26 September 2016: It’s not too late to avoid long weekend holiday FOMO with online travel site lastminute.com.au rounding up the best coastal, wine, country and city escapes where travellers can still check in for a mini-break.
From a spontaneous weekend with the bestie or a sneaky romantic getaway, here’s lastminute.com.au’s guide on where to score a last minute deal*:
1. Melbourne, VIC
For a weekend of long lunching at hip cafes, boutique shopping, wandering through art galleries and cocktails at sundown, Melbourne’s where it’s at! From hotels to trendy boutique accommodation, there’s still time to plan a spontaneous long weekend in the fashion capital. When you’re all shopped out, head to St Kilda beach, a 20 minute tram ride from the city. Get your sweet fix at one of the many cake shops and patisseries lining Acland Street. The iconic colourful beach huts and golden beach at Brighton also makes for a great day trip, only a half hour drive or bus ride from the city.
Sleep: Whether you’re a Melbournite looking for a staycation or you’re travelling to the city for a getaway, the luxurious Sofitel Melbourne on Collins or Oaks on Market will make you feel like you’re on holiday. If you’re wanting to be closer to the beach, the art deco Tolarno Hotel is only minutes’ walk from St Kilda beach.
Set off for a weekend in the heart of Victoria’s spa country, to the quaint town of Daylesford. Only one and half hour’s drive from Melbourne, Daylesford is at the foot of the Great Dividing Range and home to more than 60 mineral springs, day spas and streets filled with boutique shops. You don’t need to go to Europe to enjoy Swiss charm and Italian food, a 10 minutes’ drive north of Daylesford you’ll find the lavender farm, Lavandula Swiss Italian Farm. The farm’s cafe serves up Italian food and local wine or you can indulge in afternoon tea. It’s the ultimate romantic escape or girl’s weekend away.
Sleep: lastminute.com.au suggests checking in to the Bellinzona Grange Country Retreat, in the historic village of Grange and a 10 minute drive from Lavandula Swiss Italian Farm.
3. Port Douglas, QLD
For an escape where the sun shines nearly all year round, head to Port Douglas, the gateway to the Great Barrier Reef and the Daintree Rainforest. Holidaymakers can relax at Four Mile Beach or stop for a bite to eat at the fine dining restaurants at Sugar Wharf. The Daintree National Park is a must visit. Only a 20 minute drive north from Port Douglas you’ll find rainforest walks and waterfalls at Mossman Gorge.
Sleep: Make yourself at home for the weekend in a villa at Bay Villas Resort, within walking distance to restaurants at Sugar Wharf.
4. Cable Beach, WA
Start summer early and spread your towel out on the white sandy shores of Cable Beach, stretching across 22km. It’s the place to unwind, top up your dose of Vitamin D and cool off in the turquoise waters or go paddle boarding. Finish the day taking in the stunning sunset, with cocktails at the bar at Cable Beach Club Resort & Spa, only steps away from the beach.
Sleep: Be within walking distance to the beach, at Cable Beach Club Resort & Spa, surrounded by gardens and two pools. You could also stay close by in Broome, a 15 minute drive to Cable Beach and check in at the Mercure Broome, within walking distance of Town Beach.
5. Lorne, VIC
One of the seaside towns on the Great Ocean Road, Lorne is a relaxed spot with hidden waterfall walks and lookouts. Take in the coastal view by hiring a bike and riding from Erskine River to Lorne Pier along the beach. One of the best views of the coast is at Teddy’s Lookout, it can be found at the town’s southern outskirts. For rainforest walks with superb waterfalls, add Erskine Falls to the weekend list. Lorne is also a great base to explore the rest of the Great Ocean road, with the Twelve Apostles an hour and 45 minutes’ drive away.
Sleep: Be in the heart of Lorne at the luxe Mantra Lorne, where you’ll have a tennis court, restaurant and indoor pool all at your doorstep.
6. Yamba, NSW
An hour and a half south of popular Byron Bay, you’ll find the laid back coastal town of Yamba, with great beaches but without the crowds. From surf spots at Angourie Point to swimming in calm waters at Pippi Beach and nine other beaches to enjoy, it’s the ideal place for beach lovers looking for a quiet break.
Sleep: Stay at the Angourie Rainforest Retreat, in the middle of the rainforest and only a few minutes’ drive to the beach.
7. Margaret River
If wine and cheese tasting sounds like a winner long weekend to you, make room in your bag for Margaret River and all of its gourmet goodies. Known for some of Australia’s best Cabernet Sauvignon, Sauvignon Blanc, Merlot and Shiraz wines, you’ll be spoilt for choice with more than 90 cellar doors.
Sleep: After a day of indulging in food and wine, kick back and relax at Quality Inn Margaret River, close to Xanadu Winery.
For more last minute October long weekend deals head to www.lastminute.com.au/g/lc/long-weekend-deals
*lastminute.com.au deals may be subject to availability and change. Conditions apply.
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