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The perfect reasons to pause 

Think summer holidays, think road trips.

And as the Transport Accident Commission (TAC) of Victoria reminds us, think rest stops, too.

With plenty of time spent off the roads in 2020, many of us have become unaccustomed to long drives.

Which is why TAC’s advice for all drivers to pause from the road every two hours is more critical than ever before.

And as you’ll soon learn, factoring in rest stops doesn’t only mitigate against drowsy driving but can also provide a much-needed boost for regional businesses.

These breaks also deliver plenty of other rewards, too.

A pause has its rewards. Location: Bendigo, VIC.

Pause to find the best vanilla slice

Regional bakeries are renowned for their delicious treats. Many lay claim to the world’s best vanilla slice or pie, and whether it’s true or not, they rarely leave you unsatisfied. It’s not just bakeries – there are hidden-gem cafes and other eateries all around, with ample goodies to tempt the tastebuds. And most could do with a few extra visitors to round out the year.

Country bakeries are a goldmine for the tastebuds. Location: Yarragon, VIC.

Pause to find that perfect picnic spot

Regional destinations are dotted with some of the most inviting settings to pause for a picnic, often without swarming crowds. Whether by a river or lake or offering sweeping views, it pays to stop and admire the beauty of that town name you can’t quite pronounce properly.

A pause-style picnic is the way to go. Location: Noreuil Park, Albury, NSW. Credit: Destination NSW.

Want free barista-made coffee when you pause? See where to go in Victoria - click here

Pause for the quirky things

Whether it’s the southern hemisphere’s longest hand-carved this or Australia’s tallest paper mache that, regional Australia is home to some quirky claims to fame (not that the ‘big smoke’ is removed from such assertions, either). Whatever the case, these interesting finds make a great excuse to take a break from the road. 

If you're not staying in Shepparton, VIC, at least stop to admire its Moooving Art exhibition.

Pause to discover a random playground

Any kid or parent would likely attest to having fond memories of discovering a playground in some town they initially never intended stopping at. And for families, it’s clearly a must to let kids burn off some energy between the endless cries of, “Are we there yet?”.

Stopping at a playground benefits the whole family.

Pause to wander through glorious gardens

Australia’s regional cities are home to a bounty of beautiful botanic gardens, with a feast of fixating features. Many are centrally located with excellent walking trails for a gentle meander, which provides even more reason to stop.

Inside the gates of a garden, a whole new world awaits. Location: Ballarat Botanical Gardens, VIC.

Pause for a hit of culture

Equally, regional Australia boasts an almighty collection of quality art galleries and museums, and most of them are free to visit or have a small entry price. A quick history lesson with your road trip gives you plenty of talking points for the next leg of your journey. 

Regional galleries explode with visual treats. Location: Ballarat Art Gallery, VIC.

Pause for the big things

Australia sure loves it big creations. Bananas, mangoes, tennis racquets, koalas. Whatever it is, the big things of Australia make for a memorable stop to stretch the legs and regain energy to have us in better shape for the trip ahead.

Take a little pause to witness big things. Pictured: The Big Merino, Goulburn, NSW. Credit: Destination NSW.

And if you’re driving around or into Victoria…

Operating over four long weekends from Boxing Day 2020 until Easter 2021, TAC Pause Stops will be live in key locations around the state, where drivers will be offered free barista-made coffee and road trip essentials and can engage in a variety of onsite activities. Find out more here.

It might be the most important break you've ever had. Location: Wilsons Promontory National Park, VIC.

Aim to get enough quality sleep before driving, and pull over at least every two hours. A pause from the road might save your life. 

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