SPORT LEISURE AND OTHER ACTIVITIES

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Country Victoria’s hottest indoor attractions and activities

Country Victoria has an exceptional collection of indoor attractions.

And whether part of a cosy winter getaway, to escape the heat in summer, or just because, these engrossing attractions are ripe for exploration.

We’ve compiled an almighty selection of indoor-focussed attractions and places to visit in regional Victoria with a distinct emphasis on inland areas.

Cultural, gastronomical, historical, visual – all tastes are covered.

Country Victoria teems with top places to dine indoors. Pictured: Fondata 1872, Yarra Valley.

Art galleries

Bendigo Art Gallery

Regional Victoria is dotted with top-class art galleries, and this one is among the best. The warm, spacious rooms explode with colour as artworks detail a host of subjects, including local goldfields history. Better yet, the gallery’s permanent collection is backed by a first-rate exhibition program. One of Bendigo’s best attractions, indoors or not.

Nearby parks: BIG4 Bendigo Ascot Holiday Park, BIG4 Bendigo Marong Holiday Park, and BIG4 Bendigo Park Lane Holiday Park.

Bendigo's brilliant gallery. Credit: Bendigo Tourism.

Latrobe Regional Gallery, Morwell

Inject some colour into your life with a wander around this expansive gallery. View a dynamic collection of varied works across several spaces: regional artists to national touring exhibitions all feature here. With tours, children’s programs, and talks, there’s plenty to keep visitors entertained.

Nearby park: BIG4 Traralgon Park Lane Holiday Park.

Visual delights: Latrobe Regional Gallery. Image courtesy Latrobe Regional Gallery. Credit: TM PHOTO/Tanja Milbourne.

Shepparton Art Museum

A massive Australian and international ceramics collection is the highlight here, which is well-supported by its many landscape paintings and thought-provoking contemporary art. A brand-new, four-storey site is due for opening in October 2021 and is set to feature a rooftop viewing deck.

Nearby park: BIG4 Shepparton Park Lane Holiday Park.

Magnificent: The brand-new Shepparton Art Museum building. Credit: Kane Jarrod.

Castlemaine Art Museum

This grand art-deco building houses a wonderful collection of art and historical pieces with a distinct Australian flavour. Its central focus is notable works from the late 1800s, regarded as the ‘golden period of Australian painting’, featuring some of the nation’s most talented artists.

Nearby park: BIG4 Castlemaine Gardens Holiday Park.

Golden days: Castlemaine Art Museum features plenty of revered works.

Swan Hill Regional Art Gallery

There’s plenty to see within this lively space, which mixes permanent collections with roving exhibitions. Among its mainstays is a broad Australian naïve (visual) art collection as well as various pieces depicting the local area. Well worth a visit.

Nearby parks: BIG4 Riverside Swan Hill and BIG4 Swan Hill.

A lively space welcomes you to Swan Hill Regional Art Gallery. Credit: Swan Hill Rural City Council.

Art Gallery of Ballarat

Prepare for a visual banquet inside the oldest regional gallery in Australia. This Ballarat beauty showcases exceptional art from some of the nation’s most talented creators – including Sidney Nolan, Norman Lindsay, and Tom Roberts – and couples this with roving exhibitions and much more. One of the best indoor activities in Victoria.

Nearby parks: BIG4 Ballarat Goldfields Holiday Park and BIG4 Ballarat Windmill Holiday Park.

One of the oldest and the best: The Art Gallery of Ballarat.

Wineries and cellar doors

Rutherglen wine region

While clearly not confined to the indoors, visiting a prized wine region and its cellar doors warrants mention. And Rutherglen is a gem, steeped in gold-rush history and with a wine heritage that is just as pronounced. Today, the town and its surrounds boast a rich collection of boutique wineries offering a wide selection of varieties, including robust reds.

Nearby parks: BIG4 Borderland Wodonga and BIG4 Wangaratta North Cedars Holiday Park.

Rich, robust reds are a signature of Rutherglen. Credit: Winemakers of Rutherglen/Destination Rutherglen.

Heathcote wine region

Another region with a golden past, Heathcote is revered for its top-shelf shiraz. Clustered wineries make cellar-door hopping a simple task in this delightful part of the state.

Nearby parks: BIG4 parks in Bendigo, BIG4 Seymour Holiday Park, and BIG4 Castlemaine Gardens Holiday Park.

Sip on hearty reds in Heathcote. Location: The Shiraz Republic. Credit: Bendigo Tourism.

Yarra Valley wine region

Arguably Victoria’s most famous wine region, the Yarra Valley explodes with cellar-door options that blend big-name producers with cosy and welcoming boutique wineries.

Nearby park: BIG4 Yarra Valley Park Lane Holiday Park.

A classic Yarra Valley scene, even cosier in cooler months.

Swan Hill wine region

There are some brilliant red varietals to enjoy in this excellent grape-growing area, which delivers a select but emerging offering of wineries. It adds to the appeal of a romantic escape to the Murray River.

