From romantic escapades along the Great Ocean Road to intimate getaways in goldrush heritage, sojourns to rolling wine country and memorable stays in nature – Victoria is home to some of the most intimate and romantic experiences around the world. So jump aboard as we explore some of the top romantic destinations in Victoria, including romantic things to do in Ballarat, as well as along the Great Ocean Road and in Bendigo.
Ballarat’s cool-climate Pyrenees Wine Region is an ideal location for a romantic escape. Known for its exquisite pinot noir and chardonnay, award-winning cellar doors like Eastern Peake Vineyard and Mount Avoca will ensure you can sample the region’s finest drops in gorgeous surroundings. For an extra touch of romance, discover the art of gin tasting together at Kilderkin Distillery.
You won’t have trouble finding intimate places to eat in Ballarat, either. For the perfect ambience – and incredible Vietnamese and Mediterranean fusion cuisine – you can’t go past Harry Lime’s. For ambience of a different kind, Dayleford’s heated mineral springs are just over half an hour away from town. Enjoy a rejuvenating soak at Mineral Spa. The historic Hepburn Bathhouse has also been offering wellness bathing since 1895.
Ballarat’s nearby Lal Lal Falls‘ picturesque cascade is a must-visit for all Ballarat romantic getaways. Set on an extinct volcano, Mount Buninyong is another great spot for a picnic with a view only 20 minutes from Ballarat. For a magical trip through time, Ballarat’s famous Sovereign Hill is a living gold mining site that will take you back to the gold rush era.
Where to stay
There are plenty of accommodation options to help you enjoy some of the best Ballarat romantic getaways on offer, with leading attractions, bars and restaurants all within easy reach.
Great Ocean Road
This romantic slice of the spectacular is second to none. Take a relaxed journey starting in Geelong and wind along this world-famous coastline to discover secluded beaches, scenic trails, and intimate eateries. Stop by the Great Ocean Road Brewhouse and Apollo Bay Distillery for a memorable lunch – the delectable scallop pies at Apollo Bay Bakery are another highlight.
Not far from Apollo Bay you can uncover the romantic wonders of Cape Otway, with its ancient rainforests, Australia’s oldest lighthouse, and the enchanting cascade of Hopetoun Falls. Triplet Falls is another alluring attraction in Great Otway National Park, tucked into the majestic ancient forests of Mountain Ash and Myrtle Beech.
Further along the coast, you find the unrivalled Twelve Apostles – stroll hand in hand at sunset for an unforgettable vista bathed in warm golden hues. Nearby Warrnambool is home to some of the best places to eat along the Great Ocean Road. Nestled above the glittering blue ocean, the Pavilion Cafe & Bar is the perfect place to enjoy a drink and a meal. Enjoy the end of the Great Ocean Road with a soak in Deep Blue Hot Springs famed geothermal mineral waters!
Where to stay
For romantic getaways, Great Ocean Road travellers have plenty of options, with Warrnambool accommodation close to beaches and coastal attractions.
Bendigo is another of our top picks for romance, from its top cuisine to the enchanting garden events. As Australia’s inaugural UNESCO Creative City for Gastronomy, the city is home to top-tier produce, thriving markets, acclaimed vineyards and exceptional eateries. Savour award-winning paddock-to-plate experiences at Masons of Bendigo– one of the undisputed best restaurants in Bendigo – or indulge in a unique gin and whiskey journey at The Dispensary Bendigo.
Explore the region’s wine heritage at The Balgownie Estate and Sandhurst Ridge Winery, both offering scenic settings perfect for that special date. Bendigo’s cultural scene also thrives with events at Bendigo Art Gallery and immersive experiences like the Golden Dragon Museum and Central Deborah Gold Mine.
And of course, you can also bask in the beauty of Bendigo’s gardens and parks, from the Bendigo Botanic Gardens to the historic Oak Forest in Harcourt. The serene Lake Weeoona and its surrounding reserve also provide a picturesque retreat just a short walk from the heart of town.
Where to stay
Match the romantic things to do in Bendigo with accommodation to match – you’ll find great options in this amazing town.