It’s most definitely the age of the smart phone. I don’t know about you, but I use mine for EVERYTHING. An alarm clock, a kitchen timer, to write my shopping list, to check my bank account and to chat to my friends and family (of course).

At the end of the day, it makes me feel as though I really need some time off the grid. Maybe you do too? Luckily, us Bendigo folk live in the perfect central location to pack up the car and take a break for the weekend.

Be warned – the following places are so darn beautiful you absolutely won’t need to reach for your phone – but you might not ever want to come home!

The Stables at Queen Bee Vineyard

260 Mandurang Rd, Mandurang

Our first location is not too far from our beloved Bendigo. The Queen Bee Vineyard is located right near Chateau Doré, so around a 10-15 minute drive out of town. Set on 4 acres of lush lawn and vineyard in Mandurang Valley, you’ll wonder why you’ve never stayed at this hidden gem before. A huge fireplace will keep you nice and toasty as you sip a glass of wine and admire the view. Treat yourself to a little luxury with the french inspired kitchen and gorgeous bathroom. Get cracking on that book you’ve always wanted to read. Check out The Stables here.

Acre of Roses

5 Blue Mount Rd, Trentham

Head on a mini road trip to Trentham and stay at Acre of Roses. Here you’ll find an 1860’s miners cottage nestled amongst an enchanting garden and micro-flower farm. You can indulge in the scent of over 1,500 organically and sustainably grown heritage rose bushes, and the seasonal herb garden will provide you with fresh produce to use throughout your stay. Head out and explore what the region has to offer, or just stay and chill out. Relax and rejuvenate in the rainwater filled hot tub with minerals for purity. The miners cottage, restored in 2018 provides a luxury, boutique accommodation which you can treat yourself to.

Eco Friendly Tiny House

Castlemaine

Quaint is no compromise here – you’ll find a full size bed and a full bathroom with a deep, Japanese-style bathtub, along with a tonne of other things that make for a relaxing stay. It’s located in Castlemaine, which is full of hidden gems and only a short drive from Bendigo. A 30-minute walk along Campbell’s Creek will take guests into the centre of the charming, historic town with a vibrant arts scene that offers plenty of activities for guests to enjoy year-round. Tucked away in a private setting at the base of a sloping garden with grapevines, this tiny house is the perfect destination for glampers looking for a secluded and relaxing getaway in the countryside.

Shizuka Ryokan

7 Lakeside Dr, Hepburn

Experience Japanese culture close to home. Take the scenic one hour drive from Bendigo to Hepburn Springs to stay in this traditional Japanese home. In the past, Ryokans were used for Japanese samurai warriors to relax and reflect. You can experience true relaxation here, with green tea on arrival, traditional elements including a Zen rock garden and a quiet, minimalist space. You can also treat yourself to the range of spa and wellness treatments available on site. I’m relaxed just thinking about it! Check it out here.

Balgownie Estate

46 Hermitage Rd, Maiden Gully

Place yourself directly in the middle of one of the most scenic locations our region has to offer, only 10-15 minutes from Bendigo. You can go glamping at Balgownie Estate and stay in a luxurious bell tent fit. Split system air conditioning, a mini bar fridge, comfy furnishings and a king size bed – sounds pretty good to me! Amuse your taste buds at the on site restaurant and head to the cellar door for a wine tasting. Find everything you need to know here.

So that’s it. Sorted. Leave your phone in your bag (or at home if you’re really brave), and experience all that our beautiful region has to offer without the digital distraction. Still need more convincing? Check out this article from Beyond Blue on the benefits of a digital detox.