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Chrismont
Photograph: Visit Victoria

Underrated holiday destinations to visit in Victoria

Looking for less popular holiday locations in Victoria? Here are some ideas

By Rebecca Russo
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If you’ve done the Yarra Valley, you’ve explored the Grampians and you’ve already visited the Bellarine Peninsula, you’re probably wondering where else in Victoria you can explore. Keep reading for some more obscure destinations that you might not have considered for a short getaway from Melbourne.

Like staying off the beaten track? Here are some secret gardens and more of Melbourne's best-kept secrets

Hidden spots in Victoria

King Valley vista
King Valley vista
Photograph: Visit Victoria

King Valley

Whether you’re on the way to the snow or just looking for a fantastic place to spend a gourmet weekend, the King Valley should be on your radar. A three-hour drive from Melbourne, the King Valley is a great self-drive destination – especially if you’re into award-winning wineries, food and cheese. If you’re a fan of prosecco head to Pizzini Wines and Chrismont or head to one of the country’s oldest and most loved wineries, Brown Brothers. Then, it’s cheese time. Milawa Cheese Company makes some incredible cheese, including a whole range of cow and goat cheeses that run the gamut from smooth and creamy to sharp and crumbly to gooey and funky. Plus… free tastings! Stay overnight at the beautiful Lindenwarrah hotel, which is located in a prime position to visit all the gourmet delights of Milawa and the surrounding valley.

Read more of Time Out's guide to the King Valley

The Inverloch Camping Co.
The Inverloch Camping Co.
Photograph: Robert Blackburn/Visit Victoria

South Gippsland

We’ve covered East Gippsland before, but have you considered South Gippsland? Most Melburnians haven’t yet explored the rolling hills of this region, which includes the beautiful town of Loch and its cute cafés and provedores. Head to Loch Brewery and Distillery where you can try traditional beers, gin, vodka and single malt whisky at the cellar door. Stop over at Olive at Loch for sustenance – this café serves up top-notch coffee and delicious baked goods like pies, cakes and scones. Head a little further south towards the seaside town of Inverloch to base yourself for an overnight stay. If you’re keen on embracing the great outdoors, there’s Inverloch Glamping, which probably has one of the most glamorous glamping setups in the state. Otherwise, the RACV Inverloch has a variety of great value accommodation options. Then, the next day, make a visit to urban cellar door Dirty Three Wines, and try the pinot noir – the region is known for it.

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Nagambie Brewery and Distillery
Nagambie Brewery and Distillery
Photograph: Visit Victoria

Nagambie

Just over an hour north of Melbourne is the beautiful township of Nagambie. In town, you can check out the statue of horse racing star Black Caviar who, fun fact, was born in Nagambie (and remained undefeated throughout her racing career). Mitchelton Winery, which has an excellent cellar door, is also home to a hotel and day spa. Step into Mitchelton Day Spa and you’ll be greeted with the signature scents of USPA, a locally made skin and spa range, before wrapping yourself in a cosy bathrobe and enjoying the view from the relaxation lounge. Before you leave, make a stop at the Nagambie Brewery and Distillery which has a stand-out menu of smoked dishes, pizzas and burgers.

Winery - Heathcote
Winery - Heathcote
Photograph: Visit Victoria

Heathcote

Only 1.5 hours from Melbourne along the Calder Freeway, Heathcote is known for its world-class shiraz and wonderful regional produce. If you’re keen to try the results of the region’s Cambrian soil, head to Peregrine Ridge for a wine and a tasting platter. Then, head to the winery and brewery Shiraz Republic, followed by a stopover at Heathcote Wine Hub, where you can try and buy more than 200 Heathcote wines. For nature lovers, we suggest heading to the geological reserve of Pink Cliffs, where you can wander through mini gorges and cliffs of fine pink clay that look like a crater on Mars. This little-known natural phenomenon was created as a result of the sluice mining work done during the 1880s gold rush. Staying over? Spend the night at Heathcote II, which has four luxe villas, each with its own wine cellar inside.

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