Seven Getaways from Brisbane Perfect for a Winter Escape with Your Crew
Whether you're a nature enthusiast, food lover or just in need of some quality D&M time, these retreats will sort you out.
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It's unlikely that you want to spend the entire season hibernating on the couch (we've done too much of that already). So, to boost yours and your mates' morale, you can start dreaming of your next group getaway that'll give you and all of your friends a winter retreat to look forward to. Read on to discover seven spots with something to offer for everyone — whether you're after a luxe beachside retreat, a camping getaway or a full-on spa weekend.
From pristine beaches and bountiful wine regions to alpine hideaways and bustling country towns, Australia has a wealth of places to explore at any time of year. We've partnered with Tourism Australia to help you plan your road trips, weekend detours and summer getaways so that when you're ready to hit the road you can Holiday Here This Year.
While regional holidays within Queensland are now permitted, some of the places mentioned below may still be closed due to COVID-19 restrictions. Please check websites before making any plans.
BEACH CAMPING AT DOUBLE ISLAND POINT
Camping in winter may sound chilly, but luckily for us in the Sunshine State the season ain't all that cold. Plus, camping in winter means bonfires, marshmallows and getting cosy with your favourite people. Located in the Great Sandy National Park, Double Island Point is a tranquil spot for just that. To get there you'll need a four-wheel drive, a beach driving permit, all your own supplies and knowledge of the tides (you can only reach it at certain points of the day) — so invite your mates who are more seasoned campers. But once you're there, you'll experience clear blue water, complete calm and, hopefully, a chance encounter with a dolphin or two. Pack your sleeping bag, your favourite people, supplies for a fireside feast and make a weekend of it.
LUXE LIVING AT PANDANUS APARTMENT, BURLEIGH HEADS
Burleigh Heads has everything you could look for in a getaway — beaches, shopping, dining, surfing and nightlife — and it's only a short drive down the highway from Brisbane. Burleigh's beach offers a great place to swim and surf with protection from the headland (and it's totally possible in winter on a sunny day). The headland itself is home to a scenic walk that leads you to Tallebudgera Creek, which is a stunning place to relax, especially when it's not fraught with tourists. Plus, since you'll be visiting off-peak, accommodation prices will likely be cheaper for you and your crew. If you're planning a getaway for a special occasion, book into Bon Sol's beachfront Pandanus apartment. On arrival, you'll be met with a bottle of vintage champagne, and the property manager is happy to help you with dining suggestions, too. The hatted Rick Shores, for example, is currently offering Tuk Shop takeaway orders of its curries, noodles and mains, as well as batched cocktails.
RAINFOREST ESCAPE AT KYOTO MOUNTAIN LODGE, THE POCKET
Everyone loves Byron Bay, but there are so many northern New South Wales towns to explore outside of the tourist hotspot with just as much charm — if not more. When you want to escape it all, plan a road trip down the coast to towns like Fingal Head, Kingscliff, Casuarina, Cabarita Beach and Brunswick Heads. And when you truly want to tune out, book into the Kyoto Mountain Lodge where you'll sleep among the trees, which is just 15 minutes away from Brunswick Heads. Surrounded by a rainforest sanctuary, this retreat has a fully equipped kitchen, fast internet and an indoor fireplace. The location is considered a 'primitive campsite' — you'll need a four-wheel drive to get to its location atop a mountain — but once you're there the views over the rainforest and the outdoor showers will make the trek well worth its while.
HINTERLAND HIDEAWAY AT BIRD SONG VALLEY, MONTVILLE
Whether you're in Glass House Mountains, Kenilworth, Maleny or Montville, the Sunshine Coast Hinterland is rich with culinary experiences and beautiful sights in equal measure. Take rainforest walks, chase waterfalls and catch views of the coastline, all while hunting down excellent local pubs and cafes. Order beers for delivery from Brouhaha Brewery in Maleny for sampling quality craft brews (like the strawberry rhubarb sour) and pop over to Kenilworth Country Bakery to sip your coffee from a doughnut or, better yet, have its one-kilogram doughnut delivered to your accommodation. Our pick is Bird Song Valley, one kilometre from Montville. The 1920s Queenslander offers a large space for you and five of your best mates to settle in for a long weekend. Here you'll find several free-standing baths, a fireplace and views over the surrounding hinterland, plus each guest gets their own robe and slippers.
CABIN STAY AT GRANITE BELT RETREAT, STANTHORPE
Less than three hours southwest of Brisbane you'll find Queensland's coldest area. Known for producing all sorts of delights from apples, pears, berries and stone fruit to chocolate, beer and, of course, wine, the Granite Belt is the perfect place to head to with your food-loving friends. Explore the region's wineries to sip wines made from unconventional grape varieties, or 'Strange Birds' as they're known locally. You'll find barbera, durif and nebbiolo, and even lesser-known grapes like pinotage, colombard and sylvaner. After a day of tasting, relax in front of the fire at Granite Belt Retreat. If you're travelling with a partner, opt for one of the 20 cosy log cabins located on 30 acres of natural bushland. There's also a microbrewery onsite, which is currently offering a bottle shop and takeaway food service. And, should you be after some adventure, go for a bushwalk or rock climb in Girraween National Park, which is known for its wildlife and balancing boulders. Check in advance for any park closures or alerts.
CREEKSIDE RETREAT AT CLOUDLAKE MOUNTAIN RETREAT, THE DARLING DOWNS
The humble, and largely overlooked, Darling Downs region provides plenty for those looking to experience a different part of Queensland. If it's a road trip you're after, head west from Brisbane and stop in at any of the many small towns and experience a few of the old fashioned bakeries. Be sure to stop in Toowoomba to explore its cafes, parks and street art. And for something totally left-of-field, check out the Darling Downs Zoo in Pilton, which actually allows you to feed lions. A 40-minute drive from Toowoomba is Cloudlake Mountain Retreat's The Boathouse, which offers a cosy escape for a couple or a group of four. Sitting on the edge of Oaky Creek, the home features views over the lake, a barbecue on the deck and a campfire on the beach that you're welcome to use. Take some marshmallows and do a spot of stargazing.
STAYCATION AT THE CALILE HOTEL, BRISBANE
If you just can't seem to rally the troops for a trip out of the city, why not consider a staycation? With its stunning architecture and interiors, the Calile Hotel in Fortitude Valley is one to set your sights on for a luxe stay without the drive. Book in for a weekend and treat yourselves to the hotel's resort vibes that'll have you forgetting you're even in Brisbane. Really splash out and book into the spa for a body wrap, exfoliating treatment, massage or all of the above, or opt to relax by the rooftop pool and grab a bite to eat from Hellenika's poolside snacks and wraps. What's more, should you want to leave your luxe abode, you'll be in proximity to one of Brisbane's best shopping and dining precincts: James Street.
Whether you're planning to travel for a couple of nights or a couple of weeks, Holiday Here This Year and you'll be supporting Australian businesses while you explore the best of our country's diverse landscapes and attractions.
Top image: Granite Belt Retreat by Hannah Puechmarin.
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