Book a romantic stay at Ballarat’s newest dam side luxury retreat, Jean-Claude

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Book a romantic stay at Ballarat’s newest dam side luxury retreat, Jean-Claude

It's always a good idea to organise a romantic getaway and this little gem is one that you’ll have to see to believe.

If you’ve been dreaming of a chance to skip town, stoke the fire and get cosy with your significant other (or bestie, or whoever), there’s never been a better time than now.

Luckily regional Victoria is decked out with some truly stellar romantic escapes, from shacks with outdoor bathtubs, winery glamping set-ups and luxury retreats, to tiny homes, private houses and cosy Airbnbs.

Check out Gippsland’s best boutique cosy stays for your next winter escape

One destination that truly captured our attention is Ballarat, a regional town that has put itself firmly on the road trip map, thanks to a new generation of winemakers, beer lovers, superstar chefs and art fans that are beefing up the city’s offering beyond old gold country over the last couple of years.

Knowing there’s nothing quite like a sweet vacay in a jaw-dropping romantic destination, a new caravan has quickly become recognised as one of the most romantic holidays around the nation.

Meet Jean-Claude – Van on a Dam, where you can embrace the freedom of nature, breathe deeper and reset surrounded by towering gums, wildlife and bird song.

Jean-Claude is a 1970s York caravan that has been lovingly restored and sits proudly next to the dam on a secluded property in Mount Helen. You’ll have exclusive access to the caravan and gorgeous amenities shack, while Jean-Claude co-owner Annie Brereton lives on the property up the hill. She’s on hand if you need her or you can enjoy complete privacy – it’s up to you.

The caravan itself offers a king-size bed all dressed up in luxurious French linen and there’s cosy seating inside for reading, a selection of games plus air conditioning and heating. The shack houses a toilet and shower, plus a covered outdoor food preparation and wash-up area. You’ll find a small bar fridge, an esky for your drinks and a barbeque for cooking.


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While you’re there, step into the boat at sunset to enjoy a glass of wine on the water, taking a picture to capture the moment. Enjoy a hot shower, and a comfortable king-size bed as the frogs sing you to sleep. As a new day breaks, wake to dappled golden sunlight filtering through the trees. Take your time. Perhaps a coffee on the deck looking out over the water. A simple breakfast cooked on the barbeque, as kookaburras watch curiously from above, hoping to snare any leftovers.

If you’ve been craving an escape from those familiar four walls, Jean-Claude is where you can experience the tranquility and beauty of the bush, just 10 minutes from Ballarat.

Check out the stay on Riparide here