If you’re looking to escape the daily grind and spend some quality time with your girlfriends, what better way to do it than by having a girls’ getaway filled with relaxation and fun. From sipping cocktails on the beach, pampering at luxury spas and natural hot springs, or taking on an epic mountain adventure, you are definitely spoilt for choice.
However, it can be hard work to plan a group getaway — especially if you draw the short straw as the organiser. In this list, we’ve done all the research for you and scoured the state to bring you some of the best attractions and accommodation options – all within a few hours of Melbourne.
Melbourne Girls’ Getaway Regions
Situated only an hour and a half drive northwest of Melbourne is Australia’s spa country – Daylesford and Hepburn Springs, the perfect destination for the ultimate in pampering and relaxation. With a myriad of mineral spas and bathhouses across the region, you and your crew will have plenty of options for indulgence and rejuvenation, such as the Hepburn Bathhouse & Spa and The Mineral Spa.
Daylesford is also home to a host of award-winning restaurants and cafes offering a wide range of fine dining and more casual options with many of them serving fresh, locally grown produce. The local favourites include Mercato @ Daylesford, Kazuki’s and the Lake House. You can also spend the afternoon wine tasting in some of the finest boutique wineries in the Macedon Ranges. Take your pick from a variety of exceptional chardonnay, pinot noir and other cool-climate wines.
If you feel like a day of shopping, wander along Vincent Street and you will find an amazing array of bookshops, boutique clothing stores, and vintage items. There is also no shortage of nature activities in Daylesford. Choose to stroll around the edge of picturesque Lake Daylesford with your group or visit the Hepburn Regional Park for some of the best bushwalking trails in the area.
COASTAL COOL MORNINGTON PENINSULA
Only an hours’ drive south of Melbourne but feeling like a million miles away, the Mornington Peninsula is certainly one of the favourite weekend destinations for Melbournians. Ideally loved for its cool breeze, hill-side vineyards, and diverse array of activities, this region boasts a blend of Mediterranean coastal life and quintessential Aussie charm that make for an amazing R&R experience.
Grab your girlfriends and spend the day in the sun. See the iconic beach boxes on the picturesque Brighton Beach, wander along the gorgeous coastline of Sorrento, or dare each other to dive into a natural plunge pool from the Blairgowrie Jumping Rock at Bridgewater Bay. You can also choose to dial it up with snorkel tours in Port Phillip Bay for an amazing aquatic experience.
The Mornington Peninsula is a gourmand’s paradise featuring some of the finest restaurants in Victoria, including Doot Doot Doot, Cellar & Pantry Red Hill, and The Deck at Flinders Hotel. Along the coast, you’ll also find plenty of funky cafes and bustling bistros overlooking the sea. Complete your weekend getaway on the Mornington Peninsula by sampling their world-renowned cool climate wines. With dozens of wineries and cellar doors across the region — many clustered in the hills, it will be easy for your group to visit several in a day.
Mornington Peninsula, Victoria
A memorable holiday on the Mornington Peninsula will become much more special at Sandy Shores, a large beach house that can sleep up to 14 people.
MOUNTAIN HIDEAWAY DANDENONG RANGES
Head less than an hour east of Melbourne and discover a haven of lush mountains, towering forests and eclectic villages. Whether you and your friends are up for hiking, shopping in quaint boutiques, or tasting local produce, the beautiful Dandenong Ranges has it all. With stunning natural scenery and a refreshing cooler climate, the Dandenongs is the ideal weekend getaway to beat the heat of the Melbourne summer or to reconnect with nature.
In the Dandenong Ranges, your group can experience a wide variety of things to do such as picking your own fresh berries, browsing local art galleries, taking on several bushwalking trails, or wandering around the 75-hectare Birdsland Reserve to spot native wildlife. Another must-do experience is a ride on the Puffing Billy premier preserved steam railway, which is a 25 km historic train journey through the forests and ferns.
