With no international travel on the horizon in the near future, Australians will be blessed with ‘staycationing’ in our own backyard. Luckily for us, we really are spoilt for choice about where to go and stay in this diverse and massive country.
If you live in Victoria, there’s no better way to pimp up a staycation than with some unusual and quirky accommodation, of which there is an abundance all across the state. I’ve uncovered some of the most unusual accommodation in Victoria, available right now in 2021, to make your getaway feel extra special.
Whether it’s for a quick weekend or a little longer, these quirky rentals will be the absolute cherry on top of your trip. From eco huts to vintage caravans (even an old steam train) there’s not a dull, bog standard hotel room in sight. They’re also all entire private properties so you’ll have the place all to yourself.
Whilst you’re here, you can also check out my other posts about the best glamping accommodation across Victoria, magical treehouses in Australia or unusual rentals in Ballarat for even more unique accommodation inspiration!
Take a look at these quirky accommodation options in rural Victoria, Australia and also what you can do there:
*This post may contain affiliate links meaning should you purchase a product via this link, I’ll earn a small commission at no extra cost to you. See my privacy and disclosure policy for more.*
An Eco Yurt – Emerald, Dandenong Ranges
Price per night: from $208
Sleeps: 2 (1 bedroom)
Alkira Eco-Glamping Retreat is an octagonal straw-bale yurt set within 40 acres of enchanting forest in the beautifully sounding town of Emerald. As far as uniqueness goes, this hand-made hut styled with thoughtful and adorable interior furnishings, really is one-of-a-kind. Both inside and out of the rental oozes with rustic character and a homely ambiance.
There’s no denying that this hut is truly magazine worthy – in fact, it has featured in a lot of the media, including the Herald Sun newspaper, Channel Nine’s ‘Postcards’ program and countless fashion photoshoots.
Just outside the hut is a well designed outdoor kitchen, bathroom facilities and a cute seating area.
A few metres away from the property is a beautiful creek providing you with the gentle soundtrack of nature. Alkira is a magical getaway to make your trip to the Dandenong Ranges an unforgettable one.
What is there to do in Emerald?
You’re likely to not really want to prize yourself away from his adorable hut, but if you do, there are loads of brilliant things to do in Emerald and the Dandenong Ranges:
- Ride on Puffing Billy, a heritage steam railway. The journey will take you amidst lush fern gullies, and Mountain Ash trees towering overhead. Puffing Billy makes for a wonderful opportunity to relax and enjoy the surrounding temperate rainforest.
- Enjoy Emerald Lake, a gorgeous park ideal for picnicking, walking, fishing and paddle boating.
- Go bushwalking in some of the Dandenong Range’s famous trails and lookouts such as the Eastern Sherbrook Forest Walk, John’s Hill Reserve Lookout and the Kokoda Track Memorial Walk, otherwise known as the 1,000 steps!
- Zip amongst the trees at the Trees Adventure in Belgrave, a tree-top obstacle course for adventurers of all ages and abilities.
- Chill out at the botanical gardens, beautifully maintained gardens and lakes with breathtaking views over the Yarra Valley and enough walking paths for you to not go down the same ones twice.
A Steam Train Carriage – Forrest, The Otways
Price per night: from $370
Sleeps: 6 (3 bedrooms)
This classic steam train rental will take you back in time to a dazzling bygone era when riding on a train was the absolute height of luxury.
The carriage is restored with so much attention given to the original features, such as wooden panelling, chandeliers, rich red carpeting and carriage numbering and signage.
When you rent this unique steam train, you have a full spacious carriage yourself or you can share it with up to five other friends or family members. It’s a pretty unusual and surreal accommodation option that would be a great idea for a special occasion.
Inside you’ll even fire a log burning stove, a spacious kitchen and bathroom amenities.
What is there to do in the Otway National Park?
The Otways is one of my favourite regions in Victoria and there is an absolute abundance of things to do here.
Due to the temperate rainforest and the most amount of rainfall in Victoria, the Otways is an especially brilliant place to explore some incredible waterfalls.
Here are some more ideas about what you can do in the Otways:
- Drive along the Great Ocean Road. As far as scenic roads go, the Great Ocean Road is one of the most iconic in Australia, if not the world. Make sure you get to drive down it either to or on the way back from the Otways to see what the fuss is all about!
