Winter has well and truly arrived in Victoria, with the sleepy season making a dramatic entrance this year as we’ve endured weeks of rain, wind, unusually cold temperatures and what has felt at times like endlessly grey skies!
Last month we shared with you some well-timed tips to keep your furry friends extra cosy and comfortable as the cold weather descended on our state. This month we thought we’d do something a little different and in the spirit of supporting our wonderful local businesses (many which are still recovering from 2 years of disruptions), The Pets Hotel family have gathered a list of some of our favourite spots for a winter weekend getaway in Victoria.
Whether you prefer to stay warm by keeping active, or you’d much rather a slower day savouring the finer things in life, we hope the list below will give you inspiration for a weekend (or midweek) away from your regular routine. So, pack your bags, leave your pets with us and hit the road for a little adventure! : )
- AFL/The Footy! A true Victorian institution (or religion for that matter), the “Footy” takes over the imagination and conversations of many during the colder months. As passionate Carlton supporters, you’ll find our family at a fair few games during this time of year, barracking for our boys. We love a trip to the MCG (“the G”) in particular - add some toasty meat pies, hot chocolate and colourful scarves to the mix and you have yourself an entertaining Winter evening that’s not too far from home!
- Info: www.afl.com.au
- Distance from Melbourne CBD: MCG 2 KM (10 mins by car)
- Open: March 16 – September 24 (AFL Season 2022)
- Price: Prices vary
- Ballarat Winter Festival: Ballarat is well known, you could even say “notorious” amongst Victorians for being one of the coldest cities in the state during Winter… all the more reason to rug up and head to this charming locale for their wonderful annual Winter Festival! Highlights for us include the dazzling “Winter Wonderlights” display at Sovereign Hill, the Pop-Up Ice Skating Rink (complete with cute penguins) and the “Knights of Fire” light show at Kryal Castle : )
- Bellarine Taste Trail: A fun way to spend a quiet day or two no matter the weather, our family are big fans of the Bellarine Peninsula’s Taste Trail, just on the other side of Geelong… One of Victoria’s hidden gems in our opinion and an ideal winter weekend away (especially if the sun is shining), this trail covers 50 of the Bellarine’s finest food and wine destinations in one compact region.
- Igloo Wonderland (The Wharf Hotel): A relatively recent addition to Melbourne’s long list of fun things to do during the cold and dark Winter months, the popular Igloo Wonderland attraction is returning to the Wharf Hotel, right on the Yarra River. As the name suggests, Igloo’s seating up to 8 people each are set up facing the river, under a twinkling sky of fairy lights. We particularly enjoy just sitting in one of these Igloos with a close group of friends, chatting away as we savour their delicious sharing platters and a side of cosy Mulled Wine! : )
- NBL Geelong Supercats: If you can’t already tell, we’re avid sport lovers! Keeping in tune with the great winter sport offerings across Victoria; we highly recommend heading down the freeway and enjoying a Geelong Super Cats basketball game (part of the National Basketball League)! Both the Women’s and Men’s games are generally on the one night in what is a great family-friendly event for all ages : )
- Peninsula Hot Springs: One of the top weekend getaways in Victoria all year round, few places can quite match Mornington Peninsula’s famous Hot Springs during those chilly Winter nights. We simply love this place, which is only a 90 minute drive from Melbourne (or 2.5 hours from Geelong) and features natural geothermal mineral springs set amongst beautiful bushland. In particular, we recommend booking one of their outdoor baths around sunset, so you can watch the day melt away at a most leisurely pace with a glass or two in hand. Simply heaven!
- Yarra Valley Hot Chocolate Festival: Hot Chocolate and delicious Cookies are a match made in Winter heaven if you ask us. Combine that with the rolling green hills and beautiful quaint streetscapes of towns across the Yarra Valley and you can see why we’ve added the Hot Chocolate Festival to this list in lucky last place. Back for the first time in 3 years and run by the Yarra Valley Chocolaterie and Ice Creamery in pretty Healesville, there’s 31 flavours on offer this year and 45-minute Hot Chocolate making classes for those interested. Enjoy! : )
Ready for a short Winter break but need somewhere warm and cosy for your furry friends to stay? 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 today! For shorter stays, we also offer our very popular Doggy Daycare service at both addresses, complete with climate-controlled rooms and plenty of blankets for a cosy midday nap.