All work and no play has you in need of an indulgent break? Melburnians are blessed to have the picturesque town of Daylesford in its highland backyard—80% of Australia’s therapeutic mineral springs are located here. Think luxe and rejuvenating spa treatments set in a bohemian community with a thriving arts and food scene. Visitors will be spoiled for choice with local Victorian wines and food on offer. Daylesford is also home to a thriving rural gay community and hosts one of Australia’s biggest LGBT festivals each year, the ChillOut Festival.
Drive a little bit farther to get away from the daytrippers and discover Mudgee, the other Hunter Valley. Mudgee, meaning “nest in the hills” according to local Wiraduji tradition, is a standout wine region and the perfect place for a quiet wine weekend. Check out Airbnb for some funky apartments to rent or get away from it all with a cabin on a vineyard. Beautiful food and drink await visitors, all without the mega-busses and hordes of tourists you will find at weekend destinations that are closer to the Sydney CBD.
Noosa, one of Australia’s premier resort towns, is just a two-hour drive from Queensland’s capital. Lush, tropical rainforests and crystal-clear beaches await weekenders. Noosa caters to all travellers with lots on offer for singles, couples and families. Try getting active outdoors with surfing, sailing or canoeing on the Noosa River, or just chill on the beach spotting sea turtles. Noosa offers some of the country’s finest dining and luxury accommodation options, which makes it a great weekend option. It’s only one night after all!
A 90-minute ferry ride can take you, and your car, out of the city and into magical Kangaroo Island. Home to the Sea Bay Conservation Park, Kangaroo Island is the only place in the world you can take a stroll with endangered Australian sea lions, which is pretty amazing. Loads of other indigenous wildlife call Kangaroo Island home, which makes this a great destination for animal lovers. If animals aren’t your thing, all your usual island activities are available plus it’s a hiker’s delight. Visitors can dine on local fresh seafood and produce, then wash it down with some local craft beer.
The Margaret River Great Escape festival of food and wine is on this November 16-19. While the Margaret River is already well known as one of Australia’s leading food and wine destinations, the Great Escape makes it world-class. The festival is bringing the world’s top chefs and sommeliers to host loads of events across the region, and with 40 events on offer, there is something for everyone. Get your feast on, then party the night away on the beach with music and, you guessed it, more food and drink.