During the summer period our lifestyle areas in Victoria, from Woodend, Castlemaine, Ballarat and Daylesford in the state’s north-west, to the coastal regions on both peninsulas of Port Phillip Bay – Bellarine on one side and Mornington on the other, become vibrant hubs of activity. The regions fill with day-trippers and weekenders alike, all choosing to spend their summer breaks surrounded by beautiful natural surrounds, fantastic galleries, great places to eat and plenty of history.
The team members at Jellis Craig’s lifestyle offices – Barwon Heads, Ballarat, Woodend, Castlemaine, Daylesford, Sorrento, and Rye, shared with us some of their favourite places to go, where to stay, and things to do, just in time for the summer season.
Newstead Live is an Australian folk-roots music festival in the history country town of Newstead, near Castlemaine. The event has been running for over twenty years and takes place each year over the last weekend in January, when a range of diverse and highly regarded international and national artists perform in live music venues, concert spaces, workshops, impromptu sessions, spoken word performances, and more. In nearby Maldon, the highlight of the year is the inaugural Maldon Twilight Dinner, taking place on the 20th of January 2024. Attendees are treated to a range of fabulous food, wine, and entertainment. Hurry, the evening sells out quickly.
For a day of history and nature on the Mornington Peninsula, head to the Point Nepean National Park, where visitors can walk or cycle through a rugged coastal landscape and enjoy panoramic ocean and bay views. You can also explore military forts and tunnels, learn about the people who passed through the Quarantine Station – and see fascinating artefacts spanning back over 150 years.
A getaway in Ballarat and Central Victoria is all about celebrating the good things – from long, languid lunches, to wine tastings, and relaxed dinners. Larder Café in Daylesford is an essential stop coffee, breakfast, brunch, or lunch. This café has a Melbourne northside vibe and is perfect for people-watching. A must visit, The Lake House is one of Victoria’s most iconic hotels, with an award-winning restaurant serving modern Australian cuisine. Ingredients are sourced on site, and a visit is a once-in-a-lifetime experience. Over in Waubra near Ballarat, a visit to Wayward Winery for delightful share plates and delicious wine is the perfect weekend lunch experience. Another winery worth a visit is Eastern PeakeWinery, which offers tickets for guided winery tours, barrel samples, wine flights and regional produce boards. In the Macedon Ranges, Mount Towrong Vineyard – a small family owned and operated vineyard, situated 600m above sea level with direct views of Mount Macedon and Mount Towrong is a much-loved favourite. Panacea Estate, located in Welshman's Reef, Central Victoria, are a family-friendly winery offering wine tastings and delicious cheese boards with breathtaking panoramas over stunning vines, gardens and an incredible lake.