Summer in the Pyrenees offers visitors the opportunity to completely indulge and immerse in an atmosphere rich in relaxation and adventure. Whether you’re planning a summer day trip with your mates or you’re in the mood to spontaneously hit the road, point your car in the direction of the Pyrenees and there’s no chance you’ll be disappointed.
Enjoy Drinking And Dining In The Outdoors
Picturesque wineries where a wine tasting turns into a long lunch may be exactly what comes to mind when you think of the Pyrenees. One of the best things about summer is alfresco dining. There is nothing better than dining in the fresh air and many of the Pyrenees Cellar doors are accompanied by decks and terraces overlooking vineyards so close that you feel like you are dining amid vines. The food and beverage scene provides visitors with an unforgettable taste sensation with 25 cellar doors to explore and immensely delicious boutique restaurants and cafes to experience. Below are some of our top picks
Blue Pyrenees Estate have magnificent gardens, manicured lawns and a gorgeous outdoor dining experience where you are literally dining under the vines! The talented kitchen staff at Blue Pyrenees serve up an array of dishes showcasing fresh, local produce superbly matched with the best of their wines. If you prefer, the team can provide you with a picnic and rug and you can choose the perfect location under a shady tree anywhere on site.
Bigibila Winery is a boutique winery that is nestled at the foothills of the Pyrenees Ranges and produces an excellent range of premium red wines. The ideal location to enjoy a wine tasting is on the deck where you can let nature embrace your day with amazing views of the vineyard and the picturesque Pyrenees mountains. Indulge in the Bigibila grazing platters or bring your own picnic to enjoy while you sip a glorious Bigibila Shiraz and bask in the serenity of the Pyrenees. Bigibila is a family friendly vineyard – with their 2 dogs, geese, giant chess board and other fun games onsite.
A visit to the Pyrenees isn’t complete without stopping in at our highly awarded Gastropub – The Avoca, located in a beautifully restored country hotel dating from the gold rush era of the 1860s. The Avoca specialise in the use of quality local produce in their food and have a strong focus on the unique wines of the local and surrounding wine regions. There is no better place to quench your thirst on a hot summers day with their drinks list as famous for not just their selection of local wines but also for its extraordinary beer list. They have received Gourmet Traveller Wine Magazine’s award for Australia’s Best Beer List every year since 2018.
You may have sipped your way around the region tasting wine, but have you tried the gin? Introducing Mrs Baker and her team at Wimmera Hills Winery. Here you can sample the range of delicious Mrs Bakers Gins including the new Shiraz gin. Yum!
Taltarni vineyard is an Insta-worthy spot not just for the beautiful views of surrounding rolling hills, rows and rows of grapevines and—of course—that fresh country air but they also make sensational wine! The cellar door is the perfect spot to relax with wine in hand and take in the fresh country air and serene surroundings. The space is a fave for personalised wine tastings.
Blue Pyrenees Lake House was previously unavailable to the public, but now one of the Pyrenees most popular locations for people to stay. Located in the centre of the Blue Pyrenees vineyard and sitting atop of the bank of the lake (which was once an open cut gold mine), this open and airy house provides the perfect group getaway to share with friends. A short stroll to the cellar door will have you enjoying lunch under vines or take one of the paths to enjoy hikes in the Pyrenees State Forest. Pack a fishing rod and cast a line in the lake or cool off with a swim.
Immerse yourself in the picturesque surrounds of the Pyrenees Region as you discover a calm you never knew existed at Grayling’s Gift. Steeped in history and charm, this 19th-century church has been lovingly transformed into a short-term accommodation space which boasts the wonders of yesteryear and the comforts of today. Featuring a warming wood heater, vintage clawfoot bathtub, Chesterfield lounge, antique decor and stained glass windows, the accommodation space combines the glory of the past with elements of pure luxury to create a stay that is contemporary, calming and indulgent.
Soak In Nature
Avoid the beach crowds and cool off during the summer months at Beaufort Lake. Located just 30 minutes from Ballarat, in the township of Beaufort, this man made lake is great for fishing, water skiing, canoeing and swimming. Pack a picnic and make the most of the great picnic and barbecue facilities or grab a bite to eat at one of the fantastic eateries in town. There is a leisurely 3km or 1km walking/running track around the lake with fitness equipment dotted along the way. Join countless locals running, strolling and cycling the track year-round. As you stroll the banks of the lake, you will find the Koori Art Trail with 12 art installations strategically placed around the lake.
The Pyrenees is a place peppered with inspired tracks celebrating the region’s beauty. The Regions State Parks and Forests have plenty to keep you on the go with an extensive network of bushwalking trails. Mount Cole and Mount Buangor Parks are located just 1 hour out of Ballarat and are filled with cool, moist and shady rainforests with stunning views. Fern filled gullies offer scenic walking trails that are dwarfed by giant ferns and towering trees.
The 21km Beeripmo Walk takes you through lush green landscape, around huge majestic trees, waterfalls and viewing areas. The Beeripmo Walk starts off from Richards Campground in Mount Cole, winding through a myriad of vegetation and changing landscapes. The trail begins gently but climbs quickly with the landscape changing from woodlands to fern and moss covered rocks. The trail will take you to the top of Cave Hill and then Mugwamp Hill where you will find breathtaking views across to Mt Langhi Ghiran and the Grampians before heading down again.
One of the favourite walks for families is the Ferntree Waterfalls Nature Walk located in the Mount Buangor State Park accessed from the Western Highway via Ferntree Gully Road. Nestled in a beautiful forest setting and beginning at Ferntree Picnic area, the 1km track weaves through lush ferns and over bridges before descending to the beautiful falls.
School Holiday Summer Camps
Cave Hill Creek Summer Camps
Cave Hill Creek is the home of Australia’s best School Holiday Camps. Want to be part of the fun Want to take your summer holiday next level? Looking for adventure and to make new friends? Then you should try Cave Hill Creek’s Summer Camp – a residential school holiday program for kids age 8-14. Many kids have missed school camps over the past 2 years due to covid restrictions, and the summer camps are a great way of making up for experiences missed.
Have a go at the awesome outdoor activities: splash in a canoe, abseil down the cliff, ride a bike in the forest and shoot some archery. Stand atop of your crate stack tower, climb the giant’s ladder, balance on the low ropes and experience the fun of raft play. Hang out around the camp fire, climb a mountain, go on a night walk, perform in the talent show, sleep under the stars and build friendships. It’s one giant 4 night sleepover full of friends and adventure!
Summer Camp #17: Tue 4 – Fri 7 January
Summer Camp #18: Mon 10 – Fri 14 January
Summer Camp #19: Mon 17 – Fri 21 January
Time: 3pm to 6pm
Where: Beaufort Lake Foreshore via Park Road, Beaufort
Laze By The Pool
When the sun is shining and the weather warms up, cool off at one of the regions outdoor pools this summer and enjoy a day by the water.
Both Avoca and Beaufort have outdoor pools open just over the summer months. Keep an eye on their facebook pages because you can often find inflatable gyms set up.