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5 Winter Getaways Close To Sydney

Make the most of winter at these cold-weather destinations

Winter is all about comfort food, electric blankets, movie nights, and red wine. When you’re ready to come out of hibernation, cosy up at one of the destinations close to home…

HUNTER VALLEY

When it’s crisp outside, there’s nothing better than drinking copious amounts of vino and snapping *candid* photos in the vineyards. This is wine country! The Hunter Valley is just three hours away from Sydney, but do yourself a solid and book an overnight stay so you can truly soak up the scene.

Where to stay:

Casa La Vina. If you’re going with a group, split the cost of one of these villas. It’s a slice of Morocco in the middle of the Hunter, complete with a fireplace, BBQ, courtyard and kitchen so you can whip up a few meals. Because let’s be real, the only thing you’ll be eating at the vineyards is cheese, more cheese, and maybe some charcuterie. 

The Carriages Boutique Hotel. Going on a romantic getaway? Lean into it by booking a room at this grand ol’ country house, which sits on an award-winning vineyard. Along with cancelling out the drunken cab ride home from the vineyards, this hotel has a saltwater swimming pool and tennis court, and brekkie baskets are delivered to your door each morning. Now that’s living.

Wild Edge Retreat. If you suspect a proposal is coming your way, it may very well happen at this retreat. The couples-only cottage has everything you need for a cosy winter’s stay – and a few things you never knew you needed, like a fireplace and private plunge pool. Pack your cossies, or not…

SHOP: Get Your Weekend Getaway Wardrobe Here

BLUE MOUNTAINS

If you haven’t paid the misty mountains a visit since your Year 5 school excursion, now’s the time. The Blue Mountains are a three-hour drive from the city, but they feel like a world away, thanks to its huuuge, World Heritage-listed National Park, cute boutiques and amazing colonial homes. The area is also famous for its foodie scene, day spas and antique shopping, just in case you need to buy a pressie for Nan. Do everything or do nothing at all, and then curl up by the fire with that book you’ve been meaning to read for ages.

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Back to the time we thought the blue mountains were cold #tassie

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Where to stay:

Wollemi Wilderness Treehouse. If this treehouse is available, BOOK IT! Once it made Airbnb’s most-wished list, it books up months in advance. Perched above 600 acres of wilderness, it has floor-to-ceiling windows, plus a kitchenette, balcony, queen bed, fireplace and a bath. Just imagine the Instas…

Echoes Boutique Hotel. Scared of heights? Stick with a street-level hotel, like Echoes. It’s a five-minute stroll to the Three Sisters, and has an on-site spa and restaurant serving up the very best food from the region. There are only 14 rooms, so if you want a little peace and quiet, it’s a good choice.

The Gatsby. If you’re a sucker for quirky interior design, you’ll love this two-bedroom cottage. The owner deserves an award for her attention for detail. She’s committed to the Art Deco theme – think checkered bathroom tiles, ballerina lamps, vintage prints and a dining table from the 1920s. The cottage has the essentials (a fireplace and a spa with room for two), and a casual list of chefs and masseuses on call. 

BERRY

Sitting on the South Coast, Berry is dripping in country charm – and it’s a bonafide foodie destination. Your first stop has to be The Famous Berry Donut Van, which serves up cinnamon doughnuts fresh from the oven (warning: you won’t be able to eat Donut King again). 

The town takes its bread seriously, too. The Berry Sourdough Bakery and Milkwood Bakery whip up the best sourdough and croissants this side of Sydney, and Littlefork is a vegetarian café run by a pastry chef, so you’ll want to order the shakshuka and a slice of cake.

When you want ‘real’ food, sit down to a long lunch at Silos Estate Vineyard. When dinnertime rolls around, hit up SOUTH on Albany for European eats, Leaf in Berry for fab Thai, or Hungry Duck for tapas. Then, grab drinks and mingle with the locals at The Great Southern Hotel or Berry Hotel.

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Time to go nuts! #VisitNsw #DonutVan #foodlover

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Where to stay:

Wilderberry Cottage. To turn up the ~romance~, book this one-bedroom cottage on the outskirts of Berry. It dates back to 1868, and has a full kitchen, fireplace, and double bath that overlooks the countryside.

Soul of Gerringong. I want to move into this guesthouse. The interiors are DREAMY, and you’d be forgiven for thinking you were in the Hamptons, thanks to the whitewashed walls, linens and ceramics. There’s a pool, deck and garden out back, too. If you’re travelling with a group, book the Farmhouse. Otherwise, snuggle up in the Soul Cabana (which sleeps two) or Soul Barn (which has room for four).

Circa 1890. Another 1800s gem, this cottage sleeps six people across three bedrooms, and is a short walk away from the main strip of cafes, restaurants and boutiques. And it might be winter, but the heated spa will warm you up!

SNOWY MOUNTAINS

For ski bunnies, winter means one thing: it’s snow-time! From June to September, the Snowy Mountains are a winter wonderland. There are a few major resorts to choose from: Perisher, Thredbo, Jindabyne, Charlotte Pass and Selwyn. Whether you’re a skier, snowboarder or après-ski lover (hi), you can’t really go wrong.

Where to stay:

High Noon View. In Thredbo, this Scandi-chic chalet will make you want to lift your interior design game. It has underfloor heating, too, which is amazing after a day on the slopes. 

Perisher Valley Hotel. The location of this hotel is unbeatable. You can ski-in, and ski-out, and then come back to a bathtub and a restaurant with views of the valley.

Thredbo Alpine Hotel. This hotel is a vibe! After your après-ski sesh, chill out in your outdoor Jacuzzi or turn up at one of the resort’s restaurants and bars.

Rydges Horizons Snowy Mountains. Perched on the lake at Jindabyne, this self-contained hotel stands out for its indoor heated pool and having a balcony in every room.

The Stables. For a luxe stay in Perisher, look into The Stables, which has studios, chalets and one-bedroom suites that couldn’t be closer to the slopes.

MUDGEE

Road trip! Mudgee is a three-and-a-half-hour drive from Sydney, and it’s beautiful. It’s also a major wine region, with over 40 cellar doors to swirl and sip to your heart’s content. 

If you’re only in town for the weekend, be sure to check out Huntington Estate, Bunnamagoo Estate Wines, Logan Wines and Di Lusso Wines  – where the woodfired pizzas are as good as the vino.

Where to stay:

Black Rose Cottage. Live out your home-with-a-white-picket-fence fantasies at this cottage. It has three bedrooms and sleeps up to 10 people, so round up the gals. The cottage also has a games room and fairy-lit backyard with a BBQ and fire pit.

Sierra Escape. Outdoorsy girls, this one’s for you! Sierra Escape is the definition of glamping – you’ll sleep in a tent, but it’ll have power and plumbing (phew), a king bed, glass sliding doors and a bath. You might even wake up to kangaroos hopping outside.

Wintery words by Katia Iervasi

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