The festivities of summer are behind us. And if we’re being honest, it was just three weeks into the year that we were longing for another holiday, more tired than ever at the prospect of 11-months sans break. But this isn’t a black-hole situation. The solution? Dream-up some amazing quick trips. And better still book them in now – you’ll spend more time being excited, and less time dragging your feet through the year. A large part of the joy in travel lies in anticipation, so plan ahead to savour that feeling. Here are 10 daydream-worthy retreats to get you started today.
Camp (without really camping) in one of Victoria’s most coveted coastal parks
'The Prom’, as locals know it, is breathtaking from the drive in. Winding around coastal cliffs flanked by rainforest, eventually you’ll turn to face the bluest water imaginable. Wilderness Retreats at Wilsons Promontory are the definition of glam camping; with luxe safari-style tents, comfy beds and your own ensuite, you can get close to nature without compromising on creature comforts. All this set in an incredible national park just begging to be explored, and not a bed roll in sight. Now that’s our kind of outdoor adventure.
Nature lovers and fine food enthusiasts – listen up.
Kangaroo Island is one-third conservation land, making it one of the best places in the world to spot wildlife. The rich landscape and clear waters also mean some of the country’s freshest, tastiest produce. Kangaroo Beach Lodges sit between 8000-acres of farmyard and a pristine, isolated cove – a striking merging of scenes. Perched on a clifftop, stunning architecture meets sweeping ocean views, allowing you to take in perfect blue waters from every section of the house. The beautiful bay below is exclusively yours, and you can arrange for your stay to be catered with the region’s best foodstuff. Win-win.
See both sides of the NSW coast. With earthy good vibes all round.
North Coast NSW is one of Australia’s most frequented shorelines, with laidback surf culture and breathtaking scenery the bases of its appeal. We couldn’t think of a better way to soak-up its beauty than to stay in a 250-acre rainforest reserve surrounded by a World Heritage-listed national park. Enter Crystal Creek Rainforest Retreat. Ranging from creek-side bungalows to lodges with plunge pools, these architect-designed retreats are both totally lavish and eco-friendly too. With sumptuous king-sized beds, sunken double spas, lounges fronted by wood fires, and lush green outlooks, the hardest part is getting out the door.
With deserted beaches, beautiful rivers, and rambling bushland – the south side of the coast is made for unwinding. Little Pig Creekis a cabin tucked away in sprawling countryside near the Kangaroo Valley, with warm colours and exotic treasures within its walls (many of the furnishings were lugged back from trips to India, Morocco, France and Portugal). This low-tech, earth-loving getaway radiates good vibes; we could imagine free-spirited bohemians holing up here for inspiration. To top-off the carefree feeling, your welcome pack is a bottle of gin, tonic and snacks. We don’t know about you, but we’re ready to escape to the woods.
They don’t call it the ‘Great’ Ocean Road for nothing. Hire a top-down and get in.
With a sweep of shoreline shielded by dramatic bluffs on the one-side, and huge national parklands on the other, it’s easy to understand the fascination of the Great Ocean Road. 10-minutes from Apollo Bay – a favoured highway stop – are the waterfront cottages of Points South by the Sea. Designed for year round enjoyment, here, you can cosy up on plush lounges in front of the fire, sink into a warm spa-bath and curl up in your king-sized bed, or conversely, kick back on the oceanfront deck, grill up summery meals, and wander down the private beach track for a swim.
Catch waves and winery hop in the Margaret River
With Western Australia’s incredible swells crashing just beyond your doorstep and the Margaret River a 10-minute trip away, this divine beach house has all the makings of an excellent retreat. The spacious interiors come with designer furnishings, select artworks and ocean views from every room. Prop your head over the lap pool’s edge and watch the waves roll in, letting The Seahorse Beach House work its relaxing magic. Better yet, keep a bottle of the region’s fine wine chilling poolside so you can sip in between swims.
Get some sun on what is arguably Queensland’s coolest coast
The Sunshine Coast’s hub for fun and the sun is Mooloolaba’s main strip. And smack bang in the centre of the esplanade’s bustling boutiques, smoothie bars, gelaterias and surf clubs, you’ll find Oceans Mooloolaba towering over the beach. Its luxe lap pool takes in all the action on the shores below, as does the spa. And when you’ve had your fill of golden rays and waves, hire the hotel’s private cinema and enjoy some timeout. Sounds pretty good right about now, doesn’t it?
There are too many reasons to love East Coast Tasmania
With its wealth of isolated, unspoiled beaches, magnificent coastal parklands, and seaside villages filled with friendly locals and gourmet delights; it isn’t surprising Tasmania’s East Coast is a sought-out spot. Planted right on the shores of Bicheno’s beautiful Redbill Beach is a retreat with loads of good stuff going on. Uninterrupted water views from every room – tick. Three separate decks to enjoy the coastal air and sunshine – tick. Just paces from where sandy shores meet the Tasman Sea – TICK. Clearly, this place hasn’t been dubbed the ‘Awesome’ Beach House without reason.
Is there ever a bad time for wine travels? We think not. Enter: The Barossa Valley
In the midst of the Barossa’s world-class wineries, Seppeltsfield Cottage offers more than just a heady escape – it’s an unmatchable experience of the region. The hosts here will happily share their insider tips to make sure you have the best time possible. Take a tour of the surrounding Seize the Day vineyard finished with a tasting, organise bikes to get about, and have dinner booked for you at one of the area’s mouth-watering restaurants. A 19th century home lovingly restored, original features have been preserved, but every modern luxury has been added. For a wine weekend, it doesn’t get much better than this.
Vineyards and farmlands, hot springs and markets, all alongside a spectacular coast: Say hello to the Mornington Peninsula.
In a region that combines a stunning setting with awesome activities, you’ll find accommodation a covetable amalgam in itself – Lindenderry at Red Hill. Set on 30-acres of English-style gardens that reach out to rolling vineyards and an idyllic lake, this is one gorgeous spot. And with wine and wood-fired pizza at the cellar door, a menu centred about seasonal produce at the restaurant, a day-spa, pool and tennis courts, you’ll definitely be kept busy (in the best kind of way).