Need to escape your routine and spend some quality time with the besties? Grab your mates and explore regional Victoria. Discover weekend getaways fit for culinary queens, avid explorers and ardent relaxers. Find your feet on a mountain or in a day spa. Learn a new skills or raise a glass to bottomless brunch. Whatever your idea of a great getaway, we have just the place for it.
1. Stop. Pamper time
Combine champagne with your spa bubbles. Top spots for serious pampering and treatments include the Hepburn Bathhouse and Spa in Hepburn, Metung Hot Springs in Gippsland and Alba Thermal Springs and Spa and Peninsula Hot Springs on the Mornington Peninsula. Beachside, add some 'aah' to your R&R at Deep Blue Hot Springs in Warrnambool and Queenscliff Day Spa on the Bellarine Peninsula.
Go with the flow at Hut Yoga & Wellness in Red Hill, settle into Shavasana at Bright Yoga Space or recharge on the banks of the Murray River with Swan Yoga Bliss.
Alba Thermal Springs on the Mornington Peninsula.
2. Arts and crafts
Wield a paintbrush in one hand and a wineglass in the other, as you paint, sip and socialise through an art class. No experience needed, just bring your enthusiasm. Let an artist guide you through the process of creating your own masterpiece at Ballarat Paint & Picasso, or paint at the source, with classes held at St Anne's Winery and Envy Distillery, both near Bendigo.
Throw your own set of bowls on the wheel at Bendigo Pottery, or learn how to make anything from silver jewellery to your own leadlight.
3. Cook up a feast
Check out cooking classes attached to restaurants, wineries and accommodation in villages across Victoria.
Do nonna proud at Italian classes at A Tavola at Pizzini Wines and Green Olive at Red Hill. Learn how to fuse Japanese with Mexican at Little Beechworth Kitchen. Check out classes at Georgie Bass Cafe & Cookery, and plan to go the whole hog with a farm-to-table demonstration in Drysdale.
4. A foodie affair
Some of the best memories are made around meals. Snap selfies among the lavender fields of Sault, before settling in for a delightful and delicious meal. Take in waterside views of the Bellarine at Basils Farm or get around the charcoal grill at Moonah near Geelong.
Drop into Doot Doot Doot in Merricks North or Laura at Pt. Leo Estate. Linger over a long meal at KIN at All Saints Estate or head north to Beechworth to dine fine at Michael Ryan's Provenance.
For something truly special, dine in at two hatted Tedesca Osteria on the Mornington Peninsula or three-hatted Brae in Birregurra, near the Great Ocean Road.
Sam Miranda in the King Valley, High Country.
5. Art worth travelling for
Victoria's regional villages have many public and private galleries, open studios and exhibitions. Head to events at big-ticket galleries in Bendigo and Ballarat, browse TarraWarra, and explore exhibits big and small in Daylesford.
Outdoors, look for extraordinary street art in Benalla and follow the Silo Art Trail through the Grampians and High Country.
6. Raise a glass to friendship
Feast on oysters and cocktails by the sea at Portarlington Grand Hotel or order gin-based drinks and pizza at The Whiskery. Make a stop along Geelong's Little Malop Street at The 18th Amendment Bar or Geelong Cellar Door. In Ballarat, order vino at Mitchell Harris Wine Bar or pop over to Hop Temple for a cold one.
Taking a midweek trip? Bendigo's Wine Bank on View does free wine tasting on Wednesday nights. (G)indulge at Animus Distillery in Kyneton, where you can gather the group for a gin-making masterclass. Sample the range of traditional cordials, classic sodas and spirits at Billson's Brewery in Beechworth.
Rambling Wine Tours, touring through Central Victoria.
Ale enthusiasts? Hop along to the Mornington Peninsula for seasonal brews at Red Hill Brewery and go gluten-free at TWØBAYS Brewing Co. Stop in for a pint at Paper Scissors Rock Brew Co. in Halls Gap or drop into the historic cellar door of Loch Brewery and Distillery.
Draw straws for a designated driver, then jump on the High Country Brewery Trail, to get a taste of the region's locally-brewed craft beers.
7. Top drops
Make time for wine in Victoria's regions. Take a winery tour along the Mornington Peninsula and laze over a long lunch, or get up before the birds and float above the Yarra Valley in a hot air balloon, coming back down for a champagne breakfast.
Visit historic Rutherglen in the north to try its signature drops or cruise along the King Valley's Prosecco Road.
Plenty of regional wineries are equipped with boutique accommodation, perfect for weekend sleep-eat-drink trifectas.
8. Nature moments
Lace up your hiking boots and dive deep into nature.
Victoria has some stellar hikes just a short drive from Melbourne. Grab the girls and get moving along Two Bays Walking Trail
on the Mornington Peninsula, through Werribee Gorge
or to the summit of Hanging Rock
. You can also take a llama for a walk
around Victoria's most famous rock, which will certainly make for a memorable weekend getaway.
Hit the trails of the Grampians (Gariwerd) National Park, or head to the High Country in the warmer months for breathtaking views the alpine wilderness.
Hiking to Sailors Falls near Daylesford.
9. Adrenaline activities
Sign up for surf camp. It's a swell way to hang with the gang. Surf spots on the Great Ocean Road (start in Torquay) and Phillip Island have plenty of surf schools and places to hire boards. Some outfits offer full-weekend surf-and-stay packages.
On the Mornington Peninsula, there's stand-up paddle boarding to test your core, ways to get under sail or snorkelling tours to meet new aquatic pals. On the Murray, paddle at your own pace on a canoe or kayak trip.
In the High Country, saddle up for a horse riding tour, or pedal your way around local wineries.
10. Road trips
Ready your favourite playlists (we even have some suggestions) and explore Victoria's favourite trips. Take in the Great Ocean Road and the Grampians on the Great Southern Touring Route, or breathe mountain air on the High Country's Great Alpine Road. From day trips to multi-day adventures, Victoria has a region for your next girls' getaway.