So you've been to Melbourne and you're ready to visit the wider state of good old Vic. If the flesh is willing but the bank account is weak, grab add these ideas to your bucket list for a state-wide adventure that will broaden your mind without emptying your pockets.
Sovereign Hill, Ballarat
Eureka! Sovereign Hill is a gold mine (pun intended) of activities for the old, young, and young-at-heart. An entire town re-created in the style of 1850's Victoria, this tourist hotspot lets you experience the dust, heat and glory of the Gold Rush. Read a review or visit their website for more information.
Go on a Hike When you're in the middle of it, it's easy to think that the city stretches off unendingly in all directions, and the country air is just a far-off dream. Not true. There are plenty of Day Hikes you can choose from which are close enough to the city to have you home in time for supper. Check out Lisa's list for ideas and information.
Winery Tours You've probably heard of Picnic at Hanging Rock – but what about a glass of wine to go with it? Hanging Rock Winery is situated in the picturesque Macedon Ranges, perfect for a family trip or a romantic getaway. You could also head towards Gippsland to try out Toms Cap, a boutique retreat near one of Victoria's rainforest areas.
Camping by the Murray Where the river meets the – well, land – is a popular spot for a lazy weekend of swimming, fishing and enjoying the serenity. The paddlesteamers are a longstanding attraction, plus there's a chocolate company, and motoring enthusiasts will appreciate the National Holden Museum. For camping details and other accommodation, visit the Murray River website.
Budget Blowout: Skiing
Who says Australia is all about the sand and the surf? Many tourists may not know that the land down under also provides some pretty good skiing opportunities. The Mount Hotham/Falls Creek area takes about four and a half hours to reach from Melbourne, and don't forget that you'll have to stop for tyre chains and ski gear hire as you approach. It's not for those on a tight schedule – especially as you'll want at least a long weekend to unwind by the slopes and practice your sweet moves.