Our Easter long weekend (or any weekend) getaway picks
The Easter long weekend is fast approaching, and that means it’s time to load up on the chocolate and think about where you’ll stay and what you’ll do with those extra days up your sleeve. We’ve pulled together a few ideas below to get the ball rolling — a touch of nature, a generous serving of tasty food and wine and some pretty unique accommodations if we do say so ourselves. If you can’t get to these places over the long weekend, earmark them for another weekend in the year because they’re not to be missed. Road trip, anyone?
If your idea of getting away over the long weekend is to escape to what fees like the end of earth and basically go off grid then Sky Pods is for you. Located in Gadubanud Country, at the southern tip of Victoria’s rugged Cape Otway, Sky Pods teeter on the edge of adulanting paddocks that dip into Shipwreck Coast. That coastline is just about all you’ll see: the crashing waves of the Southern Ocean, maybe a storm rolling through – oh, and plenty of koalas and wallabies. Each pod is well appointed to make a tasty meal while you curl up by the fire or watch film on the projector. When we say ‘off grid’ we mean it – all pods are powered by a solar battery and use pure filtered Cape Otway rain water. That’s fresh! Make sure you go for a walk to Station Beach (which has limited access to anyone else so you’ll feel like the last person on earth as you stand on the shore), check out the Redwood Forest and stop by the Cape Otway Lighthouse during your stay.
86 Manna Gum Dr
Cape Otway VIC 3233
Sticking with the nature theme, this next Easter weekend recommendation is for the adventurers who are happiest when they’re in the great outdoors. From water skiing and sailing, to fishing, canoeing and bushwalking – you’ve pretty much got it all at your fingertips when you pitch a tent, pull up a camper van or jump on a house boat at Lake Eildon National Park. There are plenty of campsites to choose from – remembering that Easter is probably the busiest time for the park, so don’t snooze on booking a spot. If you want to get out on the lake it’s easy enough to hire gear locally or bring your own. If you’re more of a land dweller, take a walk and stop at Merlo Lookout or trek up to Blowhard Summit for unrivalled views over Lake Eildon and out towards Mount Buller. There’ll be no shortage of wildlife while you’re there, so pack your binoculars!
Devils River VIC 3714
Once an old local golf club Bonfire Station has been thoughtfully restored into a rustic country bar set on an idyllic family farm. Order a woodfired pizza, gather round a fire pit or simply swing in a hammock while you’re here – you’re on holidays, anything goes! Not only do Bonfire Station offer a great location to get away from the world and escape to the countryside, they also produce some pretty tasty beer and cider – with seasonal releases also on the cards. Over Easter they’re planning on putting on some live music, extra hot pizzas and more cold drinks than you can poke a chocolate bunny at. Grab your mates and get along to this unique location just 90 minutes outside of Melbourne.
1 Yellow Creek Rd, Taggerty VIC 3714
There’s a bit going on at Mona Farm, in the best way possible. This luxury estate located in Braidwood (halfway between Canberra and Bateman’s Bay) is home to breathtaking English-inspired gardens, grand buildings and a diverse collection of modern Australian and international art. During your visit you could be in awe of a beautiful sculpture or three, indulge in a private chef’s dining experience or maybe even partake in a fly fishing class… maybe all of the above? As the name suggests, Mona Farm is in fact a working farm which employs sustainable farming techniques; keep an eye out for the Highland cattle, saddleback pigs, clydesdale horses, chooks and honey bees too – it doesn’t get more wholesome than that. When you’re not immersing yourself in everything this unique property has to offer, you could check out the heritage listed town of Braidwood with its cute cafes and antique hubs.
140 Little River Road
Braidwood, NSW 2622
Let’s be honest, Easter isn’t only about spending time with the ones you love, it’s also about feasting on delicious food (chocolate, anyone?). If you’re more into saganaki than sweets then make a reservation at The Apollo over the long weekend. This restaurant is all about offering Greek food with heart, soul and really great ingredients. The menu is designed to be shared, so make sure you gather as many hungry friends as you can for this one. From moussaka pork with eggplant and rabbit salad with ancient grains to taramasalata and pickled purslane, the menu is impressive and mouthwatering. The interiors are also something to behold: the space has a minimalistic feel which incorporates exposed concrete, granite and brass touches, designed to hint at the rocky beauty of Greece.
44 Macleay St, Potts Point
Sydney, NSW, 2011
Nashdale Lane Glamping
The brief: you so badly want to be a camper, but you love your creature comforts too much. We get it, and we’ve got you. Introducing Nashdale Lane Glamping – a private escape among the vines of Nashdale Lane Vineyard in Orange. You’ve got nature, you’ve got understated indulgence, you’ve got cosy vibes, you’ve got creature comforts and you’ve got a carbon-neutral footprint. During your stay nestled amongst an established vineyard approximately 900 metres above sea level you’ll enjoy views of neighbouring vineyards and Mount Canobolas. Unlike traditional glamping, Nashdale Lane offers ‘glamping cabins’ – each with hardwood flooring throughout, private luxurious bathrooms, a cosy kitchen and an alfresco deck to enjoy a BBQ or two. There’s plenty to do in the area too, like mountain bike riding or a hike up the summit of Mount Canobolas after you’ve admired it from your cute little glamping cabin. And of course, wine. Plenty of cool climate wine to enjoy.
