Best weekend backyard breaks
Don’t have the time, funds or energy to take a big holiday? Why not shake up the old routine, hop on a plane and take a break in your own backyard! Australia is one of the world’s top tourist destinations and with so many amazing places to see and experience you’d be mad to miss out. We’ve put together our top weekend backyard breaks to help you pick your next getaway.
Destination Gold Coast
Whatever you’re in to, the Gold Coast has something for everyone. Party the night away and sun yourself on the golden sand beaches by day, or get your thrills at one of the Gold Coast’s epic theme parks. If you’re up for seeing another side of the Gold Coast, jump in the car and take a short half an hour drive inland. The Gold Coast Hinterland may be just down the road, but it’s a whole world away from the glitzy glamour and high rises of the Gold Coast. Here you’ll find beautiful Springbrook National Park, a natural wonderland of waterfalls, trees, plants and wildlife as well as the incredible geological feature of the Natural Bridge and its glow-worm filled caves.
Destination Melbourne and beyond
Melbourne is a wonderful and accessible place to visit, with so many cheap flights running all day every day from most destinations in Australia. If you’re up for a city break, book yourself into a stylish hotel, ride the tram, sip lattes in the laneways and shop ‘til you drop. If you want to discover a little more of what Victoria has to offer, hire a car and head down the Great Ocean Road to see why it’s one of the world’s top coastal drives. From the surf scene at Bells Beach, to the holiday scene at Lorne, and all the abundant nature and mind-blowing scenery along the way, the Great Ocean Road won’t disappoint.
While ‘Radelaide’ might not seem like an immediate choice for an exciting weekend break, there are lots of cool places to see in and around the city. All major cities have affordable flights to Adelaide, and from there it’s a hop, skip and a jump to some of South Australia’s top spots. Make a beeline for Barossa Valley, just an hour drive north of the city. If you’re into food and wine you’ll love this region, which is world-famous for its bold red wines. Let your taste buds run wild as you sample new delights, and discover the excitement of Cellar Door tastings. If a wilderness and adventure break is more your cup of tea, Kangaroo Island is the place to head. It’s an easy drive from Adelaide and a short ferry ride to Australia’s third largest island, where you’ll discover abundant nature, including (you guessed it) kangaroos, penguins, sea lions and koalas. You’ll also discover amazing hiking trails, giant sand dunes, and natural phenomenon such as Admirals Arch and Remarkable Rocks.
Australia’s most famous city is as visually spectacular as it is entertaining. If you’re not from Sydney you’ll get a real kick out of laying your eyes on the world famous Opera House and Harbour Bridge. Take a ferry over to Manly to enjoy more of the harbour, or head to Taronga Zoo and see all the animals with the backdrop of the harbour and the city. Head to Bondi Beach and walk the cliff top trail to Coogee for a true Sydney weekend experience. If you’re up for some shopping, Paddington markets have great up and coming designers, as well as lots of gifts, homewares and food. Snap up a cheap fight to Sydney, with a choice of carriers and lots of flights all day every day from locations all over Australia.
See another side of Australia and head to the tropics via sunny Cairns. Tropical North Queensland has so much to offer and getting there is easier than you’d think. Hop on a flight to Cairns from Sydney and you’ll be there in less than 3 hours, totally doable in a weekend. Once you’re in Cairns the choice is yours... head further north to the swanky holiday town of Port Douglas, or go on a crocodile watching cruise and admire the spectacular ancient wilderness of the Daintree Rainforest. If you’re up for an underwater adventure, head out on a Great Barrier Reef cruise and get acquainted with one of the natural wonders of the world. Not a bad adventure for a weekend break.
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