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8 wonderful out-of-the-city weekend trips

Rejoice! After a tough couple of months of isolation, economic concern and toilet paper scarcity, Australia finds itself in the lucky position of having the coronavirus largely under control, at least compared to much of the globe.

As a result, many businesses are reopening around the country, including gyms, cinemas, bars and restaurants, and even sporting stadiums.

But what about the travel industry, which has been decimated by the virus? Well, international borders remain closed, and the rules on state borders vary, but there’s nothing to stop you from taking a nice day trip outside of your city – in fact, it’s a better time than ever to support regional towns.

If you’re short on inspiration – all this iso can do that to you, after all – then here are eight suggestions for weekend trips from each state or territory capital.


A Noosa weekend away

Azure blue coastlines, pristine national parks, and a town centre known for its wonderful mix of beachside luxury and laidback holiday vibes. Book a room at Netanya Noosa with its sculpted grounds, generous pool area and beautiful views from the balconies and terraces to maximise the relaxation. 


A Central Coast weekend away

Sydneysiders looking to escape the city have so many options – west to the Blue Mountains, south to the South Coast, north to Port Stephens and beyond. But so many forget that the Central Coast – just an hour’s drive from the city centre, and even less if you happen to live over the bridge – has just as much beauty to offer as anywhere in the state. Try whale watching from Norah Head Lighthouse Reserve, go horse riding in the Glenworth Valley, or soak up some sun at one of Australia’s best beach suburbs, Avoca Beach, with the Avoca Beach Hotel as your base.


A Goulburn weekend away

Just an hour’s drive from Canberra, Goulburn is much more than a rest stop on the drive between the nation’s capital and Sydney – it’s a destination in itself. Visit the Waterworks Museum on the banks of the Wollondilly River, enjoy an organ recital at heritage-listed St Saviour’s Cathedral, and take a tour of the 19th century Garroorigang Historic Home. And don’t forget to take a pic at The Big Merino! For more information, visit the Goulburn Australia website.


A Bright weekend away

While it seems like a lifetime ago now, the 2019-20 bushfires devastated Victoria’s high country, and as they look to rebuild now is the perfect time to take your tourism dollar to a town like Bright in the high country’s foothills. Wander along the meandering Ovens River, visit boutique wineries and cafes, or take a hike through the many surrounding forest trails. Stay at the Ovens Valley Motor Inn, which will take care of your every need. 


A Three Capes weekend away

If you’re feeling adventurous and don’t mind getting the legs moving, why not tackle the Tasman Peninsula’s spectacular Three Capes walk? Book a pack-free walk with Life’s an Adventure and you’ll not only get two nights at Stewart Bay Lodge, but also day hikes to Cape Raoul, Fortescue Bay and Cape Hauy. If you have extra time, don’t forget to pop in to visit the Port Arthur Historic Site.


A Clare Valley weekend away

Beyond the more famous Barossa, the Clare Valley is the perfect weekend getaway from Adelaide thanks to its rolling vineyards, delicious local produce and country-style charm. The area is known particularly for its Rieslings. Stay in a quaint bed and breakfast and dine in a farmhouse restaurant. For more information visit here.


A Ferguson Valley weekend away

The Margaret River region gets a lot of the love when it comes to weekends away from Perth – and rightly so! – but for a more underrated short trip, head to the beautiful Ferguson Valley, located 30 minutes inland from Bunbury. Visit Gnomesville, home to thousands of quirky gnomes from around the world; explore wineries, cafes and restaurants; and witness the amazing 300-year-old King Jarrah tree in the Wellington National Park.


A Litchfield weekend away

Lush waterholes, misty waterfalls and dramatic landscapes – the Litchfield National Park, just a little over an hour’s drive south of Darwin, has an incredible amount to offer given its proximity to the Northern Territory’s main city. Highlights include the Florence and Wangi Falls; the famous Magnetic Termite Mounds; and the historic ruins at Blyth Homestead and Bamboo Creek.