Winter Weekends

Prod-YarraValleySunrise-Landscape photo cred Tourism Aus

Escape for the long weekend with a tote full of warm wools, and explore the ultimate winter holiday spots across Australia for a mini getaway.

Blue Mountains, NSW

02_Valley_of_the_Waters_-_Blue_Mountains photo cred Dennis Harding
Source: Dennis Harding

Approximately an hour away from Sydney, the Blue Mountains is the perfect weekend getaway with beautiful scenery, hiking trails, cosy shops and delicious culinary treats.

See & Do

Walk through the Valley of the Waters and the National Pass Trail for varied scenery, drama and spectacular waterfalls. It takes you deep into the rainforest canyons to Wentworth Falls, a scene worthy of artistic photographer’s and instagrammers.

Leura Cascades offers a peaceful setting for a family picnic or BBQ. From the Cascades, you can walk to a number of waterfalls including the Bridal Veil Falls. Don’t forget a luxurious (and above all warm!) coat.

If hiking is not part of your itinerary, spoil your senses at Spa Sublime and indulge in a relaxing and aromatic atmosphere. Located in the heart of the Blue Mountains in Katoomba, Spa Sublime provides you with the ultimate and luxurious day spa experience.

Eat & Drink

After an adventurous day out, nothing is more enjoyable than good food and drink as you unwind.

Make your way to the Old City Bank Bar and Brasserie, a low-key spot for a well-earned stout of ale. This Irish inflected pub is also the place to indulge in a beef and Guinness Pie – the perfect meal to warm you up and excite your taste buds.

Located in Silvermere at Wentworth Falls, Nineteen23 uses local and regional produce to deliver a wholesome meal and a fine dining experience. Try their winter degustation menu with matching wines for a delectable and divine culinary experience.

For a liquid supper, enjoy a glass of red at Marquise Bar Windsor, a unique and cosy place with a touch of mystique and a vintage setting.

Shop

If vintage shopping and antiques excites you, the Mountains are a great place to treat yourself.
Tucked off the main street in the picturesque and historic village of Leura is a shop called Leura Vintage, which stocks gently used threads, retro-styled apparel and an amazing collection of colour resin jewellery.

Head to the Victory Theatre Antique Centre in Blackheath, an enormous marketplace located inside an old cinema. It is a treasure trove of antique jewellery, crockery, books, furniture and homewares.

Yarra Valley, VIC

Source: Stay Inner City

Less than an hour from Melbourne, the Yarra Valley is a whole life experience away, offering quality local food and wine, breathtaking scenery, romantic hideaways and indulgent adventures.

See & Do

The Yarra Valley boasts breathtaking views of vineyards and farmland, waterways and forests.
Start your Yarra Valley experience with a morning Hot Air Ballooning flight. Allow the breeze to usher you along the valley while you enjoy a picturesque sunrise and beautiful scenery from a bird’s eye view.

Back on the ground, visit the Blue Lotus Water Garden, a unique 14 acre display water garden of Lotus flowers and Waterlillies that is an ideal place for a picnic or BBQ. It’s an inspiring and exotic visual feast for the photographers amongst us.

If you prefer a winter wonderland backdrop, drive up to the summit of Mount Donna Buang for snow play and tobogganing, and year-round views from the canopies of giant eucalyptus trees along the skywalk at the Rainforest Gallery.

Eat & Drink

Settle in and relax with your loved ones amongst the cosy dining rooms and wineries that the region has to offer.
Hatted by the Age Good Food Guide for its high-end seasonal cuisine and down to earth country charm, the Healesville Hotel offers delicious comfort food and wines in a laid back environment. Try the head chef’s favourite, charcuterie and choose from a selection of salamis, bresola, capacollo, chorizo and cooked smoked products.

Bring your friends and family together to indulge in the very best of authentic Italian cuisine and premium wine at Zonzo. Situated within Train Trak winery, Zonzo is surrounded by forty-five acres of vines and luscious lawns that not only provide picture postcard views, but the opportunity for both adults and children to discover and enjoy.

If you’re looking for something to satisfy your sweet tooth, then stock up on chocolate treats from the Yarra Valley Chocolaterie and Ice Creamery. Indulge in a delicious selection of ice creams and decadent sweet treats such as fondue, pastries and their famous hot chocolate at the cafe.

Shop

The Yarra Valley offers an array of shops that cater for all different tastes and interests.

