There’s nothing like grabbing a bunch of girlfriends and hitting the open road for a weekend of laughs and leisure. Or as many are doing in increasing numbers, taking a multi-generational trip with grandma and the extended female family to boot.
For some, invigoration comes in the form of a gruelling mountain hike, while others find relaxation in a bottle of fine wine and a long lunch. Either way, here are some of the best girly getaways in regional Victoria.
Relax and unwind
Indulge in the ultimate relaxation and rejuvenation with a natural mineral spa and massage at Hepburn Bathhouse & Spa or The Lake House, with the latter’s new infinity pool overlooking a misty lake.
For those looking for a bubbling hot time, head to the famous Peninsula Hot Springs, which welcomes over half a million visitors every year. As part of their new expansion, the award-winning hot spring destination has introduced new wellness programs combining the popular geothermal Bath House bathing with various movement and mindfulness practices. Additional programs include hosted workshops, mind and body classes, as well as exciting Friday movie nights at the amphitheatre while soaking in the hot springs.
Food and drink
The Yarra Valley, one of Victoria’s premier wine and gourmet regions, is a stunning spot to indulge in life’s great pleasures of food, wine, nature and inspiring arts. For food, groups can linger over a meal with fresh local produce at Oakridge Winery or the Tarrawarra Estate. Grazing options include local cheese at the Yarra Valley Dairy or a Sunday High Tea experience at Chateau Yering set among beautiful historic gardens.
Wineries, breweries and distilleries
For wine buffs, the Mornington Peninsula region offers a tailored food and wine adventure, with the finest and most interesting makers and producers. There are new breweries and distilleries in the region too. The Dromana industrial estate is becoming a hub for craft drinks, home to Jetty Road Brewery, Two Bays Brewing, Bass and Flinders Distillery and most recently, Jimmy Rum Distillery.
Where to stay
Catch some z’s in the upscale Jackalope Hotel, elegant 180-year old Chateau Yering or sleep in the heart of Healesville at the Healesville Hotel. For an adventurous glamping experience, marvel at the panoramic vineyards at Balgownie Estate or Big Blue Backyard, a lovely option for groups, with individual cottages and a common spa and eating facilities which are only a short walk to a quiet beach.
Great Ocean Walk
A popular getaway for the outdoor-loving adventure types, the Great Ocean Road is one of the world’s most scenic coastal drives. If you’re up for a 7-day adventure spanning 104 kilometres on foot, go on the Great Ocean Walk to the magnificent 12 Apostles, which weaves through beautiful parks, deserted beaches and rugged coastline.
From canoeing to zip line
Book a group surfing lesson at the seaside town of Lorne, go canoeing to see platypus on Elizabeth Lake at sunrise, kayak to seals, zip line through the Otways at Otways Zipline Tours and ride horse-back along the region’s spectacular coast line.
Pedals, Pilates and platters
Gather for a weekend away in the glorious town of Bright. ‘Pedals, Pilates & Lattes’ is a boutique two-night getaway at Leader Reef accommodation, nestled on the side of a hill. After enjoying breakfast, go for a Pilates or yoga session followed by a gentle 20km return bike ride along the Murray to Mountains Rail Trail to Feathertop Wines where a platter of cheese, meats and other goodies await, along with stunning views.
Largest outdoor gallery
Not far away, the Silo Art Trail has to be seen to be believed, with stunning, massive murals providing passers-by with art on a scale never before seen. Marvel at the towering silos while enjoying a hot cup of tea in a picnic-styled breakfast with Grampians Wine Tours, which brings visitors through the largest outdoor gallery in Australia.
Instagram game strong
For some of the most amazing Instagram pictures, California Redwoods and the Barmah National Parks offer an abundance of extraordinary landscapes and wildlife-viewing opportunities. Intrepid explorers will also find out-of-this-world photo opportunities at the Murray Sunset National Park and the famous Pink Lakes, which are made of solid salt and change colours throughout the day from a deep pink to a bright white.