Five Close Getaways For The Long Weekend

Angharad Rees
6th Jun 2016

We all love a long weekend - lazy mornings, late nights and no work to get in the way of having a good time. But what about having a great time? We’ve picked out five long weekend escapes close to Sydney to escape the city and enjoy some winter warmth.

Port Stephens: Port Stephens is approximately 2 hours and 20 min drive north from Sydney, and with so much adventure available, you won’t have time to stand still and get cold! For adventure seekers, this is a great trip away.

What to Do – Adventure: Stockton Bright Sand Dunes are the largest sand mass in the Southern Hemisphere. It’s a sight to behold! Try sand boarding down 40m high sand dunes, or perhaps horse riding through the desert is more your thing? If you’d rather, you can explore in a 4x4 adventure tour or brave the elements and surf one of the many surf spots, including the famous shore break, Box Beach. But if you rather not get in the water, the winter is the perfect time to get onboard a dolphin cruise.

For more things to do – Visit Port Stephens

Blue Mountains: Only an hour away from Sydney, the Blue Mountains is perfect to visit in winter. Embrace the season and find one of the many home stays and cabins with open fires - snuggle up with a mulled wine in hand for extra winter warmth points!

What to Do – Yulefest: Besides the aforementioned fireside loveliness, there’s plenty to do in the Blue Mountains. Of course, we all know you can go hiking through the many stunning walking tracks, but what about Yulefest? Check out the many venues celebrating the magic of a winter Christmas. It may be cold outside, there may even be some snow outside, but with log fires, sing-a-longs and mulled wine ahoy, you’ll find plenty of warmth to banish the winter blues!

For more info – Blue Mountains Yule Fest

Hunter Valley: The Hunter Valley is beautiful whatever the season, but there’s something quite special about sipping and swirling a rich bodied red in the winter months. And the best part – you can enjoy it next to the fireside.

What to do – Fireside Grazing: The long weekend is smack bang in the middle of the Hunter Valley Wine and Food festival. There are many events on, but the one that catches my eye is Brokenwood Wine’s Bonfire Supper. Sit around the fire while Chef Andy Wright uses burning canes and charry smoke to create a grazing style fare with plenty of wine tasting to match each dish. With live music and the bonfire to accompany the sunset event, it’s a warm yes from us!

Get your fireside seat – Brokenwood Wine Bonfire Supper

Kiama South Coast: Kiama Region is simply stunning and less than a 2 hour drive south of Sydney. Gorgeous countryside coastlines will have you picking your jaw up from the floor. We think one of the best things about winter is the lazy sunrise – no need to get up at stupid o’clock to see it, and in Kiama region, they have a unique vantage point…

What to Do – Sunrise Treetop Walk & Breakfast: You can start the day the right way at Illawarra Tree Top Sunrise Tour. You’ll be welcomed with a coffee before taking the treetop walk, 45m above the forest floor, to get the most out of the spectacular surroundings. Followed with a hearty breakfast, you’ll be ready to take on the day, whether that’s checking out Kiama’s famous blowhole or, as luck would have it, the Shoalhaven Winter Food and Wine festival is on during the long weekend for art, wine, food, live music and more. Now that’ll warm the cockles of your heart!

Sunrise Walk Info and Shoalhaven Winter Wine Info

Jenolan Caves: At the foothills of the Blue Mountains, you’ll come across Jenolan Caves - a stunning escape from the real world. Disappear from life as you know it, don your thick winter jacket and explore the magic!

What to Do – Cave Tours and Fireside Eco Cabin: Make the most of your trip to Jenolan caves by making a long weekend of it. If the main cave tour isn’t enough, dare yourself to take the adventure tour with abseiling, climbing and crawling in the heart of the mountain. Or get your heart racing and your blood pumping around your body with a ghostly night tour! Either way, a stay at Jenolan Cabins just minutes away from the caves, you’ll enjoy epic views and more importantly – that much needed log fire to retell your adventures stories of the day… Best enjoyed with a warm spiced cider!

Jenolan Cave Info and Jenolan Cabins