Need a break? Recharge with these Victorian getaways
Thursday 23 November, 2023
Looking for some respite from the hustle and bustle of everyday life? Nestled in the serene heartland of Victoria, you’ll find places that will entice you to plan an escape into nature.
Enjoy a getaway in places where relaxation is not just an option, but a way of life. Explore these peaceful havens where being surrounded by nature is good for our mind, body and soul. Something as simple as viewing natural scenes lowers blood pressure, reduces stress and boosts wellbeing. Put simply, nature is good for you!
Cave & Bathe
Explore captivating limestone caves at Buchan in the morning and bathe in the healing geothermal waters at Metung Hot Springs in the afternoon.
Morning: Buchan Caves Tour
The Buchan Caves are an excellent place to go in the heat of summer. Through the passageways and stairs of two ancient caves, is where you can escape for a couple of hours into cooler underground caverns and roam the mesmerizing world that lies beneath the earth's surface. With each step you take on the tour, you’ll be transported back in time, immersing yourself around underground formations where rivers cut through limestone rock for over 400 million years. Read more.
Afternoon: Metung Hot Springs
After exploring the caves, it's time to unwind and rejuvenate in a different type of natural environment at Metung Hot Springs.
Located one-hour southwest of Buchan, nestled in picturesque surroundings of Gippsland Lakes, Metung Hot Springs invites you to soak in the healing embrace of geothermal waters. The mineral-rich waters are known for their therapeutic properties, offering a perfect respite for tired bodies and weary souls.
Start planning a natural getaway for you and a friend. It’s the perfect adventure that will leave you with cherished memories and a renewed sense of vitality.
Visitors with Parks Victoria ranger hosting Buchan Caves tour. Credit: Visit Victoria.
Friends enjoying the bathing experience at Metung Hot Springs. Credit: Visit Victoria.
Evening: Need somewhere to stay?
Buchan Caves Reserve is home to two great options depending on the level of comfort you enjoy staying in. Rest in comfort in the historic Buchan Caves House where exotic trees, tranquil rivers and lyrebirds await. Or camp at Buchan Caves Reserve campground, a family-favourite leafy campground, suitable for the whole family. Both surrounded by perfect landscapes, ideal for picnics or stargazing when the sun goes down.
Buchan Caves Reserve is on Krauatungalung Country, and is highly significant to Gunaikurnai Traditional Owners due to its remarkable Aboriginal cultural heritage. Parks Victoria works with Gunaikurnai Land and Waters Aboriginal Corporation as joint management partners in this Aboriginal cultural landscape.
Family spending the afternoon in the backyard of Buchan Caves House.
Family enjoying the open spaces camping at Buchan Caves Reserve campground.
Cosy Coastal Camping
Make the most of the pre-pitched camping tents available at Point Nepean National Park. It’s the perfect start to a stress-free stay in nature. Explore, camp and relax within the idyllic coastal national park.
Morning: Prepare your personal paddock to plate
Start the day with the peace of mind of knowing you have a tent already set up waiting for you when arriving at the park. All you need to focus on is packing your favourite things for a coastal weekend getaway.
Let the road trip begin! Before driving to the very tip of the Peninsula, take the time to stop over at some of the highly regarded local producers in Mornington Peninsula. Think gourmet sausages, fresh fruit and delicious cheeses, all for you to enjoy during your weekend getaway.
Afternoon: Explore the park
Upon arrival at Point Nepean National Park, take the time to leisurely explore the park’s history, dating back 35,000 years. The national park shares Aboriginal history, early settlement, quarantine, defence and national park history. The Quarantine Station, near the Visitor Information Area consists of 50 heritage-listed buildings with artefacts dating back more than 150 years. Don’t miss the chance to also visit Australia’s best example of military fortifications and engineering at Fort Nepean, located at the very tip of the Mornington Peninsula. Here you can explore the extensive tunnel complex on foot which connects the historic gun emplacements.
If you bring your bike to get around on two wheels, pedal along the various cycling routes immersing yourself in a rich history and rugged coastal scenery. With various routes catering to different skill levels, cyclists of all abilities can enjoy the beauty of the park while riding. But if you don’t own a bike, e-bikes are available for hire from the Quarantine Station Visitor Information Area.
Alternatively, you can simply catch the shuttle bus service – a great alternative to explore the park.
Basket full of fresh strawberries from Sunny Ridge Strawberry Farm. Credit: Visit Victoria.
Cyclists and walkers using the shared road in Point Nepean National Park.
Evening: Stargaze throughout the night
The gentle sea breeze and the sound of waves lapping the shores create a soothing backdrop to your restful evening in the Discovery Tents.
Make use of the outdoor barbeque and dining area, perfect to prepare your local produce purchased earlier in the day and ease into the night after a jam-packed day exploring the national park.
Point Nepean National Park is part of an Aboriginal cultural landscape in the traditional Country of the Bunurong People.
Lunchtime at the exclusive outdoor barbeque and dining area.
Two friends relaxing at Point Nepean Discovery Tents.
Bass Strait Paradise
Wilsons Promontory National Park is a favourite destination for many Victorians. The experiences in this park are endless, from walks along remote coastal bushland trails, swimming at pristine beaches, followed by a restful stay in an eco-friendly house.
Traveling outside of the summer holidays allows you to have a quieter and more relaxed experience, as the park tends to be busier during peak holiday periods.
Morning: Day walks at The Prom
Explore a range of Wilsons Promontory walks tucked away down many different tracks, all taking in pristine beaches, temperate rainforest, towering sand dunes or lookouts offering spectacular panoramic views. From family-friendly nature walks to a more challenging hike, there's a walk to suit everyone. Start planning.
Afternoon: Explore the blue national park
Other than exploring the land-based trails, you can also discover the amazing marine wonders. Wilsons Promontory Marine National Park is Victoria’s largest Marine Protected Area and home to one of the richest marine ecosystems off the coast of Australia, rivalling that of the Great Barrier Reef.
This park is one of the world's greatest diving destinations, hosting an impressive array of marine life on granite walls that plunge below the surface. But if diving isn’t your forte, you can bring your snorkel on calm days to see for yourself.
And if you don’t want to get your hair wet, canoeing, kayaking or stand-up paddle boarding are great ways to explore beautiful waterways. Or jump on a Wilsons Prom eco-tour with a licensed tour operator. Here you’ll enjoy the tranquility and spot wildlife that hikers don’t normally see.
As beaches and coasts are natural environments, you may encounter hazards. Follow our water safety advice to make sure your day out at Wilsons Promontory Marine National Park is a safe and enjoyable one.
Two people using accessible pathway at Wilsons Promontory National Park.
Wilsons Promontory Cruises near Skull Rock. Credit: Visit Victoria.
Evening: Relaxing on the edge
After a day of exploring the park in length, it’s time to retire to the self-catering eco-lodge. Just Inside the Gate is a perfect example of where luxury meets wilderness. Situated at the very edge of the northern section of the park, this exquisite accommodation offers the perfect blend of comfort and nature, providing an idyllic retreat in this picture-perfect landscape. Immerse yourself in the serene surroundings, with modern amenities and breathtaking views, ensuring an unforgettable stay.
Wilsons Promontory National Park is part of an Aboriginal cultural landscape. Parks Victoria respects the deep and continuing connection that Traditional Owners have to these lands and waters, and we recognise their ongoing role in caring for Country.
Visitors spending time in the pristine kitchen in Just Inside the Gate.
Views of the deck, eco-lodge accommodation at Wilsons Promontory National Park.