Melbourne is perfectly positioned for a beaut weekend away, and we've found you ten destinations a convenient drive or flight away
These Hills are alive with some of the best food, wine and exploring in the country (and close enough to check out Hahndorf, the famous German-style town). Just 20 minutes drive from downtown Adelaide, country manor Mount Lofty House is our pick for a choice stay.
Fans of the powdery stuff take note: there are few alpine resorts in this country is fine as Quay West Resort and Spa Falls Creek – huge apartment-style rooms, rental and storage facilities downstairs, views of the Kiewa Valley and great food at Alta.
We love the cool-climate wines in the Yarra – there’s good drinking to be done at Coldstream Hills and Yering Station. Hit the Yarra Valley Chocolaterie and Ice Creamery and stay at Susan’s in the Valley, a B&B that’s a nice low-key alternative to the resorts.
You’re here to see the penguin parade, and more power to you – we love a waddler as much as anyone. But be sure to take a trip to Rhyll to Foreshore Bar and Restaurant, with 180-degree ocean views, and stay at Clifftop, a family home above Smiths Beach.
This gem of a town – a two-hour train trip from Melbourne – boasts excellent contemporary art at the Bendigo Art Gallery and a bunch of hyper-local eats at Bendigo Wholefoods. The City Warehouse Apartment is a self-contained pad in the heart of it all.
MONA. Sure, but what else? You’d be mad to miss Henry’s Restaurant, with its great regional produce, or a Hunter Island Iced Tea at the IXL Long Bar. Mad also not to stay at the Henry Jones Art Hotel, featuring more than 300 original and contemporary art works.
Like whale watching, pier fishing, bushwalking and surfing? Our hotel when in these parts is the Mantra – the only hotel on the beach. There are some great sporting events on Lorne: the Pier to Pub swim, Mountain to Surf run and Great Ocean Road Marathon.
The nation's capital is marking its centenary with 12 months of vibrant arts and cultural events: late-night gallery openings, festivals, historic talks, special markets and exciting community projects.
This former goldmining town just 115km northwest of Melbourne is famous for its mineral springs. Book into the Peppers Mineral Springs Retreat for a cosy escape – it’s fabulously well appointed and there are two hot mineral water pools overlooking gardens.
You’re going to want to hit the wineries, sure, but also make certain you get your hands the great produce, like a punnet of fruit from Sunny Ridge Strawberry Farm. For a boutique stay, head to Lindenderry in Red Hill, which has its own day spa.