Make It Tropical

The clouds may be overcast and the weather cold and dreary, but that doesn’t mean you have to spend the weekend moping about indoors. Why not nip away for a weekend of fun at some of our nation’s most relaxing and decadent getaway destinations instead?

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Sydney

Winter is the ideal time to escape the rat race and enjoy the hilly landscapes and beautiful wineries of the Hunter Valley.

For the ultimate romantic and indulgent weekend away, you really are spoilt for choice:  Take in the world class wine and picturesque countryside of the Hunter Valley. Hike through the awe-inspiring wilderness in Barrington Tops. Or settle for the spectacular lake and coastline views of Lake Macquarie and Newcastle.

You can jump on a bus for a winery tour and visit the many vineyards, cheese shops, chocolate factories and restaurants dotted throughout the valley. Warm up in the afternoon with an open fire and a hot spa, and finish your evening with a candlelit meal and a bottle of local wine in a quaint bed and breakfast. It's a slice of heaven -- and it's only two hours drive from the centre of Sydney.

Melbourne

Time for a road trip! The Great Ocean Road is a spectacular 243km stretch that runs alongside the southeastern coast of Australia, between the Victorian cities of Torquay and Warrnambool.

The road winds through varying terrain alongside the coast, providing Melbournites with access to a range of ideal getaway locations.

From Torquay -- which is around 100km south west of Melbourne -- to Anglesea, Lorne, Apollo Bay, and Port Campbell, there are attractions, destinations and natural wonders to suit every whim, depending on your level of adventure.

Brisbane

It's all about escaping to the sunshine during winter, and in Brisbane you have two vibrant options within one hour's drive.

A journey 80km south takes you to the Gold Coast, with all of its theme parks, tourist attractions, stunning beaches and award-winning restaurants. You can take the kids diving with dolphins or go on a romantic boat cruise throughout the marina. The Gold Coast offers an action-packed weekend of fun or an idyllic romantic getaway, depending on what you're seeking!

A trip north to the Sunshine Coast, on the other hand, will allow you to escape the crowds and truly relax. You can soak up the sun in Noosa, spending your evenings at one of the beautiful restaurants overlooking the ocean on Hastings Street, or head to less populated towns like Mooloolaba or Caloundra for an even lower-key getaway.

Next: 2 more fabulous Aussie winter hot spots

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Tags: adelaide brisbane melbourne perth sydney winter travel

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