Backyard Travel In 2020/21 - Five Escapes To Enjoy Now

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With international travel off the agenda for everyone right now, if you’re in the need of a post-lockdown escape, a well-earned break from the kids, or you’re a child-free couple looking for a kid-free romantic getaway, our own backyard has plenty of destinations for adults to enjoy some alone time. And early spring around Australia can be the perfect time to head off, so why not treat yourself and your partner to a romantic holiday experience to remember?

The City Break

Even big cities, where you can take a holiday surrounded by thousands of other people, have surprisingly romantic retreats. Take Sydney’s QT Hotel, for example, which is ideally located in the city CBD, and convenient for public transport, sightseeing, top notch restaurants and more. As hotels go it is somewhat unconventional and great fun with a dash of burlesque thrown in to warm things up, with rooms enjoying features such as fur throws, large baths and DIY martini sets. Melbourne is currently still in lockdown at the time of writing, and most hotels are closed, but as soon as the restrictions are lifted, a room at South Yarra’s Lyall Hotel is akin to a luxury home away from home. Besides spacious rooms and suites complete with mini-bars stocked with gourmet treats, other romantic features include outdoor terraces and fire places. Meanwhile in Brisbane, the uber cool FV By Peppers offers modern apartment-style accommodation coupled with opulent facilities including a rooftop pool and expansive views. 

The Country Escape 

Fresh air, long walks, starry skies and log fires; the countryside has it all for a romantic break, and it's a popular choice for many during the pandemic in search of quiet places to escape the crowds. As locations go it’s hard to beat Freycinet Lodge in Tasmania’s stunning Freycinet National Park when it comes to the ultimate in dazzling scenery and seclusion. Overlooking Great Oyster Bay with the rugged Hazards mountain range as a backdrop, everything is on offer here from bushwalking to sea kayaking. And if you splash out on a premium spa cabin, and you can also wallow in your own private spa tub. Meanwhile, the Gold Coast Hinterland is another place to live like royalty thanks to the The Castle on Tamborine. Choose between two one-bedroom, two level wings, complete with an indoor plunge pool, gourmet kitchen, private cinema and more. And across the country, deep in the Western Australian wilderness, El Questro is an indulgent, all-inclusive lodge perched atop the Chamberlain Gorge, catering to a maximum of half a dozen couples. At the time of writing it’s currently closed but set to reopen in April 2021 - so start planning!

The Food & Wine Experience  

It’s hard not to feel starry-eyed among the rolling hills and fragrant vines of the wine country, a place where you can combine quality accommodation with wine tasting and fine foods. Set in the heart of the Margaret River region, Empire Retreat is a luxe resort with a winery on site and 10 luxurious suites individually designed and styled to offer an opulent experience. In the NSW Hunter Valley, Tonic Hotel is an adults-only boutique hotel nestled in the appropriately named Lovedale, just a short driving distance to Allandale Winery and Moorebank Vineyard. The hotel comes with an outdoor swimming pool, free self parking, and rooms with balconies and soaking tubs. Another iconic wine region is South Australia’s Barossa Valley, and it’s also the home of Villa Maria. Located in the heart of historic Tanunda this luxury guest house was originally built in 1910 and has been lovingly refurbished, providing a comfort and warmth akin to a home away from home, and a convenient base to explore the gems of the Barossa.

The Spa Retreat

Taking a break from the kids can also give you an opportunity to enjoy a little pampering with your significant other; think indulgent hot stone massages, youth-giving facials, and essential grooming such as a mani-pedi. Overlooking the breathtaking Piccadilly Valley in the Adelaide Hills wine region, yet only 15 minutes from the central business district of Adelaide, Mount Lofty House is a boutique hotel which ticks all the boxes; historic, luxury historic accommodations, a 3 Chef Hat restaurant, and a luxury spa as well as a lineup of leisure facilities. Adelaide was named one of the ten Great Wine Capitals of the World in 2019, and for wine lovers Mount Lofty House is located right in the middle of Australia’s most famous wine regions. Tucked away in the heart of Hepburn Mineral Springs, Peppers Mineral Springs Hotel is a gorgeous Art Deco property with full-service spa and restaurant, and is within a five-minute stroll of Portal 108 and Hepburn Mineral Springs Reserve. And just a few hours west of Sydney, and reopening on July 1 2020, Emirates One&Only Wolgan Valley is ideal if peace and tranquility is what you're after. Set on a 7,000-acre conservation reserve, and surrounded by cliffs and canyons, the spa offers a range of holistic and organic treatments to suit all.  

The Beach Getaway

Everyone agrees that there’s a certain romance to being near the ocean, and in Australia we are blessed with plenty of luxury beach destinations to make those magical sunset beach strolls happen. Australia’s northernmost resort is Lizard Island Resort on the Great Barrier Reef. Just an hour from Cairns, it’s the perfect place for couples, and renowned for scuba diving and snorkelling, and it is set to reopen in December 2020 once the Queensland border restrictions are lifted. Meanwhile in far north Western Australia, you can truly get away from it all at Broome’s Cable Beach, and the luxury Kimberley Sands Resort & Spa. Besides an enviable location on one of WA’s iconic beaches, the resort has five outdoor swimming pools and a full-service spa, and you’re close to Broome Crocodile Park and the Buddha Sanctuary. Back in NSW, couples can head south from Sydney to Mollymook, and to Bannisters by the Sea or Bannisters Pavilion. Along with  luxury accommodations which tick all the boxes, there’s also romantic fine dining at Rick Stein at Bannisters.   

Ben Hall


  • 4
    Be Reasonable

    Posted by Ryan The Lion on 30th Sep 2020

    I know everyone feels a bit land locked and is desperate to travel but we should be boosting the local economy and spending our money at home!

  • 5
    Love It

    Posted by Therese on 30th Sep 2020

    Overseas travel is overrated anyway!

  • 4
    Food For Thought

    Posted by Dean99 on 30th Sep 2020

    Some great ideas here. Glad to see you're encouraging local travel even though we have an international travel ban on...well done!