You could spend every weekend of the year road tripping to a different spot in Victoria and there would still be plenty of towns and camping spots to discover. Of course, there are the classics like the meandering Great Ocean Road along Victoria’s south-west coast, or the crowd-gathering fairy penguins on Phillip Island. Here are two underrated places to travel to these summer holidays.
With scones and tea that are better than grandma’s (big statement, we know), you’ll want to stop by Miss Marple’s Tearoom in Sassafras. It’s dedicated to Agatha Christie’s character Miss Marple, but you don’t have to have read the books to enjoy the tearoom.
Just an hour out of Melbourne, Sassafras feels like an escape to a cosy village without the daylong trip to get there. You’ll find bakeries, art galleries, quirky gift shops, a vintage lolly shop and specialty homeware stores. Wander through the nearby gardens of R.J. Hamer Arboretum, or, if you’re feeling extra energetic, take a hike through Dandenong Ranges National Park. With the fresh air and abundance of greenery, you may find that the day moves slower, so enjoy an afternoon without any plans. Take a ride through the forest on nearby Puffing Billy, or discover vintage classics at Market Fair in Ferntree Gully.
Head down to the Mornington Peninsula, on the other side of popular destinations like Rye, Sorrento and Portsea, you’ll find Cape Schanck – the southernmost tip of the peninsula.
Park at the lighthouse and, thanks to boardwalks, wander down an easy walking trail that leads you to a beach without sand. It’s completely covered in pebbles, and appropriately named Pebble Beach. The pebbles aren’t the easiest to walk along, but the kids will love discovering all the different shapes and colours.
There’s also a giant rock formation called Pulpit Rock that’s picture perfect. Take a three-hour-return hike along Bushrangers Bay Walking Track and discover rock pools to swim in along the way.
Pictured is Sorrento and Portsea coastline. Image courtesy of Mornington Peninsula Regional Tourism