For a real village feel, head to the winding mountain roads of Olinda, which is best known for its spectacular gardens, quality locally made goods, and the Olinda Falls picnic site. After a day of exploring, treat your group to a sumptuous meal to remember at Wild Oak Restaurant, Burnham Bakery and Piggery Café on the fringes of Sherbrook Forest, or Sky High Mt Dandenong — a lookout point on the uppermost reach of the Dandenong Ranges with an unrivalled view of Melbourne’s city skyline.
Wine and Dine Yarra Valley
Your perfect weekend getaway with your squad may just well be in the Yarra Valley. Drive an hour east of Melbourne CBD and you’ll find yourself in rolling green hills dotted with cow paddocks and neat rows of vineyards. You’ll also be on your way to enjoying some of Australia’s finest wines and gourmet delights. With more than enough wineries and restaurants to last a few weekends plus a good dose of outdoor activities, the Yarra Valley is perfect for indulging in the good life with friends.
Take to the skies and view the wineries from above via a hot air balloon. Make it a sunrise trip to see the Yarra’s magnificent beauty under a golden light. Then hit some of the region’s acclaimed restaurants such as Zonzo Estate and Coombe, both offering a menu of seasonal and locally grown produce. Don’t forget to pair it with the region’s famous Pinots and Chardonnays to complete your meal. For dessert, you and the girls might just want to stop by Kennedy & Wilson or the Yarra Valley Chocolaterie & Ice Creamery.
End your girls-only holiday with a winery and tasting tour. We recommend Coombe, Dominique Portet, and Tarrawarra Estate for starters. You can mix it up and explore Yarra Valley’s Cider and Ale Trail map.
Dandenong Ranges, Victoria
Escape to the rolling hills and secluded natural landscapes of the Yarra Valley when you stay at the lovingly restored retreats of Botanica Editions.
Eagles Nest Luxury Mountain Retreat
Yarra Valley, Victoria
Eagles Nest Luxury Mountain Retreat is a three-bedroom log chalet in Yarra Valley that takes you and the girls to the apex of privacy and comfort.
Yarrawalla Vineyard Cottage
Yarra Valley, Victoria
Enjoy a cosy countryside holiday at Yarrawalla Vineyard Cottage, a private holiday home in the Yarra Valley that can accommodate up to four guests.
Great Ocean Road Trip
There’s nothing more fun than driving along the Great Ocean Road enjoying the fresh air, scenery, your ultimate playlist, and the company of your gal pals. Just an hour and a half drive from Melbourne (if you start in Torquay), the region offers plenty of options for outdoor activities, great food, and a bit of pampering to keep you busy.
Get off to a fabulous start in Torquay with hours of shopping at Surf City Plaza and lunch and snack breaks at The Esplanade. Soak up some more sunshine by hiring a canoe at Anglesea or hiking and biking through the rainforest trails at The Otways. Up the girl power level with some surfing at Bells Beach or ride the waves on a stand-up paddleboard. Dial it down and lay a picnic spread of local delights on the beaches of Lorne or Apollo Bay and just feel the sand between your toes.
Don’t miss an amazing sight of the 12 Apostles, one of the most popular attractions in the region. We recommend an early morning visit to avoid the bulk of tourists. The rest of the day can be spent wining and dining in Brae, Otway, and Lorne — and toasting to a lasting friendship and good times.
The White House Lorne
Great Ocean Road, Victoria
Unwind in comfort and ease at The White House Lorne, a 4 bedroom home with a prime location and vast outdoor spaces suitable for a group of friends.
The Summer House Torquay
Great Ocean Road, Victoria
Perfect for weekend escapes and luxury getaways, The Summer House Torquay is a picturesque & charming 4 bedroom holiday homestead on the Surf Coast.
Looking for more options? We’ve hand-picked a fabulous collection of spectacular accommodations for your indulgent girls getaway with a range of boutique hotels, beach villas, and lodges. Treat yourself, stay in style, and start planning your girls getaway today!
Image Credit: Tourism Australia/David Ireland & Myka Photography