Long Weekend Guide: Country Escapes
Celebrate with the Queen for the June long weekend with a country escape.
Get out of the city, take a drive through our picturesque countryside and take time to relax in destinations so close but yet so far…
Sydney | Bowral
Only an hour and a half from Sydney, this sophisticated town in the state’s Southern Highlands is perfect for a weekend getaway. Home to award winning restaurants, wineries and antique shops, Bowral mixes up the term ‘old country town’.
Eat and Drink | Biota Dining and Rooms
If there’s one reason to visit Bowral this long weekend, it’s for a meal at Biota Dining and Rooms. Chef, James Viles takes inspiration from his environment in the creation of his dishes and in doing so, ensures produce is freshly sourced from local farms. Menus change regularly, sometimes daily depending on what has been provided by the farmers and growers. Diners can either choose a five or seven course meal or select the causal share lunch menu. Biota Dining and Rooms celebrates smaller unique wines showcasing the diversity of Australian wine produce. Vile’s natural philosophy carries on throughout the cocktail menu with signature drinks based on handcrafted botanicals. The restaurant also offers stay options with 12 room accommodation available.
Relax and Recovery | The Hidden Door Bowral
The Hidden Door Bowral is located in the heart of the town. Choose either The Villa or The Cottage for your stay, with both cosy homes nestled in the leafy streets of Bowral. Both options exude country chic with warm furnishings and rustic textures. The Villa’s outdoor patio and BBQ is perfect for entertaining during the warmer months and curling up in front of The Cottage’s gas log fireplace is the place to be in winter. Being so close to Bowral’s hub, guests can stroll over to a trendy cafe to enjoy breakfast or visit a local pub for a hearty dinner.
See and Do | Dirty Janes Bowral
Bowral may be home to fantastic wineries and food produce; however the antique shopping holds their own. Dirty Janes Bowral is an antique and vintage emporium and retro lover’s dream. Travel back in time with a range of vintage furniture, clothing and even jewellery on offer. Explore the Antique Market with a range of Art Deco to Industrial pieces filing every corner of the warehouse. The discoveries are endless and the task can take its toll. Luckily enough, Dirty Jane’s Vintage Tea Salon, is the perfect stop for a light refreshment before heading back and stumbling across a priceless treasure.
Melbourne | Mornington Peninsula
Coined as one of the most influential wine and food producers of Victoria, Mornington Peninsula is home to over 100 wineries and award winning restaurants. Only a little over an hour drive from Melbourne, this region is renowned for its picturesque views and outstanding accommodation.
Eat and Drink | Point Leo Estate
With outstanding vineyards and a unique sculpture park, your visit to Point Leo Estate is about more than just the dining. Point Leo Estate is situated between the seaside villages of Merricks Beach and Shoreham with its restaurants and cellars located on the highest peak of the property. The Point Leo Restaurant showcases the culinary expertise of Chef Phil Wood, influential dining figure whom has executive chef of Sydney’s Rockpool eat 1898 and Eleven Bridge on his long list of experience. The Estate’s cellars feature premium Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, Pinot Gris and Shiraz which are all tempered by the cool breezes of the Western Port Bay. After lunch, take a stroll through the Estate’s Sculpture Park which features Australian and international art pieces which stand against the background the property’s open landscape and view of the ocean.
Rest and Recovery | Jackalope Hotel
Jackalope, the multi-award winning hotel, including Gourmet Traveller Hotel Awards 2017’s Hotel of the Year, is the ultimate luxury stay when visiting the Mornington Peninsula. A collaboration of art, design and luxury, Jackalope’s 45 rooms feature unique interiors and contemporary designs. The hotel’s state-of-the-art facilities include an infinity pool and spa centre. The luxury suites have floor-to-ceiling windows which make the most of the sunsets over the vineyards and deep-soak Japanese baths for the ultimate relaxation experience. The hotel’s restaurant Doot Doot Doot sources ingredients from the hotel’s kitsch garden and local producers to create a dynamic five course tasting menu. Why not treat yourself at Flaggerdoot, the hotel’s cocktail lounge after dinner? It is a little getaway after all.
