Want to escape Melbourne's fast-paced way of life for a quiet weekend away? If you're dreaming of taking some time off work, spending Friday to Sunday outside the city can help tide you over to your next proper holiday. From quaint cottages to luxurious villas, regional Victoria is teeming with picturesque destinations. To help you plan the perfect mini break, these are our favourite weekend escapes near Melbourne:
Built on the edge of the Yarra Valley, Woodlands Cottage offers a combination of seclusion, indulgent luxury and natural beauty. Each of the self-contained cottages is hidden in its own enclave, offering visitors unparalleled privacy. Located 80 kilometres north of Melbourne, Woodlands Cottage is surrounded by native flora and fauna. The retreat's rainforest setting includes a private bushland lake, making it a magnet for species like kookaburras, cockatoos and wallabies. To experience one of the most magical weekend escapes close to Melbourne, there's no better way to recharge your batteries than by spending a few nights at Woodlands Cottage.
Featuring a stunning bushland backdrop and 9 self-contained spa villas, Kudos Villages was designed especially for couples. This romantic getaway can be found at the foothills of the Great Dividing Range, just a short drive from the country town of Daylesford. The villas are fitted with a range of indulgent features, including private courtyards, open fireplaces, saunas and home entertainment systems. Despite feeling like it's in the middle of the wilderness, Kudos Villages only takes 90 minutes to reach by car from central Melbourne.
Clifftop at Hepburn
Clifftop at Hepburn overlooks an ancient pine forest and sweeping valleys. Perched on a picturesque mountainside, the retreat's 3 architect-designed villas are just as breathtaking as the surrounding scenery. Each villa features an infinity overhanging day bed, a private spa, high-tech entertainment options and a self-contained kitchen. Thanks to the floor-to-ceiling windows, you can fall asleep under the stars from the comfort of your accommodation. Created for sophisticated travellers, this retreat offers the ultimate in rustic comfort. Hepburn takes around an hour and a half to reach from central Melbourne, but you can enjoy passing through regional Victoria's famously beautiful scenery during the drive.
Polperro Winery Villas
Polperro Winery Villas is one of the prettiest countryside escapes outside of Melbourne. Occupying a 25-acre working property in the heart of the Mornington Peninsula, it has boutique accommodation, food and wine experiences and natural hot springs. Guests can stay in 1 of 4 beautifully styled studio apartments overlooking a vineyard, all of which come with a private spa and an open fireplace. If you're in the mood for some mindfulness between wine tastings, yoga classes are held 7 days a week. Located in the small community of Red Hill, Polperro Winery Villas is around 80 kilometres south of Melbourne.
Arcadia Cottage is a stone's throw from the city. This quaint bed and breakfast-style retreat is situated in Olinda, a popular tourist town just 40 kilometres from Melbourne's central business district. Surrounded by the Dandenong Ranges, the cottages blend in perfectly with the bushland locale. The retreat's amenities include a day spa, walking trails and private gardens. Guests can enjoy having their very own hot tub and log fire, in addition to stunning views of the nearby ranges. All these retreats are within a 2-hour drive of Melbourne, so you'll still have plenty of time to return home and prepare for the working week. Want to discover more postcard-worthy retreats in Australia? Check out our post on 5 Stunning Weekend Escapes Around Brisbane.