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Aussie long weekend getaways off the beaten path

At 2 Aussie Travellers we take every opportunity to get away and enjoy the great outdoors.  With the Queen’s Birthday holiday coming up in early June (for most states in Australia), it’s the perfect time to escape the daily grind and explore the road less travelled.  Australia is chock full of incredible destinations just waiting to be discovered and we plan to see as many of them as possible.  Whether you’re looking to hit the road and have an adventure, kick back and relax or just try something new, there’s a destination for everyone.

We spoke to Gordon Bayne, Head of Travel at Scoopon, to reveal his top 5 Aussie spots for an unforgettable long weekend escape. And we would have to agree, these are some great destinations.

  1. Byron Bay, New South Wales

PERFECT FOR: A Little R&R

Sometimes the best part about a getaway is simply doing nothing at all.  Chill out and unwind in laidback Byron Bay for the quintessential beachside escape.  This picture-perfect coastal town boasts some of the whitest sandy beaches in Australia, including The Pass, Main Beach and Wategos Beach.  Spend your long weekend soaking in the sunshine, try out a class at the local surfing schools or venture out for whale watching.  Trek up to the famous Cape Byron Lighthouse and take in stunning coastal views – it’s bound to be a breathtaking experience, especially during sunrise.  For some extra pampering, indulge in spa treatments and massages to truly relax and celebrate your time away.  It’s the break you never knew you needed.

The lighthouse at the top of the cliff in Byron Bay - definitely a top pick for a long weekend getaway
The view from the lighthouse in Byron Bay - miles and miles of white sands and clear sparkling water
  1. Flinders Ranges, South Australia

 PERFECT FOR – Nature Lovers

Want to dial up the traditional camping experience?  Look no further than Flingers Ranges National Park in South Australia.  You can even choose a resort located in the park, that offers visitors a one-of-a-kind glamping experience not to be missed.  Think premium Safari tents with king size beds, en-suite bathrooms, luxury amenities, power and air-conditioning.  Surrounded by river red gums, native pines and abundant wildlife, this is the ultimate outback glamping experience and one that will have all nature lovers rejoicing.  Spend your day exploring Flinders Ranges National Park and return to base in time for a scenic sunset experience.

  1. Noosa, Queensland

PERFECT FOR – Action and Adventure

You don’t have to fly half way around the world to find a tropical paradise.  In fact, just a short drive from Brisbane sits Noosa, home to white sandy beaches, crystal blue waters, rich green hinterland and Queensland’s most visited National Park. Noosa is perfect for anyone looking to fill their long weekend with some fun and adventure.  Escape your comfort zone with adrenaline water sports or jet skiing, get the blood pumping on a hike or just indulge in the culinary delights of Noosa’s fresh, local produce.  Only minutes away from the beach and surrounded by a vibrant stretch of sidewalk restaurants and cafes, this is the perfect base for your Noosa escape.

Nooas would have to be a great pick for a long weekend getaway in Australia
Stand up paddle boarding in Noosa - another great spot for a long weekend escape in Australia
  1. Margaret River, Western Australia

PERFECT FOR: A Culinary Affair

With so many award-winning restaurants and wineries, Margaret River must be doing something right.  Let your taste buds lead the way as you tour local breweries, sample fresh seafood and explore the local Farmer’s Markets.  Climb historic lighthouses or walk along the longest jetty in the Southern Hemisphere.  You can even hire a bike and a surfboard to work off those extra truffles and local cheeses you simply won’t be able to resist.  No visit to Margaret River would be complete without a wine tour and with so many options to choose from you’ll find something to suit every palate.  Stay where the ocean meets the vineyards and make your getaway an unforgettable experience.

  1. Phillip Island, VICTORIA

PERFECT FOR – Animal Lovers

Phillip Island is a must-visit for all animal and wildlife lovers.  Become a spectator to the Penguin Parade and watch the world’s smallest penguins waddle across the beach to their sand dune homes – with a sunset backdrop no less.  Then make a trip to the Koala Conservation Centre to see your favourite furry creatures in their natural habitat – cue exceptional photo opportunities.  Take your experience to new heights and join a two-hour cruise to get up close and personal with Australia’s largest wild Fur Seal colonies at Seal Rocks.  Finish your stay with a stroll along the Nobbie boardwalk and take in magnificent views along Phillip Island’s rugged south coast.

Australia's adorable little penguins

So what about you?  Are you headed away anywhere for the next long weekend?  What are your top Australian long weekend getaways and what makes a relaxing short break for you?

19 Comments

  • Thanks for providing top 5 spots for long weekend escape. As I am an animal lover I am excited about Phillip Island the most. However, Bruny Island in Tasmania is also a great place for getting that unusual island experience.

  • Wow! I love the views of the coastline from Byron Bay–gorgeous! All of these trip sound wonderful. I would really like to check out Phillip Island and the Penguin Parade. Penguins are adorable, and these are no exception! Great round up of spots to visit!

  • Oh I’ve been to 2 of the 5 – not bad for a non-Aussie. I loved the lighthouse at Byron Bay and Philip Island is a great little place. Didn’t get to Margaret River when we were last in Perth unfortunately, but there is always next time!

  • All sound like great places to spend a weekend. I am sorry to say Phillip Island is the only place that we have visited. The penguin experience is amazing my kids loved it

  • omg! it is my dream to see penguins in nature, not in a zoo. Australia is rich in nature. Me and my husband are thinking to move there at least for a year. I am sure there we can find a lot of activities which we love.

  • I would love to go to each and every one of these! Great list. I’ve only been to Australia once ut have been dreaming of returning – now I have a few more reasons to go back.

  • what a great collection of destinations. Living in London, might be more than a long weekend for us! I have really wanted to check out the wine scene in Margaret River, so glad to see it made the list. Sounds amazing!

    • Well I’d recommend them all as part of a longer visit too but unless you were on an extended visit they are very spread out as we picked from each state. Margaret River is definitely a lovely spot to head to.

  • I’d love to see the penguin parade! Byron Bay has also been very appealing to me as well. Adding to my Australia travel planning!

  • Haven’t been to any of the five places above although I’ve heard of Byron Bay so many times before. From Sydney though, I’ve been to Katoomba for some trekking. Port Stephens is not a bad idea either. Tsk! You’re making me miss Sydney now, haha!

    • Thanks Lyn. Yes I did take it but I guess I cheated a little. While they are little penguins as you’ll see in the penguin parade on the Mornington Penninula those little guys are actually at home in Sydney’s Taronga Zoo taken in February when we were down there 🙂

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