Be inspired like many early Australian painters by picturesque Dunkeld and the imposing mounts Sturgeon and Abrupt at the southern entrance to the Grampians. Set off for long walks through one of Australia's finest national parks and discover unusual local wildlife and flora.
For fine mountain views and award-winning food to boot, book a table at the Dunkeld Royal Mail Hotel. Taste the flavours of the Grampians through the creative menu incorporating fresh, locally grown produce and signature regional wines.
For more local treats, stop off at the Grampians Pure Sheep Dairy and sample some of the delicious sheep milk yoghurts and cheeses.
Walk off your indulgences by following one of the Mount Sturgeon and Mount Abrupt walking tracks for panoramic views of the surrounding countryside. Take the Piccaninny Walk for a brisk workout and alternative views of Mount Abrupt.
Dunkeld was settled after Major Thomas Mitchell issued glowing reports of the region following his 1836 visit. Nostalgic settlers named it after a Scottish town and impressions by early Australian painters plus Louis Buvelot, Eugene von Guerard and Nicholas Chevalier can be found in paintings throughout regional Victorian galleries.
Dunkeld's arts community continues to flourish. Visit one of the numerous local galleries or the museum and get along to the annual Dunkeld Open Gardens and Galleries weekend for behind the scene peeks at studios and green spaces.
Head beyond Dunkeld into the Grampians National Park with a scenic drive along the Victoria Valley Road through the park's untouched southern section. Look out for emus, kangaroos and spring wildflowers.
Get along to the Dunkeld Cup in November and enjoy a great day of country horse racing.
Dunkeld is 253 kilometres west of Melbourne, or around three hours by car via the Glenelg Highway.