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Top spots for a cosy Winter Weekend in Victoria

Above: Sunset at Lorne Beach on a moody Winter's day

Feeling the bite of that familiar chill? We’ve just passed the shortest day of the year at Elcho Park Lara and the weather outside is what some might describe as frightful… it’s been cold, grey, wet and often windy. Winter has well and truly arrived here in Victoria in what is being called the coldest start to the season in decades!


If you’ve been finding it hard to leave the house lately we don’t blame you! And with our social media feeds full of happy snaps from family and friends soaking up the sun in Europe, it’s a time of year when it’s easy to feel a little flat.


Whilst many of us like to hibernate until the first signs of Spring, here in the Hill family, we think there’s something to be said for embracing the quiet beauty of our fair state at the coldest time of the year. That’s why this month we’re sharing our top spots for a cosy Winter weekend in Victoria. So rug up, pour yourself a warming hot chocolate or cuppa and enjoy this selection! 🧣❄️




Grampians National Park

  • Address: Halls Gap VIC 3381

  • Distance from Melbourne CBD: 252km (3 hour drive)

  • Distance from Geelong CBD: 229km (2 hour, 40 min drive)

  • Why we like it: Rising like an exclamation mark from the flat and dry plains of Western Victoria, Grampians National Park (or ‘Gariwerd’ in the language of the Jardwadjali people) is one of Victoria’s most popular spots for nature lovers. Whilst temperatures can drop well below 0C overnight in Winter, we think it’s a wonderful time to explore the beauty of these ancient landscapes minus the crowds. From hiking, rock climbing to exploring Aboriginal rock art, the Grampians is perfect for a night or two away from the big city. 😊


Yarra Ranges

  • Address: Healesville VIC 3777

  • Distance from Melbourne CBD: 64km (1 hour drive)

  • Distance from Geelong CBD: 144km (1 hour, 53 min drive)

  • Why we like it: A perennial favourite for day trippers from Melbourne, the Yarra Ranges, centred around the picturesque towns of Healesville, Marysville and Warburton is an ideal spot for an easy Winter weekend getaway. We suggest booking yourself into a cosy B&B in one of the above towns, cycling the Warburton Rail Trail (weather permitting) and taking in the majestic Steavenson Falls. For snow, both Lake Mountain Alpine Resort and Mount Donna Buang are within an hour’s drive of all the mentioned towns. Don’t forget to bring plenty of layers with you!





  • Address: Ballarat VIC 3350

  • Distance from Melbourne CBD: 115km (1 hour, 25 min drive)

  • Distance from Geelong CBD: 87km (1 hour, 9 min drive)

  • Why we like it: Why Ballarat? You may be asking… it’s one of the coldest big towns in Victoria and a place where many locals seek a short break from the seasonal chill. It also has some truly stunning Gold Rush-era architecture and plenty of cosy cafes and accommodation options, making it a fine spot for a Winter weekend getaway. We recommend planning your trip around the delightful Ballarat Winter Festival (June 29 – July 21 this year) as a perfect opportunity to inject a little colour and excitement into your off-season! 😊


Hepburn Springs

  • Address: Hepburn Springs VIC 3460

  • Distance from Melbourne CBD: 115km (1 hour, 27 min drive)

  • Distance from Geelong CBD: 104km (1 hour, 20 min drive)

  • Why we like it: One of the loveliest corners of the state in our humble opinion and a great option for an easy Winter weekend getaway in Victoria is Hepburn Springs – the heart of “Spa Country”. Featuring Australia’s largest concentration of mineral hot springs, this quaint town is the place for well-earned rest and rejuvenation. When it’s chilly outside, we suggest a pampering overnight stay at the famous Hepburn Bathhouse & Spa, followed by a wander through the many boutique shops and cafes of nearby Daylesford.





  • Address: Lorne VIC 3232

  • Distance from Melbourne CBD: 141km (2 hour drive)

  • Distance from Geelong CBD: 65km (1 hour drive)

  • Why we like it: A leisurely 2-hour drive from Melbourne (1 hour from Geelong), Lorne is a great spot for a lazy Winter weekend along the coast and one of our family’s favourite destinations not too far from home. Book yourself into a cosy hotel with a roaring fireplace to spend a quiet evening, whilst come dawn, there’s the nearby Erskine Falls, Teddy’s Lookout and the famous Lorne Pier for a nature fix. P.S. If you have a little more time, we suggest a full drive down the Great Ocean Road to take in the majesty of Winter Whale Watching season that takes place between Warrnambool and Portland every May-September. 🌊



  • Address: Noosa Heads QLD 4567

  • Distance from Melbourne CBD: 1,927km (21-hour drive) (2-hour, 15 min flight)

  • Why we like it: Yes, we know it’s definitely not part of Victoria. But we couldn’t help ourselves! That’s why we’ve included Queensland’s Noosa as the lucky last destination in our list of favourite Winter getaways. Blessed with a mild subtropical climate featuring year-round sunshine and an average July daytime temperature of 21C (vs 14C in Melbourne), Noosa is the place to be if you really want to escape the cold… from browsing the boujie boutiques of Hastings Street to swimming the mild waters off Noosa Heads Main Beach, we love this little slice of paradise. Just be wary, you’ll likely bump into half of Melbourne here during the colder months! 😆


Feel like a relaxing day (or two) embracing the Winter chill? Contact our friendly team at Pets Country Club Lara on (03) 5282 1286 to book your VIP (Very Important Pet) into our Doggy Day Care service or super comfy Pet Suites.

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