Overview

Romantic Indulgence Touring Route

Inspiration and relaxation

Take a break from the hectic city pace and slow down amid Victoria's pristine natural landscapes. Reconnect and spend time together, treat yourself to a little bit of luxury, and explore the rolling hills, quiet bay beaches and manicured gardens that surround Melbourne.

Sample seasonal delights paired with impeccable local wines at renowned vineyards, from the Yarra Valley to the Mornington and Bellarine Peninsulas. Watch the sun set over the hinterland at a thermal mineral spring, stroll through seaside villages and along coastal trails, or sign up for a memorable wildlife encounter.

Nature lover or foodie, wanderer or romantic – you'll find plenty here that inspires and seduces. The only thing left to do is pack your bags and hit the road.

  • Melbourne to Geelong and the Bellarine

    Start your romantic journey by travelling just 1.5 hours from Melbourne to the picturesque Bellarine Peninsula. 

    Set out along the Bellarine Taste Trail. Sip local varietals at cellar doors and then slow down for lunch at Jack Rabbit Vineyard, and take in the expansive views of Corio Bay.  

    Stretch your legs on a walk along one of the stunning surf beaches nearby, or take some time to explore the villages and seaside hamlets along the peninsula. Barwon Heads, Point Lonsdale and Queenscliff offer boutique shopping, cafes and providores.

    Enjoy a night of coastal luxury at Lon Retreat & Spa and round out your day on the peninsula. A stay at Oakdene Vineyards Guesthouse is another great romantic option - a 1920's homestead situated on 12 hectares of vineyards.

  • Mornington Peninsula

    Begin your day with a morning ferry ride across the bay from Queenscliff to Sorrento on the Mornington Peninsula, keeping an eye out for playful dolphins on the way.

    Head to Sorrento back beach and take a walk along the sand. Fill your lungs with fresh sea air before you head to the hinterland for a day of wine, food and indulgence.

    Savour a delightful morning tea in the tranquil surrounds of Heronswood House & Gardens before climbing aboard the Arthurs Seat Eagle. Ride the gondola over the state forest to the highest point on the peninsula, taking in panoramic views of Port Phillip Bay.

    Schedule lunch at the stunning Montalto Vineyard and Olive Grove, and leave time to explore the works of the renowned sculpture park. Wine lovers will enjoy further tastings of the Mornington Peninsula's wine offerings at nearby Crittenden Wine Centre and Merricks General Store. 

    Pick up something for home at the Red Hill Market or vintage stores in the villages of Red Hill and Flinders and then visit the famous beach boxes at Dromana, Mornington or Mt Martha. 

    Late afternoon brings a relaxing massage at Peninsula Hot Springs and a soak in a private bath of geothermally heated mineral water. Sunset can be seen from the top pool of this beautiful complex, with a 360-degree view of the peninsula. 

    Finish up your day by booking into the Woodman Estate Luxury Hotel in Moorooduc. Choose from the manor house suite or a private chalet lakeside and enjoy a meal crafted from seasonal, local ingredients at Woodman's – the onsite restaurant.

  • Phillip Island

    Make it a slow start to the day and then continue around Western Port Bay to Phillip Island, with its abundance of native wildlife, pristine beaches and nature walks.

    Take to the skies with Phillip Island Helicopters and enjoy views of the island you'll remember forever. Lunch at Cape Kitchen is recommended, with stunning vistas of the Southern Ocean and fresh local fare on offer.

    Stop in at the Koala Reserve and see these cuddly creatures in their natural habitat, as you follow the boardwalk up to treetop level.

    Next stop is a dose of adrenaline, on tour with the Wild Ocean EcoBoat. Take a 90 minute high-speed boat ride out to Seal Rocks and be delighted by the thousands of Australian fur seals that frolic off these shores.

    Check into your accommodation early at Clifftop Accommodation or Oak Tree Lodge and put your feet up before heading off to the legendary Penguin Parade at sunset. Take the Ultimate Tour to be on a private beach with just 10 guests or view them from the new Penguins Plus area where you'll be right up close to these adorable birds as they make their way home to their nests.

  • Yarra Valley and Dandenong Ranges

    Head north to the lush gardens and national parks of the Dandenong Ranges. Take a morning ride through fern gullies and rainforest on the Puffing Billy Steam Railway or make a day of it by booking in for a gourmet on-board lunch.

    Take a stroll through the giant Mountain Ash forest and then spend a few hours exploring the quaint hill villages of Sassafras and Olinda, where you can pick up antiques and artworks, and then sample the popular local Devonshire tea.

    Discover the bounty of this fertile region during the summer months. Fill your basket with cherries at Cherryhill Orchards (pick them from the trees during the summer season) and stock up on stone fruits at Rayner's Orchard. And if you're visiting in September or October, make sure you set aside time to experience the magic and colour of the Tesselaar Tulip Festival.

    Press on to the rolling green fields of the Yarra Valley in time for a late lunch at TarraWarra Estate or Coombe Yarra Valley, which boasts an acclaimed restaurant, winery and country house that was once home to the legendary opera singer Dame Nellie Melba.

    Settle in for a sumptuous dinner at award-winning Eleonore's Restaurant at Chateau Yering, where you'll be spending the night. After dinner, while away the evening amid the old-world architecture and manicured gardens of one of the valley's iconic retreats.

  • Yarra Valley and Dandenong Ranges

    Start the last day of your romantic journey with a hot-air balloon ride over the Yarra Valley at sunrise. Watch from above as the vineyards and farms come to life and then enjoy a champagne breakfast when you land.

    Stay inspired after your balloon flight with a wander through the manicured landscapes of Alowyn Gardens. Discover the French-inspired parterre garden, the forest garden and Wisteria archway. If you're visiting between December and April, set aside time to see the famous Amazon lillies at the Blue Lotus Gardens.

    Healesville Sanctuary is next and offers the chance to get up close to some of Victoria's iconic wildlife. Sign up for the 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.

    Savour a seasonal lunch at De Bortoli Yarra Valley Estate, soak up the atmosphere at Domaine Chandon, or sit overlooking the vines at Meletos or Oakridge.

    Lastly, pop into the Yarra Valley Chocolaterie and Ice Creamery for a sweet treat or gift pack for someone special before taking the short one-hour drive back to Melbourne.