By Freya Ensbey.
Autumn brings a change to the air; a clean crisp breeze begins to fill our days with an energising freshness as those sweltering and sometimes draining Summer heatwaves fade away. As you pull on your jacket again and swap your sandals for boots, take a seasonal sea change and embrace Autumn with a weekend escape. Whether it’s a romantic getaway for two, an adventure packed boys weekend, a girls weekend to re-connect, or a trip to enjoy with the family, we have you covered from the Gold Coast’s hinterland to the coastline of Tasmania.
For a getaway the whole family can enjoy, pack the car and head to the hills of the Gold Coast’s stunning hinterland region to discover O’Reilly’s Rainforest Retreat. The O’Reilly family began hosting visitors in Lamington National Park in 1915, and to this day the third generation of O’Reilly’s now manage the retreat and villa precinct.
Book into the Three Bedroom Valley View Villa which provides enough space for the kids to have their own rooms and for mum and dad to retreat with privacy. Listening to the crackling fire as you all enjoy a hot tub soak on the deck together, unwind as you take in the views of the valley beyond. With plenty of activities to keep the kids entertained, take part in a glow worm cave tour, soar through the tree tops on a flying fox adventure or pull on your walking shoes and take to one of the many waterfall hikes nearby.
Little Kickerbell | NSW
Grab the girls and make your way through the countryside of Quirindi to discover Little Kickerbell residing on 33 acres of farmland. Surrounded by cattle, crops and deep green valleys, opening out to the mountains beyond, the views are an experience in themselves.
The historic farmhouse and grounds offer accommodation options for up to 15 guests in the exquisite art filled bedroom wing and restored shearer’s quarters, offering lush bed linens, quaint ornaments and antique furnishings.
Warm up of an evening by heading to the restaurant to sample a menu created by resident Chef Cathy who has cooked for the likes of Prince, Cher and Paul Simon, before owning her own multi award-winning restaurant bistro in America’s Ohio. With its wrap around verandah ideal for lounging in the warming sun to read a book, spacious layout and homely feel, Little Kickerbell would make the ideal destination for any upcoming celebration.
Loves Lane Cottages | VIC
Set between the lush green valleys of South Gippsland and the rural township of Mirboo, is Loves Lane Cottages. Light the pot belly fire and crack a bottle of red as you explore The Orchard Cottage with an open plan layout, queen bed and large corner spa. With a fully equipped kitchen, channel your inner Chef and create a gourmet dinner for your loved one to enjoy from the balcony which offers sprawling views of the rolling grounds beyond. As the morning sun beams through the windows at dawn, start your day with a stroll around the lake as you watch the wildlife with a cup of coffee in hand, before whipping up some bacon and eggs on the outdoor barbeque and taking to the pool area for a day of basking in the sun.
William Macintosh | SA
Found just inland from Mount Gambier is South Australian hidden gem, William Macintosh Motor Lodge. Located amongst lush manicured lawns, adjacent to a sprawling forest land, sits the neat and tidy accommodation suites of the lodge.
Book into the executive room and enjoy access to your own private courtyard, spa, queen bed and mini bar, making for the ideal couple’s escape. Expect to find facilities to make your stay more comfortable like free wi-fi, room service and a full laundry service, whilst the bar and lounge is the perfect way to end a day of exploring the nearby surrounds.
Sip the afternoon away with a glass of local wine before you begin your evening meal in the resident restaurant, perhaps ordering the soul warming lamb shank in rosemary, red wine gravy and potato mash, finishing with a decadent warm chocolate mud cake, vanilla ice cream, chocolate liqueur sauce and whipped cream.
Tassie Cottages | TAS
The ultimate boys escape should be packed with the equal ratio of adventure, relaxation and of course beer and what better place to find this than in the great outdoors of Tasmania, with some of the best hiking tracks in the world and hundreds of kilometres of coastline to explore.
Tassie Cottages offers the Island View Spa Cottage, arguably one of the best positioned self-contained cottages in the State, with a spacious North facing outdoor living area with 180-degree views out over Duck Bay, Bass Strait, Perkins, Robbins and Three Hummock Islands. Gather kindling from the surrounding shrubbery and light the wood fire on the deck to warm up the space as the spa bath is run and the meat sizzles on the barbeque, leaving the only thing to do - to crack open some icy beers and create memories which will last a lifetime.
To ease into the Autumn season upon your return home, be sure to check out our top Autumn stew recipes to warm the soul.