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Top Winter Weekend Getaway Spots in Victoria

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:
    • 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.

Winter Warmer Tips for Your Furry Friends

In the blink of an eye, the leaves have turned beautiful shades of gold, orange and brown, the days have grown much shorter and the night air has a distinct chill… Yes, at the time of writing Winter is very near and that means a few months of hibernating ahead across Victoria!

Whilst many people chase the sun further north this time of year, there’s also a fair few of us who embrace the opportunity to slow down and spend cosy days indoors with our loved ones, including our dear furry friends. And although our pets have thick coats to keep them warm, they can also suffer bouts of the Winter blues. That’s why this month The Pets Hotel team share a few simple tips to keep you all extra cosy and comfortable for the next little while : )

Winter Warmer Tips for Your Furry Friends

  • Keep them extra warm indoors: The first and most obvious tip of all is to keep your pets indoors (at least most of the time) during the cold and often wet Winter months, especially overnight when temperatures across Victoria can fall to the low single digits. This advice especially applies to short-haired dogs like Beagles, Boston Terriers and Greyhounds who don’t have the extra fur to keep them insulated from those harsh Winter chills. Likewise for small puppies and kittens who can’t regulate their body temperature as well as their more mature counterparts.

    • Make a cosy indoor space for your pets during Winter
    • Keep them indoors overnight to avoid the harsh winter chill, even for breeds with thick coats


  • Keep up their exercise! Whilst this may sound contradictory following our first point, keeping your furry friends active through regular exercise during the long Winter months is just as important to maintaining their health and wellbeing as is ensuring they’re dry and warm. Whether it’s a leisurely daily walk around the block for your dog or letting your kitty bask in the gentle winter sun (on those wonderfully clear Winter days we occasionally enjoy), a little exercise will not only warm them up and ward off the winter blues, it will also keep those excess kilos from all that tasty comfort food at bay. If you’re worried about them catching a cold on those chilly days, The Pets Hotel team recommends investing in a top-quality RSPCA Dog Coat for extra comfort.

    • Ensure your pets still get plenty of exercise, especially on sunny days
    • Exercise will not only warm them up, it will also keep off extra kilos!
    • Invest in a quality Dog Coat for extra outdoor comfort


  • Add layers to their sleeping space for extra comfort: Just as we pile on extra layers to our own beds as Winter draws near, your furry friends will be wagging in appreciation if you do the same thing for them! Whether it’s another blanket or two, or even a microwavable heat pad for those exceptionally chilly nights, giving your pets TLC in the form of a higher thread count is sure to make their sleeping space feel extra cosy, aiding a well-earned rest for both of you. Another handy tip is to move their bed or indoor kennel away from cold drafts (which tend to flow near doors and windows) and invest in a raised bed : )

    • Add extra layers of blankets to your pet’s bed/indoor kennel
    • Consider microwavable heat pads for extra cold nights
    • Consider investing in a raised bed too


  • Hydration + healthy diet is king! Despite Winter typically being a wet and cold season in Victoria, our pets still need plenty of water and healthy food to keep them going, especially as harsh indoor heating can be quite dehydrating. You’ll also want to maintain a well-balanced diet of nutritious meals, which combined with regular exercise will keep them in good shape areas, check your pets water bowl in the mornings to make sure it isn’t frosted over!

    • Keep up their water intake through Winter, indoor heating can be harsh
    • Maintain a well-balanced diet too


  • Don’t forget those regular vet visits: This brings us to our final tip– don’t forget those regular 6-month check-ups at your local vet, especially in Winter when seasonal ailments like the cat flu, canine arthritis and various skin problems (from too much time in the rain) can often arise. On that note, we highly recommend the RSPCA website and AVA (Australian Veterinary Association) directory as excellent places to start if you need to find a fully-qualified practitioner close to home.

    • Keep up your regular 6-month vet visits
    • Watch for signs of seasonal ailments, including cat flu and canine arthritis

Considering a break somewhere sunny this Winter and need a warm, cosy place for your furry friend 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.

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