The Hunter Valley
If you live near Sydney, one of the best options is a leisurely drive to the Hunter Valley wine region where stunning wineries are in abundance (more than 120, at last count). For those after a bit of adventure, try a hot air balloon ride as the sun rises and for those wanting a bit more pampering, check into one of the region’s day spas. The best part? restaurants often have lunch and dinner specials and degustation menus paired with wines. Long lunch, anyone?
The Blue Mountains
Another spot on Sydney’s doorstep, and perfect for those wanting a road trip – read: anyone who’s ever been behind the wheel of the ridiculously stylish Audi Q8 – are the Blue Mountains, situated an hour and a half’s drive from the CBD. Here, you’ll find cute Airbnbs, boutique hotels, restaurants and an abundance of hiking trails – to, you know, burn off the calories gained the during the night before’s vino session.
Sure, Byron Bay may be bustling with tourists during the summer months, but there’s a reason for it. The laid-back, beachy town is a must-visit at (the very) least once in a lifetime thanks to its white, sandy beach, cool bars and restaurants and the shops (hello, Spell & the Gypsy Collective). For total luxury – and a haven away from the town centre, book Elements of Byron where you and the girls can have your own standalone house, complete with kitchens, outdoor areas, two luxurious swimming pools nearby – oh, and the beach a stone’s throw away.
For those living on the west coast – or wanting to visit, you can’t go past a weekend spent at Margaret River, just a three-hour drive south from Perth. Like many of the other getaways on this list, you’ll find sun, sand, wineries and eateries, plus, depending on what time of year you go, food festivals, markets and live music events.
What’s better than escaping the real world with a trip across the ocean (even if it is a shorter flight time than from Melbourne to Sydney)? Even more so, a place that’s famed for its oysters, home to Mona – the coolest and most talked about art museum in the country – and totally removed from the hustle and bustle of city life. Where do we sign up?
Where better to relax and unwind than the Sunshine Coast? Noosa has long been considered one of Australia’s most beautiful locations and in recent years has become filled with delicious cafes, shops and restaurants. For those wanting to explore the great outdoors, activities such as canoeing to the Noosa Everglades (one of only two everglades systems on Earth) or kayaking with dolphins come highly recommended.
For the ultimate luxurious getaway, book the girls into a weekend at Bannisters Hotel in Port Stephens (they also have a hotel in Mollymook, if you’d rather travel south). Here, you can all relax by the pool with books, head down to the ocean for dolphin spotting, go on morning hikes to the top of Mount Tomaree, try stand-up paddle boarding or hire a boat for an afternoon on the water. Need we say more?