Whether it’s a weekend away for two or a nature escape with the whole crew, Riparide’s got a bush-drenched Victorian retreat that’ll help you shake off that city slick.


Now that Melbourne’s fifth (!!) lockdown is over Victorians are high-tailing it beyond the city limits and into the hills like Godzilla’s just made a grand entrance onto Collins Street. 

If you’re still umming and erring about which direction to point your wheels, we’ve dug up a few epic locations, courtesy of Riparide, that can become your very own Rancho Relaxo.

1. The Shearers Shack

Location: Kyneton, Macedon Ranges
Cost: $160 per night
Sleeps: 5

Light and bright, The Shearers Shack has enough space for you and your four best mates to settle in for a weekend of blissful indulgence. Expect gorgeous gardens surrounding the shack, farm animals to squeal and point at, and Jubilee Lake just a short drive away.

This place is also kid-friendly, making it ideal for a family holiday in the Macedon Ranges.

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2. Sky High Mount Franklin

Location: Mount Franklin, Macedon Ranges
Cost: $1,175 per night
Sleeps: 8

Sitting pretty atop its very own hill in the Macedon Ranges, Sky High Mount Franklin offers an architectural delight, big enough to fit in the entire crew. 

This place features a heated plunge pool to soak in (or a delicious bath in the master bedroom) plus glass walls all around to take in the Mount Franklin countryside sunsets from all angles. Talk about luxe!

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3. The Simple Life Cabin

Location: Mount Toolebewong, Yarra Valley
Cost: $205 per night
Sleeps: 2

Now this place is proper log-cabin-in-the-forest stylez – I wouldn’t be surprised if a bear wandered right past the window. With trout fishing, waterfall walks, and Redwood forest-bathing to fill your days, a weekend at The Simple Life Cabin will feel like a lifetime.

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4. Cortes Kiln

Location: Gapsted, High Country
Cost: $236 per night
Sleeps: 2

Cortes Kiln is a peaceful escape to the Victorian Alps, located on a working walnut farm and engulfed by nature on all sides. It used to be an old tobacco kiln and is now stunning and welcoming home and the perfect launch pad to the mountains.

Find hot springs to soak in, uncover High Country waterfalls and even give dog-sledding a try.

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5. Shack 14

Location: Chewton, Goldfields
Cost: $240 per night
Sleeps: 4

With not another house in sight, just trees and trees and trees, Shack 14 offers true immersion into the natural environment. 

Beds for four with room enough to roam for a bus load, and less than 1.5 hours from Melbourne, this getaway offers access to Lodden Falls, Mount Tarrengower, and the peaceful Kyneton Botanic Gardens.

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6. Log Box Red Hill

Location: Red Hill South, Mornington Peninsula
Cost: $325 per night
Sleeps: 2

Down on the Mornington Peninsula, just an hour’s drive from Melbourne, you’ll find this sweet little coast-meets-country home. Not far from Cape Schanck and the hike down to the lighthouse, this gorgeously decorated shack is a lovely place to wile-away the weekend. 

Don’t miss the cakes at the Merrick General Store!

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7. Tathra Mudbrick Cottage

Location: Flowerdale, High Country
Cost: $200 per night
Sleeps: 2

Tathra Mudbrick Cottage would send cottagecore folks wild. With horses, chooks, and lambs for neighbours, plus an outdoor shower AND hot tub, and rolling hills abound, it’s the ideal locale for a getaway for two. 

And just to chuck a cherry on top, it’s pet-friendly too, so your best mates can get a taste of that farm life.

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8. Daylesford Long House

Location: Elevated Plains, Macedon Ranges
Cost: $750 per night
Sleeps: 4

The Long House literally brings the outdoors in. The two-bedroom cottage, veggie garden, and fire pit all reside within the four long walls of the green-house style shed, meaning you can enjoy the greenery (and the butterflies and birds!) rain, hail, or shine. 

Step outside and the countryside vibe only grows, with farm animals roaming the paddocks and hillside-sunsets to drink in. Take a dip in the nearby Lake Daylesford to top it all off – this is a truly unique getaway experience.

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Feature photo by @camwattsphoto