Are you suffering from a little pre-Christmas break FOMO after hearing about your friend’s upcoming snowboarding trip to Japan, or European winter wonderland getaway? Or are you simply stuck at home, in your stifling hot house looking for any reason to get out and about? Not to worry! We have some great stay-at-home, and slightly further-away-from-home holiday ideas for you and the family, that won’t cost you an arm or a leg.
Whether you prefer to kick back on a secluded beach and soak up the rays, or roam the countryside sampling some of Australia’s finest wines – we’ve compiled our favourite quick getaways that will have you enjoying the very best that an Australian summer has to offer!
Beach / Coast
When the sun is out and the mercury rises, kicking back on our white sandy beaches is an absolute must over the holiday period. Although, coinciding with school holidays, you might find beach towel real estate hard to come by on popular beaches. So, check out these spots you may not have heard of (but keep them to yourselves please)!
Amazing scuba diving opportunities, national parks and whale and dolphin watching cruises – Jervis Bay delivers the quintessential Australian summer. Located just 3 hours from the ACT, (although technically still in the ACT) getting here is easy. There are also many accommodation options to suit any budget, from camping to private waterfront villas.
Sorry QLD’ers, but heading south out of the sunshine state is just your ticket for a last minute Christmas getaway. Of course, you’re familiar with Byron Bay and surrounds, but further south between Ballina and Evan’s Head, you’ll find stretches of undiscovered beaches throughout the Broadwater National Park, Richmond River and beyond.
Resolute Beach is a cosy 60m sandy beach Broken Bay. With crystal clear, calm water it is the perfect swimming spot for any hot day. It can be busy at times, so if that’s the case or if you want to try another spot, you can follow the same access trail to West Head Beach or West Head Lookout. As it is located in the Ku-ring-gai Chase National Park, a small entry fee of $12 will apply, but we guarantee it’s worth it!
Boasting extensive rock pools at low tide, protected beaches and stunning cliff top views, Bridgewater Bay is a family favourite. You are also spoilt for choice here – with several options for both bay and ocean swimming beaches just a stone’s throw away!
Country / Hills
If you would prefer to forage through the bush or to explore the rolling hills, national parks – and if you’re lucky – the odd vineyard nestled amongst the country side, there are plenty of options available. The fresh air will do you good, with the added bonus of not needing to worry about stocking up on wine before Christmas lunch, or New Year’s!
Remove yourself from the noise of the city and head out to a cabin, cottage or campsite in Kosciuszko National Park! You can opt to relax in your cabin, or head out on an adventure through the mountains along one of the many hiking and mountain bike trails. If you want to save some money, why not pitch a tent right by the river, at Thredbo Diggings campground.
For a mountain getaway, heading south-west from Brisbane will no doubt lead you to some of Australia’s best national parks that cater to any comfort level from camping, glamping and 5 star rainforest retreats. Lamington, Border Ranges, Toonumbar, Mount Barney, Koreelah – the list goes on!
Located in the Hunter Valley, roughly two and a half hours from Sydney, you will find Ascella Organic Wines. While you might be thinking that this is an obvious plug – this winery is unique in that they’re open on Christmas Day. That’s right, December 25th – so whether you take a day trip or stay a little longer, you can sit back, glass in hand observing flora and fauna as you gaze across the vineyard. Make sure to stop by World Heritage-listed Baiame Caves on your way home!
Also open on Christmas Day, and only one hour away from Melbourne in picturesque Yarra Valley, Balgownie Estate offers the perfect getaway for those who want to stay close to the city, without the hustle and bustle. The region is also famous for its local artistic, culinary and wildlife experiences – so be sure to check these out too!
If you’re planning on heading to wineries, be sure to enjoy responsibly and have a designated driver to stay safe on the roads this Christmas.
Now, you might not be a ‘grey nomad’ yet, but is there anything more Australian than packing up the car and hitting the road and only stopping when you’re truly out of civilisation?
From short day trips to epic self-drive holidays, an Australian road trip is one of the best ways to experience our spectacular great outdoors. Whether you’re heading along the coast, camping by the beach or in our bushland and rainforests – it’s possible to wake up in a new landscape every day!
For spectacular scenery, the Kangaroo Valley drive meanders through the lush rainforests, waterfalls and mountains of the NSW Southern Highlands, allowing you to enjoy a sea to tree route that provides the absolute best scenery and local hidden gems of the region. Be sure to check out Fitzroy, Carrington and Belmore falls along the way!
South East QLD’s Scenic Rim drive will allow you to experience Australia’s most accessible World Heritage-listed rainforests. With many different landscapes along numerous different drives, close down your maps app and allow yourself to stumble upon unique small towns, national parks, wineries and mountain lodges.
An absolute must-do for any motoring enthusiast, the Grand Pacific Drive will take you through rainforests, over iconic Sea Cliff Bridge, and through coastal cities and townships of Wollongong, Shellharbour, Kiama and Shoalhaven.
VIC (and beyond!)
As one of the world’s most scenic drives, the Great Ocean Road offers truly astonishing views. From the Twelve Apostles, Otway Ranges or small towns like Lorne – the opportunities are almost endless along this drive and you will not want to stop. And you don’t have to! Having recently driven from Melbourne to Perth, I cannot recommend it enough. Whether you prefer to drive or sit back in the passenger seat and enjoy the scenery, you are guaranteed to enjoy the experience.
So there you have it! If you’re looking to get away for the day, the weekend or the whole Christmas break – why not hit the road and escape civilisation for a little while. Australian roads provide the easiest way to enjoy the journey, but be safe this holiday season. Here are some top tips to stay safe when driving over Christmas.
Do you have a favourite, secret getaway spot?