By Leigh O’Connor.
Of all the paths you take in life, make sure a few of them are sandy! It’s time to forget about 2020 and COVID-19 for a while and relax, replenish and recharge with a Spring or Summer vacation.
We travel not to escape life, but for life not to escape us. We may not be able to go overseas, or even interstate, but there are plenty of places in our own backyard to see the waves kiss the shore, take the scenic route or get some vitamin sea.
Travel is therapy for many of us – fill your life with adventures, not things. Have stories to tell, not stuff to show.
Here are some suggestions where to hit the road come holiday time:
Revel in the natural beauty of bushland and step into a lush sanctuary, where animals roam freely at the Wildlife Retreat at Taronga Zoo in Mosman. Nestled among the zoo’s landscape, thoughtfully curated designer rooms allow you to wake up and come eye-to-eye with the wildlife, alongside stunning Sydney Harbour views.
Up close with the wildlife at Taronga Zoo.
This eco-retreat embodies Taronga’s commitment to securing a shared future for wildlife and people, with options including accommodation, breakfast, animal tours, complimentary zoo access and exclusive dining at onsite restaurant Me-Gal.
The retreat has just introduced family escape packages in time for the Spring school holidays. The ultimate family staycation includes overnight accommodation in interconnecting rooms, wildlife tours (even after dark when the gates are closed), breakfast and two-day zoo access for everyone to explore.
For a fun-filled family holiday, visit the multi-award-winning North Star Holiday Resort on Tweed Coast Road in Hastings Point. Located only metres from the beach, choose an accommodation style that suits your needs, whether a luxury pool-side villa, spacious self-contained family cabin, caravan, or campsite and make the most of all the activities on offer.
Fun for the kids at North Star water park.
Tennis courts, a games room, playground, kids’ club and water park will keep the kids entertained, while parents chill out in the leisure centre with massages and beauty treatments, unwind in the spa and sauna, or work out in the gym. Onsite eatery Ripples Licensed Café provides nourishment for all the family from pasta dishes to burgers, salads and seafood.
Yearning for a Bali-style break on home soil? Head to Bali Hai in the magnificent Mossman Valley, just a short drive from Port Douglas. This thoughtfully designed retreat offers a blissful getaway among tranquil rainforest surrounds – life here is about defining luxury, from the stunning wet edge pool to looking out to the Daintree Mountains with not a soul to disturb your peace and privacy.
Bali Hai retreat.
Sleeping up to 8 guests, this unique accommodation offers three ensuited bedrooms in separate thatched bures, along with all mod cons, including sunken baths, a state-of-the-art kitchen and entertainment system. Day excursions can be arranged to explore the region, or stay in and spoil yourself with a range of indulgent spa treatments.
Set right on the beachfront between The Daintree and Port Douglas, The Beach Villa on Newell Beach feels like your own piece of tropical paradise. This three-bedroom accommodation is all about luxury; furnished in contemporary beach-style with Balinese touches, the villa backs on to an idyllic palm-fringed beach and the Coral Sea beyond, which you can admire from private balconies and terraces.
The beach is on your doorstep at The Beach Villa.
A state-of-the-art gourmet kitchen lets you self-cater like a pro if so desired and a private eight-metre infinity pool awaits out the back alongside an entertaining pavilion. Tropical flowers, boutique wine, gourmet local produce and a personal meet and greet service put the finishing touch on what’s the perfect romantic getaway, or honeymoon destination.
For those wanting a luxury vacay, escape to the iconic Hydro Majestic Hotel and discover the natural beauty of the Blue Mountains. Located on Great Western Highway in Medlow Bath, this art deco-inspired hotel will take you on a journey to yesteryear, where grandeur and elegant surroundings await, along with spectacular views.
High tea with a view at Wintergarden restaurant.
An ideal romantic getaway, engage your senses with history and glamour in the Majestic Ballroom, or be tempted by high tea in Wintergarden restaurant, with its panoramic vistas and opulent dining room.
Find peace and tranquillity at Spicers Clovelly Estate on Balmoral Road in Montville. Stunning French architecture and shaded jacarandas greet guests and you will be tempted to stay forever with 22 acres of grounds, filled with grand figs, groves of magnolias and gardenias, surrounding the main house.
Romantic dining at The Long Apron.
Each of the 10 suites in the main estate is luxuriously decorated, exuding an oasis of calm, with heated marbled bathrooms, lavish linens, bay windows and outdoor terraces. Clovelly Estate is also renowned for gourmet cuisine at The Long Apron, where a seasonally changing degustation menu is available, along with a la carte, breakfast and all-day dining.
Soak away cares at Mitchell Great Artesian Spa on Cambridge Street in Mitchell. Enjoy the majestic tingle of artesian waters, while relaxing in two billabong-style hot and cold pools, filled with naturally heated mineral water pumped from the Great Artesian Basin – perfect for relaxing tired muscles and soothing the mind and body.
Soothe away aches and pains at Mitchell Great Artesian Spa.
The spa is designed for easy access, including a hydro chair for those who have restricted mobility, while an onsite internet café offers all-day fare and morning tea on the deck. Those looking to improve their zen and stretch tight spots can join weekly yoga classes, or perhaps a trip to the wellness centre for a beauty treatment is in order.
For a romantic and absolutely private getaway from the ‘rat race’ head to The Bower on Broulee on George Bass Drive and indulge in a couple’s retreat like no other. This NSW South Coast escape allows you to find serenity in a natural forest, while relaxing in Ultimate Spa Bower, or for something really different, check out the Bambino American Airsteam travel trailer.
The Bower on Broulee.
Located just 1km from the blue Pacific Ocean of Broulee Beach, listen to the birds as you chill out alfresco; or take a walk through pristine rainforest in nearby parks. Each Premium Spa Bower is equipped with piped music into the bathroom so you can sip bubbles while listening to your favourite tunes, King beds, flat-screen TV, air-conditioning, bathrobes, slippers and eye masks, along with a covered private BBQ deck.
To find a vacay spot near you, click here.