We’ve all been there before: you’re tired, you’re overwhelmed, it’s been a long week and you need a break – even if it’s just for the weekend. Here are the perfect destinations for a spontaneous trip.
In the quaint town of Daylesford, stress is but a distant concept. Get ready to be immersed in a historic village where natural mineral springs, peaceful scenery and art are aplenty. Treat yourself at the Hepburn Bathhouse and Spa, where you can baste in heated natural mineral water while overlooking a diverse and unkept natural background.
Visit Hotel Frangos, where attention to detail is impeccable. From their wine list to their impressive bronze door handles, you won’t cease to be amazed. For those more adventurous, book in a day trip with Daylesford Wine Tours where you can experience first-hand a plethora of boutique cellar doors.
The town is home to so many incredible hotels, bed and breakfasts and inns that there is never a worry when it comes to accommodation. It’s always that little more special finding a gift basket full of local foods and that is exactly the service you can expect when booking accommodation through Dayget.
Sometimes, the best cool-off comes from being surrounded by nature - you probably won’t need your swimsuit for this one. There’s something quite special about Tasmania, Hobart in particular. It seems to be the place I seek solitude in when some serious rest and recovery is required. Nothing quite beats having your thoughts silenced as you humbly trek through the national parks.
Although there are so very many hikes to choose from, I can never turn down Russell Falls in Mount Field National Park. Not only was it home to the last Tasmanian tiger, but it’s the second oldest national park in Australia. It’s about an hour’s drive from Hobart but worth every minute. I usually catch the Ferry from Melbourne with a car, but hire cars are also an option if you fly in.
If your feet need a rest but your mind still wants to wander, I find MONA hits the spot. MONA is Tasmania’s museum of old and new art; an eclectic mix of contemporary and traditional art that is far from tedious. It definitely delivers a shock factor which washes down easily at the Moorilla cellar door.
Denmark, Western Australia
What a place. I stumbled upon it while driving from Perth to Melbourne one holiday period. It was only meant to be a quick stopover, but the hours turned to days and it easily became the highlight of my trip.
It’s a coastal town, boutique in its own right, with a pace and feel like no other. I stayed at Riverbend Chalets & Caravan Park where my tent overlooked the Denmark River. The sun gleamed along the water with a warmth like no other - even the trees seemed to exude calm.
Relax on the sand at Greens Pool beach or explore the scenery through a range of biking and walking trails. My favourite is Mokare Heritage Trail that leads you along the Denmark River. A trip to Denmark wouldn’t be complete without witnessing the giant elephant rocks nestled in the waves of the Great Southern Sea.
Where rainforest meets the reef – what a spectacular place! Cairns is well-known for its clear waters and Great Barrier Reef so it’s no surprise that you must give snorkelling or island hopping a go. Once you’re all watered out, Fetta’s Greek Taverna is the place to eat. Not only can you feast on a range of fresh seafood – don’t get me started on the oysters – but enjoy an energetic belly dancing show and finish with traditional plate smashing. There are also plenty of world heritage listed rainforests to explore with trees older than you can believe.
For those looking for a getaway that involves fewer trees and a little more nightlife, St Kilda, just out of Melbourne’s CBD, is the place to go. There is an abundant range of accommodation, from hostels to hotels and Airbnbs, that are forgiving to last-minute bookings. Spend the day playing bocce at St Kilda Botanical Gardens or enjoy a glass along St Kilda beach at Pontoon. At sundown, stroll along the pier and witness the St Kilda little penguins make their way to their home among the boulders after a long day’s swim.