Source: The Vintage Post

Head down to Belgrave, Olinda and Sassafras for quirky shops specialising in everything from tea to teddy bears, crafts, antiques, glassware, pottery and linens.

Margaret River, WA

Source: Pommie Travels

The Margaret River region is one of Australia’s most compact, yet strikingly diverse holiday destinations. Just three hours drive south of Perth, the region is an enticing mosaic of pristine natural wonders, premium wineries, spectacular beaches and inspirational artisans.

See & Do

From the tranquil waters of Geographe Bay in the north, down the ancient-cave carved Leeuwin-Naturaliste Ridge, through picturesque vineyards and karris forest of the heartland, to the desolate beauty of Cape Leeuwin in the south, this is a place of astounding natural contrasts.

Be amazed by the massive labyrinths of the region’s limestone caves. Marvel at the reflections on Lake Cave’s permanent lake or be dwarfed in Jewel Cave’s enormous chambers.

Source: The Australian

If you enjoy the tranquil and relaxed environment of the coast, you may be able to catch a glimpse and experience the magic and elegance of the whales that have migrated to warmer waters in the area. Watch this from the shore or get up close on a whale watching cruise.

Take some time to walk part of the Cape to Cape Track, a 140 kilometre path that traverses along the ridge and beaches of the Leeuwin-Naturaliste National Park. From Cape Naturaliste in Dunsborough to Cape Leeuwin in August, the walk takes in amazing views of the sea and landscapes, including the Indian Ocean.

Eat & Drink

The restaurant and cafe scene in the Margaret River region is unsurpassable and you will be spoilt for choice! The region has attracted and created world-class chefs that draw their inspiration from the abundant fresh local produce and pristine environment.

For brunch, stop by Margaret River Bakery, a small European inspired cafe in the heart of the region. Filled with toasty sourdough bread, lovingly made pastries and great coffee, this bakery offers a quaint and cosy space for you and your friends to chill in.

Driven by the bountiful regional produce and inspired by local winemakers’ craft, the Muster Bar and Grill is wonderful for meat lovers. Try their specialised cocktails while you sit back and unwind in a relaxed environment.
Try the degustation menu with the matched wines at Mikis Open Kitchen and watch the dedicated chef, Norio Idei and his team carefully prepare authentic Japanese tempura dishes and encounter this side of Ginza.

Shop

The Margaret River region is a boutique shopper’s dream. Inviting little shops are tucked around every corner, ready to surprise you.

Happs Pottery stocks a beautiful range of unique and individual bowls, platters, dinner sets and other architectural and artistic pieces that were hand-made by the Happs family.

Clare Valley, SA

Source: Wakefield Wines

Escape to the charmingly secluded Clare Valley and disappear into a weekend of intimate discovery as you wind your way through villages and wineries in a picturesque valley.

See & Do

The Clare Valley is truly entwined with the vine as the region boasts more than 40 wineries that operate out of farm sheds and rustic buildings.

Wrap up in your warm wools and visit the wineries, restaurants and linking quaint towns by walking the famed Riesling Trail and inhale the picturesque scenery or get lost in the Mintaro Maze. Explore the network of the traditional hedge maze, through twists and turns, providing hours of entertainment (or stress).

If history intrigues you, take a fascinating exploration into the lives of South Australia’s wealthy gentry during the late 1800s with a trip to the majestic Martindale Hall. Have a look into a Georgian styled sandstone mansion which has significant heritage value in South Australia.

Eat & Drink

From farmhouse restaurants, to gourmet pub fare and romantic dining locations, the region offers a delectable range of food offerings that you will adore.

Source: Skillogalee

Dine at Clare Valley’s favourite vineyard restaurant, Skillogalee Winery and Restaurant. It is a vibrant, busy and cosy space where you can enjoy a relaxing afternoon sampling some of the Clare Valley’s best food and hand-crafted, world class wines.

Shop

You will find many markets and fairs in the town of the Clare Valley that feature lots of fresh local produce, trinkets and gifts, and one-of-a-kind jewellery pieces.

The Clare Showground’s Country Market is held on the second Saturday of every month. The market offers a variety of fresh produce and little treasures. Alternatively, the Sevenhill Producer’s Market is also worth a visit. Held on the last Saturday of each month, browse a selection of locally made art and craft, wood-fired bread, creamy cheese and specialty meats.

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