Wombat Hills offers the best of both worlds: a chance to relax in a country retreat, and an opportunity to be more adventurous.
High Country, VIC
55 Lochiel Road, Mansfield
Phone: (03) 5776 9507; 0419 882 001
The location Victoria's high country with its sunny days and cool nights can be a perfect summer experience, and this getaway just outside Mansfield is in beautiful, gently hilly country, not far from the Alps, where you'll hear nothing but birdsong.
The place Two self-contained cottages, built from locally quarried stone, are ideal for couples, and there's a third, larger cottage suitable for families or groups of friends. They are luxurious, and a short stroll through the charming gardens will bring you to a dam with a view of mountain sunsets - even the spa bath has a view. Not included in the tariff but well worth considering are the hassle-free and satisfying evening-meal options - cook a prepared barbecue or simply heat up provided slow-cooked dishes. You'll feel as if you're dining in your own private restaurant.
The experience Wombat Hills offers the best of both worlds: a chance to relax in a country retreat, and an opportunity to be more adventurous and drive east into the Alpine National Park, or west to Lake Eildon. Within a 45-minutes drive you can go fishing, swimming, canoeing, rafting, boating, cycling, hot-air ballooning, horse riding or mountain-bike riding. And if your muscles are aching afterwards, you can arrange a massage at your cottage.
Don't miss Whatever the weather, make sure you relax with a cup of tea or a glass of wine under the gazebo at the end of the deck overlooking the dam - gazing out over the water towards the mountains is truly magical. With luck, you'll see some of the kangaroos, wallabies and wombats that roam the property, particularly in the evening.
Need to know
Cost: Fern and Snowgum cottages (one-bedroom): $235 a night for two people. Rose Cottage (three-bedroom): $250 a night for two people, plus $40 per adult or $25 per child a night (maximum six people).
Where: 200km (3 hours' drive) north-east of Melbourne.
Children: yes at Rose Cottage.
Wheelchair access: no.