10 non-typical weekend destinations from Melbourne

When it comes to weekend away from Melbourne, have you seen and done it all? Have you explored every nook and cranny of Yarra Valley, conquered the Grampians, and chilled out for endless weekends at the Mornington Peninsula? If you’re feeling like it’s time to break out of your usual routine and try something new, this article has got you covered. Below, we offer a selection of unique short getaways and weekend destinations from Melbourne that cater to your interests. Whether it’s trekking, wine-tasting, beach lounging, or national park hopping, just bring your adventurous spirit and get ready for a fun-filled trip!

Unique weekend destinations from Melbourne

Although we adore Melbourne, sometimes we feel the urge to leave the bustling city. A dose of fresh air, a little nature and maybe a sea breeze is something we all need from time to time. The good news is that Melbourne is strategically located for amazing weekend escapes. From weekends hiking in the mountains, to seaside escapes and days spent learning about local history, when you’re placed in Melbourne, you have access to everything.

However, if you’ve been living in Melbourne for some time, you may feel that you’ve seen a little of everything. It’s likely that you’ve already explored the Yarra Valley, been to the Grampians and taken a weekend retreat to the Mornington Peninsula. You need something a little different!

In this article, we have curated a list of non-typical weekend destinations from Melbourne. You don’t need a passport for these destinations, but you will need an open mind and a sense of adventure!

weekend destinations from Melbourne - Bendigo


Look no further than Bendigo, a charming town located in central Victoria, if it’s something different you’re looking for. Steeped in history, Bendigo truly offers a unique blend of the old and the new. From the historic Bendigo Post Office to the contemporary Bendigo Art Gallery, there’s something to see around every corner.

Browse the boutiques and head to the cafes that line the picturesque streets. Be sure to take a stroll in one of the beautiful parks, or visit the fascinating Central Deborah Gold Mine. Friendly locals and a warm, welcoming atmosphere make Bendigo the perfect destination for a relaxing and enjoyable weekend getaway from Melbourne.

Wilsons Promontory

Wilsons Promontory, or “The Prom” as it’s commonly known to those living in Victoria, is a stunning national park. Located at the southernmost tip of the Australian mainland, The Prom boasts a diverse range of natural landscapes, from rugged coastlines to tranquil coves, and striking granite mountains.

Its pristine beaches are perfect for swimming, surfing, and snorkeling, while its peaceful bushwalks offer breathtaking views and the opportunity to spot native wildlife like kangaroos and wallabies. It’s really the best place to kick back. Whether you’re a nature lover or just looking for a peaceful getaway, Wilsons Promontory is a must-visit destination that’s sure to leave you with unforgettable memories.

historic experiences in Ballarat Victoria


Ballarat is a charming little city located in the heart of Victoria, known for its rich history and vibrant culture. Whether you’re travelling as couple or with kids, this lively city offers a wide range of experiences for visitors of all ages and interests. Explore the stunning architecture of historic buildings such as Her Majesty’s Theatre or wander through the vibrant arts precinct. Then, take a journey back in time at the Sovereign Hill open-air museum, where you can witness life during the 1850s gold rush. The children will love the award-winning Ballarat Wildlife Park where they can get up close to some of Australia’s most beloved animals.


Nestled in the heart of the Alpine Shire is the picturesque town of Bright. This is a place where all kinds of outdoor adventures are at your fingertips, meanwhile those seeking relaxation are also drawn to the region for its nature. In fact, Bright is known for its stunning scenery – surrounded by breathtaking mountains, rivers, and forests, it’s an idyllic base to explore the stunning alpine region.

From exhilarating mountain bike trails to tranquil hikes, to leisurely walks along the scenic river, Bright offers a wealth of outdoor experiences. In addition to outdoor pursuits, the town itself features a bustling culinary scene, with nearby wineries, breweries, and acclaimed restaurants serving up delicious locally-sourced cuisine.

beach destination from Melbourne - the prom

Apollo Bay

When in Victoria, you shouldn’t miss a trip down south. Nestled on the scenic Great Ocean Road, Apollo Bay is a picturesque coastal town that offers visitors an unforgettable seaside experience. Its beautiful stretches of white sand beaches contrast with the rugged, towering cliffs and turquoise waters, providing visitors with breathtaking views and awesome photography opportunities.

