Victoria is a state that offers many fascinating regional towns and villages that make for ideal weekend getaways or short trips.
Melburnians are particularly spoilt for choice, with several Victorian towns accessible within a few hours by car.
No matter which direction you head you are greeted by one constant: wide, open spaces and fresh country air. Combine this with unique experiences, colourful culture, outstanding food and drink, and an escape to regional Victoria offers the complete mini-break package.
Here are five great Victorian towns to visit for a weekend escape or short-term getaway:
Located just over an hour’s drive northwest of Melbourne is the village of Kyneton, which was built on the wealth of the 1850s gold rush.
The region is known for its quality produce, primarily from wine makers and small food growers, and much of the harvest is featured on restaurant menus and in local food stores.
Brimming with boutique shopping and gourmet restaurants, Kyneton offers an indulgent destination to enjoy a break from the daily grind.
There is plenty to see and do in Kyneton – learn about local history at the Kyneton Museum, take a stroll through the Kyneton Botanic Gardens, or shop up a storm at Piper St which is filled with boutiques, bookshops and produce stores.
View our full travel guide to Kyneton, Victoria here.
Nestled at the foot of the Macedon Ranges and less than one hour from Melbourne is the modern rural town of Woodend.
Natural attractions are plentiful here with the jewel in the crown being the famous Hanging Rock. Mysterious and beautiful, it’s a perfect place for picnics and leisure activities.
The region is also renowned for its quality food and drinks – head to Holgate Taproom to sample the range of craft beers or stop in at Fox in the Chamber for a long, lazy breakfast.
Located close to Kyneton, you could incorporate visiting both towns during the same trip.
View our full travel guide to Woodend, Victoria here.
Alternatively, consider a drive north out of Melbourne and up the Hume Freeway to Seymour.
This quiet country town is situated on the beautiful Goulburn River and is a refreshing break from the hustle and bustle of city life.
Country hospitality abounds in the local cafes and pubs and the bakery sells all the traditional favourites. Take some time to explore the walking trails and listen to the native birds from kookaburras to currawongs who call this place home.
Seymour has a strong connection with the Australian Defence Force due to its close proximity to a nearby military base. Visitors can explore the Vietnam Veterans Commemorative Walk, a moving tribute to more than 60,000 Australians who served in the Vietnam War.
View our full travel guide to Seymour, Victoria here.
Escape eastward and take one of the prettiest drives through tree ferns and towering mountain ash over the Black Spur to the town of Marysville.
Situated in the foothills of Lake Mountain alpine resort, Marysville is tranquil and secluded, making it the perfect place for a romantic getaway or a relaxing retreat.
Sleep in late and enjoy a lazy brunch at a local cafe before heading off for an adventure in the mountains, with bike trails and bush walks aplenty.
In the winter, the town is blanketed in snow, where Lake Mountain becomes a hub for cross country skiing, snowshoeing, and toboggan rides.
View our full travel guide to Marysville, Victoria here.
5. Port Fairy
A bit further afield, on the stunning south-west coast of Victoria, is the seaside town of Port Fairy.
Combining historic charm, an abundant supply of local produce, and stunning coastal scenery, this town has all the ingredients that make it a stellar destination.
Grab a coffee and walk the Griffiths Island loop, stopping off at the scenic Griffith Lighthouse. Continue wandering before stopping for a spot of shopping, visiting the Community Market, or finding a cosy cafe or bar to enjoy a drink or two.
A word of warning for those seeking a quiet escape – in the summer the town almost doubles in size as visitors migrate to the coast to enjoy the cooler coastal climate.
View our full travel guide to Port Fairy, Victoria here.
Whichever direction you choose to travel, there is a fantastic Victorian town waiting to be explored, with inviting places to stay and ample country hospitality to enjoy.