Need inspiration to find the perfect destination for a winter escape? Stick with us…
We’ve rounded up some of the best places to visit in Victoria in winter, coupled with essential attractions, experiences, and events.
Cosy couples’ breaks, family-friendly entertainment, and activities from relaxing to adventurous are all in the mix.
It’s a hot lineup for those cooler months…
In the heart of the year, Ballarat buzzes thanks to this annual gig. A popular ice-skating rink, workshops, and art exhibitions appear alongside themed events at some of the city’s biggest attractions. These include Kryal Castle (Knights of Fire – The Festival of Flames) and Sovereign Hill (Winter Wonderlights; 24 June-17 July 2022).
Cosy pub. Roaring fire. Hearty meal. Drink in hand. This scene has winter weekend getaways written all over it, and we have just the place to indulge. Community minded Aireys Pub is inviting from the moment you step inside with its spacious dining areas and welcoming vibe. If the weather is being kind, the beer garden is brilliant. Oh, the Great Ocean Road pub has a microbrewery on site, too: Salt Brewing Co.
Stay at: BIG4 Aireys Inlet.
Habitually for many, Victorian winter getaways mean congregating at the slopes. And the High Country satisfies snow bunnies with its leading ski fields. Mt Buller, Falls Creek, Mt Hotham, Dinner Plain, and Mt Buffalo collectively have ample runs to delight skiers and snowboarders from beginners to experts. Closer to Melbourne, head to Lake Mountain for cross-country skiing, snowshoeing, and tobogganing.
Stay at: BIG4 parks in Victoria’s High Country.
For a snow experience with a twist, give dog sledding a go. Winding around spectacular snow-filled scenery while sitting in a sleigh powered by energetic huskies is magical. This enthralling experience is enjoyed at the likes of Mt Hotham, Dinner Plain, Mt Buller, and Mt Baw Baw with various tour options available.
With a top selection of cosy cafés, bars, and pubs, Castlemaine is ripe for a romantic escape. This cute, art deco-style structure merely provides the clincher. Opened in 1854 and spotted in the town’s heart, Theatre Royal features regular live music – including big-name artists – alongside an old-school cinema and an excellent bar.
Stay at: BIG4 Castlemaine Gardens.
Swap grey skies for walls splashed with colour by choosing an art-themed winter weekend in Victoria. The state is loaded with first-class galleries, some of which house Australia’s most prolific works and an assortment of visually stunning pieces. We’ve put together a comprehensive selection of Victoria’s best art galleries.
Continue the creative theme by embracing this world-class exhibition series. Since 2004, Melbourne Winter Masterpieces has been bringing exclusive international art exhibitions to the Victorian capital each winter. The National Gallery of Victoria (NGV) is a key location and in 2022 will present The Picasso Century, featuring many paintings from the revered artist. Hands down one of the best winter activities in Melbourne.
These hot springs must rank among the most popular places to visit in Victoria in winter. Natural thermal pools and private baths are dotted among tranquil, green-filled surrounds and are ideal for a relaxing soak in cooler weather. The hilltop pool is a prized pick thanks to the addition of panoramic views.
Stay at: BIG4 Mornington Peninsula.
The famed area is the perfect place for a romantic weekend escape in winter. While there are plenty of wineries with sprawling lawns suited to summer days, some seriously impressive boutiques shine best in cooler months: Yileena Park and Maddens Rise are just two of numerous examples.
Stay at: BIG4 Yarra Valley.
Rutherglen is another grape-growing district with absolute winter appeal. The historical region is known for its rich reds and fortified wines and has been celebrating its tasty vino via this popular annual festival since 1974. The winery walkabout features live entertainment, markets, masterclasses, and more at a bunch of its esteemed cellar doors. As a bonus, shuttle bus services depart to and from several surrounding towns.
Witnessing whales up close is a seriously energising experience, and Victoria has two prominent locations for gazing at these marine giants. Warrnambool welcomes southern right whales from June-September: the free viewing platform off Logan’s Beach is the place to go. Or visit Phillip Island where humpbacks and southern rights are reliably sighted from May-August. An essential activity for winter getaways in Victoria.
While magnetic year round, the park is mystical in cooler months as its sparkling scenery bursts to life – headlined by fast-flowing MacKenzie Falls. Delightful Halls Gap is on its fringes and further afield are winning wineries where winter favourites like shiraz and cab sav are signatures. Elsewhere, enter the annual Wonderland Run (27-28 August 2022) with its wildly diverse distance ranges.
Camping in winter can be an enchanting experience. Glamping simply adds a handful of convenient extras to the equation. Many BIG4 parks in Victoria have glamping facilities that suit both couples and families and include cute bell tents, pods, and safari-style setups. Combine this with a toasty campsite fire and it’s even better.