Nearby parks: BIG4 Riverside Swan Hill and BIG4 Swan Hill.

Swan Hill's wineries enhance its visitor appeal. Credit: Swan Hill Rural City Council.

Nagambie Lakes wine region

This beautiful area features inviting cellar doors concentrated around the small town of Nagambie. Two wineries command particular attention: Mitchelton and Tahbilk have histories dating to the 1800s and their wines are downright delicious.

Nearby park: BIG4 Seymour Holiday Park.

Mitchelton equals must-visit.

Museums and cultural attractions

The Army Museum in Bandiana, near Wodonga

You could dismiss this as just another military museum with a few bits and pieces here and there. Instead, this underrated attraction hoards a massive collection of military artefacts, including tanks and other vehicles, guns, medals, and so much more. Allow plenty of time to view it all.

Nearby park: BIG4 Borderland Wodonga.

Underrated: The Army Museum. Credit: Wodonga City Council.

Lake Boga Flying Boat Museum, near Swan Hill

The focus here is on a very specific piece of World War II history, but it’s thoroughly enthralling all the same. This was the site of a secret repair depot for flying boats used during this major conflict and the many displays, along with passionate volunteer staff, explore this theme in great detail. A hidden gem.

Nearby parks: BIG4 Riverside Swan Hill and BIG4 Swan Hill.

Hidden gem: Lake Boga Flying Boat Museum. Credit: Swan Hill Rural City Council.

Golden Dragon Museum, Bendigo

Chinese culture has a rich past and influence in Bendigo resulting from the gold-rush days, and this vibrant attraction is the best place to explore the compelling link. There is a cluster of interesting, intricate, and opulent indoor and outdoor attractions to admire, including some seriously ancient relics.

Nearby parks: BIG4 Bendigo Ascot Holiday Park, BIG4 Bendigo Marong Holiday Park, and BIG4 Bendigo Park Lane Holiday Park.

So much colour, so much history: The Golden Dragon Museum. Credit: Bendigo Tourism.

Bonegilla Migrant Experience, near Wodonga

While not completely indoors, this attraction provides a thorough insight into an engrossing snippet of Australian history. Post-World War II, Bonegilla was a migrant reception and training centre, and a whopping 300,000-plus migrants wandered through its corridors. Today, the centre retraces this interesting past and the countless stories that go with it.

Nearby park: BIG4 Borderland Wodonga.

Get up to speed on a captivating slice of Australian history at Bonegilla. Credit: Wodonga City Council.

Classic pubs and eateries

Healesville Hotel

If you’re thinking about what to do in country Victoria, a visit to a cracking country pub should be in the mix. And the Healesville Hotel is a beauty. Central and instantly inviting, this wooden-floored, multi-section pub is superb. It’s extensive menu places a firm emphasis on locally sourced produce and there's a tempting drinks menu to back it up.

Nearby park: BIG4 Yarra Valley Park Lane Holiday Park.

The Healesville Hotel has 'memorable dining experience' written all over it.

Alexandra Hotel, near Taggerty

This is a classic country pub albeit with a touch of class. It’s rustic, has a homely feel, and features a delectable menu with plenty of hearty dishes. A decent selection of craft ales and local wines adds to its extensive appeal.

Nearby park: BIG4 Taggerty Holiday Park.

Head in for tasty tucker at the Alexandra Hotel.

Das Kaffeehaus and Coffee Basics, Castlemaine

This gorgeous and spacious café is situated within Castlemaine’s The Mill precinct, a heritage area that’s been rebirthed as a foodie, produce, and arts hub. Das Kaffeehaus dishes up excellent coffee alongside its Austrian-inspired menu.

Nearby park: BIG4 Castlemaine Gardens Holiday Park.

Das Kaffeehaus has a strong allure.

Royal Mail Hotel, Dunkeld

The Royal Mail is a Victorian icon, steeped in history having opened in 1855. While it’s been refurbished since, the hotel retains its charm and is a great place to dine. It features two restaurants – one high end; the other more casual – and the bulk of its produce is grown on site.

Nearby park: BIG4 NRMA Halls Gap Holiday Park.

Fit for a king or queen: The iconic Royal Mail Hotel. Credit: Emily Weaving.

Family-friendly attractions

Sovereign Hill, Ballarat

So, it's more outdoors than in, but Sovereign Hill deserves inclusion in this line-up. The popular attraction brings to life the enthralling, vibrant gold-rush days of the 1850s through its collection of recreated historical buildings and various activities. And this regular award-winning attraction also has a fascinating Gold Museum. For more fun, visit Sovereign Hill’s Winter Wonderlights, usually held in June-July.

Nearby parks: BIG4 Ballarat Goldfields Holiday Park and BIG4 Ballarat Windmill Holiday Park.

Sovereign Hill’s Winter Wonderlights is a visual feast.