- Visit the Redwood Forest Walking underneath these giant towering Redwoods is a real humbling and peaceful experience. The mossy forest floor with ferns and a trickling creek is also utterly magical and a highly recommended place to walk around.
- Fly High at Otway Treetop Adventures. Walk amongst the towering ancient trees and zip between branches at the area’s most popular outdoor adventure centre.
- See Victoria’s oldest working lighthouse, Cape Otway and enjoy incredible coastal views.
Lighthouse Studio – The Otways
Price per night: from $330
Sleeps: 2 (1 bedroom)
This once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to stay on the site of the the oldest lighthouse in Australia cannot be overlooked. You can’t get much more of a memorable experience for a special occasion that this!
The 5* rated, one bedroom and one bathroom light-flooded accommodation option will be the cherry on top of your visit to the Otways or Great Ocean Road.
A Railway Carriage – Ballarat
Price per night: from $125
Sleeps: 2 (1 queen bed)
If you can’t get enough of trains or quirky travel experiences then you’re in luck – here is another train carriage rental to make you feel like you’re on the set of a Hercule Poirot film!
This one bedroom carriage with bathroom, spacious lounge and kitchen is ideal for a romantic weekend away whilst exploring the ex gold mining town of Ballarat. Located on a quiet private farm, your only neighbours will be mooing cows and warbling magpies.
If you like the sound of a getaway to history-rich Ballarat, make sure you check out my other post listing even more unique accommodation in Ballarat.
What is there to do in Ballarat?
For history and wonderful architecture, Ballarat is an easy 1.5 hour drive away making it a convenient getaway destination from Melbourne.
Here are some Ballarat highlights:
- Visit Sovereign Hill the outdoor museum located at Golden Point, taking guests back to the booming heyday of the areas gold rush era.
- Wander around the perfectly manicured botanical gardens or enjoy an event on the lawn which occur all year round.
- Enjoy the grand architecture of Lydiard Street with its gold shops, grandiose banks and gold-themed shops.
- Feel cultured by visiting the Art Gallery of Ballarat, the largest regional art museum in Victoria
A 115 year old Tower – Rutherglem
Price per night: from $550
Sleeps: 2 (1 bedroom)
Completed in 1903, ‘The Tower’ at Mount Ophir Estate is a quirky architectural feat located on a winery in Rutherglen. At one time, this building was the largest state-of-the-art wine producing complex in the Southern Hemisphere!
This three storey building has absolute ample space for two guests and provides a fairytale base for your nearby vineyard frolicking!
The delicate black spiral staircase on the ground floor leading up to the sitting room and library, is a really attractive feature piece. The black, white and marble interior colour schemes lifted by crystal chandeliers and artwork gives this castle accommodation a truly elegant and sophisticated feel.
Whoever stays in this wonderful castle is sure to feel like a true king or queen!
What is there to do in Rutherglen?
Rutherglen is near the northern border of Victoria/New South Wales. It’s only a half an hour drive away from the rural town of Wangaratta where I lived for a few months working on a winery in 2019!
Here are some things you can do in Rutherglen:
- Wineries, wineries and more wineries! Rutherglen is an incredible food and wine destination offering over 20 award-wining wineries with cellar doors wide open for tastings. You’ll also find a range of boutique local produce shops such as olives, cheeses, gelato, handmade chocolates and more.
- To make the day a little more activate, how bringing or hiring a bike and taking on the Rutherglen to Wahgunyah Rail Trail? Following the meandering of the Murray River, the trail shows you the highlights of the region (and of course passes many cellar doors).
- Walk the Arts Rutherglen Sculpture Trail, a 6km (1.5 hour) trail of locally commissioned sculptures in the centre of Rutherglen and looping around King Lake.
- Check out Rutherglen Gold Battery built in 1908 during the areas famous gold rush era. The primary purpose of this site was to crush quartz from local quartz reefs to extract gold.
A Treetop Tower – Belgrave
Price per night: from $120
Sleeps: 2 (1 bedroom)
Gazing out of the stunning windows of this penthouse tower, over 270 degree views of gardens and tree canopies, you’ll no doubt be instilled with the same serenity and creativity enjoyed by many famous artists and authors who once resided in this mini paradise.
