Easter always takes you by surprise. One minute you were opening Christmas presents and the next you see a rising mass of chocolate Easter eggs taking over the aisles. For some, this sweet 4-day break has been planned months in advance. For others, chocolate may be their only comfort without a vacay on the cards this coming long weekend. If that is you, your hop away may still be possible after all. We’ve tracked down the top day trips you can plan days before and still have a cracking good time.
Tangalooma Island Resort, Queensland
Prepare to be awestruck in just 75 minutes on your ferry ride over from Brisbane. Brimmed with turquoise waters and poised on silky white sand, Tangalooma Island Resort is one of the only locations in Australia you can escape to for one day and encounter multiple experiences across land and sea. Think quad bikes, parasailing, desert safaris, sand dune tobogganing, kayaking and snorkelling – to name a few. Get up close and personal with various species of fish, turtles and a myriad of bird life. Skid up and down one of the largest sand dunes in the world by quad bike or toboggan. Then finish off the day by hand-feeding wild dolphins off the beach at sunset – Tangalooma is one of only three locations where this is possible in Australia!
Southern Highlands, New South Wales
The rolling hills and beautiful historic towns of the Southern Highlands make for a perfect day trip for Sydney-siders. Indulge at one of the region’s many wineries or tempt your tastebuds with Bowral's wide array of gourmet restaurant and café options. If you’re looking for a more active escape, explore one of the many bushwalks that Morton National Park has to offer. A kid favourite is the Glow Worm Glen track, where you can get up close and personal with Bundanoon’s luminescent locals! The Burrawang Easter Markets are being held on March 31 this year, with over 160 stalls featuring local wares, produce, arts & crafts and plenty of rides and activities for the kids.
Serpentine National Park, Western Australia
Escape the hustle and bustle of the city with a weekend of exploring the green tracks and lush trails at Serpentine National Park, situated a 50-minute drive from Perth. The highlight of this magnificent piece of nature is the Serpentine Falls, with its billowing torrents cascading through the forestland and down the granite cliff faces. After working up an appetite hiking or swimming at the falls, Millbrook Winery Restaurant offers a spectacular menu with ingredients sourced from their very own orchard and vegetable garden. If you hang around until after dark, the National Park also has some of the most majestic stargazing in the region.
Cradle Mountain National Park, Tasmania
Get lost in Tasmania’s iconic wilderness with a quick trip to the magnificent Cradle Mountain National Park. A UNESCO World Heritage listed site, Cradle Mountain is arguably one of the most picturesque locations in Tasmania. Only a 2-hour drive from Launceston, take in the extraordinary views and breathe the world’s cleanest air as you wander along one of the many walking trails. Hikers will be greeted with striking panoramic views of Dove Lake from a number of different trails, catering to all time budgets and experience levels. The park is also spotted with picnic spots perfect for day-trippers and families to enjoy the ancient rainforest.
Crocosaurus Cove, Northern Territory
For thrill-seekers and animal lovers alike, Crocosaurus Cove is a day of adventure for the whole family without leaving Darwin City! Bring your swimmers and dive in with the crocs with Australia’s only crocodile diving experience. Crocosaurus Cove is also home to Australia’s largest display of Australian reptiles and boasts a whopping 200,000 litre fresh water aquarium! Keep the kids entertained over the Easter holidays with the Junior Reptile Rangers Program. This two hour fully guided program offers the little ones a unique and engaging hands-on learning experience to keep their little minds active over the break.
Hahndorf, South Australia
Only half an hour out of the city, nestled in the Adelaide Hills, you will find the quaint little township of Hahndorf. A history buff’s dream, Hahndorf is the oldest surviving German settlement in Australia. Browse the beautiful art galleries and gift shops spotted along the gorgeous traditional streetscape before indulging in traditional German fare, complete with plenty of authentic beer options at one of the town’s two historic pubs: The Hahndorf Inn or the German Arms Hotel. Take the kids to the Hahndorf Farm Barn to milk a cow or cuddle a koala at Cleland Wildlife Park!
Poachers Way, Canberra
Canberra’s impressive vineyards and wineries are nothing short of tantalising. Roam and wander along Poachers Way and be rewarded with a gastronomical expedition designed for the foodie and wine connoisseur. With local producers, growers, winemakers, craft makers and Chefs celebrating all that the plentiful journey has to offer, visitors will feel nothing short of full and satiated. To top off an Easter your taste buds will remember, you can also take in all the local art, sculptures and textiles designed by local artisans.