Road trip: Victoria

Vibrant street art in one of Melbourne's colourful laneways. City break: When you hear the call of the urban jungle, it’s best to answer. Where else in Australia can you immerse yourself in amazing street art, fantastic cafés and some of the best shopping in the world? Thankfully, Melbourne also has the last word on cosy winter bars – unsurprising given it’s inclement weather. Check out Cumulus Up (just above Cumulus Inc restaurant, in case the bar snacks aren’t cutting it); Underwood Wine Bar, a Fitzroy bar with New York sensibilities; and Time Out’s 2016 Bar of the Year, the underground, opulent Eau de Vie. (Provided you’ve safely parked the car, of course.) Country mile: Head due east on the M3 out of the city, and make a decision at Lilydale: continue along for a magical forest tour of the Dandenong Ranges, or turn right to be led to Victoria’s praised wine country of Yarra Valley. Better yet, book in a weekend car hire and do both. The twisting turns of the Dandenong Ranges’ cool fern gullies will lead any number of the area’s lively villages, and their fantastic eateries – taking in a Devonshire is a must here – then double back for a wine-glass tour through Yarra Valley’s vine-strewn hills. Off-road: Get your off-roading thrills with a drive among the spectacular peaks and dramatic rock formations of Grampians National Park in Victoria’s central highlands. Think picturesque waterfalls, spectacular wildflowers, panoramic views and fascinating Aboriginal rock-art sites. Best of all, your inner hunger for rocky outcrops, claytop and sand trails will be quenched. The changing landscape of Little Desert National Park is worth exploring too, behind the wheel and on foot. Camp out beside the Wimmera River at Horseshoe Bend, Ackle Bend and Kiata campgrounds. Go to sleep under a thousand blinking stars and wake to the sound of nature all around. Image credit: Looking Glass