A stay at home Mum who doesn't stay at home much; too many exciting things to be discovering in this city...
Published September 3rd 2019
Discover Victoria's most family-friendly getaways
They say that a change is as good as a rest and I am a firm believer of this adage. Getting the family away from the hum-drum of everyday life, even just for a couple of days, can be enough to reset everyone and bring some perspective to your busy life. With little ones in tow your mini-breaks might now be less to do with relaxing and more to do with channeling energy and enjoying new experiences. With that said, below are my top picks for some great fun family getaways all within a three hour drive of central Melbourne:
Cape Woolamai beach on Phillip Island, courtesy of Phillip Island facebook page
Phillip Island. Situated a stone's throw from the mainland, Phillip Island is chock full of kid-friendly accommodation and dozens of family attractions. See the world famous Penguin Parade for an amazing memory-making experience, or hit one of the numerous animal parks or gorgeous beaches which the island has to offer. Don't forget to take a tour of the Phillip Island Chocolate Factory or fend off the seagulls as you eat fish and chips on the beach at Cowes. More information can be found here.
Discover natural beauty from Halls Gap, courtesy of The Grampians Way facebook page
The Grampians. Base yourself in the lovely little town of Halls Gap and explore the Grampians National Park, an area of forest studded with sandstone mountains. There are a multitude of child-friendly walks on offer here and getting back to nature is the order of the day. If you have kids that are school-aged, the best walk (in my humble opinion) is the walk to The Pinnacle. It is full of interesting features and different surfaces to scramble over. Squeeze through narrow canyons and scale rocks to reach breath-taking views when you make it to the top. For pre-schoolers, an easy walk will take you to the natural rock pools of Venus Baths where toddlers can splash around to their heart's content. For more details click here.
Ice cream delights, courtesy of Great Ocean Road facebook page
The Great Ocean Road. Any number of seaside towns along this famous road is a good pick for a mini-break. Lorne has plenty to keep little ones amused with beachfront trampolines, lots of ice-cream shops, playgrounds and Live Wire Park - home to high ropes courses and flying foxes. The Wye River is great for getting back to nature with a beautiful, safe inlet to splash about in and bush walks where you're likely to spot a koala or two (we spotted one strolling nonchalantly through a car park). Anglesea is also a favourite holiday spot with its gorgeous beaches and an abundance of kangaroos. Follow the link for more details.
Fun in the tree tops, courtesy of Enchanted Adventure Garden facebook page
Mornington Peninsula. Living in Melbourne's south-east, we are lucky enough to be frequent day-trippers to the Peninsula but there's more than enough here to keep families entertained for a long weekend. Attractions abound such as Arthurs Seat Eagle (a gondola ride to the summit of Arthurs Seat) and the Enchanted Adventure Garden, bursting with fun family activities. The beaches on the Peninsula are a destination in themselves and there are some great playgrounds such as Rosebud Foreshore playground and the playspace at the end of Mornington high street. Don't forget to swing by The Big Goose for some animal fun and tractor rides. Click here for further information.
Catch a keeper talk at Ballarat Wildlife Park, courtesy of Ballarat Wildlife Park facebook page
Ballarat. For little history lovers, Ballarat is a winner. Kryal Castle will take you back to medieval times and Sovereign Hill will transport you to the goldfields of the eighteen hundreds. With plenty of hands-on fun especially for school-aged children, your kids will be learning about the past without even realising the learning is happening. Ballarat Wildlife Park is great for a visit too and there are some great adventure playgrounds to check out in town. For more information, click here.