This adorable penthouse complete with its own private terrace, will offer guests a serene nature getaway.
I adore the exposed beams in the lounge tower area, the attractive and elegant decor throughout, and endless daylight afforded by the abundance of fantastic windows. I actually think this one may well be my favourite!
Love the look of this property? Then you’ll probably love my post on magical treehouse rentals in Australia!
Notel Airstreams – Melbourne CBD
Price per night: from $380
Sleeps: 2 (1 bedroom)
Melbourne is well-known for its rooftop bars, but who would have thought you could actually stay on a rooftop too?
Notel which is ‘no hotel’ (see what they did there?!) is a series of super cool looking airstream trailers which you access by going through a secret ‘speak easy’ entrance. It’s clear that Notel is more than just accommodation – it’s a unique experience.
The urban trailers have their own deck to enjoy a beverage or two from the free mini bar. They’re also fitted with a queen sized bed and a bathroom. Some airstreams even have a private hot tub so you can enjoy the sun setting over the city skyscape.
If you love the razzle-dazzle of a city, these unusual rentals will provide the an ideal base to explore central Melbourne.
What is there to do in Melbourne CBD?
Melbourne is one of the most exciting cities in Australia (and yes I may be a little biased because I live there but I still believe it!). It’s brimming with fantastic art, great food, hipster culture, great shopping and more. Here are a few highlights of Melbourne:
- Melbourne’s graffiti laneways such as Hosier Lane are some of the most famous in the world. You can walk around the area and see an ever-changing urban gallery before you.
- The NGV (National Gallery of Victoria) is Australia’s oldest and largest gallery space. It is truly incredible. The thought-provoking modern art, pop-up exhibitions and breath-taking classic art is world-class. I am always going to new exhibitions here – you really never get bored of the work on display.
- If you’re into designer brands there are loads of great shopping opportunities in Melbourne Central and DFO South Wharf. If like me, you’d rather shop vintage and second hand, check out Fitzroy and Brunswick for some of the best vintage shops and record stores in Melbourne.
- Melbourne is a food lovers paradise. As a melting pot for cultures all over the world, Melbourne has a tantalising blend of cuisine. I love heading to China Town for dinner and of course you have to do brunch once you’ve checked out!
A Rustic Barn Conversion – Belmont, Geelong
Price per night: from $119 per night
Sleeps: 4 (2 bedroom)
If like me you love wood – the look, the feel even the smell, then this quirky wooden barn conversion, Tanglewood may well pique your interest.
Tanglewood is lofty and spacious rental with two bedrooms to accommodate two couples. The huge kitchen/dining and lounge area is ideal for cooking up a feast and entertaining.
I adore the arched doorways contrasted with the harsh right angles. The arty feature pieces such as wooden mirrors and the incredible master bedroom window is a really unusual twist. It’s clear that this accomodation was hand-crafted and as such, it really is one-of-a-kind.
At $92 per night divided between four people, this quirky accomodation in Victoria is great value too.
What is there to do in Geelong?
Geelong is about 1 hour southwest of Melbourne. Therefore if you live in the CBD, it makes a really easy weekend getaway that isn’t too far from home. Geelong is located next to the sea in Port Phillip Bay so you can even catch a ferry from Melbourne or Portarlington.
Here are a few things you can see and do in Geelong for some inspiration during a stay at Tanglewood:
- The National Wool Museum may not strike you as the most interesting sounding museum at first, but the interactive and hands-on insight into wool production and manufacturing over the years here, brings it to life. There are often additional exhibitions too like wildlife photography and other such temporary shows which are worth a look.
- Enjoy a pint and a behind-the-scenes tour at Little Creatures, one of Victoria’s most popular breweries. There’s even a soft play area for your very own little creatures.
- As the most intact 19th century prison in Victoria, Geelong Goal is a fascinating visit. Left untouched since it closed in 1991, you can experience the brutal conditions the prisoners experienced. A bit morbid but utterly fascinating!
- Enjoy a walk along the river to Buckley Falls, a small waterfall and rocky rapids with some great vantage points.
