Beautiful countryside, thrilling coastlines and sandy beaches, wonderful food and produce and some of outstanding wineries – Victoria has a lot to recommend it for a weekend away.

Melbourne – Known as Australia’s city of culture and with its many art galleries and exhibitions, especially in the winter season, Melbourne is a great place to spend a couple of days soaking up some of the finer things in life. However, it’s not all paintings and sculpture, with many of the country’s major sporting events being hosted in the Victorian capital. If you’re looking for an excuse to sample some of the city’s many delights, why not book a short break to coincidence with the Spring Racing Carnival (the high light of which is ‘the race that stops the nation’, The Melbourne Cup), or come and barrack for your team at an AFL game at the MCG? If sport is not your thing, then maybe an afternoon exploring one of the fabulous shopping areas dotted across the city is more to your taste? Surely there can’t be many better ideas for a girl’s weekend away than a shopping trip to Melbourne and dinner at one of the city’s excellent restaurants before heading out to enjoy the bars and clubs of the famous lanes?

The Yarra Valley and Mornington Peninsula – Melbourne is fortunate to have with 2 first-rate wine producing areas on her doorstep. The Yarra Valley wineries are famous for their Chardonnays, Pinots and bubbles, whilst the Mornington Peninsula grows mostly Pinot Noir and Chardonnay. Both of these regions are well worth a visit, with plenty of cottages, hotels and bed and breakfast establishments offering a wide range of accommodation. The Yarra Valley lies to the East of Melbourne and covers some of the most picturesque scenery that you will find in the country, along with the enchanting rural communities of Yarra Glen, Warburton, Healsville and Marysville. The Mornington Peninsula is bordered by sea and this gives it the added bonus of some gorgeous beaches and popular seaside destinations such as Sorrento and Portsea as well as the wineries of Red Hill and its neighbours.

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Daylesford – North of Melbourne lies the spa country of Daylesford and Hepburn Springs. Given that the area has the greatest number of mineral springs in Australia, it’ll be no surprise to learn that it specializes in day spa, spa treatments and various pampering therapies. What more could you want for a relaxing weekend getaway with someone special?

The Great Ocean Road – To the east of bustling Geelong is the Great Ocean Road – one of the most dramatic pieces of coastline in the country and a fabulous place to enjoy a driving holiday. Few getaways could be more fun than hiring a convertible and cruising along the Great Ocean Road, stopping at any of the seaside towns that take your fancy along the way. Spots such as lovely Lorne, the striking Twelve Apostles and pretty Port Fairy delight visitors year after year with their easy-going charm and offer plenty of varied accommodation, from holiday rentals to heritage hotels for weary travellers. Why not book a short break and hop from town to town, stopping as and when the fancy takes you? Very relaxing!

Mildurra – If you feel like heading to the north of Victoria, then you really should consider a weekend away in Mildurra. Hugging the glorious Murray River, the land around Mildurra is rich and bursting with life, which made it a natural place for many Italian and Greek settlers to put down roots and work the soil. These days, Mildurra is a major wine producer as well as growing some of the most wonderful Mediterranean fruit and vegetables in the country. The region’s local hero is Stefano de Piero and his much praised restaurant, Stefano’s, champions all that is good about the food and wine of the area.

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