My favorite Victoria Weekend by Charles Rignall

  • Posted by Peter Richards
  • September 21, 2012 8:54 PM AEST
Great weekend activities in Victoria

Leave your car keys behind and enjoy a weekend or mid-week escape, enjoying old world charm and travel by rail to Woodend. The V-Line service from Southern Cross Station takes just under an hour and puts you in the centre of town. Here you can either enjoy an active time or recharge and indulge yourself in one of the spas in town. Your accommodation can be a simple B&B or boutique
hotel, such as the Bentinck and all an easy walk from the station.

Drop off your bags and then take a hike! But before you do, you may want to recharge your batteries with a meal at one of the many eateries in town, such as the Village Larder which specialises in seasonal menus made from local produce, such as Roasted Western Plains pork ciabatta with house mayonnaise, fresh apple, rhubarb relish and cress. Get your caffeine jolt with an espresso/latte/etc made from Grinders ‘Fix’beans – a real caffeine fix.

Then it’s an easy hike to the storied Hanging Rock. Here you can take in the vistas, play tennis,fish, attend the picnic races and even a concert under the stars – depending on the timing of your visit. 

While at the rock, let your imagination run free and wonder how the schoolgirls in the story managed to go missing.

On your way back to town, take in one of the local wineries – Hanging Rock winery is the nearest and offers a welcoming cellar door, excellent wines and a link to one of Australia’s folk music icons. A clue lies in the name of one of the vineyards -Athol’s Paddock. The staff can arrange for your selection to be shipped back home so you won’t be burdened with a case or two as complete your walk back to town. 

If hiking is not your bag, then carry your bag to Woodend Golf
Club. On the surface, a course of modest length which appears not to offer much of a challenge and is filled with spectacular views with the front nine taking you up the hill and presenting you with vistas of Mt Macedon and Hanging Rock, then the back nine opening up sights of the countryside to the north and west. Walking the course is itself great exercise and there is a surprise after the 16th hole. This
must be the only golf course in the world which has a rope tow to assist golfers
from green to tee – conveying you from the 16th green to the 17th
tee! (see photo).

Time for dinner and don’t overlook Zarby’s Wine Bar and Grill  where you’ll find food, wine, beer and ciders to tempt your palate. For those who are into micro-breweries, there’s Holgates Brewery.

The 3rd Sunday of every month presents the opportunity to enjoy the Lions Club Market where stalls offer produce, plants, artisan goods and food to ensure you don’t run out of energy as you take this
all in. Enjoy the country town atmosphere and a trip without having
to worry about the booze bus, one with activities to meet those who wish to be
pampered or athletic.