Victoria

Country retreats and farm stays in Victoria for getting back to nature

We've rounded up the best country escapes and farm stays in Victoria for when you just need a bit of peace and quiet.

You’ve had your fill of typical beachside holidays and whirlwind weekends in the city–sometimes you need a dose of something a little simpler. For that, there are countryside and farm stays around Victoria where the grass is literally greener.

These chilled-out spots let you take time out in the tranquillity of lush landscapes, so far from the stresses of the city that you’ll forget they even exist. Rest in the company of cackling kookaburras and feast on locally sourced produce–maybe even picked by your own hand–all in the fresh open air. You’ll wander grape-laden vineyards to sample expertly crafted wines, and breathe in the natural perfume of delicate wildflowers on an early morning walk.

It could be that the sumptuous furnishings of an alpine apartment in the High Country will call you out beyond the city’s borders. Perhaps your pick will be a luxury farm stay in Victoria where a centuries-old cellar door leads you through to a generous tasting session.

Or, maybe you’re simply seeking some spa time by the quiet beauty of a shimmering lake. Whatever your needs, country holidays in Victoria have never been more inviting, so pack a bag and head for the hills because the serenity of the simple life awaits.

Hang out with alpacas and mini goats at a farm stay in the Dandenong Ranges

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Set on an eight-hectare working farm in the Dandenong Ranges, this the ideal destination to enjoy the peace and slow pace of rural life. Perfect for groups, Farm accommodation has four bedrooms and can sleep up to 13 people.

Enjoy your morning coffee on the deck as you admire panoramic views of Emerald’s rolling hills and listen to the comforting sounds of kookaburras and tractors in the distance. Don’t forget to start your day with a scrumptious breakfast that you can easily rustle up in the well-equipped kitchen, made easy with the complimentary milk, bread, jams and fruits you’ll find on arrival.

Make the most of your farm stay by interacting with your furry neighbours. The farm is home to alpacas and miniature goats, which you are allowed to feed. Your hosts can show you around, but feel free to explore at your own leisure—you might even spot a kangaroo or wombat, too!

If you prefer more human interaction, the farm stay is an easy 5-minute drive from Emerald town centre, or make a day of it and head off to the popular Puffing Billy tourist railway for a ride on a century-old preserved steam railway.

Farm Accommodation

8.0 Very good (25 reviews)
Excellent Service 8.8 / 10
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Lakeside spa rituals at a luxury farm in Victoria's Daylesford

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Indulge your senses with a serene escape to the Lake House, a four-star waterside retreat 10 minutes from the estate’s own dairy and veg farm. The cheery cackle of kookaburras will serve as your wake-up call, but it’s the aroma of fresh coffee that will draw you out of bed.

Amid the velvet blues of your Waterfront Suite, inhale the steam from your cup as mist rises over the water just beyond your balcony. Spot wedge-tailed eagles and crimson rosellas with the help of complimentary binoculars, then prepare for the day in your double spa bath.

Pass a delicate fern gully and reception and you’ll emerge onto King Street where a 10-minute stroll will bring you to the Boathouse Daylesford. Brunch like royalty on corn, courgette and bacon waffles, then walk off your feast around the glittering lake in the late morning sunshine.

Should the water inspire you to swim, there’s no better place than the hotel’s glass-like infinity pool. When relaxation calls, Salus Spa awaits with a nourishing frangipani and milk ritual, or you can warm up on cooler days in the outdoor sauna and Jacuzzi.

Take a late afternoon tipple from your in-room minibar, then head over to the on-site restaurant for a meal crafted from local produce–think charcoal-grilled McIvor pork and umeboshi purée with refreshing peach melba. End the day on a studded leather sofa in the Argyle Library Bar with a nightcap of smooth cognac.

Lake House

Top rated
8.8 Excellent (207 reviews)
Excellent Cleanliness 9.2 / 10
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A homely farm escape with wallabies for company

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The four-star Quamby Homestead is a restored guesthouse close to many of Victoria’s most captivating sights. Honeymooners or romance-seekers should check into The School House, where the quaint cottage ambience can be topped only by a long, shared soak in your ensuite’s bath. After washing up with provided luxe toiletries, enjoy a generous breakfast of yoghurts, cereals and fresh bread in the comfort of your private space.

Gain insight into why this place was christened with the Koori word for ‘resting place’ with a windswept stroll across the surrounding volcanic landscape. Explore the property’s three verdant acres of botanical gardens, looking out for the resident koalas and wallabies at the creek. For a longer adventure, drive 25 minutes into Warrnambool and get to know this fascinating coastal city. There’s an art gallery for a culture fix, or you can pay your respects at the Aboriginal Soldiers Memorial before calling in at Pippies by the Bay for a hunger-quelling lunch of pumpkin and goats cheese risotto.

