A three-hour drive from the heart of Melbourne, Port Fairy is the port-side town of your dreams. Think: water-facing houses, green pines and boats bobbing in the water.
Stay: Drift House’s quaint exterior hides surprisingly luxe inside. A cross between a boutique hotel and a B&B, each of the six suites calls upon minimalist styling, muted tones and modern architectural touches.
Eat: Wander into town and have breakfast and/or lunch at Bank St + Co, which offers hearty salads made with local produce, baked treats and—predictably—excellent coffee.
Do: Pack a bottle of wine and some cheese and head out to the Bay of Islands Coastal Park. The park offers scenic walks, stunning views and wildlife spotting.
Another quaint option, Daylesford is all still lakes, quiet streets and sloping hills. At just an hour and a half drive from the CBD, it’s an easy getaway.
Stay: Hotel luxury with small-town homeliness, Hepburn at Hepburn defines tranquil.
Eat: A Two Hat-winning restaurant, Lake House combines fresh local produce with cutting-edge techniques for a memorable meal (or three).
Do: Those looking to relax while on holiday should look to Shizuka Ryokan, which offers traditional Japanese messages and treatments set amongst rock gardens, bath houses and cherry blossoms.
Just an hour’s drive away from the city, the Mornington Peninsula feels a world away. After exploring parks, springs and reserves, opt for a luxury stay to do the rest of the unwinding.
Stay: Nestled in the middle of a vineyard (won over yet?), Jackalope Mornington Peninsula is a 45-room resort with a luxury twist. Cellars, cocktail bars and celebrated restaurants are off-set by picturesque views and intimate comforts.
Eat: Seafood, good wine and bespoke interiors—Rockpool’s Phil Wood has created a one-of-a-kind experience you can’t drive past in Laura.
Do: After the walks have been taken and wine has been tasted, take a trip down to McClelland Sculpture Park + Gallery for a guidance tour and lunch.
At a three-hour drive, Grampians National Park is a little more out of the way than most, but that just adds to the tranquillity. With no hustle or bustle, days are spent wandering through tree-covered hills, dining for hours and reading books on the porch.
Stay: An elevated country stay, DULC’s cabins aren’t your regular bunk-beds-and-knitted-quilt options. Each of the four cabins offer private spas, self-contained amenities, and rustic architecture.
Eat: Mouth-watering menus, a captivating wine list and an exciting atmosphere, the Royal Mail is a must-visit for anyone venturing into the region.
Do: Weekend trips are made for wine tasting. Best’s Wines Great Western offers private tastings of dark reds, vibrant whites and special vintages.
Set two hours out of Melbourne, Lorne has it all: clear blue waters; idyllic day trips; and relaxing country vibes.
Stay: If you can swing a reservation, Ocean House Great Ocean Roads one of the best stays Australia has to offer. Overlooking the ocean, the house—designed by Rob Mills—has soaring timber pavilions, an open-air bath and plush velvet details.
Eat: Modern Australian with a Greek twist, A La Grecque is all about seafood done right—that is, fresh, simple and delicious.
Do: Take a drive out to Erskine Falls for a midday adventure—the thundering falls are a beauty on their own, but are an excellent backdrop for a picnic.