There are plenty of reasons to stay in Melbourne for Father's Day - you might have lost your license, or the view of the Ferris Wheel from the Westgate gives you nightmares, for example. But did you realise that Father's Day marks another landmark occasion for the year... SPRING! Yes, Urban Listers, Spring will, errr, spring this Sunday.
And you know what we say to that? ROAD TRIP! The humble road trip is a gift you and papa bear can enjoy together this Father's Day; oh how you'll laugh when he tries to jam a Doors cassette into the audio jack! Here's our round-up of the best places to travel to for some Father's Day fun.
The Yarra Valley
A hint of new leather, a bouquet of blackberries, and a peppering of red licorice... Just one of the many flavour combinations that will tantalise your palates upon entering the Yarra Valley. Only 60km from the CBD, the Valley plays host to some of the best wineries in our fair state, and here you can treat yourself to the scenery, plus take selfies with Dad at the beautiful hotspots.
If you don't have a car, the Yarra Valley is hosting a Cider and Ale Trail - where you'll enjoy a gourmet lunch at the Hargreaves Hill Brewery, tasting sessions at five of the region's best breweries (including cider from Napoleon, wines from Punt Road, and beers from Coldstream), and finish with a picnic.
Yarra Valley Cider and Ale Trail | Every Monday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday
Leaves between 9:30-10am and returns to the city between 5-6:30pm
Price is $150pp - including lunch, tasting paddles, transport, guide and complimentary beers
Right next to the Yarra Valley is Healesville, the home of the Healesville Sanctuary, Aussie Rules team 'The Bloods' and some incredible scenery, as it's surrounded by big mountain ranges. It's the perfect place to take Dad for a personalised picnic or go on a big nature hike. But if you want your corned beef sambo Glad-Wrapped for you, then head on over to the Healesville Sanctuary's Father's Day BBQ. Whilst lazing around the sanctuary's rolling gardens, you will be served a steak lunch with fat chips and complimentary beer/cider, all finished with a slice of home-made apple pie and ice cream. Afterwards you can go pat a platypus in the river (we jest!), or go for a stroll through the reserve. Bliss.
Healesville Sanctuary Father's Day BBQ | 11am-3pm
No bookings required, just pop into the Harvest Cafe throughout the day
Yay! Snow angels! Hot chocolates! Goggle tans! All of these things and more shall ensue when you and Dad go to Falls Creek for a ski. Everyone knows that the place to go for a skid down the slope in Victoria is Falls Creek, and they've been having a particularly good season, so you can expect the powder to be all around you. It's probably smarter to plan ahead for this trip, as it can take up to four and a half hours to get to Falls, but it will definitely be worth the smile on your Dad's face. As a special little thing they do for your special big man, all Dads can ski or snowboard for free on September 1st.
Falls Creek | Lift Ticket Prices - For you: $110; For Dad: Free! (On September 1st)
See the website for accomodation and travel details
Great Ocean Road
If your Dad is more a fan of the unplanned road trip, and you're in the mood to appreciate the spirit of wild abandon and understand the harsh realities of forgetting to pack spare undies, then bundle up in the wagon and simply drive along the Great Ocean Road. There's a plethora of things to do - enjoy a pub lunch and listen to Dad talk about how he was as good a surfer as that Slater fellow at Torquay or Bells Beach; mark the similarities between the Twelve Apostles and Mum's new dress; or reminisce about that time Dad helped you get a C- on an assignment about epiphytes, as you traverse through the mountain-ash forests and gurgling gullies of the Otway National Park.
Finish up somewhere like Lorne, where you can chill at the pub over a beer and fish and chips for a Father-child experience he won't forget anytime soon.
Image Credit: Edsel Station Wagon 1958 by Captain Geoffrey Spaulding, from Moldy Chum