Looking for some unique inspiration for your next short break from Melbourne? We’ve got just what you need!
When it comes to exceptional weekend getaways, Victoria leaves you spoilt for choice, even if you’re a local. In all honesty, you could enjoy a wicked Great Ocean Road trip a million times over and still be spellbound by the breath-taking scenes. Still… embarking on a road trip somewhere unique (and that you may have never heard of) always adds a little sparkle of excitement, right?
It’s time to pack those bags and hit the road, discerning adventure-seeker!
Here are a few of our unique ideas for weekend getaways in Victoria.
Wilderness & Wildlife @ the Wilsons Promontory National Park
Wilsons Prom is just the kind of place you want to show off to international visitors. Most Melbournians will simply drive down to this wild and pristine spot in just a single day but spending an entire weekend here is an unmissable experience. More so because you can easily stop-over on Phillip Island on the way south!
Take your time meandering southeast and stop along the way in Tooradin (a lovely fishing hamlet) and Korumburra, a once-thriving coal town that carries Victoria’s mining heritage on its quaint shoulders. A last refuelling and refilling stop in Foster and you’ll be ready to take Wilsons Prom by storm.
Wilsons Prom offers an array of fantastic walking trails, each one serving up awe-inspiring views. Here, you’ll discover unspoilt nature, blinding-white sandy beaches and native wildlife – birds, wombats and kangaroos thrive in the park and seeing them in the wild is always such a very special experience. Nearby, you’ll find camping options, cabins and a few stunning AirBnB options too.
Rainforest Experience @ the Tarra-Bulga National Park
Take the South Gippsland Highway east out of Melbourne and, in just over two hours, you could be exploring the luscious gullies of Tarra-Bulga. This temperate rainforest is one of Victoria’s unique ecosystems and boasts clever walking trails, including a bridge suspended above the forest canopy that offers jaw-dropping views.
The park boasts an impressive Aboriginal heritage and is revered for its enormous Mountain Ash trees, ancient Myrtle Beech trees and indigenous eucalypts. Covering 2000+ hectares of wilderness, Tarra-Bulga boasts deeply carved river valleys, waterfalls and plenty of picnic and BBQ spots. The entire area around the Tarra Valley is delightful, so an overnight stay nearby (perhaps in the quaint guesthouse near the visitor centre) is very worthwhile. If you really can’t decide between Tarra-Bulga and Wilsons Prom, know that you can easily explore both on a long weekend getaway from Melbourne.
Sea, Sun, Surf, Dinosaur and Wine-tasting @ Inverloch
Image Credit: south-gippsland.com
For an active and easy seaside weekend getaway in Victoria, Inverloch is where you’ll want to head. The charming laid-back town is about 150km southeast of Melbourne, nestled in a sublimely calm bay. This makes it a colossal hit with families and anyone who wants to enjoy an array of water sports like kite and windsurfing.
What we love most about Inverloch, however, is that it actually offers much more than ‘only’ sandy beaches and sapphire seas. The town is next to the striking Bunurong Marine Park –exploring the coast on foot and discovering the amazing rock pools and caves is loads of fun. There’s also a special dinosaur museum that kids will love and even a boutique winery (Dirty Three Wines) that parents will love even more!
Riverboat Trip (and so much more) @ Echuca
Image Credit: murrayriverpaddlesteamers.com.au
Right by the border with NSW and sprawled across the southern banks of the wonderful Murray River, Echuca offers riverboat experiences that make for sensational weekend getaways in Victoria. Renowned as the paddle steamer capital of Australia, Echuca is about a 3hr drive due north from Melbourne and attracts visitors from every corner of the country. Choose to visit outside of school and public holidays, however, and you’ll find Echuca to be blissfully calm.
Echuca was once a very prominent transport hub – paddle steamers have been plying this route of the Murray since the late 1800s. For a comprehensive experience in town, take a guided tour of the Echuca Port to discover its history, enjoy a fabulous lunch at the iconic Star Hotel, spend the afternoon meandering the second-hand shops along bustling Hare Street, before soaking up a stupendous sunset on the Murray on a dinner cruise aboard a classic paddle steamer.
You’ll also find options for overnight riverboat trips that can turn a humble weekend getaway in Victoria into a truly memorable experience. The next day, rent a canoe and paddle the Murray at your own pace, play a round of golf or visit some of the local, excellent wineries. Foodies be warned – this town is absolutely addictive!
Hike, Cycle & Swim @ Warburton
A favourite base for Yarra Valley weekends, Warburton would have to be one of the loveliest country towns in all of Victoria. Framed by some of the state’s most scenic forested landscapes, Warburton is perfect for hikers, cyclists and anyone who craves fresh mountain air and just enough solitude to restore the soul!
Set on the foothills of the Yarra Ranges and traversed by the upper reaches of the Yarra River, Warburton (or Warby, as the locals call it) is an idyllic spot to spend a delightful weekend getaway in Victoria. The town offers enough big-city delights to attract wine and food lovers, yet its laid-back charm also make for very relaxing escapades. Explore the awe-inspiring Redwood Forest on foot, head up on an exhilarating hike to the peak of Mt Donna Buang (or choose from one of the other trails in the Yarra Ranges) and, if visiting on a sweltering summer weekend, join the locals on a swim or kayaking trip down the Yarra River.
Keep in mind that Warburton is also a stunning wintertime getaway destination, the upper ranges offering skiing and tobogganing fun galore!
How to pack for a weekend getaway in Victoria
Whether you plan on moving around or settling into a cottage, campsite or riverboat for a couple of nights, you’ll want an easy breezy packing system. Because the ‘world’ is something you should be exploring, not packing!
The first thing you ought to do is download the ultimate packing list – the list that’s helped over 15,000 Aussies pack smarter! Next, once you have your ideal weekend destination picked, choose from our favourite bestsellers and check out our legendary packing cubes – the most convenient way to separate, store and pack your travel essentials.
Travelling solo? Check out the Staycation Elite Bundle, all you really need on a weekend away
Travelling with your BFF who tends to overpack? Gift them this amazing Compression Cube Set and free up all that boot space
Travelling as a family? Let the Sienna Weekender Carry-On Duffle blow you away. With its 28L capacity, flexible structure and wide opening, it’s a lifesaver on car trips or plane rides with the kids