Five long weekend getaways that don’t need a car
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
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).
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).
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).