Ready for your much-needed break? Then grab that long weekend with both hands so it doesn’t slip past. To help we’ve put together some of the best holiday destinations in Victoria for families and couples alike, giving you a headstart no matter what you’re looking for. Find out where to go in Victoria for award-winning food, living heritage and incredible wilderness – all less than two hours from Melbourne.
Beaches, bars and outdoor adventure. Geelong’s waterfront playground shines with everything from surf breaks and dolphin encounters to art, food trails and hinterland vineyards.
Wiggle your toes in one of Geelong’s many stretches of sand. Eastern Beach is a central family-favourite near cafes and an art-deco-style sea-bathing centre. Ocean Grove is regarded as one of Australia’s best beaches for first-time surfers. Take a dolphin swim tour at Queenscliff and meet some of the region’s most famous residents.
Kids will love the immersive spaces of Museum of Play and Art – one of Australia’s most acclaimed children’s museums. Explore Geelong’s vibrant galleries and art trails further with the app. You can also take a different route on the nearby Bellarine Taste Trail, where you’ll find over 50 providores, breweries and acclaimed cool-climate wineries.
Where to stay in Geelong
Overlooking Corio Bay’s beautiful waters, Quality Hotel Bayside Geelong is only a 15-minute walk to the centre of town and local attractions such as Eastern Beach Reserve.
Strike some weekend gold in Ballarat. Famed for its 19th-century gold rush heritage, today you’ll also discover acclaimed distillers, dining experiences and galleries.
Voted Australia’s ‘Best Major Tourist Attraction’ four times, the iconic Sovereign Hill brings the gold rush to life. Pan for gold, meet troopers and red coats and take a ride in a coach – there’s plenty for all ages to enjoy (especially the confectionary-making demonstrations).
Ballarat’s laneways are home to a hotspot of cultural flavours. Drop into Moon and Mountain for Asian-inspired hawker-style dining, or tapas and vino at the Meigas Cafe. Satisfy a different appetite at The Art Gallery of Ballarat, home to over 11,000 works from Indigenous artists to Australian impressionists and contemporary works.
Where to stay in Ballarat
Ballarat is full of great accommodation options close to the heart of town and suited to every budget and taste. For family trips, kids under 12 stay free* at Choice Hotels. Explore some of your best hotel options.
A globally-recognised food scene, magnificent heritage and one of Australia’s best art galleries. Bendigo is drawing attention for all the right reasons.
Discover why Bendigo was designated Australia’s first UNESCO Creative City for Gastronomy in 2019 by enjoying an award-winning meal at the acclaimed Masons of Bendigo or chargrill favourites The Woodhouse. Fancy a show at the historic Capital Theatre? Grab a cocktail at the ornate Dispensary Bendigo beforehand.
Embrace the surrounding heritage on the walking and cycling trails that wind through gardens, parks and goldrush trails. For other cultural excursions, the Bendigo Art Gallery, one of Australia’s largest regional galleries, attracts major international exhibitions. The Golden Dragon Museum also explores and preserves Bendigo’s rich Chinese heritage.
Where to stay in Bendigo
Close to town and with Jonah’s Restaurant and bar on site, Quality Inn Colonial is an ideal base for exploring the heritage of Bendigo. Located in a quiet and picturesque spot opposite Lake Weeroona, Quality Hotel Lakeside is another great option.
Taste a slice of paradise on the Great Ocean Road. Apollo Bay is packed with must-dos from the lush climbing rainforests of the nearby Otways to the wide sandy beaches and famous scallop pies.
Encompassed by stunning coastal landscapes, Marriners Lookout is a great way to acquaint yourself with one of the best holiday destinations in Victoria. A kayak tour will also introduce you to a seal colony that frolic off the beach. Cape Otway is home to Australia’s oldest lighthouse, as well as walks through towering rainforests cascading with waterfalls.
Take a day trip to the nearby Twelve Apostles before settling in for a meal at the family-friendly Great Ocean Road Brewhouse or Apollo Bay Hotel. This seaside town is also known for its fresh seafood – don’t miss the scallop pie at the Apollo Bay Bakery. For a fantastic coffee and breakfast, we recommend Icaro Cafe.
Where to stay in Apollo Bay
Close to pubs, restaurants and shops, Comfort Inn The International is in a quiet but conveniently situated location.
Get a dose of country charm matched with waterfalls, wineries and historic villages. Wangaratta is a gem that keeps visitors coming back.
Get back to the great outdoors at Warby Ovens National Park, only 15 minutes from town, where you can enjoy great walking, cycling and kayaking. Enjoy a walk to Kwat Kwat Lookout for exceptional views. The Murray to Mountains Rail Trail is another great way to explore the surrounding region.
This area is also famed for its cool climate viticulture. Take some time to explore the cool climate King Valley wine region, where Italian heritage and rich soils yield tantalising varietals. For some classic Australian folklore, visit the Ned Kelly Museum and Homestead – a striking replica of the Kelly home that will take you back in time.
Where to stay in Wangaratta
Quality Hotel Wangaratta Gateway offers modern and comfortable accommodation in the heart of Wangaratta with convenient access to local attractions and one of the holiday destinations Victoria won’t let you forget.