With the open road stretching ahead, driving tunes on the stereo and fantastic scenery along the way, it’s hard not to love a road trip. This week I’m Down Under in the Australian state of Victoria driving a section of its famed South East Touring Triangle.
Heading from Melbourne, the South East Touring Triangle takes in Yarra Valley, Phillip Island and Mornington Peninsula – a place I’ve long heard people speak of wistfully as they describe its countryside and coastal beauty.
Victoria is known as Australia’s Garden State and though I can’t claim to be the most green-fingered – actually my garden is testament to the fact that I only need look at a plant for it to wither – I love beautiful blooms.
Importantly though, Victoria’s gardens are much more than just pretty flowers. I’ll be discovering how they reflect Australian and Aboriginal culture, and how food and wine producers in the South East Touring Triangle are harnessing the region’s fine growing conditions to delicious effect. I’ll also be looking at how art and wellness integrate with the natural environment there.
I’ll be taking in botanical gardens, rose gardens, country gardens, coastal gardens, heirloom vegetable gardens, herb gardens, mazes and vineyards.
This is my first trip to the land of great wine and odd animals – potoroo anyone (see one below)? I also love a good road trip, so I’m very excited to be here.
Luxury stays on the South East Touring Triangle
Along the way I’m staying in some of the South East Touring Triangle’s best historic and boutique hotels.
On Thursday I’ll be checking into South Yarra’s Olsen Hotel, an Art Series Hotel, with has murals and sculptures by revered Australian landscape artist Dr John Olsen.
Leaving there I head to the exuberant elegance of the Woodman Estate Country House – a Victorian mansion set in rose gardens and rolling pastures. Next up it’s Lindenderry at Red Hill, renowned for its French chateau-style building set among gum trees. Tussie Mussie Vineyard Retreat, famed for it’s secluded vineyard setting is up next, then back to Melbourne for a stay at the Grand Hyatt in the heart of the city.
It’s going to be quite the floral adventure and I hope you follow along on LiveShareTravel’s Facebook page, Twitter and on Instagram. There will be updates from me on #MelbourneTouring and you’ll also find updates from four other people road-tripping across Victoria at the same time. There’s Abi from Inside The Travel Lab who’s enjoying some soft adventure along the Great Ocean Road and The Otways, Keith from Velvet Escape sampling the Great Southern Touring Route, Paul from TravMonkey who will be discovering wildlife and ecotourism projects in the Lakes Discovery Route, and Niamh of Eat Like A Girl will be sampling the culinary delights of the Yarra Valley and Mornington Peninsula.
The #MelbourneTouring trip, has been created and managed by iambassador, Tourism Victoria and Visit Melbourne in partnership with Royal Brunei Airlines. But as always, we maintain full editorial control here at LiveShareTravel.