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Top Spots in Regional VIC for a Post-lockdown Break

Well done Victoria (and especially Melbourne)! We’ve made it through the long and tough winter months of lockdown and at the time of writing, life is rapidly returning to normal across our fair state! Just as well, the weather is warming up and no doubt your local parks and recreational venues are full of smiling faces and furry creatures re-embracing our old freedoms : ) So this month, in the spirit of supporting local business and our state’s recovery from the many setbacks of the COVID-19 crisis, we thought we’d share with you a few of our family’s favourite spots across Regional Victoria. Whether you and your loved ones are seeking a night or two away to recharge or you’d just like a short daytrip out of Melbourne, here’s some places we highly recommend. It’s also worth noting the state government is offering $200 vouchers for each household that spends more than $400 on accommodation, attractions or tours – all the more reason to hit the road!

12 Apostles

Bellarine Peninsula
You could still describe the Bellarine Peninsula as a bit of a “hidden secret”. Sitting directly across Port Phillip Bay from its much busier and better-known cousin the Mornington Peninsula, ‘the Bellarine’ as locals call it is a compact part of Victoria nestled east of the state’s second biggest city Geelong and defined by Port Phillip Bay on one side, and the ocean on the other. It’s also reasonably close to the Pets Hotel Country Club in Lara. From relaxed coastal towns like Barwon Heads and Ocean Grove, to rolling green hills inland and the picturesque historic town of Queenscliff, the Bellarine offers an easy break from big city Melbourne!

  • Info:
  • Distance from Melbourne CBD: 90 KM (1 hour, 20 mins by car)
  • Key Towns/Landmarks:
    • Barwon Heads
    • Ocean Grove
    • Point Lonsdale
    • Portarlington
    • Queenscliff


One of Regional Victoria’s most beloved towns, Daylesford which sits 113 KM west of Melbourne CBD is in the heart of Hepburn Shire – the state’s popular spa country. Whilst known for its extra cool, atmospheric winters, Daylesford, which sits around a pleasant tree-lined lake is also a popular spot in the warmer months. In fact, anytime of year is a good time to visit – with its main street offering all the cultural comforts of the big city (cafes, restaurants and bookshops), just on a much smaller imminently walkable scale!

  • Info:
  • Distance from Melbourne CBD: 113 KM (1 hour, 25 mins by car)
  • Key Towns/Landmarks:
    • Hepburn Springs Spa Country
    • Lake Daylesford
    • Wombat Hill Botanic Gardens


Great Ocean Road
Not only a highlight of Regional Victoria, The Great Ocean Road is one of Australia’s most famous destinations and arguably one of the world’s most scenic drives. Stretching 243 KM from Torquay near Geelong to Allansford in the state’s southwest, The Great Ocean Road (or ‘GOR’ for short) takes in dramatic cliffs, cute little towns nestled in narrow valleys and the breathtaking 12 Apostles which stand tall at the edge of the roaring Southern Ocean.

  • Info:
  • Distance from Melbourne CBD: 124 KM (1 hour, 36 mins by car - Aireys Inlet)
  • Key Towns/Landmarks:
    • 12 Apostles
    • Aireys Inlet
    • Apollo Bay
    • Cape Otway
    • Lorne

Mornington Peninsula
A long-time summer holiday destination for generations of Melburnians and a playground for the rich and famous at its pointy end, the Mornington Peninsula is known for its calm, picturesque beaches on its bay side and dramatic, clifftop scenery on the ocean side. In between are rolling green hills, farmland and some of the state’s best wineries. We also recommend a trip to the standout Cape Schanck lighthouse for some super impressive sunset snaps!

  • Info:
  • Distance from Melbourne CBD: 107 KM (1 hour, 25 mins by car – Sorrento)
  • Key Towns/Landmarks:
    • Cape Schanck
    • Mornington
    • Portsea
    • Red Hill
    • Sorrento

Yarra Valley
Located just an hour’s drive from the hustle and bustle of Melbourne CBD (and the Pets Hotel in Port Melbourne), the Yarra Valley is one of Regional VIC’s most pleasant, picturesque and accessible regions. Well known for its top-class wineries, wedding venues, hot air ballooning and relaxed country towns, the Yarra Valley is ideal for a short daytrip with family and friends and also a place to escape the scorching heat of summer, given its slight elevation.

  • Info:
  • Distance from Melbourne CBD: 63 KM (1 hour by car – Healesville)
  • Key Towns/Landmarks:
    • Coldstream
    • Healesville
    • Lilydale
    • Marysville
    • Yarra Glen


Keen on visiting one of these fun-filled destinations? We’re keen on taking care of your pets! Whether it’s just for a few hours in which case our Doggy Daycare will come in handy, or you’ll need a night or two away – in which case our premium Cat and Dog Suites would be a great option; the Pets team treat every furry creature who walks through our doors as a VIP (very important pet). Not only will we watch over them in our comfortable digs for a few hours or a few nights, we’ll also keep them happy and healthy with a range of fun activities they’ll just love!

Contact our friendly team at The Pets Hotel (Port Melbourne) on (03) 9646 3696 or The Pets Hotel Country Club (Lara) on (03) 5282 1286. But, don’t delay, spots are filling up very fast for Christmas and the summer holidays!!

About Us

After years of research in Australia and the USA, The Pets Hotel is custom designed for your pet’s health, safety and comfort, all in a fun-filled environment - which exceeds the industry Code of Practice.
The owners of The Pets Hotel have 35 years experience in the Pet industry.

The Pets Hotel is the culmination of this experience.

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  • Great place for your pets. Highly recommend it to anyone. Climate controlled. No windy,cold or boiling hot tin sheds. Fab facility.

    Nicole W
  • Alma absolutely loved her day there she didn't want to leave. The staff are so lovely & friendly. Alma smelt so nice for days after her bath there.

    Joanne B
  • Best pet boarding facility in Melbourne. Worth every cent. Exceptional customer service and care for your pet.

    Brig S
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Contact Information
Phone: (03) 9646 3696
Fax: (03) 9646 3695

Monday - Friday
7am-12pm & 3.00pm-6.30pm
Public Holidays

Address: 7 Phillip Court
Port Melbourne. Vic 3207