Top three short stay getaways

Roy Morgan Research has recently confirmed that a short break of just one or two nights is now the most popular form of domestic holiday in Australia. Apparently we just love getting away for a quick, rejuvenating stay to recharge the batteries and give ourselves a treat away from home.

56% of those surveyed report that their last domestic holiday was a short stay and the destinations seem to centre on the major cities and their surrounds. Melbourne topped the charts as the most favoured place to get away, followed by Sydney and the Gold Coast. Of course everyone has their opinions on what the best short stay destinations are in and around those three cities, but here are our top picks.

Indulge at Daylesford

Just one hour away from Tullamarine airport, this charming area offers so much that can be enjoyed in a short space of time. Here’s a virtual tour to give you a taste.

Daylesford is home to the iconic Hepburn Spa and Bathhouse where you can enjoy a range of relaxing treatments, such as the steam room or salt therapy pool, or just take it easy in a spa lounge immersed in the warm natural spring water. Follow that with some fresh air frolicking at the Lavandula Swiss Italian Farm just 10 minutes north of Daylesford. Here you can wander through fragrant lavender fields, enjoy the ambience of the glorious gardens and groves and sample some Lavender scones, honey or champagne.

Fancy a spot of culture? Then visit Wombat Hill Botanic Gardens where the old Convent is now a superb fine art gallery. It has great views of the town to boot. You can round off the day at the Lake House restaurant, which overlooks picturesque Lake Daylesford.

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Lake -House -Lake -Daylesford -VIC
Get in touch with nature at the Lake House in Lake Daylesford, VIC

Southern Highland Sojourn

The southern highlands district is just a couple of hours from Sydney and is home to a rich concentration of gardens, wineries, restaurants and antique stores. The whole area has an alluring heritage feel and the luxuriant countryside setting makes it the complete short stay experience.

Start your visit with some natural highlights either at Robertson’s 500-metre-long Illawarra Fly Treetop Walk, with its stunning views, or at the glorious Fitzroy Falls. The colonial village of Berrima is a living showcase of Georgian architecture with rustic stores, gardens, walking trails and beautifully preserved historic buildings. 

For a change of pace, try the iconic Bradman Museum at Bowral or the fascinating train museum at Thirlmere. The region is also home to a thriving array of wineries and you won’t go hungry either, with all of the area’s towns and villages offering exceptional dining experiences.

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Magical O’Reilly’s

Nestled in the majestic Gold Coast hinterland, O’Reilly’s Spa combines the best of nature with indulgent pampering and dining. The location alone is a rejuvenating experience with glorious mountain top views over the lush carpet of rainforest. Friendly native animals and abundant birdlife add a relaxing natural backdrop. The rainforest ambience is a perfect setting to enjoy some luxury spa treatments, such as heavenly massages, therapeutic skin care treatments.

Of course the unique setting also makes it perfect to immerse yourself in the nature, with guided rainforest walks and 4WD excursions, or try the popular spotlighting walk to the glow worm caves.

A visit to the O'Reilly's Canungra Valley Vineyards is mandatory to sample the superb Shiraz Chambourcin, Verdelho and Semillon varieties. The magnificent homestead at the heart of the vineyards is the ideal place to enjoy a delicious meal on the sweeping verandahs, or to take away one of their famous picnic baskets to enjoy.

If you are looking for less activity and more relaxation, you can always read in the luxurious lounge areas or take a plunge in the infinity pool that overlooks the panoramic mountaintop views.

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Image credits: (feature) Peter Mylonas / Brisbane Marketing; (in-text) Lake House

Which weekend getaway would you choose? Tell us in the comments below.