10 alternative girls’ getaways in regional Victoria

Ski lesson at Falls Creek

Ski lesson at Falls Creek

What better way to explore regional Victoria than with some of your favourite girls by your side. From climbing to getting crafty or from spooky encounters to surf lessons, this list gives the low down on activities that girls can enjoy together that will ensure good times, new experiences and lots of laughter.

Take part in a ski or snowboard lesson
Ever wanted to shred like Torah Bright or Lydia Lassila? Gather a group of girls and head to Victoria’s snowfields this winter and take part in a group ski or snowboard lesson. Learn from the pros how to conquer the mountain and end the day with some well-deserved après drinks. Each of Victoria’s major ski resorts – Mt Hotham, Falls Creek and Mt Buller offer extensive ski school programs. Falls Creek also offers the Mim Sodergren Women’s Program – a three or five day women’s only ski program on select dates throughout the ski season.

Get crafty at Bendigo Pottery
Get behind the wheel Demi Moore style and learn how to create pottery with a lesson from a skilful potter at Bendigo Pottery. Group lessons can be booked and range from 30 minutes to an hour where guests have the option of having their creations glazed and fired – the finished product can then be posted anywhere in the world. From creating art to viewing it, the afternoon can then be spent browsing the renowned Bendigo Art Gallery, an upcoming exhibition sure to impress the girls is Undressed: 350 years of fashion in underwear. On display from the Victoria and Albert Museum, London, the exhibition looks at the history of private and intimate clothing – exploring underwear’s function in decorating and manipulating the body. The exhibition is open from 19 July – 26 October 2014.

Undertake a spine tingling adventure at Aradale in Ararat
Ever wondered who is the bravest of the bunch? Test the mettle with a sleepover at Aradale – Australia’s largest abandoned lunatic asylum. Opened in 1867 as Ararat Lunatic Asylum, the building housed tens of thousands of people described as ‘lunatics’, ‘idiots’ and ‘imbeciles’ – some of them described as the worst in the British Empire. Those seeking a truly scary adventure can spend the night at the asylum and undertake a tour that visits the male and female wards, cellar, surgery, morgue, staff accommodation and surrounding cottages. For the less brave tours are also available that allow ghost hunters to head home to their own bed afterwards.  Sleepovers cost from $150 and must be booked in advance.

Segway and sip wine in the Yarra Valley
Enjoy a winery tour with a difference with a Segway tour at the stunning Rochford Winery in the Yarra Valley. Explore the vineyard on two wheels, learn about grape growing and wine production along the way and once Segway skills have been mastered, explore the purpose designed Segway off-road track. End the experience with a delicious meal in the award winning Rochford Restaurant surrounded by their picturesque vineyards – the ideal end to a girls day out. Segway Tours cost $140 per person, group discounts are available.

Voluntour and give back to nature
Enjoy Victoria’s beautiful natural assets with a nature-based group tourism experience with Naturewise Eco Escapes. Eco-conscious ladies can immerse themselves in the natural diversity of the state through various learning and ecotourism experiences which allow participants to not only experience some of Victoria’s most amazing locations but to also make a personal contribution to the conservation of the state’s natural assets. All-inclusive packages range from day trips to four-day adventures, with various levels of conservation activity. One of the many options is their Great Ocean Walk Conservation programs where participants are given the opportunity to contribute to the conservation of the world renowned Great Ocean Road

Jump on a quad bike in the Grampians
Explore the Grampians in a fun and exciting way on a guided quad bike tour with Grampians Quad Bike Adventures.  The tours, which take place on their 410 acre property at the foothills of the majestic Grampians Ranges allow guests to experience the excitement of riding a four-wheel motor bike in some of the most stunning Australian bush. The tours guarantee a fun day out with plenty of photo opportunities. No experience is necessary as full training and instruction is given on arrival. Girls can make a weekend of it and stay at one of the many boutique accommodation providers in the area or the truly adventurous can camp in one of the many camping reserves. Two hour tours with Grampians Quad Bike Adventures cost $130 per person. A half day tour which includes lunch is also available for $198 per person. 

Eat, drink, relax, repeat – in Daylesford
The Daylesford & Macedon Ranges region has established itself as one of Australia’s top destinations for a girl’s getaway. When  top regional food experiences are combined with local wineries and award winning spas it’s not hard to see why. Girls can start the day exploring the regions boutique wineries with Daylesford Wine Tours, then enjoy a spa experience at The Mineral Spa which offers girls group’s exclusive use of The Retreat – a unique mineral water therapy zone, where guests can enjoy a premiere and indulgent spa experience using local natural mineral water.  The Girls’ Day Out Package starts at $110 per person. The indulgent day can be ended with a delicious meal at one of the regions many restaurants such as the Lake House, The Argus Dining Room or Sault.

Hire a houseboat on the Murray River
For a group getaway with a twist, consider hiring a houseboat along the Murray River. Houseboats from operators such as Mildura Houseboats and Bella Casa Houseboats in Echuca are the ideal way to experience the Murray River at a leisurely pace. Guests can hop on and off to experience local food and wine produce, historical sites, cafes and restaurants or get up-close with the river’s unique eco-system. Many houseboats are furnished with full service kitchens, spas and flat screen televisions, offering a luxury experience amongst the Australian wilderness.

Hit the road and explore a new area
Grab four girlfriends, a reliable car and explore one of the many drives around the state – from beachside drives to mountain trails and everything in between, there are a variety of established routes to explore. One such option is the Gippsland Hinterland Drive which kicks off in Melbourne then winds its way through West Gippsland. Groups of girls can enjoy discovering artist galleries and studios, beautiful gardens and local food producers such as the Sunnycreek Organic Berry Farm. The drive passes through picturesque villages such as Yarragon, Walhalla and Neerim South, where antiques and collectables, beautiful linens and lace, dolls and bears, fabrics and patterns, furniture, crockery and crystal can be found in galleries and crafty cafes.

Surf like a goddess at Phillip Island
Don a wetsuit and jump on a surf board at Phillip Island with Girls on Board, a surf school launched by Jess Laing, a young professional surfer from Phillip Island. At age 17, Jess along with her friends and competitors starred in the feature film, First Love, which documented the girls journey as they pursued their surfing careers. Jess created Girls on Board with a simple objective, ‘to hit the water, learn to surf, have a ball, and maybe enjoy what is arguably the greatest lifestyle in the world.’ Groups of girls can get a taste of the surfing life with a fun lesson at the sheltered YCW Beach (next to the renowned Smiths Beach) on Phillip Island. Group lessons cost $50 per person.

Glamping with the girls in Victoria’s High Country
Enjoy a gourmet camping experience minus the hassle with Sticks & Stones Adventures at the ‘Twist Creek Base Camp’, located on bushland property near Yackandandah and Beechworth.  The team at Stick & Stones do all the hard work, setting up the safari tents, cutting wood and organising a lavish meal of seasonal, local produce – allowing guests to make the most out of their time away together over a glass or two of local wine.  The area is home to an infinite number of tracks and trails ideal for horse riding, four wheel driving, motorbike riding, cycling, bushwalking and bird watching. Days can be spent exploring the magnificent surrounds and breathtaking views or simply relaxing by the creek.

For more ideas on girls getaways in and around Melbourne click here.

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