While it can be tempting to rug up and hunker down during the cooler months, a day trip can be just the ticket to cure those winter blues. There's plenty happening this season to lift your spirits and keep you warm while exploring the local region and beyond. Here are eight ideas to get you started.
WinterKnits - Ballan
Ballan's main shopping strip will come alive with an explosion of colour and creativity during the winter months, with more than 30 locals selecting a tree or verandah post to yarn bomb for WinterKnits. The event is on throughout winter and will engage people of all ages, whether as a participant or part of the audience. Artist Lou Callow will act as creative mentor for the project, the installations providing colour, curiosity, talking points, and awareness for the range of messages depicted in the work.
Words in Winter - Daylesford
Words in Winter is the annual festival of words and ideas, bringing warmth and solace to communities in and around Daylesford during the bitterly cold month of August. The festival will be held on the third weekend of the month, with various events planned throughout the festival. The theme this year is Life, with a variety of poets, short stories, authors, workshops, theatrical performances, kids' events, and academic sessions all pertaining to the theme.
Woodend Winter Arts Festival
With its friendly community, village vibe and fresh mountain air, heading to the Macedon Ranges for the Woodend Winter Arts Festival is the perfect getaway for a day or more. Held during the Queen's Birthday long weekend, the volunteer-run festival combines some of the best international classical music performers with the best Australian vocal and musical talent, and mixes it with a range of author and political panels, writers workshops and free art exhibitions.
Pyranees Art Exhibition - Beaufort
Proving that art and creativity know no age barrier, the Rotary Club of Beaufort and the Pyrenees Arts Council presents its annual Pyrenees Art Exhibition this winter. Beaufort celebrates its artistic pursuits during the Queen's Birthday long weekend, with artworks from across Australia exhibited in an impressive display of artwork and photography. Rotary Club of Beaufort's pop-up bookshop attracts a great amount of interest, and Art Trax Art Gallery at the Beaufort Railway Station showcases the work of Pyrenees and district artists.
Tastes of Central Geelong
Enjoy a feast of food, flavours and fun in Central Geelong this July at this 24-day festival. There will be hundreds of activities on offer from Central Geelong businesses, including a series of guided walking tours, Eat the Street and Sweet Street Fridays in the Laneways Precinct, delicious dinner events, high teas and afternoon teas, cooking classes and beverage workshops, special lunches, kids activities, and dessert wars.
Heathcote on Show
Heathcote shines during its annual wine and food festival, Heathcote on Show. The three-day event in June showcases the region's many makers, growers and brewers, and gives thousands of visitors the opportunity to sample the region's very best award-winning wines. Plenty of winemakers will be on hand for winery tours, winemaking classes and with 26 cellar doors, plenty of opportunity to sample and buy award-winning wines, museum releases and many new white and red varietals.
Little Winter - Flagstaff Hill
Little Winter, Flagstaff Hill's winter school holiday program, is big fun for the whole family. From July 1 to 12, the Warrnambool museum and village are alive with kids cooking and craft activities, chances to meet the Maremma guardian dogs who protect the little penguins at Middle Island, opportunities build something with Triton Woodworkers, or even travel back in time to experience an old-fashioned school room.
Explore the Loddon Shire
Whether your family prefers boating, fishing, paddling, walking or cycling, the Loddon Valley has something for everyone. Boort features the works of John Piccoli around Little Boort Lake, with tours of his Spanner Sculpture Garden available. Pyramid Hill is fantastic for those who are keen to explore the 187-metre granite hill, which commemorates Major Sir Thomas Mitchell. Down the road at Mitiamo is Terrick Terrick National Park, an ideal park for scenic drives, bushwalking and picnics. Head south to Wedderburn and visit the Hard Hill Tourist Reserve. The General Store Gallery and Museum is full of artwork and products from the goldrush era. At Inglewood, the gold rush era architecture of the main street is a fitting backdrop for flourishing antiques businesses.
Further information about these events can be found in the winter edition of Out & About magazine, which is out now. Click on the link to read the entire magazine online.