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The Kiln Houses
Photograph: Supplied

The best quirky getaways in country Victoria

From restored churches to riverside yurts, these out-of-the-ordinary stays will take your weekend getaway game to the next level

Cassidy Knowlton
Written by
Jo Stewart
Written by
Cassidy Knowlton
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Leaving the city behind for a few days to recharge is always a good choice. These days, accommodation options reach far beyond a traditional hotel, cabin or B’n’B; Victoria is home to beachside glamping spots, art-filled mountain retreats, farm stays, campsites and lots more. We've searched the state for our favourite quirky getaways, which range from romantic trips for two to houses with space for all your friends or family.

For more travel tips, check out these epic road trips from Melbourne or take a staycation at the best boutique hotels in Melbourne

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Built way back in 1884, this cool-as-all-get-out restored church has been given new life as one of the most original stays in the Hepburn Shire. Only 15 minutes from the charming town of Daylesford – famous for its healing mineral springs – this award-winning conversion has everything needed for a heavenly stay: reverse-cycle air-con, nifty wood fire heater, oak floors, and a triple-grill gas barbecue out on the deck. Luxe furnishings, original works of art, vaulted ceilings and striking Gothic windows make this former place of worship one you’ll never want to leave. There are three bedrooms, which means it’s perfect for your family, your whole crew or a luxe romantic getaway.

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Just an hour away from Melbourne, this cute property in the bucolic Macedon Ranges ticks all the cool getaway boxes. Home to a converted train carriage and a historic van once used to house railway workers, a stay at Hedge Farm will please trainspotters, history buffs and design fans who get off on seeing what can be done in small, upcycled spaces. Wineries, farm gates and old school country pubs are all within striking distance too.

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Only ten minutes from the hamlet of Trentham (a small town in Hepburn Shire), this classic retreat will convert visitors to churchgoers in no time. Originally built in the 1920s, a weekend at this restored timber church is just the ticket if a slow-paced country escape is on the agenda. Featuring original stained glass windows, high ceilings, a fireplace, a spa, a deck and extensive gardens to swoon over, a stay here is truly a religious experience. There’s enough space here for six guests in this three-bedroom house.

It took nine months to renovate this genuine steam train carriage into accommodation that can sleep six (or four, more comfortably). The steampunk-inspired aesthetic inside matches the carriage's surroundings, and it includes an open-plan living room, a wood-burning fire and a full kitchen. Pets and children are welcome. All aboard!

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  • Beechworth
  • price 4 of 4

If you are looking for somewhere really special to stay in the High Country, you should book the 1860 Luxury Accommodation in Beechworth. The timber cabin (from, yes, 1860) is down a laneway just off the main drag in the beautiful Victorian gold rush town. It's surrounded by a lovely garden and gum trees, and it's just the place for peace and quiet. The cabin was originally situated in the town of Emerald and was shifted to Taggerty and then to its present home in Beechworth. Current owners Matt Pfahlert and Gina Bladon lovingly restored the cabin, using period materials and reclaimed wood from other 19th-century buildings. The outside looks very rustic, with a wraparound timber verandah and a sloped roof. But the inside has every modern luxury you could want.

The Sea Gypsy caravan can be set up at any of the campgrounds on the Mornington Peninsula for you, so you can stay beachside and listen to the waves lapping the shore from your own glamping caravan. The Sea Gypsy includes a queen-sized bed, kitchenette, running water, outside furniture and a funky, hippie design.

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  • price 4 of 4

Nothing beats a fresh blast of alpine air. A visit to Porepunkah’s Kiln Houses – located at the base of Mount Buffalo – feels like stepping back into an older, simpler world, blended with the freshness of contemporary design. Modelled on the tobacco kiln houses that once dotted the High Country, these architecturally designed retreats offer incredible views of vineyards, cattle and surrounding mountain ranges. Kitted out with a spa, wood fire and even a sauna, this property also offers a set of Chappelli bikes for guests to take for a spin to the local pub or further afield to Bright Brewery. You can choose between one of three houses depending on how much space you’re after.

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  • Daylesford
  • price 3 of 4

Not enough annual leave to get to Dollywood in Tennessee? Luckily, you can get your dose of southern charm only an hour from Melbourne.  Like the country singer herself, Dollywood in Daylesford is bursting with personality. What this four-bedroom home lacks in theme park rides it makes up in vintage bikes, Netflix, cacti, a record player a bath perfect for belting out ‘Jolene’. This thoroughly contemporary (and almost achingly hip) home features artworks by the likes of Spencer Shakespeare and Jennifer Stenglein, with fun kitsch touches like pink neon signage.

Explore Victoria's hidden secrets

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