Victoria’s best midweek breaks
Try our list of perfect places for a weekday getaway.
Why not consider a midweek break. It’s the brunch of holidays, and there’s a lot to be said for heading out for an overnight adventure on a Tuesday or Wednesday.
Studies have shown that mini-breaks are just as good as traditional holidays to improve your wellbeing. They have the potential to break stress cycles, lead to better sleep, stronger immune systems, reduce the risk of depression, keep your brain healthy by exposing you to new experiences, make you a happier person and also make you more productive and creative.
Wherever you decide to go, a midweek trip will undoubtedly present a more relaxed vibe. Cafes are unlikely to rush you, so you can enjoy your meal, book or conversation at your own pace. Restaurants are easier to get into, you won’t need to wait at wineries to sample their finest drops, and roads, galleries, beaches and look-outs are far less likely to be crowded.
And best of all, midweek accommodation rates are generally cheaper or have offers such as a free extra night or breakfast, or late checkout. Luckily Victoria is a fairly compact state with many easily accessible destinations.
Mt Buffalo, near Bright.
Bright is famous for its brilliant foliage in autumn but you don’t need golden leaves to enjoy a temporary tree change in this lovely town at the foothills of the Australian Alps. The chilly winter months make relaxing with yoga, massage or a spa treatment even more special. For the more energetic, there’s the popular Murray to Mountains Rail Trail cycle route, hiking and scenic driving atop the wondrous Mount Buffalo, horse riding in the Kiewa Valley, or hang-gliding and paragliding in the renowned Bright air. Or head up to Falls Creek or Mount Hotham for a midweek skiing session – it looks like it’s going to be a bumper season.
If it’s surf you’re after, throw on your wetsuit and head to coastal Gippsland. Inverloch is positively zen midweek, with a beautiful shoreline and lush hinterland. The coastal formations that can be seen at various stopping points between Inverloch and Cape Paterson make it a mini Great Ocean Road, or you can stretch your legs on the boardwalk along Screw Creek up to Townsend Bluff. Fishing, golf and fish and chips also beckon. Popular Venus Bay nearby is a particularly good place for kangaroo spotting.
Green olives from Red Hill, Mornington Peninsula.
This is a year-round holiday retreat. In the cooler months, the coast is great for secluded afternoon walks – especially out along the spectacular Cape Schanck boardwalk – and you can always warm up in the Peninsula Hot Springs. Plus there’s always gourmet food, award-winning wineries, lookouts, galleries, a maze and the fascinating history at Point Nepean.
- For special member savings at RACV Cape Schanck Resort, visit: racv.com.au/resorts
For special member savings around the Mornington Peninsula, visit: racv.com.au
The King Valley has drawn comparisons with the hills of northern Italy and has been a gourmet destination for years. Activities include gentle cycling between wineries, the Prosecco Road food and wine trail, 4WD routes, paddling or fishing for trout on Lake William Hovell (also a lovely picnic spot), leisurely walks but also hiking the Australian Alps Walking Track. There’s a special view from Powers Lookout above Whitlands.
At this time of the year, a lot of people drive through the Yea Valley on their way to the snow. What they’re missing out on is the Yea Wetlands on the Yea River floodplain where you can spot platypus, native rats, koalas and birds on a self-guided walk, or book a guide to take you through it. To the south of Yea are the Murrindindi Falls, while to the west the Trawool Valley has National Trust heritage listing for its scenic, cultural and geological significance. Marvel at the views in the Valley of A Thousand Hills near Strath Creek, and stop off at any of the numerous pubs, wineries, cafes and restaurants.
Paddling on the Murray River.
Central Victoria is full of towns that thrived during the gold rush. Creswick, Clunes, Dunolly, Maryborough and Talbot are on the scenic route between Bendigo and Ballarat with their offerings of gold history through superb museums, galleries and attractions. Daylesford, Hepburn Springs, Castlemaine and Kyneton are perennial favourites for their gourmet food, and spa and pampering treatments. Maldon is a picturesque National Trust-listed town. There are plenty of trout fishing options in the region, while the 210km Goldfields Track from Mount Buninyong to Bendigo is great for both casual riding and hardcore mountain-biking.
Ballarat’s Winterlude festival is an ideal opportunity to take a midweek break. RACV Goldfields Resort at Creswick has a Sovereign Hill Family Package which includes accommodation, buffet breakfast and family entry to Sovereign Hill at Ballarat. Visit: racv.com.au/resorts
For special member savings around the Goldfields, visit racv.com.au
If the greyness of southern Victoria starts getting to you, many Murray River towns almost guarantee sunny skies. Sandy beaches, towering gums, native birds and cruises along the Murray in anything from wildlife boats on the Barmah Lakes to historic paddlesteamers can help you unwind. Popular destinations include Swan Hill, Echuca, Cobram, Yarrawonga and Wodonga.
For special member savings at RACV Cobram Resort, visit: racv.com.au/resorts
Forrest Brewing Company, Otway Ranges.
Great Ocean Road
Torquay is on the map of the surfer and the general holidaymaker. A midweek break here is bound to throw you a beach all to yourself. Up in the Otways, Forrest is great for spotting wildlife, camping and fishing, and has a popular boutique brewery. Pretty Birregurra turns the adrenaline down a few notches with its farm gates and wineries. Port Campbell has stunning coastal scenery, most notably the 12 Apostles. The region also has two cheese-makers, a chocolate factory and a whisky distillery.
For member savings at RACV Torquay Resort, visit: racv.com.au/resorts
This is a pretty town not far from Bright. It was a thriving place during the gold rush days and its entire main street has been heritage-listed by the National Trust. These days artists, not gold fossickers, call Yack home and offer midweek pottery and textiles workshops. But if that’s too sedate for you, hit the dirt with Yack Tracks, the Yackandandah Mountain Bike Track Network. If Yackandandah is still too laidback, then try lively but historic Beechworth just down the road.
RACV members save 25% on accommodation at all RACV resorts. In Victoria the resorts are at Inverloch, Torquay, Goldfields, Cobram and Cape Schanck. Visit racv.com.au/resorts for details and to book.