Well, Winter is officially upon us here in Australia and I’m not sure about you but I’m already going a little nuts. Gone are the early morning laps at South Curl Curl, and the balmy sunset strolls along Freshie beach. I’ve had to swap my Havaianas for my Uggies and it’s only just begun! (eeeek!)
It may surprise you, but I’m a definite summer soul (despite my love for the snow), so this cold, wet and windy weather can leave me feeling a little ‘blah’.
It probably doesn’t help that I haven’t left Australia in 4 months (but who’s counting?) and my feet are restless, so it has got me thinking … How do you stay sane when the weather cools down and you start going a little stir crazy at home? You take mini breaks and indulge in a staycation or two of course!
Now, before I get started on my winter escape ideas (staycations to come soon), I have to send my apologies to you (my amazing, lovely followers). I acknowledge the fact that I have been super slack and haven’t blogged lately, so I am sorry to have kept you waiting.
I’ve come to the conclusion that the lull in my posts is all linked to my lack of personal international travel in recent months, as generally speaking, inspiration flows easily when I’m on the road, but I’ve literally had writers block for months.
I know, I know, I hear you …. 4 months in Australia isn’t all that bad, but when you’ve been bitten by the travel bug like i have, and you are working in the industry, planning dream trips and trying to inspire others all day, every day, it can be tough when you haven’t got any ‘new material’ of your own to work with.
But, thanks to a few cheeky mini breaks over the last month, I’m getting my mojo back and the ideas to inspire you are flowing.
So, with posts to follow on my recent visits to the gorgeous NSW town of Berry and also a long weekend on The Great Ocean Road, I’ll start simply and share with you some winter escape ideas that will keep both you (and I) sane during these cooler months.
So, whether you want to embrace the cooler weather or escape it all together, it’s not too late to plan a last-minute getaway.
Embrace it and hit the SNOW!
Thredbo is renowned for being Australia’s winter playground, and a getaway to the mountains is a great way to embrace the cold, and have some fun while you’re at it. There is nothing quite like cozying up in front of an open fire after a full day on the mountain with friends, so whether you choose to get active on the slopes, or pamper yourself in a day spa, you truly can choose your own adventure.
- Great for: Snow chasers, families, a group or couples getaway.
- Distance from home: 500km / 6hrs drive from Sydney.
- Unforgettable moments/ things to do: Learn to Ski or Snowboard, or improve your skills through Thredbo’s ski and ride school.
- Budget: Stay and ski packages start from just $347* per person, but as a self-drive destination and with a wide range of accommodation options, there is something for any budget.
- Stay: Check out at ‘Ski in Ski out Chalets’, where you’ll find Thredbo’s only ski in, ski out accommodation option. You’ll have direct access to the slopes from your very own luxury chalet, which makes this a unique experience for your Australian ski getaway.
Chase the sun, and head North to Tropical North Queensland!
We all remember Queensland’s catchy tourism slogan ‘Beautiful one day, perfect the next’, and with average winter daytime temps of around 26 Degrees, who are we to argue? North Queensland and in particular Cairns, Port Douglas and Palm cove make for a perfect Aussie winter escape.
There is a wide range of activities to get you and the family out and about or if laying back on a day bed to soak up some much-needed ‘Vitamin D’ is more your style, then you’re in luck. North Queensland is home to some world-class resorts, where you can do just that.
- Great for: Sun seekers, couples, families, or a group getaway.
- Distance from home: About a 3hr flight from Sydney.
- Unforgettable moments/ things to do: Cairns is the gateway to the Great Barrier Reef, so grab your dive gear or your snorkel and take advantage of the warm dry winter days, and explore one of the natural wonders of the world.
- Budget: Flights from Sydney to Cairns start at about $169* (per person, each way) and accommodation & car hire packages can be tailored to suit your budget.
