Is there anything more energising than a weekend away? Being able to change your circumstances by sleeping in a different bed and breathing different air – if only for a night or two – does wonders for the soul. And with K. Rudd giving away free money to many Aussies, there’s never been a better time to do just that.
Here are my top five weekend destinations, all of them within a couple of hours of Sydney or Melbourne. So go forth and book a weekend away. In fact, it would be un-Australian not to.
1. Sojourn at Far Meadow, Berry (NSW)
This place is so stunning that when the birds wake you at dawn (and if it’s not the birds it’ll be the cows) you’ll thank them for giving you a few more conscious hours. Seriously. You’ll need to drag yourself into the car once only, to grab some local cheese and port from the nearby Coolangatta Estate. When you arrive back, just lie back on the danish couch and let the fire burn all day. Bliss.
2. Harts Lane, Daylesford (Vic)
The whole loft lifestyle thing has become as ubiquitous as the McMansion, with developers from Brooklyn to Brisbane cashing in on our peculiar desire to spend our lives pretending to live in a factory. But it seems to work here in picturesque Daylesford, where two very clever boys from St Kilda rent out their loft-style studio furnished with a masculine, industrial tone. There is also a renovated workers cottage offered separately if you’re travelling with friends. Daylesford is a foodie’s paradise with fine-diner Lake House and boho-chic Cliffy’s – which remains the best breakfast I’ve ever eaten.
3. Yorulla, Putty (NSW)
About as rough as it gets for yours truly. An hours off-road driving tested our little Citroen and our even littler dog’s stomach. Might borrow a 4WD next time. But we made it in one piece and had three blissful days without seeing a single soul. Extra points for the open-air shower, board games and well-stocked bookshelf.
4. Gidget Goes to Culburra, Culburra Beach (NSW)
Gidget is just metres from one of the country’s most spectacularly white beaches, and shamelessly embraces its retro heritage. Just like your slightly-mad grandmother who still wears hot pink lipstick and pearls, even though she hasn’t left the house in years.
5. The Odd Frog, Bright (Vic)
I actually built this place. Well, I helped build one of the rammed-earth walls in first-year architecture class. Gorgeous setting high above this alpine town, with plenty of creature comforts. Though don’t blame me if you get the one with the wonky wall.