Three iconic Victorian towns in three days. Discover the charm and heritage allure of Ballarat, Bendigo and Echuca, departing from Melbourne.
Our tour kicks off in Melbourne where you can rest your head and prepare for a busy weekend in regional Australia at a number of centrally located Quest properties. Check out a range of options here. When you’re ready and rearing to go, make your way towards Ballarat – one of Australia’s most iconic regional towns. This thriving regional hub is located just 1.5 hours from the Melbourne CBD.
Famed by its fascinating gold rush history, this heritage town is in fact Victoria’s second largest regional city, home to more than 100,000.
You can’t go to Ballarat and overlook Sovereign Hill. This living exhibition set over acreage brings visitors from around the globe back to the 1800s. Step back in time while you pan for gold, dress up in period clothing, go into a mine shaft, watch live lolly making demonstrations, make your own candles and watch live shows.
If you’ve already been to Sovereign Hill or have less time available, you might visit Maze House instead. Situated in Newlyn, about 20 minutes from the Ballarat city centre, this five-acre property features garden beds, veggie patches, a café, and as the name implies, a hedge adventure maze. Children and adults alike will have a ball at the Maze House, open 10:00am-5:00pm on weekends, public holidays and school holidays.
When you’re finished checking out the local attractions, check into Quest Ballarat located on Dawson Street, set in a stunning heritage building. Dining in? Quest has got you covered with in room cooking facilities. However, if you’ve got a weekend without the children and are keen to venture out, why not check out Underbar for exquisite modern Australian cuisine.
In the morning, after a delicious breakfast from the comfort of your room, or at local favourite Yellow Espresso, head over to Lydiard Street, where you can join a 90-minute walking tour with Ballarat Heritage Tours.
By mid-morning, you’ll be ready to hit the road, journeying from Ballarat to Bendigo. Call into Balgownie Estate Cellar Door for a timely vino and cheese board. Central Victoria is one of Australia’s premium wine regions, and Balgownie is best known for its exceptional cab sav and shiraz. You won’t be disappointed!
Check into Quest Bendigo, where the friendly staff can point you in the direction of the best local restaurants and watering holes, before turning in for the evening in the comfortable serviced apartments, conveniently located on the city fringe.
Rise and shine! After a bite to eat and cuppa, you might be inclined to check out Bendigo Art Gallery. Founded in 1887, Bendigo Art Gallery is one of the oldest and largest in Victoria, boasting an extensive collection of contemporary Australian art.
Hit the road by mid-morning and arrive in Echuca by lunchtime, approximately an hour away. After dropping off your luggage at Quest Echuca, set in the heart of the town and in walking distance to all major attractions.
After lunch, call into the Port of Echuca Discovery Centre and take a trip down the Murray on an 1870’s paddle steamer, before swinging by the Echuca Great Aussie Beer Shed & Heritage Museum. Take a trip down memory lane with an incredible display of over 17,000 beer cans from Australia and around the world.
After a restful sleep, before you head home, you might call into the Echuca Billabong Ranch where you’ll be able to do a horseback ride through the bush. Alternatively, play a round of mini golf, go rock climbing or give archery a go. There’s something for everyone!