We waved goodbye to summer yonks ago and are already well and truly deep into the heart of autumn (although it’s Melbourne so there aren’t really consistent seasons). Nevertheless, if there’s ever been a fab excuse to pack your bags and blow this popsicle stand for a girls getaway, it’s the changing of the seasons.
Here are three amazing getaways to go on this autumn with the girl gang (we’ve even provided you with the perfect itinerary).
The Ultimate Outdoor Adventure
Only a three-hour drive from Melbourne’s CBD is the ever-exquisite Grampians in Victoria’s west. Home to some jaw-dropping mountains and gorg secluded retreats (that come for a steal on AirBnb), towns like Halls Gap make for a stunning off-the-grid holiday for you and the girls. There are scenic walks that’ll test your fitness, delicious food that’ll test your belt and amazing wines that’ll test your taste buds. Not sure what to do there? We’ve already decided for you below.
Tuck into a yummy brekkie and a hot cup of coffee in the heart of Halls Gap at Livefast cafe. You can then peruse all the local artisan shops nearby (spruiking goodies like soap and homemade fudge).
Fill your drink bottles and get started on the scenic walk to The Pinnacle. Kicking off from the Halls Gap Caravan park, it’s almost 10 kilometres in total and will take about 5 hours return, but the views are insanely beautiful and 100% worth the sweat and tears.
Grab one of the famous ice creams from Coolas Ice Creamery upon return and put your feet up for a bit (you’ve earned it).
Top off the day with an enormous parma at Barney’s Bistro Bar, a woolshed-inspired pub that is quite literally in the middle of nowhere and serves up some of the best local grub in The Gramps. Make sure you call ahead to book because this place, believe it or not, can get pretty packed.
Give Livefast’s competitor, Black Panther Cafe, a run for its money down the road.
Don your favourite autumnal tones and get ready to spend some money in the local wine region. We recommend visiting Best’s Wines, Seppelt and Pomonal Estate for some delicious cheese platters. Take your time, there are A LOT of wines...
The Luxurious Coastal Vacay
Nothing screams relaxation quite like the Mornington Peninsula. It’s oozing with spa retreats, ritzy wineries and beautiful beaches. If you’re looking to treat yourself and the girls to a little slice of paradise this autumn, then you won’t have to travel far. Here’s the perfect luxurious weekend vacay.
Brunch at Store Fifteen on the main drag in Mornington. This little cafe will make you eat healthily without even realising (which means you can do the opposite later without the guilt).
Enjoy stunning ocean views from the comfort of The Eagle—your own deluxe gondola/ski lift attached to an enormous luxury flying fox that gives you 360 views of the coast.
Swan on down to Polperro Wines and enjoy a picnic by their adorable little lake. Not only do they package up a beautiful on-location picnic, but they also make their own wines, boast a fantastic on-site restaurant and even offer luxurious accommodation (although it’s more honeymoon-esque than weekend away with the gals).
Sample some more fantastic wines at Point Leo Estate on the other side of the Peninsula. These guys also boast one of the best contemporary sculpture exhibitions on the coast, and who doesn’t like a healthy slice of culture with their pinot gris?
Keep the good food and booze coming with a trip to the Mornington Peninsula Brewery. This quaint little brewery bar has been recognised as one of the best craft breweries in Australia. Not only does serves up all its boutique beers on tap, it also dishes up a range of delicious pizzas to line your stomach with.
Get stuck into another delicious brunch at Play The Fool where you can get your gob on all the old school classics, plus a few modern additions if you’re looking to try something new.
A luxurious vacay on the Peninsula wouldn’t be exactly that without a trip to the Peninsula Hot Springs. You could literally spend days here, unfortunately, it’s Sunday and you have adult responsibilities to attend to so you’ll just have to fill the day. Enjoy a massage, private bathing, an assortment of spa treatments and even a meal.
The Wine Lover’s Paradise
Ever heard of the King Valley? Well, you’re about to. This little vino hotspot is home to Prosecco Road which features a barrel full of bloody good wineries, each planted along the same dirt track. If it’s a fermented grape getaway you’re after, then you NEED to take a trip to the King Valley. Not sure what else to do there? No worries, we’ve already picked it out for you.
First stop is Brown Brothers in Milawa where you can enjoy a free wine tasting in their cellar door, as well as some delicious nibbly bits and mains at their restaurant. You can also grab a bike and ride around the vines, or pull up a bean bag on their front lawn. Either way, you’re living the high life.
Just down the road is the award-winning Sam Miranda cellar door. Here you can enjoy another free wine tasting, plus some delicious platters piled with local artisan goodies.
It’s then time to head to the heart of the King Valley where you’ll hit the Prosecco road. This little dirt track is home to some of the best proseccos in the country. First up is Pizzini Wines. Here you can sample their drops, walk the stunning grounds, taste some local handmade goodies and even participate in one of their fantastic cooking classes.
By now you will have well and truly deserved [another] drink, so head down to the Mountain View Hotel. This little boutique gastro-pub puts together a mean menu of grub, from pasta and burgers to pork belly and salmon.
Start your morning with a lazy brekkie from the local and much-loved Whitty Cafe.
And then continue your trek down the Prosecco Road with a stop at Dal Zotto Wines. Not only is this family-owned institution the pioneer of Prosecco in Australia, it’s also claimed the title of Best Value for Money Sparkling in Australia. Here you can enjoy a free wine tasting, plus a range of their delicious pizza, pasta and exquisite sides.
Last on your list before heading home should be Chrismont. They have a diverse collection of Italian and classic European varietal wines, plus an on-site restaurant and larder if you’re STILL hungry.
If you're more in the mood for just a drive, check out our rundown of the best scenic drives you can take in Victoria.
Image credit: Michelle Jarni