When choosing to travel for a long-time family and friends are often concerned; they wonder if you will ever be able to settle down again, accept a routine life, stay in a job or find a partner. They’re concern is warranted because It’s true – travel changes your perspectives, making it more challenging to accept a routine kind of life. But who really wants to settle down anyway? One of the best things about travel is that it challenges you. Travel forces you out of your comfort zone, pushing you beyond personal boundaries. Wouldn’t it be great if you could keep that sense of freedom and confidence?
Well I’m here to tell you that you can, and here’s how.
Micro-adventures are small getaways/experiences that you can fit around work. They are mini adventures that you can go on every weekend, so that you arrive at work on Monday feeling free, confident and refreshed. You don’t have to wait for your next annual leave to get away – you can go this weekend. When I struggled settling into full-time work this year, I decided that I needed adventure back in my life – I couldn’t feel stuck in a rut of the “same shit different day”. So I made a plan – every Wednesday I plan an adventure for the weekend – I do something a bit challenging, exciting and fun.
This year I have rock-climbed, ice skate, escaped from a prison cell, seen a scary movie at the drive-ins and road tripped along the Great Ocean Road. I’ve never felt that just working to earn enough to travel again is a sustainable lifestyle for me, so I had to find a way to adopt the things I love about travel into my everyday life. Since I started going on micro-adventures every weekend, I’ve had more motivation at work, I’ve felt ready to go back into the office on Monday, and I don’t feel so sad when I reminisce on my life last year. So if you’re missing a bit of adventure in your life this blog is for you! Below is some info and inspo to help you start your micro-adventure planning.
Feel like winding down in the great outdoors? Check-into Marysville in the picturesque Yarra Ranges. This cute little town is only a 1.5 hour scenic drive from the city. James and I stayed for one night at the Marysville Garden Cottages for $200. The cottages are in a lovely flowering garden, Complete with kitchenette, TV you can watch in bed and large spa bath. The views from the front of the cottage over the mountains were stunning and the main street is a short walk away.
We filled our first day with lunch at Fraga’s café in the main street. We wondered the shops and ate scones with jam and cream for afternoon tea. Our second day was spent walking to the spectacular Steavensons’s Falls. For dinner, we had wine and lamb shoulder at the Vibe Hotel, Radius Bar and Grill. The food was wonderful and 85% of the produce used by the restaurant Is locally sourced.
If you have a bit longer in Marysville wander through Bruno’s Art and Sculpture Garden – enchanted with amazing artworks and hidden nooks. For a scenic drive venture down Lady Talbot Drive – starting on Woods Point Road and following the Taggerty river valley up to Lake Mountain. Major spots to stop along Lady Talbot Drive include; Phantom Falls, Taggerty Cascades and Keppel Falls.
If you leave in the morning when returning home from Marysville, give the award-winning Healesville Sanctuary a visit. Get up close and personal with Australian wildlife and magnificent birds of prey. For more info on Marysville visit the Info centre in town – but remember Marysville is a tiny country town in a beautiful part of Vic. The perfect destination for some mind clearing fresh air.
Spa country – Hepburn Springs
James and I have spent 2 long weekends in the Daylesford region this year. The first was at Hepburn Springs. Hepburn is a bit quieter than Daylesford, close to the Hepburn bathhouse and Spa. I had a 60 minute facial at the Bathouse and it was simply divine! You can walk from Hepburn Mineral Springs Reserve to Lake Daylesford along the Tipperary Walking Track (16km), the easy walk takes you through undulating forest foothills most of the way.
We enjoyed a scrumptious dinner at the quirky Blue Bean Love café in Hepburn. The Hepburn and Daylesford regions pride themselves in using fresh, organic local produce, and you can certainly taste the difference! We spent our time dining, wining and watching Rom coms in our cute cottage. If you want to enjoy this area without the hustle and bustle of Daylesford town – Hepburn Springs is the place for you!
Spa country – Daylesford
On our second trip to spa region we stayed in Daylesford at The Acorn – we highly recommend this romantic cottage with all the perks for a winter escape. The quaint cottage has a double-sided fire-place, giant spa bath and views over the valley which you can enjoy from the secluded backyard.
