries #yarravalleywine #wandervictoria #visitvictoria
With wonderful wine, food and views, the Yarra Valley never disappoints even on the coldest of days, and the many wineries offer up their best reds and winter-warmer dishes.
To celebrate the winter solstice – the shortest day of the year, 15 of the region’s smaller wineries will be hosting The Shortest Lunch, where punters can come along for entree-sized meals and fabulous wines they may otherwise have skipped in favour of the bigger wineries.
Some of the wineries getting involved include Billanook Estate, Paynes Rise, Steels Creek Estate and Yering Farm.
- The Shortest Lunch, June 18-19, 10am-5pm, at 15 wineries across the Yarra Valley.
- Cost: $15 Inquiries: 9730 2800 or email@example.com
Daylesford has a reputation as spa country, and what better time of year to unwind, rejuvenate and soak your cold, tired limbs?
There are some fantastic day spas that offer everything from massage to salt baths, and some even have accommodation on site, meaning all you have to do to get to your next treatment is waddle from your room.
Hepburn Bathhouse and Spa offers five star accommodation and a range of luxurious treatments to have you completely relaxed on your return to Melbourne.
- Hepburn Bathhouse & Spa, Hepburn Springs Reserve, Hepburn Springs.
- Cost: Bathhouse entry $27 per adult, spa treatments from $70. 5321 6000
3. Mt Buller
Get out those poles (or hire them from a number of ski shops) and pack your thermals – the ski season is about to hit.
Mt Buller is one of Victoria’s most popular ski destinations, but if gliding (or, depending on your coordination, falling) down a mountain is not your idea of a good time, there’s still plenty to do.
Indulge yourself in at the bars, restaurants and day spas, and the cinema – where you can catch the Banff Mountain Film Festival World Tour – showcasing adventure films from around the globe.
- Banff Mountain Film Festival World Tour, June 25 7pm-10pm. Mt Buller Cinema.
- Cost: $30. Make a booking here
4. The Great Ocean Road
A trip to the beach doesn’t require warm weather. Rug up and watch the amazing coastline as it transforms into a dark and stormy canvas, all from the comfort of the many beachside accommodation options along The Great Ocean Road.
Rather than a hotel, why not rent a house with a couple of couples and cosy up by the fire with a nice bottle of red and a board game or two?
Ocean House Lorne is a luxury house that sleeps 10 people and boasts stunning ocean views, high-end furniture and fixtures and champagne on arrival – what could be better?
- Ocean House Lorne, 2A Trade Winds Avenue, Lorne.
- Inquiries: 0400 526 191 or firstname.lastname@example.org
5. Mornington Peninsula
With coastal views, hot springs and wineries galore, the Mornington Peninsula couldn’t get any better. Until now. I have one word for you – truffles.
The Truffle Festival is back and Max’s Restaurant at Red Hill Estate is again hosting a scrumptious truffle weekend.
Enjoy two courses from Max’s menu and a glass of Red Hill Estate wine, entry to the Truffle Marketplace where you can graze the best Red Hill regional produce.
For those who really want to indulge there are degustation lunches and dinners and a special Truffle Brunch on the Sunday.
- Truffle Melbourne Pop Up, weekend July 15-17, Max’s at Red Hill Estate, 53 Shoreham Road, Red Hill South.
- Cost: From $58 for day tickets. Inquiries and tickets here