Seven Getaways from Sydney Perfect for a Winter Escape with Your Crew
Whether you're nature enthusiasts, wine lovers or just in need of some quality D&M time, these retreats will sort you out.
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We've said it before and we'll say it again: it may be winter, but that doesn't mean you should spend the next few months hibernating on the couch. Boost your group's moral by booking into a nearby winter getaway that'll let you and all of your mates brave out the winter chill together all while exploring some incredible regions of NSW. Plus, thanks to Suncorp Platinum Credit Card*, you can earn points for every dollar you spend on the everyday essentials you may need while you're away, like petrol, drinks and that extra pack of bacon for brekkie in the morning.
Read on to discover seven spots with something to offer for everyone — whether you're after an art gallery-meets-nature retreat, a glamping getaway or a full-on spa weekend. What's more, each one features some form of fireplace to warm up next to, as well. So lock in that date you can all get away and book something ASAP.
ARTIST RETREAT AT MONA FARM, BRAIDWOOD
The newly renovated Mona Farm is your latest excuse for an out-of-town holiday. Located a three-hour drive south of Sydney in the town of Braidwood, the property is one part luxury farm stay, one part nature retreat and one part art gallery. While the 124-acre country estate offers six historic farmhouses that have been revamped by Australian architecture heavyweights, there are two cottages currently available to book that sleep up to ten.
Beyond the accommodation, over 20 Australian and international sculptors have been installed throughout the gardens and grounds, giving the natural surrounds a modern appeal. Plus, it really is a working farm, with Scottish Highland cattle, English Wiltshire Horn sheep, Wessex saddleback pigs and Clydesdale horses all sharing the land — and platypus, long-necked turtles and rainbow trout sharing the lake.
BUSH LIVING AT KOOKAWOOD, BLUE MOUNTAINS
This stone farmhouse is set within a 200-acre bushland property and situated within the Blue Mountains about 20 minutes from Lithgow. It boasts heaps of luxe cold weather amenities — including both a large open fireplace inside and a fire pit outside — so you'll never feel the winter chill here. If the temperature isn't too low, you can even enjoy a nice soak in the outdoor bathtub, which overlooks the surrounding mountains. Plus, the indoor bathroom features underfloor heating and yet another clawfoot tub for soaking in. There's room for just four here, so this is a spot to book for your more intimate getaways — but well-behaved pets are welcome if you want to bring along some additional furry friends. From Kookawood Farm, it's an easy drive to all of the Blue Mountains sites and the property itself is home to walking trails and wildlife aplenty.
If you're looking for more to do around the upper Blue Mountains, check out our weekend guide to the area.
OFF-GRID TRIP AT CABN, KANGAROO VALLEY
This tiny solar-powered cabin may be off the grid but it's a far cry from roughing it. The cleverly designed timber fit-out includes a loft with a king bed, a fully stocked kitchen, indoor gas heaters and large bi-fold glass doors and windows that offer views aplenty. A big draw is the outdoor fire pit, as well as the glass-walled 'outdoor' soaking tub.
Perfect for you and your best friends, the cabin sleeps a cosy four and is lovingly tucked away, so the only living beings you'll share the weekend with is the local wildlife. Think wombats, families of echidnas, kangaroos and a local lyrebird, along with wandering sheep and cows from the nearby working farm. There are plenty of walking trails to explore if you're keen to be outdoors or local wineries for those keen to stay in. Our pick is Silos Estate, which offers a farm-to-table restaurant and cool-climate drops.
For more to do around Kangaroo Valley, check out our weekend guide to the area.
ECO GETAWAY AT KIMO ESTATE, GUNDAGAI
The 700-acres that make up Kimo Estate offer some of the most impressive surrounds and accommodation in the state. The designer A-frame eco-huts is one way to go, each sitting proudly atop a hill and boasting 360-degree views of the surrounding farm. Each off-grid, solar-powered hut has its own appeal, with a wood-fired hot tub in one, a firepit at another and an outdoor barbecue at the third — so a group could book out all three to get a little of each. If you'd prefer to all stay under one roof though, the estate also offers cottages and houses accommodating up to 12 guests.
Kimo Estate is also home to wandering sheep and features views of the Murrumbidgee River, as well as the distant mountain ranges. From here, you can organise heaps of local activities, including horseback riding, winery tours and helicopter rides over the mountains.
LUXURY GLAMPING AT SIERRA ESCAPE, MUDGEE
A 30-minute drive from Mudgee town centre, Sierra Escape makes it easy to explore the wine region while immersing yourselves in true country surrounds. The 280-acre property is home to rolling hills, sweeping views and heaps of wildlife, including kangaroos, deer and native birds. Plus it's an easy drive away to the local vineyards, which boast some of the best drops in New South Wales.
Your group will get to enjoy this idyllic setting in style, with the property's luxury glamping accommodation. Book into the Dulili tent, which sleeps seven and features two bedrooms with a double bed, two queen beds and a single trundle all up. Other amenities include a designer kitchen, wood fireplace, floor-to-ceiling windows and large indoor and outdoor dining tables. You'll also get to enjoy a firepit and a bathroom with a rainwater shower and freestanding bath. All of the Sierra Escape glamping tents are insulated, too, so you won't have to worry about the winter chill, either.
SNOWY ESCAPE AT LAKE CRACKENBACK RESORTS, SNOWY MOUNTAINS
Lake Crackenback Spa and Wellness Centre offers true alpine luxury. Set on the edge of Kosciusko National Park, it features both mountain and lake views, with the chalets sleeping up to seven of your best mates. The resort includes so many amenities that you won't mind getting snowed in. Book into a facial, massage or even a two-hour spa package. Wander the grounds to interact with local wildlife. Try your hand at archery, or take a dip in the indoor heated pool. Dine surrounded by excellent views at the lakeside restaurant. And, of course, there are the ski slopes. The resort offers a complimentary shuttle bus to the ski fields, and it'll help you organise equipment and lift passes.
For more to do around the Snowy Mountains, check out our weekend guide to the area.
WINERY HOPPING AT BLACK SHEEP INN, ORANGE
The award-winning Black Sheep Inn is a country stay with all of the modern conveniences you could ask for. The revamped accommodation was originally a 1900s sheep shearing shed, and many of its original features have been maintained — including the rolling shed doors, a wrought iron fireplace and corrugated iron finishes. You can book out the entire woolshed for your group, which features five suites and sleeps ten all up. Hot tip: you'll want to be up early for brekkie when owner Helen Napier whips up a three-course feast.
Located a quick ten-minute drive from Orange town centre, the inn is also perfectly situated to explore the local sites and the wine region at large.
For more to do around Orange, check out our weekend guide to the area.
Seize the day, make your everyday moments count and get rewarded all the while with Suncorp.
Top image: Mona Farm by Kimberley Low.
*Issued by Citigroup Pty Limited ABN 88 004 325 080 AFSL No. 238098 Australian credit licence 238098.
Published on June 25, 2019 by Marissa Ciampi