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6 of the Best Spots for Young Families to Escape the City in Victoria

Tired of city life? These idyllic places around Victoria are fantastic for growing families.

More and more young families are trading in the big smoke for greener pastures, with a mass exodus to regional Victoria. From the coast to the country, these areas are proving popular for their wide-open spaces, connected communities and slower pace of life, making them perfect for raising kids.


At the heart of the Macedon Ranges, Woodend is a charming historic town roughly an hours’ drive north of Melbourne. Its acreage homes come with sprawling backyards, many framing views of the mountains. There are community playgroups, kindergartens and an excellent adventure playground with a flying fox and picnic facilities, catering to children of all ages. Along the high street, you’ll find cafes, artisan stores and quintessential country bakeries. Woodend is known for its strong community spirit and welcoming atmosphere, while beautiful walking trails and abundant natural wildlife make this an ideal spot for young families seeking a tree change.

Mount Eliza

Nestled on Victoria’s stunning Mornington Peninsula, Mount Eliza combines proximity to the city with a picturesque coastline punctuated by jagged cliffs and soft sandy bays. Locals can enjoy a sun-soaked lifestyle with picnic areas, playgrounds and sheltered swimming, perfect for young families. It offers a vibrant and supportive community, with good primary and secondary schools, including the preeminent Toorak College and Peninsula Grammar. The town centre features a string of speciality stores and supermarkets, catering to residents’ everyday essentials. Those needing to commute for work, Mount Eliza is an easy one-hour drive to Melbourne’s CBD, and well connected via public transport.

Jan Juc

Defined by its breathtaking natural scenery, the suburb of Jan Juc has become one of the most coveted pockets on Victoria’s Surf Coast. It appeals to families seeking an outdoor lifestyle, yet still wanting to be within easy reach from the city of Geelong. Jan Juc is known as an “authentic” surf town, a little quieter than its neighbour Torquay, with friendly locals and plenty of greenery. There’s a local surf lifesaving club, offering nippers, surf training and community events, and a handful of neighbourhood cafes. There are sporting facilities, schools and the Great Ocean Road right on your doorstep.



Ballarat has become one of the most sought-after areas in regional Victoria. Just 90 minutes from Melbourne, it combines city amenity with a bounty of natural attractions, rich history and thriving cultural scene. Its streets are lined with stunning Victoria-era architecture, while locals cram into its popular coffee shops and cafes. There’s Lake Wendouree for waterside picnics, bushwalking, cycling and horse riding through Woowookarung Regional Park and breathtaking Trentham Falls close by. The suburbs of Soldiers Hill and Ballarat East are desired among young families, with a good mix of schools, playgrounds and easy public transport links.

Ocean Grove

The vibrant and affluent town of Ocean Grove is conveniently positioned just 30 minutes from the city of Geelong, on Victoria’s beautiful Bellarine Peninsula. It is a favoured spot for young families to make the move, thanks to its dynamic community and laidback seaside charm. There are fantastic schools within the area as well as sporting clubs and a bustling town centre with supermarkets, restaurants and independent stores. Its pristine surf beach means life here revolves around the water, while foodies will also be spoilt for choice with boutique wineries, farm-fresh producers and monthly markets. Keep in mind summer can be busy as Melbournians make the pilgrimage from the city.

The Cube Wodonga


The twin cities of Albury and Wodonga are home to top-tier schools and superb recreation amenities making it a hotspot for young families wanting to embrace country life. In fact, this is one of the fastest growing areas in Victoria as more and more Melbournians are enticed by its affordable property market, cleaner air and strong sense of community. Nestled on the Murray River, locals have access to meandering walking and cycling tracks, surrounding historic towns and the Victorian ski fields within easy reach. Throw in a burgeoning culinary scene, world-class health facilities and scenic parklands and it is easy to see why Wodonga’s a top pick for raising kids.

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