- Stay: ‘Peppers Beach Club & Spa’ in Palm Cove. They manage to create the perfect blend of understated luxury for couples and a beachfront hideaway for families.
Rejuvenate and pamper yourself with an escape to the Hunter Valley!
Winter is the perfect time for a little self-indulgence. It’s cold outside, and comfort food is calling, but what’s better than a deliciously warm full body massage, as the gentle smell of aromatherapy scents wash over you? Nothing, that’s what!
Grab your girlfriends (or your partner), jump in the car and head to the Hunter Valley, where you’ll find an array of wellness retreats and day spas, as well the plethora of unique wineries to discover.
- Great for: Couples or a girls getaway
- Distance from home: About a 2hr drive from Sydney.
- Unforgettable moments/ things to do: Why not rug up, sip hot chocolate and experience the stillness and tranquility of being airborne in a Hot Air Balloon at sunrise over the vineyards? Or for the ultimate in day spa bliss a visit to ‘Spa Elysia’ at the ‘Golden Door Wellness Retreat’ is a must. Their unique spa rituals and pamper packages are the perfect way to balance your mind, body and spirit during the cooler months.
- Budget: Another great self-drive destination, with accommodation in the valley starting from just $149 per night (double) but with plenty of options for all budgets and styles.
- Stay: ‘Mystwood Retreats’ is the perfect winter escape destination in the Hunter. Tranquil luxury in a perfectly styled boutique property, and nothing says winter getaway like a private spa. Yes please!
Go global and take off for a Bali surf break!
(Ok, I know it’s not a domestic escape but if you plan it now it could be just as cheap as one!)
With its sun, sand and surf, Bali has long been a popular winter getaway for Australians and though winter tends to draw bigger swells to our own beaches here at home, it’s also prime time to take advantage of Bali’s world class surf conditions, with waves to suit everyone. But, if the waves aren’t enough to entice you, then those picture perfect Seminyak sunsets might just do the trick.
- Great for: Surfers, Sun seekers, couples, families or group getaways.
- Distance from home: 6 hr flight from Sydney
- Unforgettable moments/ things to do: If you’re a seasoned surfer, grab your mates and book a boat trip. This will ensure that you get to explore Bali’s world famous breaks with your own surf guides and crew, plus you might get the chance to catch them without the huge crowds. Otherwise if you’re a beginner, a new wave of surf camps and retreats have cropped up, where you can combine surf, yoga and lifestyle in places like Seminyak and Canggu.
- Budget: Flights from Sydney to Denpasar start from just $574* per person, return and a decent boat trip will start at about $1300AUD for the week (all-inclusive). If you’re not keen on the boat idea, then take advantage of Bali’s wide range of accommodation options including surf camps, family resorts, party hotels and luxury villas.
- Stay: We absolutely love ‘Uluwatu Surf villas’. Situated front and centre to some of Indonesia’s best surf breaks, and perched on cliff tops with majestic views over the Southern Indian Ocean, it’s the perfect spot to surf the day away and finish up with a cheeky Bintang and unobstructed sunset views.
So, as you can see there really isn’t any need to hibernate just yet. Take a look around you and plan yourself a little escape that will help to break the dreary monotony that can be winter, and if you time your little mini break’s right, then Spring will be here before you know it.
What do you do to beat the winter blues? Have you got ideas for a perfect winter retreat? Let me know and share your ideas, or if you are in need of something to warm those toes, let me know as I’d love to help.
Thanks, and as mentioned…. stay tuned for my posts all about Berry and The Great Ocean Road. Both perfect little winter (or anytime) getaways.
Want to read more about the Hunter Valley? Check out my last post – The Hunter Valley – A ‘Grape’ Escape
Otherwise if Byron Bay is more your style, take a peak at my visit to the Atlantic Byron Bay, Beach House – The Atlantic Byron Bay – Beach House Bliss
Photo credits: All my own, except for the posts featured image ‘Winter Escape’ is from the ‘Free People’ blog.