Cylindrical Yurt Tents – Moama/Echuca
Price per night: from $220
Sleeps: 2 (1 bedroom)
No need to take a trip to Mongolia to stay in a fabulous canvas yurt – these large circular tents with wool lining and windows bring (a much more comfortable) nomad way of life to the Australian Bush.
With their own facilities, an outdoor deck, free hot tub, welcome hamper, bike and canoe hire, this retreat really is the height of glamping luxury to explore the Murray River and beyond.
With no one but the roos and the native flora and fauna surrounding you and only an 8 minute drive away from the town of Echuca, you really do get the best of both worlds.
What is there to do in Echuca?
- Take a cruise on an old fashioned river boat with Murray River Paddlesteamers.
- Visit the Aussie Beer Shed, an eccentric private collection and tour of brewing, motoring and beer items! Despite how it sounds, it really is fun for the whole family!
- Enjoy tasting at locals wineries such as St Anne’s and Cape Horn Vineyard.
- Jump on horseback for a tour of the local area to make you feel like a true cowboy (or girl)at Billabong Ranch.
A Retro Camper – Bendigo
Price per night: from $79
Sleeps: 2 (1 bedroom)
Have you ever wondered what the groovy 70s was like? Well, now is your chance to find out!
This retro camper is fitted out with everything a hippy traveller in the 70s could only dream of. Just look at that sunbed and parasol! There’s even a record player with vinyls from arguably one of the most experiential eras in music.
Granted, the garish interior may not be for everyone, but a night or two in a vintage camper set within a cottage garden looks like heaps of fun.
What is there to do in Bendigo?
- Bendigo boomed during the gold rush era and as such, there are loads of heritage things to do such as going underground at the Central Deborah Gold Mine for an eye-opening gold mining tour led by an expert.
- The Bendigo Art Gallery is the largest and one of the oldest regional art galleries in the whole of Victoria. The collection showcases Australian art from the 1800s onwards and 19th century European art. It’s one of the top-rated things to do in Bendigo!
- Celebrating the culture and contributions of the Chinese immigrants to Bendigo’s community, the Golden Dragon Museum displays incredible works of art and Chinese artifacts. This glimpse into early Chinese Australian history is not to be missed.
A Tiny House in the Rainforest – Powelltown, Yarra Ranges
Price per night: from $135
Sleeps: 2 (1 bedroom)
A tiny house – you either love them or hate them. But what I especially love about this cabin, is not only the secluded rainforest setting nestled between ferns and beech trees, but the interesting use of wood inside.
I also adore the cute kitchen and wood burning stove which is not only your heater, but your oven too!
If you’re intrigued to channel your inner hobbit and live vaguely minimally for a day or two, this tiny house is a super cosy weekend stay, especially ideal for a winter getaway.
What is there to do in the Yarra Ranges?
- Visit the wineries for an afternoon of tastings. As with much of Victoria, there are some fantastic wineries to explore. Some of my personal favourites are Coombe Farm, Dominique Portet and Giant Steps. If you like sparkling and don’t mind paying for your tasting in a packed and fairly touristy winery, head to Chandon.
- Visit the Healsville Sanctuary to see some cute koalas, kangaroos and all sorts of other cool animals.
- The TarraWarra Museum of Art is an outdoor art exhibition and indoor gallery set at the TarraWarra winery. Once you have had a tasting you can head over to explore. The venue is currently is displaying the Archibald prize exhibition which if you like art, is pretty incredible.
Looking for more Even More unique accommodation in Victoria? How about…
If you’d like to have an explore at some more rentals in Victoria, you can click the button below. You may also like to check out my other post about glamping spots in Victoria, magical treehouses in Australia or unique rentals in Ballarat.
Heading to Australia soon? Don’t forget these essentials!
Got travel insurance? Make sure you’re covered for any unplanned situations. I use and would recommend World Nomads.
Organised your visa? Don’t forget to check the entry requirements for Australia on the government website for the passport you are travelling with.
To search and compare the best group tours and activities worldwide (with up to 50% off), use TourRadar.
For some travel inspiration for your next trip, how about Lonely Planet’s top 500 places to see… ranked?
PIN ME FOR LATER:
*This post may contain affiliate links meaning should you purchase a product via this link, I’ll earn a small commission at no extra cost to you. These are still products I use or believe in regardless. See my privacy and disclosure policy for more.*