On your way back to the guesthouse, stop at Gallo Bakery Takeaway and load up on crunchy salads, flaky pastries and warm rolls for later. If you’ve come with the family, let the kids spend the afternoon feeding the homestead’s own lambs, chickens and other animals. At sunset, lay out a picnic of your acquired produce and pop the cork on your complimentary piccolo of champagne to cheers as the sky turns all shades of wonderful.

Quamby Homestead

Top rated
8.8 Excellent (92 reviews)
Excellent Service 9 / 10
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Wine tastings at a secluded vineyard retreat

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Just outside the small Victorian town of Seville, you’ll find the vast vineyard and manicured gardens of Wild Cattle Creek Estate. Step into the peaceful privacy of the Merlot Cottage and appreciate moments of quiet (or lazy afternoon siestas) in your comfortable lounge. Come morning, wake with a refreshing shower in your sparkling ensuite, then take breakfast onto your shaded veranda. The house-stocked provisions will fuel you for a day exploring the grape-dotted vistas of the surrounding landscape.

As soon as afternoon breaks, head to the estate’s 200-year-old cellar door for a tasting session of handcrafted Yarra Valley wines. Sip subtly sparkling Moscato Frizzante, or savour the rich cherry flavours of a 2015 Shiraz before finishing off with a fruity Charolais Blanc. You can purchase a bottle of your favourite to take away for later, then soak up any excess with a long lunch of oven-roasted pork belly at the on-site restaurant.

Linger at the restaurant to watch day turn to night while the contents of your plate change over to a dessert board of sweets and petit fours. Balance out your sugar intake with a steaming cup of coffee, then wander out to the starlit gardens for a peaceful wind down beneath the darkening sky. You can cap off the evening with a hot bath before climbing into freshly turned down bedding to dream of fine wines and rural birdsong.

Wild Cattle Creek Estate

8.7 Excellent (130 reviews)
Excellent Comfort 9.2 / 10
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Decadence at a high-end countryside escape in Victoria

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Breeze over to the Clifftop at Hepburn for breathtaking luxury in Victoria’s countryside. You’ll ease into a long weekend within the plush confines of a Tranquility Villa, where exquisite interiors and Rone artwork complement soul-stirring views over the hills. Dig into a breakfast of complimentary muesli at your bespoke in-room dining table, then meander over to Breakneck Gorge for a four-kilometre walk along bushland teeming with wildlife.

Stop for a sparkling lager at nearby favourite The Old Hep, perhaps indulging in a salty bowl of house seasoned potato wedges. On returning to your villa, sink into hot bubbles in your stone bath for a romantic afternoon alone with your special someone. When the air begins to cool and night approaches, gather around the roaring fireplace for chocolates and steaming mugs of tea. For something more spirited, you can challenge your partner to a game or two on the in-room Lord of the Rings pinball machine, then bask in your victory with a well-earned recline on the couple’s nest daybed.

A cutting-edge Bose sound system will let you fill your room with a mood-setting playlist when you finally retire to bed. Your private kitchen is there should you crave a midnight snack–or you can just crack open your bottle of complimentary champagne and head out to the two-storey private deck to enjoy the bubbles as the stars come out.

Clifftop At Hepburn

9.5 Excellent (272 reviews)
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Cycling paths among the mountains at this farm stay in Victoria

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Combine your love of cycling with incredible scenery at Fernleigh Farmstay & Bike Park. This family-friendly accommodation in northeast Victoria is ideally placed for exploring the nature-rich region by bike, by car or even on foot.

You’ll rise with the sun to the sound of native birds, using your fully equipped kitchenette to fix a satiating breakfast. Once suitably fuelled, you can hire bikes directly from the farm and head out to explore the emerald landscape. If you’re feeling ambitious, it’s just over an hour’s cycle to Delatite Winery, where you can reward a morning of exercise with a tipple or two. Otherwise, you might simply enjoy a wander through the mountainous scenery, on the lookout for some of Victoria’s wildlife.

After an energetic morning, wind your way along the Gough Bay coast and back to the farm for an alfresco lunch in quiet gardens. Work off any extra energy in the on-site pool or with a competitive game of tennis. For a slower pace, you can fish in the farm’s peaceful dams or hang out with the resident miniature goats and cheeky chickens. There’s human interaction to be had too, with a roaring campfire at night for sharing stories and toasting marshmallows beneath a thousand stars.

Fernleigh Farmstay & Bike Park

8.0 Very good (21 reviews)
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Feature image courtesy of Daniele / Fotolia