Welcome to the season of sun-soaked days, balmy evenings, and endless possibilities! From immersive family experiences, days out in nature or road trips to discover our state's diverse landscapes, there is plenty to do and discover. Treat this as your guide to unforgettable experiences and make heritage, nature, and culture a stop on your summer getaways.
Soak up the Festive Spirit
Embrace the magic of Christmas at Como House, a place of discovery and elegance. Season’s Greetings is the latest instalment in the House of Discovery series, transforming Como House into an 1880s festive wonderland. Wander the beautifully adorned rooms and delight in the Christmas decorations, cards and traditions of yesteryear. The installation is open at select times every Wednesday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday until January 21 to ensure you can keep the Christmas spirit alive well into the new year. Book tickets online here.
Dive into the spirit of the season at Seasons Greetings. Find out more here.
Connect with Nature
Use the summer holiday period to escape the hustle and bustle and reconnect with nature in some of Victoria’s most beautiful gardens and landscapes. The National Trust cares for a diverse array of elegant gardens throughout the state. Read our top picks of the best gardens to visit for inspiration.
Be sure to explore the enchanting gardens of Rippon Lea Estate and enjoy a garden tour showcasing the beauty and history of this iconic estate. Or join a guided Bird Walk and discover the diverse birdlife that calls Rippon Lea home, all while enjoying the serene surroundings.
For panoramic views and serene trails, head to the charming town of Camperdown and explore the natural beauty of the nearby Mount Leura & Mount Sugarloaf Reserves. It’s the perfect destination for a day of outdoor exploration and relaxation, and there are a variety of trails and guides on offer to help make the most of your visit.
Mount Leura & Mount Sugarloaf are part of a large volcanic complex which was formed more than 20,000 years ago by a series of major volcanic eruptions. The area was purchased by the National Trust in 1970s to prevent quarrying in the reserve and is cared for today by a dedicated volunteer management team.
Picture Perfect Picnics
Make your summer moments special with picture-perfect picnics! There is no better way to soak in the beauty of historic estates and natural landscapes than by enjoying a delightful picnic. Whether you’re a nature enthusiast, a history buff, or simply looking for a relaxing day out, the National Trust has some fantastic picnic spots to offer.
Rippon Lea Estate now offers an exclusive range of Grazed and Boxed picnic boxes, filled with gourmet treats so you can indulge in a memorable outdoor experience. Choose from Grazed & Boxed selection of sweet and savoury boxes as well as brunch box and afternoon tea box to enjoy in the sprawling grounds. You could even try a spot of croquet on the lawn! Picnic Boxes are available to order online in advance.
Check out our top spots for the best places to enjoy delicious bites and good company, surrounded by nature’s beauty.
Adventure Together as a Family
Embark on thrilling family adventures together at the iconic Old Melbourne Gaol. Explore the captivating history of the Gaol where some of Australia’s most infamous characters, including bushranger Ned Kelly and gangster Squizzy Taylor, spent time behind bars.
Dive into the intriguing history of the Gaol with the new Escape Artists Tour and discover stories of daring escapes – from the cunning and clever, to the foolhardy and downright dangerous.
Head to Coburg and take a Pentridge Prison Tour – one of Melbourne’s newest cultural attractions. Led by National Trust Guides, these tours allow visitors to experience the complex history and untold stories of Pentridge Prison, once Australia’s most infamous prison. Tours are available for all ages and interests, so everyone is catered for.
PrisonBreak Explorers runs twice daily during the school Holidays. The tour is a fun and interactive dive into the secrets of Pentridge Prison’s great escapes, and perfect for families seeking adventure. For those a little older, B-Division tours takes visitors through the changing face of the prison throughout its 160 years in operation.
Pentridge is the perfect destination for a family day out, date night, or a unique staycation. Check out our guide to making the most of your visit.
Take a Road Trip
Hit the road and explore the diverse landscapes and cultural heritage of Victoria with a road trip to one of the National Trust’s regional properties.
Discover the charm of Chiltern in the High Country, where history meets natural beauty. Explore the town’s rich heritage and enjoy the picturesque surroundings. Take a tour of Dow’s Pharmacy and step into a long-gone era of medicine at this former country pharmacy. Or visit Lake View House, one of Chiltern’s crown jewels. This Victorian-era modest but stately home stands as a testament to the town’s grandeur in the 19th century.
Head down the coast and explore the beauty of the Mornington Peninsula and uncover the hidden gems that await you. From historic sites to stunning landscapes, there’s something for every one. For lovers of art and literature, Mulberry Hill is well worth a stop. Nestled amidst serene landscapes, the home stands as a testament to the creative legacy of artist Sir Daryl Lindsay and author Lady Joan Lindsay.
For more inspiration or exciting things to see and do throughout at National Trust properties throughout Melbourne and Victoria, subscribe to our monthly e-newsletter.