See and Do | Horseback Riding Winery Tour
It’s pretty clear that Victoria’s Mornington Peninsula prides itself for it vineyards and wineries. So what better way to explore what this town has to offer than on a horseback? Horseback is located at Main Ridge which is Mornington Peninsula’s food and wine hub. Whether you’re an experienced rider or it’s your first time this is an exciting way to visit the wineries. Enjoy a three hour horseback winery tour through farmland and wineries and stop at two wineries for tasting along your journey.
Adelaide | Barossa
It may be predictable but when you’re lucky enough to live in the state that hosts one of the world’s most influential wine regions, why not take advantage of any opportunity to visit? Try something new, whether it be a new dining experience or explore a new cellar. With the wide variety of wineries and food options, visiting the Barossa feels like a new adventure each time.
Eat and Drink | Fleur Social, Flowers and Coffee
Husband and wife, Ryan and Sara, are the team behind the florist come cafe located in the heart of the Barossa Valley. Drawing inspiration from their years abroad in Vancouver, the couple’s passion for flowers, coffee and a social space lead to the creation of their bar, Fleur Social. Have an upcoming event or wedding? These guys have it sorted with flowers available from the florist for your next event.
Rest and Recovery | Kingsford Homestead
Kingsford Homestead is located on the western edge of the Barossa. Catering to 14 guests, this luxury accommodation is perfect for an intimate getaway. Choose from one of seven suites, each with luxurious amenities. During your stay it is essential to experience the signature Kingsford Homestead Outdoor Bush Bath. Soak in the country air with a bottle of bubbly and beautiful view of South Australia’s Barossa. Dining is sorted at Homestead restaurant with hearty meals on offer on the veranda. For something a little more intimate, book a dinner in the cellar which caters up to 14 guests.
In summer, the hotel’s pool is a perfect place to cool off. P.S – McLeods Daughter tours can also be booked here!
See and Do | Penfolds Barossa Valley Cellar Door
We tried to suggest an alternative activity that didn’t involve drinking wine but with some of the world’s most influential wineries located in the Barossa, it seemed a sin to do so. Penfolds Barossa Valley Cellar Door is one of the many wineries located in the Barossa and worth visiting while away. The Cellar door offers wine tasting from their renowned wine collections including a taste of Grange. Indulge in the full connoisseur experience and become your own wine maker. Blend your own wine from Grenache, Shiraz and Mataro and take it home to enjoy over your long weekend!
Hobart | Coles Bay
With its natural beauty, premium produce and rich history, Tasmania is the quickly becoming a popular holiday destination. Coles Bay, only 3 hours from the state’s capital city of Hobart, is the seaside village attracting visitors from all over Australia. Freycinet National Park is home to the crystal clear waters and stunning surrounding mountains of Wineglass Bay.
Eat and Drink | The Edge
Edge of the Bay’s restaurant, The Edge, is a perfect place for dinner with a view! Open every night to the public, diners can enjoy a meal prepared with Tasmania’s fresh produce sourced from the highly regarded local producer, Freycinet Marine Farm. We recommend booking an earlier dinner to appreciate the sunset over Great Oyster Bay and Hazards mountains.
Rest and Recovery | Saffire Freycinet
“It felt like the moments of surprise and discovery would never end.”
Panoramic views of the Great Oyster Bay is this hotel’s wallpaper. Luxury and signature suites feature Australian designers, and spacious living spaces. Indulge in a private pavilion with separate bedroom and dining area. The hotel’s Palate restaurant is making its mark in the restaurant world. Multi-course degustation menus paired with Tasmanian local wines, dining at Palate the perfect accompaniment to your stay at Saffire. It is a weekend getaway after all so be sure to treat yourself at the Saffire Spa during your stay. The spa caters for all kinds of wellbeing from spa treatments and therapies to yoga classes. Take part in complimentary experiences including local walks with guides or signature half day or full day experiences including Wineglass Bay by Water.
See and Do | Wineglass Bay Cruise
Wineglass Bay is known for its stunning natural beauty and what better what to appreciate it than be completely immersed in all its magic. Jump on board a cruise and enjoy a day sailing around the waters. Cruises are lad by local skippers and guides who work daily with fisherman to ensure all guests experience the wildlife out at sea. During September to December migrating humpback whales are amongst the large number of animals that can be seen swimming beneath the crystal clear waters. Be sure to pack warm and waterproof clothing as the weather changes quickly in Tasmania.