Discovery Science & Technology Centre, Bendigo

When it comes to indoor activities for kids in Victoria, this fun-filled educational attraction has immense appeal. Inside is a series of clever, quirky, and unique interactive exhibits that will captivate children big and small. The centre is home to the southern hemisphere's tallest vertical slide, and the planetarium is an enthralling addition.

Nearby parks: BIG4 Bendigo Ascot Holiday Park, BIG4 Bendigo Marong Holiday Park, and BIG4 Bendigo Park Lane Holiday Park.

Kids will be captivated by the centre's many exhibits. Credit: Bendigo Tourism.

Ballarat Municipal Observatory and Museum

This attraction is regarded as the first municipal observatory in Australia, having opened in 1886, and offers dazzling opportunities to marvel at the night sky. Winter nights are regarded as offering the best viewing, which is an added bonus for families, as this means less confliction with kids’ regular bedtimes.

Nearby parks: BIG4 Ballarat Goldfields Holiday Park and BIG4 Ballarat Windmill Holiday Park.

Spot the stars, and much more, at Ballarat observatory. Credit: Visit Ballarat.

Parky's Wonderland Indoor Play Centre, Traralgon

Guests at BIG4 Traralgon don’t need to venture far to keep little ones entertained. That’s because within the park’s boundaries is a massive multi-level indoor play centre complete with a wealth of fun. This facility is free for those staying at the park, so finding indoor activities for toddlers and bigger kids is sorted with ease.

More info: BIG4 Traralgon Park Lane Holiday Park.

Fun times: Parky's Wonderland is a hit with kids.

Breweries and bars

Bright Brewery

This indie stalwart is an absolute winner. Bright Brewery has an excellent tap range that includes various seasonal brews, combined with tasty food, and an inviting indoor (and outdoor) setup. And its central location is a welcome bonus.

Nearby parks: BIG4 Bright Holiday Park and BIG4 Porepunkah Holiday Park.

Bright by name and nature.

Hop Temple, Ballarat

This spacious, funky, and chilled-out venue is the coolest kid on the craft beer block in Ballarat. Its substantial rotating tap and bottled beer range is backed by a generous wine list, and cocktails and spirits are on the menu, too. Its good, honest pub food won't leave you hungry, and the live music is well-suited to a Sunday session.

Nearby parks: BIG4 Ballarat Goldfields Holiday Park and BIG4 Ballarat Windmill Holiday Park.

Hop Temple is a shrine to good beer, good food, good wine, and good times.

Coldstream Brewery, Yarra Valley

On the roof of Coldstream stands a bronze-coloured statue named Shivering Man. Inside, it’s nothing but warm and snug, with a distinct pub vibe. The beer is fantastic: seasonals mix with regular brews, and the food is top notch, too.

Nearby park: BIG4 Yarra Valley Park Lane Holiday Park.

The Shivering Man stands tall at the front of cosy Coldstream Brewery. Credit: Coldstream Brewery.

Fossey's Ginporium and Distillery, Mildura

Housed inside a historical building with a nice, relaxed interior, the distillery has immediate appeal. Grab a tasting paddle and sip on a great range of delicious hand-crafted gin. The friendly staff will talk you through the gin-making process, too.

Nearby parks: BIG4 NRMA Mildura Riverside Holiday Park and BIG4 Mildura Getaway Holiday Park.

Gintastic: Fossey's Ginporium and Distillery.

Paper Scissors Rock Brew Co., Halls Gap

After a busy day hiking in Grampians National Park, quench a thirst at this magnetising brewery with its excellent variety of beers, quality food, and live music and events at select times.

Nearby park: BIG4 NRMA Halls Gap Holiday Park.

There's no wrong choices at Paper Scissors Rock.

Other attractions

Bendigo Tramways

Bendigo’s vintage trams are a fun way to see the city’s landmarks and soak up local history. Themed tram rides add more colour and variety to this novel experience.

Nearby parks: BIG4 Bendigo Ascot Holiday Park, BIG4 Bendigo Marong Holiday Park, and BIG4 Bendigo Park Lane Holiday Park.

All aboard for a fun outing on Bendigo’s vintage trams. Credit: Bendigo Tourism.

The Cube Wodonga

Enjoy a night out at The Cube Wodonga. This vibrant multi-purpose, conference, and performance facility is situated in Wodonga’s CBD and hosts touring bands and theatre shows, local performances, film screenings, and more. The performance season includes comedy, dance, music, morning melodies and children’s theatre complete with a café and bar.

Nearby park: BIG4 Borderland Wodonga.

Colour and fun explodes from The Cube Wodonga. Credit: Wodonga City Council.

Theatre Royal, Castlemaine

This historical art deco-style structure enhances the romanticism of a couples' escape in Castlemaine. Theatre Royal features a pizza bar, microbrewery, and live music alongside its old-school cinema. 

Nearby park: BIG4 Castlemaine Gardens Holiday Park.

Theatre Royal makes for a great evening in Castlemaine.

Time for a Country Victoria escape? Choose a park below or scan all BIG4 parks in VIC here.

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