We spent a day wondering down the main street of Daylesford and enjoyed yummy wood-fired pizza and wine at Koukla restaurant. On our second day, we walked around lake Daylesford, visited the Mill Market (jam packed with antiques) and bought home-made slices at the Sunday railway market. If you enjoy cuddling up by a fire, quirky art, good coffee and great window shopping – Daylesford is your perfect micro-adventure destination!
Great Ocean Roadtrip
At the end of 2016 my girlfriends and I rented a Kombi van from Hire a Kombi and travelled down the great ocean road. It was an awesome weekend! We camped at Torquay for a night and walked along the boardwalk to grab a coffee in the morning. If you want a scenic drive along beautiful Aussie coastline make sure you drive the Great Ocean Road! Other attractions along the coastal road include the 12 Apostles, Lock Arde Gorge and London Bridge rock formations.
I celebrated my 25th birthday weekend in Warburton and it has been my favourite micro-adventure this year! The Yarra Valley scenery was stunning, our accommodation was great and we spent most of our time riding bikes through picturesque Victorian countryside. If you’re looking for an active, outdoors adventure – start planning your Warburton adventure! James and I stayed with some friends at the modern Valley Ride Holiday House. The house boasts panoramic views over mountains, has a warm gas fireplace and pool table. There are even bikes and helmets free for guests to use.
We spent a full day riding past grazing sheep, horse riders and farmland along the Warburton-Lilydale Rail trail (38km). Some of our recommended spots in the nearby Yarra Ranges National Park include; O’Shannassy Aqueduct Trail and the rainforest gallery walk. You can also drive up Mt. Donna Buang to have some fun in the snow during winter months. We also enjoyed an eerie walk at dusk through the redwood forest, at cement creek. It felt like we were in a scene from the Twilight! For a treat on your way home hit up the Yarra Valley Chocolaterie. If you love the countryside, bike riding and Robert Pattinson – Warburton is the place for you!
Mornington Peninsula bliss
We have been lucky enough to grow up on the Mornington Peninsula. There are some great annual events, wineries, cafes and beaches to experience. Below is a list of some of the places we frequent for local micro-adventures during the warmer months:
- Flinders Hotel and rock pools
- Taking the dog for a walk along Frankston Foreshore
- Mornington markets and Food/Wine festival (15 Oct 2017)
- Ladbrokes Peninsula Cup Day (5 Nov 2017)
- Peninsula Hot Springs
- Hickinbotham Winery in Dromana for a leisurely lunch
- Arthurs Seat Seawinds gardens for a summertime picnic
- Dromana Drive-Ins
- Bike ride Hastings to Somers General Store for a scrumptious café lunch by the coast
- Merricks general store for Sunday brunch and wine tasting
- Nutella Cocktails at Brass Razu, Mornington
- Mornington Peninsula Walk – 100km track linking 4 picturesque walks along the Peninsula
- Cape Schanck lighthouse walk
- Nepean National Park historic fort
- Phillip Island penguin parade and surf break at Smiths Beach
- Mornington Peninsula Obstacle course
- Melbourne Cable Park to practice your wake boarding skills or complete the Aqua Park course
- Coolart Homestead and Wetlands
- Picnic at Devils Bend Reservoir, Teurong
- Queenscliff music festival (24-26 Nov 2017)
- Horse riding along the beach at Gunnamatta Trail rides
- Wilsons Prom National Park camping and hiking
Melbourne and surrounds
There’s always an adventure to be had in Melbourne city! We have the most livable city in the world on our doorstep. Get the train in and make a day of it – there’s so much to see and do. A few of our favorite city experiences are:
- Ice Skating at O’Brien Group Arena
- Escape Room at TRAPT bar
- See a show at Her Majesty’s Theatre
- Dine in a Tram car
- Explore Science Works
- Visit the free ACMI museum of film, TV and video games, Federation square
- View the Myer Windows, meet Santa at David Jones and watch the Crown Christmas display during the festive season
- Enjoy a Chocolate walking tour around the CBD
- Rock climb at the Edge
- Hit the slopes at Mt. Buller in the winter
Remember that you can experience new places and see new things every day. Don’t wait for your next annual leave – start planning your micro-adventure for this weekend! You’ll return to work feeling motivated and refreshed on Monday morning – ready to take on the world. You don’t have to quit your day job to be an adventurer – your next trip could begin this Saturday! So start planning and get livin! I hope you can get started with some of the ideas above.
Have a great week adventurers!
Love Lauren xx