Compiled by Freya Ensbey.
Australia fascinates and attracts travellers from around the globe with its contrasting diversity. It is a country like no other, with crystal clear beaches winding along an endless coast line, rolling green mountains and lush rainforests, to the harsh red dirt desserts and dry baron outback. We are lucky enough to call this land of plenty home and can celebrate the opportunity and experience it provides us with. This Australia Day long weekend (if you’re taking that sneaky Friday off), why not take a trip somewhere new and discover for yourself some of Australia’s hidden gems?
Rosewood Guest House | Margaret River, WA.
Western Australia hosts the much sought after Margaret River region, with a sprawling landscape of picturesque surf beaches, acclaimed wineries, restaurants and natural attractions. For an escape to luxury, check into the boutique Rosewood Guest House, a short 10-minute stroll from the heart of town, offering six ensuite guest rooms, each individually styled with country charm and landscaped cottage gardens to peruse. Enjoy an English style breakfast to start your day on the right foot before taking a hike beneath the limestone ridge which forms Cape Naturaliste into the Ngilgi Caves to discover an ethereal world of stalagmites and stalactites highlighted with sparkling fresh water deposits below. After a busy day of exploring, be sure to take time to stop in and sample some of Australia’s finest drops from the selection of over 50 wineries in the area.
Observatory Cottages | Mt Dandenong, VIC
A scenic drive from Melbourne’s CBD, resides Mount Dandenong, attracting tourists year round to witness the stunning panoramic views of greater Melbourne, the ocean bays and out over the neighbouring Dandenong ranges. Take your time to explore the area and stay a few days at the Observatory Cottages located at the summit, offering four self-contained romantic cottages as well as family friendly options for larger groups, allowing you to kick back in front of the log fire and enjoy a glass of local Yarra Valley wine. Treat yourself to a meal out whilst visiting the ranges at Sky High restaurant, enjoying a seasonal changing menu and set views of the Mornington Peninsula across Port Phillip Bay from the outdoor terrace.
Bicheno Hideaway | Tasmania
Those who have experienced Tasmania would agree that it is one of Australia’s best kept secrets with each side of the state encompassing attributes completely different from the other. The west coast is a labyrinth of forests, mining towns and convict stories, while the east coast hosts vast beaches, plump seafood and soils many aromatic wine varieties. The East coast is home to the breathtaking Bay of Fires area, listed as one of Lonely Planet’s top 10 regions in the world, a short drive from quaint coastal township Bicheno. With spectacular kelp covered reefs offshore to snorkel, fairy penguin tours and world renowned nature reserve Freycinet National Park to explore, Bicheno is one of Tasmania’s must visit destinations. For a great family stay, book into Bicheno Hideaway, set on seven acres with self-contained chalets adorned in a maritime theme, just a short stroll from the coastline, making for the ideal adventurous getaway.
Cockatoo Hill Retreat | Cape Tribulation, QLD
Located within the Daintree National Park, north of Cairns, Cape Tribulation is over 17,000 hectares of untouched flourishing eco systems, housing some of the world’s rarest plants. Escape to the rainforest this Australia Day and enjoy a getaway Tarzan style atop of the canopy at Cockatoo Hill Retreat. Relax in tree house style bungalows and cool off in the infinity pool with sprawling views across the tree tops and out over the ocean. If time allows, be sure to take the drive to Port Douglas, just 45 minutes away to discover aqua blue beaches, white sand, renowned restaurants and a bustling night life.
Lookout Mountain Retreat | Dorrigo, NSW
Head to the cooler climate of the country mountains and fill your lungs with fresh, crisp air on the mid north coast, New South Wales. Just an hour west of Coffs Harbour, along the scenic drive of Waterfall Way, Dorrigo is on the doorstep of the world heritage listed, Dorrigo National Park. Base yourself at Lookout Mountain Retreat in a cosy open plan suite and take to the walking tracks by day, witnessing running waterfalls and elevated skywalks, returning to the retreat for a relaxing evening to unwind, indulging in an intimate room service dinner.