With bushfires tearing through parts of Victoria, it’s now more important than ever to get out and visit our amazing regional centres.
We’re lucky in Victoria with most regions being less than 3-hours drive from the city, so you can easily do it in a day if you plan your journey, or better yet stay the night in some amazing accommodation that’s on offer around the state.
If you’re keen to support the recovery effort, here’s a list of places you can donate.
Here are some excellent events happening in regional Victoria this February.
Apollo Bay Seafood Festival
It’s all happening on the coast this February, with the return of the annual Apollo Bay Seafood Festival.
The region is well-known for its amazing, fresh seafood. The Gala Dinner on Friday 14 February is sold out, but you can still catch Harbour Day on the Saturday with pop-up restaurants, demonstrations, seafood markets, and much more.
What: Apollo Bay Seafood Festival
When: Friday 14 February to Sunday 16 February
Where: Apollo Bay Harbour
For more information, head to apollobayseafoodfestival.com.
Meeniyan Garlic Festival
Here’s your chance to go to Victoria’s one and only garlic festival.
Check out more than 150 stalls all with amazing garlic, and garlic-based products to buy to take home with you. There will also be chefs on stage whipping up amazing garlic creations, and live music.
What: Meeniyan Garlic Festival
When: Saturday 15 February
Where: Meeniyan Recreation Reserve, Hanily Street, Meeniyan
For more information, meeniyangarlicfestival.com.au.
For The Diary: Mallacoota Wild Harvest
Mallacoota has been on top of the news cycle with so many residents affected by the recent bushfire in the area.
Help get the community back on its feet by heading to the Wild Harvest Seafood Festival in Mallacoota.
Get stuck into abalone, sea urchins, prawns, and move in a festival that will show off the best Mallacoota and the surrounding area has to offer.
What: Wild Harvest Seafood Festival
When: Friday 3 April to Sunday 5 April
For more information, head to wildharvestseafoodfestival.com.
Sunday At Cruden Farm
On the third Sunday of every month, the stunning Cruden Farm is open for you to take it easy, exactly what you should be doing on a Sunday.
Head on a garden tour, or take a stroll around the amazing property at your own pace. Tours kick off at 10am and last over an hour and explain Dame Elisabeth Murdoch’s vision for the garden during her life at Cruden Farm.
What: Sunday At Cruden Farm
When: Sunday 16 February
Where: Cruden Farm, 60 Cranbourne-Frankston Road, Langwarrin
For more information, head to crudenfarm.com.au.
Peninsula Film Festival
The Peninsula Film Festival returns with a star-studded judging panel this February.
The free short film festival features 20 shortlisted Australian filmmakers showcasing their films in front of a panel of celebrity judges and film luminaries.
Judges include Lachy Hulme, Kat Stewart, Stephen Curry, Michala Banas, Madeleine West, and Sigrid Thornton.
What: Peninsula Film Festival
When: Friday 31 January to Sunday 2 February
For more information, head to peninsulafilmfestival.com.au.
Mirboo North Italian Festival
The Mirboo North Italian Festival is a free family-day celebrating all things Italian.
More than 40 food stalls will be serving up Italian classics, with the stage brimming with live music, singing, dancing, and comedy.
What: Mirboo North Italian Festival
When: Sunday 9 February
Where: Baromi Park, Ridgway, Mirboo North
For more information, head to italianfesta.net.
Riverboats Music Festival
Set on the banks of the mighty Murray River, the Riverboats Music Festival features a line-up of artists you’ll be keen to see.
Catch Bernard Fanning, Troy Cassar-Daley, Archie Roach, Kate Miller-Heidke, Bob Evans, and more. The MC is Rockwiz’ Brian Nankervis.
What: Riverboats Music Festival
When: Friday 14 and Saturday 15 February
Where: Aquatic Reserve, Heygarth Street, Echuca
For more information, head to riverboatsmusic.com.au.
Irresistible Ice Cream Festival
Outside of heading to the beach, the best way to beat the heat this summer is to head to the Irresistible Ice Cream Festival at Yarra Valley Chocolaterie & Ice Creamery this February.
Running from Wednesday 12 February, the festival will feature 144 artisan ice cream flavours created by the team.
What: Irresistible Ice Cream Festival
When: Wednesday 12 February to Sunday 23 February
Where: Yarra Valley Chocolaterie & Ice Creamery, 35 Old Healesville Road, Yarra Glen
For more information, head to yvci.com.au.
Ballarat Beer Festival
If you’re thinking of beer when you’re outside of Melbourne, Ballarat has to come to mind. The regional centre is doubling down on its beer chops with another massive Ballarat Beer Festival this February.
Catch some of Australia’s best craft brewers, live music, kids activities, gourmet food trucks, and beer masterclasses.
What: Ballarat Beer Festival
When: Saturday 15 February
Where: North Gardens Lake Wendouree, Corner Zoo and Nursery Drives, Lake Wendouree
For more information, head to ballaratbeerfestival.com.au.
Too short on cash to leave town? Here's a bunch of free things happening in Melbourne to check out.
Image credit: Apollo Bay Seafood Festival