Need to escape your routine and spend some quality time with the BFFs? Grab your besties and wander regional Victoria. Discover weekend getaways fit for pamper-prone princesses, culinary queens, avid explorers and ardent relaxers. Fill your belly with laughs and fine food. Find your feet on a mountain or in a day spa. Hang ten in the surf or in a hammock. Sleep under five stars or five million. Whatever your idea of a great girls' getaway, we have just the place to wander.
Stop. Pamper time.
Swap bubbles for the real thing and plunge into a mineral spa. Book in for a treatment or three and make like movie-star BFFs.
Top spots for serious pampering include Peninsula Hot Springs on the Mornington Peninsula and spa country, Daylesford and Hepburn Springs – the Hepburn Bathhouse and Spa, The Mineral Spa. Beachside, on the Bellarine Peninsula, Mud Day Spa and Queenscliff Day Spa will add some "aaah" to your R&R.
Sign up for surf camp and give Johnny Utah a run for his money – or your friends a good laugh. It's a swell way to hang (ten) with the gang. Surfing hot spots on the Great Ocean Road (start at mecca: Torquay) and Phillip Island have plenty of schools and places to hire boards. Some outfits, such as Girls on Board, offer full-weekend glamping surf-and-stay packages.
On the Mornington Peninsula, stand-up paddle boarding will test the core, and snorkelling tours will introduce you to new pals of the aquatic kind. On the Murray, pick up the speed with a water-skiing session or paddle at your own pace on a canoeing trip.
Land lovers, lace up and take your friendship to new heights in the Grampians, or hit the beach on the Great Ocean Walk. In the High Country, saddle up for a horse riding tour (with winery stops), pedal your way around (also with winery stops) or increase the speed on a quad biking tour (without wine).
Want to up the ante? Rock out with a climbing lesson in the Grampians. In winter, shred it on the snowfields: Mt Hotham, Falls Creek and Mt Buller offer extensive ski school programs, including the Mim Sodergren Women’s Program.
Back to school
Reminisce about the old days by going back to school. Make mincemeat of masterchefs in a cooking class. Check out cooking classes attached to restaurants, wineries and accommodation in villages across Victoria.
Do nonna proud at Italian classes at A Tavola at Pizzini Wines, Green Olive at Red Hill, and at Bendigo's Epicurean Delicatessen. Bake bread with your besties at the Redbeard Bakery, Trentham and at Milly & Romeo's Cooking School and Artisan Bakery in Koonwarra, Gippsland. Go French farmhouse at Annie Smithers' du Fermier, Trentham or impress your pals with pâté at Piper Street Food Co., in Kyneton.
Think your friends can be a bit crafty? Test their mettle (and glue) with a craft class, or get behind the wheel at Bendigo Pottery.
Gather your closest culture vultures and hit the road to explore some of Australia's best galleries. Regional villages in Victoria have tonnes of public and private galleries, open studios and exhibitions in the picture. Take in the big-ticket galleries in Bendigo and Ballarat, browse Tarrawarra with a wine in hand, and explore galleries big and small in Daylesford.
Outside, see extraordinary, unlikely street art in Benalla, and venture up to the Wimmera to see the incredible mural painted on silos in Brim.
Food and wine
Wend your way through Victoria's 14 wine regions and let the wine and unedited conversation flow. Take a winery tour along the Mornington Peninsula and laze over a long lunch or get up with the sparrows and float above the Yarra Valley in a hot air balloon, coming back down for a champagne breakfast. Plenty of regional wineries are equipped with boutique accommodation, perfect for a weekend sleep-eat-drink trifecta.
No-one ever grows out of roadtrips with friends. Pack your favourite playlists and pals and explore Victoria's favourite roadtrips: take in the Great Ocean Road and the Grampians on the Great Southern Touring Route or absorb the alpine air on the High Country's Great Alpine Road. From day trips to multi-day adventures, we have a road trip to suit almost any playlist and life-long friends.