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Go beyond magical Melbourne and discover four extraordinary regions. The Yarra Valley and Dandenong Ranges, Phillip Island, Mornington Peninsula, Geelong and The Bellarine. Four very different regions, four totally different experiences. Travelling between them is effortless, and what you discover along the way will stay with you forever.

Whether you enjoy food and wine, romantic getaways, wildlife and adventure experiences or family fun, all four regions have plenty of secrets waiting to be revealed. You’ll discover a whole new world when you go beyond the city.

Day one

5-day getaway

Start your adventure over lunch with a view of beautiful Corio Bay at Jack Rabbit Vineyard, just 90 minutes from Melbourne on the Bellarine Peninsula.

While you’re in this part of the world, stretch your legs during a walk on one of the stunning surf beaches, or explore some of the local villages as you meander your way around the Bellarine. Barwon Heads, Point Lonsdale and Queenscliff are havens for boutique shopping, cafes and provedores.

Catch a late ferry from Queenscliff to Sorrento on the Mornington Peninsula (keep an eye out for dolphins as you cross), and make your way directly to Big Blue Backyard, a boutique B&B nestled in the dunes of St Andrews Beach. Book dinner onsite tonight – owners Paul and Lisa will bring a meal direct to your suite for a quiet night in.

Highlights

Day two

5-day getaway

It’s a five-minute ramble through the dunes to start your day with a walk on St Andrews Beach. Fill your lungs with fresh sea air before heading to the Mornington Peninsula’s hinterland for a day of wine, food and indulgence.

Schedule lunch at the stunning Montalto Vineyard & Olive Grove, and take a post-prandial stroll through the sculpture park. Then taste more of the Mornington Peninsula’s cool-climate wines at nearby Red Hill Estate and T’Gallant.

Wineries ticked off, on to the beaches and boutiques. Visit the famous beach boxes at Dromana, Mornington or Mount Martha. Pick up something for home at the Red Hill Market or the vintage stores in the villages of Red Hill and Flinders.

Give the afternoon over to pampering, with a soak in the geothermal mineral waters and a massage at Peninsula Hot Springs. Choose another dining option tonight – perhaps Paringa Estate or The Long Table – and then back to Big Blue Backyard for an outdoor bath or shower surrounded by candles.

Highlights

Day three

5-day getaway

Make it a slow start today, then continue around Westernport Bay to Phillip Island, where wildlife, beaches and walks are plentiful.

Start the wildlife adventure at the Koala Conservation Centre and get up close to the quirky marsupials as you take the boardwalk up to treetop level. If you like a little adrenaline in your day, cruise with the Wild Ocean EcoBoat to Seal Rocks and be delighted by the thousands of Australian fur seals that frolic and wave at you from the water.

Lunch at Cape Kitchen is recommended for an appetite heightened by all that fresh air. Savour stunning Southern Ocean vistas and fresh local fare. Check in early to your accommodation at Glen Isla House or Oak Tree Lodge and relax before heading off to the legendary Penguin Parade at sunset. Splurge on the Ultimate Tour to watch the parade on a private beach, or watch from the Penguins Plus area where you’ll be right up close to these adorable birds as they make their way home to their nests.

Highlights

Day four

5-day getaway

Travel north to the Dandenong Ranges and spend time meandering through the villages of Sassafras and Olinda. There are plenty of opportunities for fresh air and inspiration in the Dandenongs, home to beautiful national parks and gardens, as well as the annual September Tesselaar Tulip Festival. Take a stroll through the giant Mountain Ash forests, or pick berries as you wind your way to the Yarra Valley.

Arrive in the Yarra Valley in time for a late lunch at TarraWarra Estate and a wander through the impressive art gallery. After a long day out, you’ll have plenty of time to relax and indulge at your accommodation, Chateau Yering and its Eleonore’s Restaurant.

Highlights

Day five

5-day getaway

What better way to start the last day of your journey than with a hot-air balloon ride over the Yarra Valley at sunrise, watching the vineyards and farms come to life?

Enjoy a champagne breakfast (of course) and make your way to Healesville Sanctuary for your chance to Wade with the Platypus, or experience a Magic Moment with some of the other friendly locals – hand feed an echidna, or give a wombat a tickle behind the ear.

Follow up the unforgettable wildlife interactions with lunch at Herd in Healesville, outdoors at Levantine Hills, or overlooking vines at Meletos or Oakridge. Take your time, as your trip will soon come to an end as you return to Melbourne, just an hour away.

Highlights

Highlights

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