Five long weekend getaways that don’t need a car

Travelling Well | Sue Hewitt | Posted on 29 October 2019

Board a getaway train bound for regional Victoria this Cup Day long weekend.

So, you don’t drive and all your friends with wheels are taking off for the long weekend? You can still take time out and explore regional Victoria using public transport with a bit of expert guidance from RACV’s journey planner app arevo. Many Victorian getaway destinations have good public transport, cycling and walking options when you have a few days to unwind by taking a leisurely trip.

Long weekends are the perfect time to get out and explore regional Victoria and enjoy the scenery from a train or bus, says arevo marketing manager Katie Chuang. She says arevo is a personalised pocket journey planner ideal for people who don’t drive, that covers all modes of transport – from trains and buses to ferries and cycling. 

It provides personalised routes and calculates the time and distance of the journey, the carbon footprint according to the mode of transport, and even the kilojoules spent walking or cycling.

This coming long weekend, many regional centres are hosting special events while others have timeless appeal. So leave the car at home and explore Victoria by foot, bus or train this Cup weekend. Here are five places to have a car-free getaway. 


Slides: Heathcote wine region, Torquay’s Cosy Corner, Australian National Surfing Museum, Healesville Hotel, Land of Plenty festival takes over Shepparton, Dirty Three Wines in Inverloch.


Five easy weekenders without a car 

Heathcote 

Vibes & Vino, 2 and 3 November 

Heathcote’s rich earth produces meaty, lusty reds that lead to much merriment. Such joy calls for a party and the locals know how to put on a good one. The Vibes & Vino festival is held over two days with the main event on Saturday, 2 November at the local footy ground from noon to 8pm. Here you can “tour” local award-winning winemakers and craft brewers and sample the best without leaving the grounds of Barrack Reserve.  

Five independent Australian acts – Dyson Stringer Cloher, Josh Cashman, Neighbourhood Youth, Jess Parker & The Troubled Waters and Four Lions, add their own vibe to the festival while local growers and food vans provide fresh produce as well as belly-filling fare. On Sunday, various wineries and venues will host their own favourite musicians throughout the region. 

arevo says: Get the Deniliquin or Barham V/Line coach from Melbourne’s Southern Cross coach terminal to Heathcote (1 hour and 46 minutes, using Co2 5.7kg). 

Torquay 

Australia’s surfing capital 

Surf world-famous breaks or catch your first wave at a beach that gave birth to Australia’s surfing culture. For die-hard surfing fans there’s a local bus to Bells Beach, the international surfing hotspot. Land lubbers can stroll along pristine sand beaches or tackle the Surf Coast Walking Trail, which is suitable for bikes with easy paths and clifftop lookouts. 

Chilling out comes in many forms, including RACV Torquay Resort’s One Spa where luxurious treatments awaken, revive and promote balance within the body, while Torquay’s Australian National Surfing Museum has everything to do with surfing. On Cup weekend it also has the mega fossils exhibition. RACV members can access two-for-one tickets or 20 per cent off family passes.

arevo says: Get the V/Line Geelong line train from Southern Cross railway station and get off at Geelong (1 hour and 10 minutes, Co2 4.4kg), then take Apollo Bay 101 bus from the station to Torquay (1 hour and 1 minute, Co2 1.3kg).  

Healesville 

Hop Fest, 2 and 3 November 

The Yarra Valley’s best craft beer brewers, small batch cider makers and local musicians return to the Healesville Sanctuary for a festival that raises money to help the brush-tailed rock wallaby. 

This year Watts River Brewing will create four new beers specially for the event, taking inspiration from some of the sanctuary’s wildlife. There’s no hint what the beers based on a blue-tongue lizard, helmeted honeyeater, smokey mouse and, of course, the brush-tail rock-wallaby will taste like, so be amazed on the day. The sanctuary will run shuttle buses from Lilydale station every 30 minutes for $5.

After a day of revelry, round out the long weekend with a pampering session at One Spa at RACV’s Healesville Country Club. 

arevo says: Get the Lilydale line train from Southern Cross Station and get off at Lilydale station (1 hour and 6 minutes, Co2 2.3kg) and cycle to Healesville (1 hour and 36 minutes). 


Shepparton 

Land of Plenty, 2 November 

Some of Australia’s hottest upcoming artists and DJs will converge on Shepparton over the Cup Day long weekend for the Land of Plenty festival. Head for the Goulburn River town to see charting-topping Tones and I, the first Aussie to hit number one on the international Spotify Global Chart and whose mega track Dance Monkey has stayed number one in the ARIA charts for three months.  

Also on the line-up for this all-day, all-ages event are Triple J’s Hottest 100 winners including Ocean Alley, crowd favourite Illy, who will act as MC, and local rapper Briggs, along with DJs like Alex Hayes, Moji and Fresh Kiwi. 

It’s a full-on party with carnival rides including Victoria’s scariest ride, The Beast, and well-loved dodgem cars, as well as food trucks serving parmas, churros, gourmet tacos, pulled pork, Indian curries and more. There will also be a market stall and four on-site bars including a gin and mocktail bar. 

arevo says: Get the Shepparton V/Line train from Southern Cross Station to Shepparton Station (2 hours and 55 minutes, Co2 11.1kg) then walk eight minutes. 

Inverloch 

Dinosaur walks, 3 and 4 November  

More than 125 million years ago, dinosaurs roamed the windswept Bass Coast leaving footprints that survive today at the Bunurong Marine National Park. Some of Australia’s most significant dinosaur fossils have been found here, as well as the large footprints of three-toed dinosaurs imprinted in rock.  

Palaeontologist Mike Cleeland of the South Gippsland Conservation Society will host three dinosaur discovery sessions on the Sunday and Monday of Cup weekend. 

Head to Inverloch for a long weekend exploring sandy beaches, epic surf breaks and wineries like Dirty Three Wines, or relax and watch the sunset from RACV’s Inverloch Resort, which caters for all tastes and budgets with ocean-view villas and powered caravan park sites. 

arevo says: Get the V/Line Yarram bus from Southern Cross to Koo Wee Rup (1 hour and 10 minutes) change to the Cowes or Inverloch bus to Inverloch (1 hour and 20 minutes, total Co2 for two bus trips 6.6 kilograms). 

Find out more at arevo.com.au or download the app.

FIVE WAYS TO GET THE MOST OUT OF AREVO 

Start with the profile tab on the bottom menu bar, then go to: 

  • Tutorial to learn how to top up your myki and more. 
  • Settings to set up your transport options such as public transport, uber, bicycle and walking. 
  • Priorities to enter your preferences whether it be saving time, reducing your carbon footprint or getting more exercise. 
  • Service alerts to check on disruptions to metro trains, trams and buses and regional buses and trains. 
  • Offers and discounts to get deals on car hire, parking and RACV Bike Assist.