The Best Winter Weekend Getaways Around Australia
Because we know cold weather won't keep you down.
This feature is brought to you in partnership with 5 Seeds Cider.
We’ve teamed up with 5 Seeds Cider to bring you refreshingly different travel stories that will make you want to grab some friends, pack your bags and head off on your next adventure.
The idea of a holiday traditionally goes hand in hand with the vision of summer – kicking back on a beach somewhere, drink in one hand and leisure item of choice (book/Kindle/iPhone/handheld gaming console) in the other. But don’t let Australia’s impending colder months slow down your adventurous spirit. We’ve pulled together a list of refreshingly different winter weekend getaways from each of Australia’s capital cities. Grab some mittens and some mates and dive into these cooler climate adventures.
Where: The Grampians
How to get there: Leaving the city by car, head out north west towards Ballarat and in just under three hours you’ll find yourselves in the dazzling Grampians.
Why: If you’ve been craving some physical activity, the Grampians is the place to limber up. Head straight to the Grampians National Park to take in the views of the Grand Canyon and the Pinnacle then take advantage of some of the incredible hikes in the area, with plenty of Instagram-worthy vistas along the way (think cascading waterfalls and panoramic lookouts).
Eat/drink: The Mason Clarke Preserving Co offer some of the best breakfast you’ll find in Victoria. For a more upscale dinner option, try the Royal Mail Hotel in Dunkeld.
Stay: DULC Eco Cabins have a special heated treehouse (complete with fireplace) you can spend the night in.
Don’t leave without: Visiting Mackenzies Falls.
How to get there: Grab a group of friends and a vehicle and head south along the Princes Highway for two hours until you hit the cool country town of Berry.
Why: Rolling hills, lush valleys and pockets of rainforest serve as a breathtaking backdrop to the neat streets filled with boutique shops and bric-a-brac stores. With the beach only ten minutes away and other coastal towns like Kiama just down the road, Berry is definitely the place to disappear with some buds for a few days. Spend the afternoon playing bowls over drinks at the local club, take a drop-in yoga class at Berry Yoga Shala or take a couple of hours to scramble up to the Drawing Room Rocks to take in the unforgettable view of the town.
Eat/drink: Grab breakfast at Littlefork, find some picnic smallgoods from the Berry Produce Markets and finish the day with some gelato from Il Locale and some drinks and live music at the Berry Pub.
Stay: For groups, try at farm stay at Willow Farm or Ryders Creek. Couples should try the Yurt at Lothlorian.
Don’t leave without: A bag of piping hot donuts from The Famous Berry Donut Van.
How to get there: From Perth, make your way onto the Indian Ocean Drive and you’ll reach Lancelin in around 90 minutes.
Why: On one side of the beach you can fish, windsurf or go back in time and dive along one of the 14 shipwrecks within the area, and on the other you can try your hand at sand boarding or head out of town to check out the wildflowers in bloom.
Eat/drink: After a day at the beach take a load off at the Endeavour Tavern.
Stay: The Windsurfer Beach Chalets have budget beachfront accommodations.
Don’t leave without: Trying to spot some sea lions!
How to get there: Hahndorf is a quick 25-minute drive east of Adelaide, or a leisurely bike trip if the sun is shining.
Why: Spend the morning wandering the grounds and homestead of Australian artists Hans and Nora Heysen, and the afternoon getting your wine fix from Hahndorf Hill Winery, a boutique producer specialising in alternative wines including Gruner Veltliner, Blaufrankisch and Zweigelt, which they are pioneering in Australia.
Eat/drink: Score yourself some traditional German fare at one of the many local taverns.
Stay: The Hahndorf Old Mill is a destination in and of itself with live music, a nice bar and good food.
Don’t leave without: Visiting the Hahndorf Farm Barn for some baby animal cuddles and good photo opportunities.
Where: Hervey Bay
How to get there: 50 minute flights leave Brisbane daily, or you can drive for three and a half hours along the north coast.
Why: Aside from experiencing actual warm weather throughout winter, remaining balmy from July to October, Hervey Bay is home to one of the largest whale migrations in Australia. Get on a boat tour to see the big guys close up. If you’re more of a land person, grab a bike and take a ride along the 14 kilometre beach-front esplanade.
Eat/drink: Grab a morning coffee at The Bean Beat, some local delicacies from the Nikenbah Markets, and head to one of the many barbecues along the foreshore for a late lunch over ciders.
Stay: The Bay Apartments have rooms with personal outdoor spas for a little bit extra.
Don’t leave without: Taking a Segway trip around Fraser Island.
Where: Freycinet Peninsula
How to get there: If you’re heading to Hobart for Dark Mofo this year, tack on an extra couple of days and spend some time driving up the east coast of Tasmania to Freycinet Peninsula.
Why: Take a short hike up to Wineglass Bay look out or drive up to Bicheno to see the architecturally award winning Surf Life Saving Club and Boat House, or visit the Freycinet Marine Farm for some lunchtime decadence.
Eat/drink: The Oyster Bay Seadfood fish and chip shop serves up freshly caught crayfish and some of the best chips you’ll find in all of Tassie.
Stay: Pack a tent and some thermals and spend the night among the national park dunes at Richardsons Beach or Honeymoon Bay, just metres away from the beaches.
Don’t leave without: Stopping at the cool convict-built Spiky Bridge just outside of Swansea.
Where: Edith Falls
How to get there: Edith Falls is a three and a half hours south-east of Darwin, with driving being the easiest option.
Why: Located within the Nitmiluk National Park, Edith Falls offers a bunch of jaw dropping waterfalls, a 100% croc-free plunge pool and the incredible Sweetwater swimming hole where you can jump from rocks into the water. Plus, it’s pretty much always warm, making it the ideal inter-state destination if you’ve had your fill of the cold days. Spend some time soaking up the sun, hiking, canoeing up river and generally being far, far away from it all.
Eat/drink: While it’s important to make sure you stock up at the supermarket before heading off, the local kiosk will definitely be able to help you out with an afternoon Paddle Pop hit.
Stay: Set up camp at either the permanent campground at Edith Falls or at one of the bush camps set up throughout the broader park area.
Don’t leave without: A good roadtrip mixtape.
Where: Wee Jasper
How to get there: Make your way north-west towards the Brindabella Ranges – at the base you’ll find the comically titled village Wee Jasper.
Why: Spend the day nerding out on nature’s wonders by taking in Careys Caves and the prehistoric fossils of megafauna found throughout the area (like giant kangaroos and wombat-like creatures), or try your hand at trout fishing in the local river. Wee Jasper is a natural wonderland
Eat/drink: Places to eat are low on the ground in Wee Jasper, so stocking up ahead is recommended. Grab some fresh bread and cakes from the bakery in nearby Tumut or make your way into Yass for some staple country town pub meals.
Stay: Hire an RV for the weekend and park it at Wee Jasper Reserves, or get your luxury homestead fix at the Cooradigbee Shearers Quarters.
Don’t leave without: Meeting some alpacas at Marchmont Park.
The team at 5 Seeds have an $800 travel voucher up for grabs to send you on your own winter escape. To be in the running to win, click here and simply fill in your details and in 25 words or less answer: What’s your ultimate cool climate Aussie adventure?