Hit the road for these 5 memorable Victorian weekend breaks

Relaxation, adventure, or a bit of history - there's something for everyone.

If life is beginning to feel a bit too much at the moment, escaping for a weekend away might be just the thing you need, and Victoria offers the perfect setting for your mini break. Whether you like serene coastal escapes or vibrant historical towns, there are plenty of options to deliver memorable experiences and unique discoveries.

The best way to explore these destinations is with a reliable vehicle like the GWM Tank 500, a versatile large luxury SUV (not actually a tank) that navigates effortlessly between urban streets and off-road tracks. Oh, and it also ticks the boxes of comfort and easy manoeuvrability.

Consider these five destinations in Victoria for your next weekend escapade.

The majestic Mornington Peninsula

Wooden walkways lead towards the Pulpit Rock Sea Stack on the Mornington Peninsula. Adobe Stock Images

Just an hour’s drive from Melbourne, the Mornington Peninsula offers activities for every type of holidaymaker. In summer, its beaches are perfect for swimming, while in the cooler months, local eateries offer cosy fireside dining.

The area is a haven for those looking for relaxation and adventure. Unwind in the natural hot springs, enjoy a round of golf on picturesque courses, or explore the various walking trails. Wine lovers will want to make a beeline for the vineyards, and if you’re into art, don’t miss the stunning sculptures in the parks and the views from the Arthurs Seat Eagle gondola.

Breathtaking Ballarat

Stroll the streets in Ballarat. Adobe Stock Images

Step back in time in Ballarat, a city that thrived during Australia’s Victorian Gold Rush era. Today, it merges its rich history with a dynamic arts scene. To start, immerse yourself in the 1850s at Sovereign Hill, an open-air museum where costumed characters and live demonstrations bring the gold rush era to life. This experience is complemented by the city’s rich arts scene, featuring galleries and live performances that reflect a community deeply rooted in creativity.

Ballarat is also perfect for food lovers and culture enthusiasts. Wander the downtown area to try contemporary dishes and enjoy a night out at one of the local wine bars.

Picturesque Bellarine Peninsula

Terindah Estate is a boutique winery situated on the Bellarine Peninsula. Visit Victoria

Imagine yourself unwinding on a scenic peninsula, indulging in world-class wines and fresh, local produce. That’s the Bellarine Peninsula experience, and it’s waiting for you.

This stunning region offers award-winning wineries often compared to France’s famed Burgundy and Bordeaux regions. You can also enjoy gourmet meals with breathtaking bay views and explore an impressive selection of breweries and cider houses. Pack your stretchy pants – there’s always something delicious waiting to tantalise your taste buds.

Historic Castlemaine

Kids will also love playing in Castlemaine Botanical Gardens. Goldfields Guide

For art lovers and history enthusiasts, Castlemaine is an essential stop. This former gold rush town is now a haven for creativity. Take a guided tour of grand public buildings that once housed important figures, or check out the local art scene at galleries and studios scattered throughout town.

If you need a break from the olden days, the Castlemaine Botanical Gardens offer an escape with towering oak trees and flowerbeds bursting with colour.

Foodies won’t be disappointed, either. Castlemaine has a fantastic selection of restaurants highlighting farm-to-table freshness in their delicious dishes.

Penguin central, Phillip Island

Each night, hundreds (sometimes thousands) of penguins emerge from the surf and waddle across the beach at the world famous Penguin Parade. Visit Victoria

For a truly unique experience, visit Phillip Island for the nightly Penguin Parade, where you can watch penguins return to shore at sunset. The island also features the Koala Conservation Reserve, which offers a chance to see koalas up close on treetop boardwalks.

Phillip Island’s varied landscape includes rugged coastlines and serene beaches, which are perfect for leisurely walks or adrenaline-pumping water sports. If you prefer to stay dry, take a scenic helicopter tour for a bird’s-eye view of the island, including the famous Grand Prix circuit.

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