Five Awesome Winter Weekend Getaways Around Australia
Get outta town this chilly season.
July 15, 2016
Sure, we love winter's hot mugs of mulled things, snuggly wardrobe options and tendency to coincide with national film festivals, but the season calls for a well-earned weekend away every now and again.
Perhaps you'd like to completely ditch the city's chilly winds for a stylish Californian-style beach motel with an ex-Noma chef. Or maybe you're one to embrace winter like a woolly jumper-loving fiend. How about a private mountain villa with your own in-room, temperature-controlled swimming pool?
We've teamed up with Mr & Mrs Smith to give you five ideas for winter weekend getaways from their collection of pretty, pretty accommodation options. Pick a date, pack your bags and get outta town.
Breakfast hampers, salvaged timber, Japanese tiles — Drift House is all about the details. It's a pretty little beach boutique in Port Fairy, the Great Ocean Road's charming fishing village. Rooms are designed for dining in, because Drift House knows what's up. You'll have little reason to venture out into the chill with your own 'maxibar' at home, stocked with baked beans, pasta, parmesan, pasta sauces, organic crisps, popcorn and other nibbles, alongside a stash of locally sourced Basalt Vineyard red and white wine.
Escape the wind tunnels of the city and set yourself up in an elegant 1850s homestead in the Flinders Ranges. A heritage-style property, Arkaba channels a good ol' Australian vibe from its wool sack-wrapped bedside tables to sheepskin hot-water bottles. It's also a private wildlife sanctuary, so expect a few kangaroos and emus to stop by. Your dining is all-inclusive (and features some of the world's best wines), and if you're keen to get a little more adventurous, Arkaba does a swag-camp glamping trek.
No better way to beat the cold than escaping to a faded Californian-style surf motel. Fusing elements of Long Island nauticalia and Mediterranean pool chic, it's the kind of place that looks made for surfwear magazine fashion shoots. Located right on Cabarita Beach near Tweed Heads, Halcyon is a beach holiday haven with all the trimmings — and an ex-Noma chef. Ben Devlin, 2014's Queensland Chef of the Year, runs the delightfully artful Paper Daisy restaurant, where you'll be inhaling fresh crumpets, locally-grown coffee and honey roasted fruit. That's before you while the afternoon away on the poolside deck, sipping wines picked by sommelier Peter Marchant.
Feel like a Bond villain in a high-flying tropical paradise retreat at Capella Lodge, a stunning nine-suite hideaway on Lord Howe Island. Surrounded by turquoise lagoons, coral reefs and rare tropical birds, the lodge is a glorious natural oasis from a wintry city — but with every last modern creature comfort. Infinity pools, outdoor stone baths, sprawling seaside verandahs. The place even has its own spa. Hire a lagoon kayak and snorkelling gear and explore the area — you'll forget its cold anywhere else.
If you're one to relish in wintry weather as a means to get amongst misty mountains, head for O&O Wolgan Valley. This Blue Mountains gem sees 40 villas, including two- and three-bedroom retreats, over 7000 acres of rolling hills and pristine wilderness. It's Australia's first conservation-based luxury resort and is accredited by international group CarboNZero. There's a world-class spa, a big wine cellar, mountain bikes for you to use, and a killer restaurant, bar and eatery showcasing seasonal, local, organic produce. Best bit? Each Federation-style bungalow comes with an in-room, temperature-controlled, private swimming pool.
Keen to get going? Concrete Playground readers special treatment from Mr & Mrs Smith, with exclusive discount offers at hotels from Bali to Brisbane. You can save 25 percent or more if you book any of these retreats by 30 July (and you can stay any time until 30 September, 2016). Details here.
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