Hanging with your girls at a winery overlooking rolling hills of vineyards and orchards. Riding a helicopter to a world-renown restaurant to celebrate your best gal’s post-grad degree. Driving out to the coast to spend a weekend surfing and hanging in a vintage airstream. What’s your idea of an epic girls’ getaway? Because we’ve got all these options and then some, and all are just outside Melbourne. Of course, you may have to hop on a plane to get there, but isn’t half the fun in the adventure?
Reporter: Alyssa Brown
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Daylesford, Trentham and the Macedon Ranges
Nestled in the Macedon Ranges, the tree-lined streets of Daylesford make for a fabulous historic town to stroll shops and pick up gourmet gifts along the way. The region is rich in natural mineral springs, so you’ll find plenty of spa options for when you and the girls need to wind down and pamper up.
This charming little guesthouse in Daylesford sleeps up to six and includes a kitchen, a library, gardens and a couple of clawfoot bathtubs. With a house this gorgeously decorated and livable, you and the girls may find yourselves too comfortable to step foot outside.
Housed in an old bank building in Trentham, the new Trentham General is a coffee shop that’s filled with vintage finds and scores of home goods. If you like to do a little shopping while getting your morning caffeine fix, this is the place to start your day.
Have Afternoon Tea at Lavendula Swiss-Italian Farms
Shepherds Flat, VIC, Australia
Located just ten minutes north of Daylesford, this lavender farm and extensive gardens property is a great stopover for afternoon tea with your gals. Tour the 1850s stone farmhouse be sure to snag a photo in the lavender fields.
This three-bedroom guesthouse dates back to 1902 and sits among gardens and orchards, with a small events barn outside. Inside you’ll find a mix of modern and vintage furnishings and art, making this countryside destination one that’s perfect for a group of ladies who enjoy late nights on big, comfy couches with lots of wine.
Eating at Du Fermier is like having an extravagant midday meal in a French farmhouse. Only, you’re in Trentham, so the set menu is more likely to include the best of Australian produce complemented by French and Victorian wines. Go with your girls and plan to make a big afternoon of it. Oh, and if you’re feeling inspired by the culinary genius, take a wander over Phillip & Lea down the road for a quick browse through cookwares and culinary tools of all types.
Book in for a ladies’ session at The Mineral Spa and treat yourselves to massages, facials, body exfoliation or sauna time. Be sure to take a dip in the healing hot and cold mineral baths overlooking the gardens.
Set right on the main shopping strip of Daylesford, Manteau Noir is a gorgeous retail spot where you might pick up a locally made linen dress, a pair of handmade Italian leather shoes or a beautiful fragrance from the apothecary selection. The shop occasionally hosts masterclasses, including perfume sessions.
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Probably the most polished weekend destination outside Melbs, Mornington Peninsula offers a wide variety of luxury lodging, rolling vineyards, beautiful coastline walking trails and award-winning restaurants. If you’re looking to spend your girls’ getaway getting pampered and splurging on the best in food and wine, this could be your spot.
Polperro is most known for its award-winning restaurant in a forested gully, but the four studio apartments overlooking the vineyards make a cozy stomping ground for a girls’ weekend in Red Hill. Plus, there’s on-site yoga. Whether to chant Om or sip wine first is your call.
Grab your girls and head to the healing geothermal waters of the Peninsula Hot Springs for the best in R&R. There are over 20 bathing experiences here, from cold plunge pools and geothermal caves to a Turkish steam bath and a hilltop pool overlooking the rolling hills of the peninsula.
If you and your squad are looking to go all-out luxe, book the lairs at Jackalope and you’ll have your own terrace overlooking rolling vineyards, a personal wine cellar, a deep-soak black stone bathtub, a cozy lounge area, a fireplace and so many more reasons to never leave the property. This vineyard-museum-hotel is so flash it’ll have you wondering if you’ve stepped foot in the future.
Nothing says girls’ getaway like hiring a few glammed out airstreams and heading to the coast! Give Wanderlings a shout if you’re looking to rent a mobile pad and a good place to set up camp on the Peninsula.
Italian classics like Spaghetti Carbonara, Wagyu Bolognese and linguine with local seafood light up the menu at Cook and Norman in Flinders. The quaint town is filled with shops and restaurants, and this trattoria is one worth traveling to with your gang for a good, handmade pasta and a few bottles of delicious local wine.
This family farm in Shoreham is home to an olive grove, apple orchards, a cute B&B for couples and a fully stocked kitchen that can fit up to 16 for a cooking class. Work with the best of local produce to turn out pizzas and pastas with your girls, while learning about the Peninsula’s delicious wines.
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Filled with rainforests, waterfalls, national parks, lakes, tiny country towns, beach huts and a whole lot of gourmet haunts, The Otways provide an instant itinerary for a girls’ getaway that’s filled with adventure and little hits of luxury. Plus, you’re sure to find koalas in the trees if you only look up.
Road trip! Great Ocean Road extends a whopping 152 miles from Torquay to just past Warrnambool. Along the way, you’ll spot some of Australia’s most iconic surf breaks, see tons of wildlife and find your way to the famous 12 Apostles. Be sure to bring the cameras and sunhats along.
Set in the sloping hillside gardens of Brae Restaurant, there are six luxury accommodations here with views of The Otways. If your girls’ getaway weekend is about treating yourselves to the best, book a couple of rooms here and plan to spend your mornings wandering the gardens and chatting with the chefs as they collect the day’s bounty.
These modern four-bedroom lodges are nestled in the verdant hills of Wattle Hill, just along the Great Ocean Road. The perfect size for a slumber party in which everyone gets her own bed, Alkina Lodge makes a great long weekend getaway.
There’s no shortage of amazing places to eat in the Otways, but the down-home feel of the space combined with an approach to Australian food that feels authentic and produce-driven puts Bespoke Harvest at the top of the list. Check it out for an unpredictable, memorable meal with your girlfriends.
The small town of Forrest is major hub for cyclists and mountain bikers, so feel free to bring along your bikes if you’re planning a girls’ trip to the area. Check into the four suites at Forrest Guest House if you’re looking to make an overnight trip out of it.
Brae Restaurant is arguably one of the most famous restaurants in the Melbourne area, and it’s easy to see why with a quick browse of the ambitious 18-course menu. This spot has won many an award, and it’s exactly the kind of place you’ll want to go with your girls when you have something huge to celebrate. Oh, and if you want to get real fancy, you can take a helicopter in from Melbourne. Baller.
Farm shops, wineries, breweries, country markets, restaurants, artisanal shops, bakeries and cafes are casually spread along the Otway Harvest Trail. If you and your girls are about that gourmet life, this is basically the map through Mecca.
It’s Sista Ginger Beers ‘round the table at Forrest Brewing Company. What started as a microbrewery in a former general store has turned into a full-scale destination for Melbourne weekenders, and the ginger beer is just one of the delish drinks on tap. Head here for a casual meal or simply to grab a drink with your party crew.