Located at the foothills of Otway Ranges, the town itself is an ideal base for exploring the stunning natural beauty of the region, including the famous Twelve Apostles. Whether you’re interested in swimming, surfing, hiking, or simply lounging by the beach, Apollo Bay is a destination that offers something for everyone. Once you’ve scoped out the area and its natural attractions, enjoy the town’s charming shops, cafes, and restaurants.


Located at the entrance of Port Phillip Bay is the charming seaside town of Queenscliff. Quaint Queenscliff is best known for its rich maritime heritage, providing visitors with a unique blend of history, culture, and natural beauty.

Whilst you’re here, explore the historic Queenscliff Fort and Maritime Museum or take a leisurely stroll along the picturesque pier to take in views of the bay. For those seeking outdoor adventure, you can also surf the waves here, or explore the Bellarine Peninsula by bike or kayak. A number of nearby beaches make it easy to just relax. In the evenings, enjoy a craft beer or a glass of local wine in one of the town’s lively bars or restaurants.

shepparton - weekend destination from melbourne

Mooving Art – Pic credit: Greater Shepparton City Council


Only a short drive away, Shepparton is a surprising weekend destination located in the heart of the Goulburn Valley. It’s the gateway to one of Australia’s most significant agricultural regions, and therefore boasts a whole load of incredible produce! The town itself provides visitors with a diverse range of experiences, including exploring the plentiful orchards and farms, exploring captivating museums, and immersing themselves in the charming local culture.

Whilst you’re here. take a stroll through the beautiful Victoria Park Lake and enjoy the scenic walking tracks or visit the iconic furphy museum to gain insight into one of Australia’s most famous cultural treasures. Then at night, the town is alive with a bustling culinary scene sure to delight visitors’ taste buds.

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The historic town of Macedon is a charming destination located just an hour away from Melbourne. Known for its picturesque scenery, the town features breathtaking landscapes, rolling hills, and scenic bushland, making it an ideal destination for outdoor enthusiasts.

During a visit, many people like to take a hike to the summit of Mount Macedon and witness stunning panoramic views from the Memorial Cross. You can also visit nearby wineries, such as Hanging Rock Winery and enjoy a glass of local wine, or explore the town’s quaint cafes, boutiques, and restaurants. Macedon is the perfect destination for a day trip or weekend getaway, an escape from the hectic pace of city life!

Castlemaine destination from Melbourne


When it comes to weekend destinations from Melbourne, don’t miss Castlemaine. Nestled in the heart of the goldfields region, the charming town offers visitors a unique blend of history and culture. You may recognise Castlemaine for its stunning colonial architecture, including the historic Old Castlemaine Gaol and the iconic Theatre Royal, which has been a cultural epicenter of the region for over 150 years.

But the town also features vibrant arts and culture scene, with a range of galleries and studios showcasing local artists’ work. Visitors can also explore the nearby hiking trails at Mount Alexander or enjoy a relaxing picnic by the beautiful Botanical Gardens.

French Island

French Island is a hidden gem located in Western Port Bay, just a short ferry ride from Melbourne. It’s one of the weekend destinations from Melbourne you shouldn’t miss – especially if you’ve been living in Melbourne for a while! Fresh Island is widely renowned for its diverse range of flora and fauna, with over 500 native plant species and a thriving population of animals, including koalas, echidnas, and wallabies, making it a crucial conservation area.

Typically, visitors to French Island will explore the unique natural beauty of the island by bike or walking through the rugged terrain, enjoying incredible wildlife sightings and enjoying magnificent views of the bay. With minimal tourist development, French Island is a secluded utopia perfect for those seeking an escape from city life.

Aus Weekend Escapes Top hotel Pick in Shepparton!

Wyndhamere Motel in Shepparton offers modern, quiet rooms and a central Shepparton location. It is a highly-rated accommodation with easy access to parking and event space for up to 60 people.