Victoria's Best Winter Holiday Destinations
Whether you like to head to the snow or bunker down in a cosy, country town, these are the best winter holiday spots across Victoria.
Beat the winter blues by escaping to one of these unforgettable destinations. Many of Victoria’s regions reveal a spectacular new side to themselves during the colder months, with alps covered in stunning snowfall, fireplaces crackling all around, and hot springs turning up the temperature. Whether you prefer to spend your days outdoor on the slopes or inside wining and dining in the warmth, there’s a holiday with you written all over it.
Located near the Victorian Alps, the historic township of Bright is the perfect base for wintery snow holidays but also a destination in its own right. Surrounded by soaring mountains and the serene Ovens River, there’s plenty to eat, see and do once the autumn leaves have fallen away. Go for meandering walks around the river and picturesque town, or head inside to taste tipples at Billy Button Winery, Reed & Co Distillery and Bright Brewery. Many of the town’s pubs and restaurants are kept inviting with open fires and hearty offerings.
Daylesford and the Macedon Ranges have long been a beloved winter destination – particularly for romantic weekend escapes. Everywhere you turn there are crackling fireplaces, toasty pubs and plush country cottages that are made for hiding away in. Over winter there are also several festivals including the annual Winter Sounds, a weekend of intimate performances hosted everywhere from gold-rush-era halls and historic churches to art deco theatres and on heritage rail cars.
Hotham is considered by many to be one of Australia’s best ski resorts with 320 snow-covered hectares, majestic views, night skiing and runs for all skill levels. Outside of the slopes there’s husky sled tours, helicopter rides and an onsite Japanese-inspired onsen, where you can sit among the snow while warming up in 38-degree waters.
The Mornington Peninsula may be a beachy region but take a closer look and you’ll find that it lends itself spectacularly to winter holidays. Acclaimed wineries are open all year round, while their onsite fine diners (such as Pt Leo Estate’s Laura and Oakridge) are destinations in their own right. You could also book into the award-winning Peninsula Hot Springs for mineral-rich thermal bathing, go on a truffle hunt and tasting at Red Hill Truffles or simply enjoy your stay at one of the region’s luxurious accommodation options.
What better way to escape the cold than with a steamy, therapeutic soak in a hot spring? Hepburn Springs is home to Australia’s largest concentration of mineral springs (around 80 per cent), making it the place to go for a spa getaway. Enjoy indulgent bathing experiences, massages and beauty treatments at venues such as Hepburn Bathhouse, Mineral Spa and Spa+Beauty, or get the full onsen experience by staying at peaceful Shizuka Ryokan, an immersive Japanese spa and wellness retreat.
With endless destinations for wonderful wine, food and views, the Yarra Valley is as alluring in the colder months as it is in spring and summer. Dine on winter warmer dishes at the region’s many fine diners and wineries or cosy up with glasses of red at one cellar food after the other. For more inspiration check out our ultimate destination guide to the Yarra or our most recommended wine tours.
Dandenong’s temperate rainforests, quaint villages and cute cottages delight visitors all year round, but especially in winter. Some of our favourite cold weather activities include mineral spring bathing and massages at Japanese ryokan Mountain Spa Retreat, high tea at one of their many delightful tearooms or a movie at the art deco Cameo Cinema. On dry days, rug up and embark on one of the area’s many gorgeous walks.
If you’re the type that still wants to go outdoors in winter, the Grampians is the place for you. Their intrepid hikes are in fact easier to tackle during cooler weather (and much less busy), with spectacular vistas and waterfalls a worthwhile reward for your efforts. Back in town you can relax up at charming cottages and sumptuous five-star retreats, while the region’s wineries are renowned for their winter-friendly shiraz.
This former gold rush town has become a well-loved winter destination for friends, couples and families with its rich cultural landscape and kid-friendly activities. Stay rugged up as you explore art galleries, enjoy live theatre and eat your way through top restaurants and wineries. Meanwhile, the young ones will love gold mine tours, escape rooms and the absorbing Bendigo Science and Discovery Centre.
Pack your thermals and goggles for ski season in Mount Buller. Being only three hours from the city, it’s a popular destination for skiing, snowboarding and tobogganing alongside top-notch après ski facilities. Even if snowsports aren’t your thing, there’s plenty to see and do here, from great bars and restaurants to luxuriant day spas, plus the annual Banff Mountain Film Festival, which showcases adventure films from around the world.
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