What to do over the long weekend

Living Well | Megan Whitfield | Posted on 22 May 2019

How to make the most of the Queen’s Birthday public holiday.

While it may not actually be Her Majesty’s birthday (that falls in April), you won’t catch any of us complaining on 10 June this year. Hellooo long weekend. Enjoy your sleep in, then grab your family and get ready to make the most of this public holiday with our guide to what to do over the Queen’s Birthday weekend.

A group of people drinking white wine clinking their glasses together

 Sip your way through 200 of the region’s finest drops at Mornington Peninsula’s annual Winter Wine Weekend.

Eight ways to take advantage of the Queen’s Birthday long weekend

1. Cheer on the Melbourne Vixens

You may not have a netball game to cart the kids to this weekend, but that doesn’t mean you have to miss out on all the fast-paced fun. The Vixens are taking on the Magpies at Melbourne Arena and they’re ready to go.

2. Sample cool-climate Mornington Peninsula wines 

Sounds pretty good so far, hey? On the Mornington Peninsula Queen’s Birthday weekend marks the opening of their annual Winter Wine Weekend at Red Hill Showgrounds – that is, the opportunity to sample 200 premium wines from 47 different wineries.

The weekend also welcomes visitors to local cellar doors, where newly released wines can be sampled alongside local produce. Maybe leave the kids at home for this one.

Why not turn it into a weekend away? RACV Cape Schanck resort is close by, and members save 25 per cent on accommodation.

3. Indulge in Wine & Wildlife 

Speaking of wine – if you like your cool-climate reds a little more on the wild side, you won’t want to miss a wickedly good weekend of wine and wildlife at Healesville Sanctuary. From 11am to 4pm daily, you can taste-test your way through some of the Yarra Valley’s finest drops and foodie delights.

There will also be live music, roaring fires, a mulled wine and gin bar, and plenty of animal encounters. And you can indulge guilt free knowing all proceeds will help Zoos Victoria save the endangered Tassie devil from extinction.

Three penguins in a row waddling on ice toward a blue river

See the pengiuns at Ballarat Wildlife Park...

Meerkat sitting on a rock with succulent plant in the background

Make some furry friends...

Young child dressed in olden day clothing running along dusty street with horse-drawn carriages

Or eat your weight in raspberry drops at Sovereign Hill.

4. Visit the Melbourne Aquarium

When’s the last time you had a day out in the city? No job to get to, no peak-hour commute – just an afternoon exploring Melbourne. There are countless museums to check out, but the Melbourne Aquarium always stands out. RACV members get access to discounted tickets, which makes exploring the coral caves or checking out the magnificent penguin playground even sweeter. 

The kids will thank you.

5. See a movie, or three

It’s a classic weekend activity, and RACV members can save up to 30 per cent off their tickets. Why not check out Rocketman with your partner, or grab your kids and your magic carpet as you get lost in the world of Aladdin? Sit back in those cushy seats and relax this long weekend.

6. Eat, play, love

Get up close and personal with some of your favourite furry friends while feasting on gourmet Gippsland goodies by booking in for an unforgettable Wildlife foodie experience at Gumbaya World. Think warm breads, cheese and charcuterie with a side serve of koala gazing. There is also a fireplace and plenty of Mitchelton wine to keep you warm if Melbourne turns on its winter charm.

Dine in the Outback Centre surrounded by nature and native wildlife, with RACV members saving 20 per cent on this gourmet foodie feast.

Couple sitting on a rock in nature drinking wine and patting a dingo

Enjoy fine wine and furry encounters at Healesville’s Wine & Wildlife weekend.

Young child walking through a glass tunnel at Melbourne Aquarium surrounded by fish and sea creatures.

Immerse yourself in the wonders of the underwater world at Sealife Melbourne Aquarium.

7. Check out the Old Melbourne Gaol

Time for another museum trip, but this one has quite a different vibe. Explore Melbourne’s oldest surviving prison (opened in 1845) at the Old Melbourne Gaol. The site of 133 hangings, dive into the city’s dark past and learn what life would have been like for the men and women locked in these old cells.

RACV members get discounted entry. Ghost sightings not guaranteed, but don’t rule anything out…

8. Get up close and personal with nature at Ballarat Wildlife Park

Is there a better way to spend the long weekend than looking at meerkats? Maybe looking at little penguins, feeding kangaroos as they roam casually around your feet or hanging out with some Sumatran tigers? Lucky for you, you can do all that and more at Ballarat Wildlife Park. Even better, RACV members get 20 per cent off admission

The Tiger Sanctuary is one of the park's newest attractions, and has been designed to support tiger conservation efforts in Sumatra, where it is estimated that less than 500 Sumatran tigers remain in the wild. 

Extend the fun by spending the night at RACV Goldfields Resort, and keep the fun going the next day with a trip to nearby family favourite Sovereign Hill. (Discounted tickets apply here, too.)