As you leave the Melbourne and hit the Western Highway, a certain sense of freedom kicks in. As you put your car to the test up and down the hills near Bacchus Marsh and the city gets left behind, that unmistakable “road trip” feeling starts to kick-in. Below are some stops the Royal Mail Hotel recommends along the way.


Bacchus Marsh

Approx 55kms from Melbourne take a slight detour off the highway to the township of Bacchus Marsh. Explore the fruit stalls that line the Avenue and stock up on the freshest stone fruits, berries, cherries sourced from local orchards and farms.



The grand historical architecture of the gold rush town of Ballarat is worth the detour off the Western Hwy. Mitchell Harris Wine Bar, Ballarat Art Gallery and Ballarat Botanical Gardens are great pit stops. For more stops in Ballarat, click here.



Choose to continue on the Western Hwy to Ararat and call into Mt Langi Ghiran winery, just off the western highway at Buangor. Ararat is home to the interesting Gum San Chinese Heritage Museum and J –Ward, a historic gaol.

OR take the slightly shorter route via Glenelg Hwy to Dunkeld.


Port Fairy

If you are travelling via the Great Ocean Road, we recommend taking the time to visit Port Fairy. It’s a lovely historical fishing village with great cafe culture. Port Fairy is around 1 hour driving time from Dunkeld, passing through Penshurst where a walk up the extinct volcano Mt Rouse provides stunning views of Gariwerd (the Grampians). For more ideas traveling from Port Fairy, click here.



Not far from Dunkeld is the cultural centre of western Victoria – Hamilton. The noted Art Gallery and range of unique retail offerings is worth a stop.



Coonawarra – on the boarder of South Australia and Victoria, is home to a wine region, famous for its ‘terra rossa’ soil and resulting cabernet sauvignon.