The best wineries in Yarra Valley
It's easy to forget that the Yarra Valley, with its rolling green hills, swaying vineyards and old farmhouses, is less than an hour's drive from the CBD. The cellar doors of the region's famous wineries are open every weekend, and the winery restaurants are becoming some of the most sought-after dining destinations out of Melbourne. Hop in your car, bring a bottle of water and make a day of it. You'll come home with bottles clanking in your boot and a sense of calm in your heart. For more mini-break ideas, visit our guide to Victoria's best getaways. Alternatively, stay close to the city and discover Melbourne's best wine bars.
You can now go glamping in a winery on the Mornington Peninsula
Set to the backdrop of an Italian-style vineyard, this new glamping spot on the Mornington Peninsula offers guests a slice of luxury outside the confines of the hazy city streets. Mornington Peninsula Glamping is opening this October for those who want to visit the outdoors with all the comforts of home. The grounds, which are part of the Blue Range Estate Wines vineyard, include panoramic views of Port Phillip Bay and the Bass Strait, giving it that seaside Mediterranean feel. Photograph: Supplied The tents are powered by solar panels and each boasts pillow-top queen-size beds and a fireplace to keep you nice and toasty in the cooler months. The site also includes a shipping container which has been converted into bathrooms so that guests can enjoy the comforts of a hot shower and plumbing. Photograph: Supplied You also won’t need to cook for your stay as the vineyard has an Italian restaurant featuring the estate’s delicious array of wines. Founder Christian Melone says he was inspired by his Italian grandparents, who immigrated to Australia in the 1980s and established their own vineyard. Melone wanted to bring people a taste of his Italian roots without the expensive, 18-hour flights. "I saw an opportunity to attract people of my demographic who wouldn’t necessarily spend large sums of money on accommodation. I want people to experience diversity from city life without compromising luxury." Prices start at $265 per night and there are ten tents on offer. F
An insider's guide to Melbourne travel
Short escapes from Melbourne
Interstate trips from Melbourne
International escapes from Melbourne
Travel tips and tricks
You might also like...
Japanese Film Festival
The Japanese Film Festival returns in 2018 with a packed program of 30 features and one doco, all curated by the Japan Foundation, Sydney, a non-profit cultural organisation that works to promote Japanese culture abroad. This year, the festival will feature romantic detective mystery Destiny: The Tale of Kamakura, which many people are calling a live-action version of the Studio Ghibli classic Spirited Away. Another highlight of the program is the action-packed One Cut of the Dead, which is being touted as a cleverly disguised low-budget but high-concept take on the zombie comedy genre. Keep an eye out for Oh Lucy!, which stars Australian-born and Deadpool 2 cast member Shioli Kutsuna alongside Megan Mullally (Will and Grace) and Josh Hartnett (Pearl Harbour). It tells the intriguing story of a lonely Japanese woman who awakens her alter ego in an English class taught by Hartnett. There’s also Yakiniku Dragon, which brings the award-winning 2008 play about a Korean immigrant family's experience in Japan The film features a star-studded line-up including Jeon-eun Lee (Okja), Yoko Maki (The Grudge) and Yo Oizumi (Bread of Happiness). The festival will also be presenting a free classic film program which will feature influential works by cinematic masters from the Japanese Golden Age and New Wave cinema. JFF will play at ACMI and Hoyts Melbourne Central from Thursday, November 22 to Sunday, December 2.
Twelfth Night returns with an all-star cast
Melbourne Theatre Company’s version of Shakespeare’s gender-bending comedy Twelfth Night is shaping up to be one of the shows of the year. For starters, Simon Phillips (Priscilla Queen of the Desert The Musical) is directing. The songs and music are by Kate Miller-Heidke and Keir Nuttall, the musical brains behind the much-awaited Muriel’s Wedding The Musical, and sets and costumes by Gabriela Tylesova. Add in the divine Esther Hannaford (Beautiful: The Carole King Musical) and a cast that includes Russell Dykstra, Christie Whelan Browne, Frank Woodley and Men at Work singer Colin Hay and you’ve got yourself a guaranteed good night. Twelfth Night will play at MTC's Southbank Theatre from November 12 until January 5. Tickets start at $69. Read more about MTC's production of Twelfth Night.
Score free tickets to watch the filming of Australian Ninja Warrior
It’s not hard to see why Australian Ninja Warrior has become so popular. The combination of fearless athletes and a seemingly impossible obstacle course has given the show a strong fan following. Those who are devoted to Nine's action-packed show will have noticed the huge crowd of fans who get to watch the Aussie ninjas test their mettle live – but did you know you can join them? Australian Ninja Warrior are currently offering fans the opportunity to be in the audience for the third series, with Ninja Superfan and Night Owl Ninja tickets up for grabs – for free. Seen every episode and secretly dream of competing on the show? The Ninja Superfan ticket is for you. The ticket gives you access to the entire screening on the night of your choosing, so you don’t miss a second of the thrills and spills (filming from Thursday, November 15 to Saturday, December 1). Only serious fans need apply – this is a seven-hour (adrenaline-filled) commitment where you’ll bein the crowd from 7.30pm to 2.30am. For Australian Ninja Warrior fans who lead busy lives, there’s also the Night Owl Ninja ticket. Select your date and catch all the action from 9pm to 2.30am, letting you take care of all your responsibilities beforehand (or maybe sneak in a session before a late-night shift at work). The Night Owl Ninja ticket also includes entry to the Ninja Audience Zone where you can grab a bite from a food truck prior to entering the arena. The location of the screening is still secret, but we can
Spring festivals and events in Queensland
When Queensland shakes off its not especially wintry chills, towns and cities around the state spring into step with food, culture and music up for grabs. Over the coming months Brisbane will uncover some of the greatest up-and-coming musical talent; the Gold Coast will be hauling supersized body parts and animals onto the sand; and Toowoomba will be unfurling brilliant carpets of flowers. September sees Brisbane turn on its biggest festival of the year with a back-to-back schedule of music and theatre performances, plus plenty of food and drink to sample. The event is well known for its Sunsuper Riverfire grand finale, which illuminates the city with pyrotechnic sparkles. Further up the coast, Bundy brings the house down with its Crush fest and proves culture and fun go hand-in-hand, and in Tropical North Queensland, Yarrabah unites the community with live music, food and a celebration of Indigenous culture. Suffice to say, all events are a gathering of energy and a showcase of the happy vibes of Queensland, where life is beautiful one day and perfect the next.