125 Nashdale Lane
Nashdale NSW 2800
And the award for the cosiest Italian restaurant goes to… you guessed it, a small 25 seat venue tucked in Hobart’s back streets. Templo is homecooked Italian-esque food done right, they celebrate seasonal produce that’s locally sourced paired with minimal intervention wines from small producers. Run by owners Chris Chapple (front of house) and Matt Breen (chef), Templo exudes charm thanks to its tiny space with only a few small tables in front of a light-flooded window, three seats at a petite bar and a round table that can seat a group of eight – the kitchen is visible from just about every spot which means you’re never far away from the action, or the hot bread they serve fresh out of the oven. The menu is seasonal and always delicious so make sure you jump on a reservation next time you’re in Hobart – Easter or otherwise.
There’s views, and then there’s Tassie’s views. Case in point: Three Capes. Located on the Tasman Peninsula this stretch of rugged coastline has to be seen to be believed. During a walk along Three Capes you can expect to experience the highest vertical sea cliffs in Australia, 190 million-year-old dolerite columns as the track winds in and out of temperate rainforest, dry woodland and over striking sections of coastline. You might even spot dolphins and seals playing in the turquoise watters of Fortescue Bay and Waterfall Bay! There’s self-guided or organised tours available for this walk, too. Don’t want to traverse all Three Capes? No worries! You can adjust your walk accordingly and just do one – we recommend Cape Hauy: roughly a four hour round trip that’ll get the heart racing and your eyes watering at the sheer beauty of what Tassie has on offer.
6955 Arthur Hwy
Port Arthur TAS 7182
Back in Hobart, this time right in the thick of things at Moss Hotel. Located in two buildings, this slick, ultramodern hotel is botanically inspired with chic fittings, fabrics and rough-hewn timber at every turn. At the first location, in Salamance Place, you’ll find a restored warehouse built by an ex-convict in 1841 for grain storage before it wast turned into a print shop and book store. It’s hidden and located at the quieter end of Salamance Place – perfect if you want a bit of peace, quiet and privacy. The second location is closer to the action and was developed way back in 1832 as a pub – it’s been one every since. Do we think either of these locations could be haunted? Probably not. But they’re very old buildings, so who knows! Our pick for a room to stay in would have to be the Pods; each one is tucked away and looks out onto a wall of heritage sandstone and hanging gardens – solitude is bliss.
39 Salamanca Pl
Hobart TAS 7000
Sanctuary By Sirromet
If you’re ready for a tree change this long weekend (or any weekend, really) then take a look at this unique accommodation at Sirromet Winery. Only a 30 minute drive from Brisbane airport and set amongst tranquil bushland, the winery offers a number of different accommodation options – all with a side of fresh local produce and fantastic wine which you can enjoy during your stay. You could opt for the Winemaker’s Cottage – perched atop the peak of Sirromet’s grounds with rolling hills right at your fingertips and a sizeable deck for long weekend entertaining. Or give the tented pavilions a go; each one includes a private ensuite and balcony which appears to “float” above the landscape, giving you the feeling like you’re in a tress house as you gaze across the tree canopy and over the lake on the property.
850-938 Mount Cotton Rd
Mount Cotton QLD 4165
An all day eatery and “micro–pub”, Isles Lane is a regular haunt for office workers, city dwellers and you, the tourist who’s come to spend some time in Brisbane’s CBD over the Easter weekend. Step inside and admire its light-filled space with plenty of greenery, black-and-white-tiled floors and Parisian-style chairs before you spot a menu on which you might spot roasted bone marrow, halloumi chippies (yum!) and house-made jerky. Larger dishes include slow-roasted lemon and oregano lamb shoulder, spicy beer-can chicken with BBQ sauce and lobster rolls with tangy mayo and iceberg lettuce. There’s plenty of beer on tap and they even do some pretty speccy breakfast meals like a sticky pork belly, rainbow slaw quesadilla with chair siu sauce. Don’t worry, there’s plenty of vegetarian options too!
Eden Health Retreat
The catchcry for this next accommodation pick is “it’s time for you” and we are here for it. Sure, it’s a bit bougie, but sometimes you’ve gotta live, ya know? You might want to reconnect with nature, explore invigorating fitness classes or simply work with the team at Eden to relax and unwind like you never have before. It’s all available to you – and you’d be forgiven for feeling like you’re in an episode of Nine Perfect Strangers (sans Nicole Kidman). There’s a day spa, a seasonally set menu formulated by both chefs and nutritionist to ensure you eat nutritionally balanced food (and feel virtuous while you do it) and plenty more. So if you really want to treat yourself this Easter and swap the chocolates for aligning your chakras instead, this is the place for you.
1815 Currumbin Creek Rd
Currumbin Valley QLD 4223