Four Winter Getaways You Should Lock in Now

Onsen Hot Pools, Queenstown, NZ

Unleash your inner migratory bird and head to a destination tailor-made for your kind of winter. Whether you’re a “forever summer” kind of person or keen to embrace the cooler side of life (think roaring fires and steamy onsens), there’s a getaway out there just for you.

Enjoy a nature escape in Port Stephens

Whale watching cruise, AquaMarine Adventures

Any discerning humpback will tell you come May to November, there’s no better migration highway (or holiday destination) than Port Stephens, where endless nature pursuits lie in wait.

The region’s famous whales will lend you their (offshore) emotional support as you sandboard the majestic dunes of Stockton Beach or hike to the summit of Tomaree Head. Follow it up with a feast of locally farmed barramundi with seared scallops and a cauliflower puree at waterside The Poyer’s before checking out the region’s true stars: your new 40-tonne mates. A ‘fast & fun’ whale-watching cruise with AquaMarine Adventures is considered essential.

Stay

Oaks Port Stephens Pacific Blue Resort

Located by the restaurants, cafes and boutiques of scenic Salamander Bay, Oaks Port Stephens Pacific Blue Resort is not only home to one of Australia’s largest swimming pools, the one-, two- and three-bedroom apartments enjoy easy access to a heated spa, tennis courts and a Japanese steam room.

Revel in a city weekend in Melbourne

Society restaurant, Melbourne, Victoria

Pack your designer black and luxuriate in a city that was built to embrace the cooler weather. Prep work begins in the form of a hot and silky soak at Collingwood’s Japanese Bath House, followed by further reflection (and a hand-rolled pasta) at Bourke Street favourite, Cellar Bar.

Will it be followed by a production of Hamilton or the Light: Works from Tate’s Collection exhibition at ACMI? Will you order smoked Wagyu prime rib and a caviar-topped martini at new industry darling Society or settle for a fireside cocktail at plush Trinket? The answer, of course, is all of the above.

Just don’t miss seeing the First Peoples exhibition at Melbourne Museum or visiting the National Gallery of Victoria (followed by a flat white at Bench). Your inner hedonist wills it so.

Stay

Oaks Melbourne on Market Hotel, Vic

Feel the pulse of the city with a stay at Oaks Melbourne on Market Hotel, a four-star apartment located mere moments from Flinders Lane and a short walk from Bourke Street Mall. An indoor pool, concierge services, onsite restaurant and childcare collectively form the cherry on top.

Start planning your winter escape today. Visit oakshotels.com 

Book a sunny stay on the Sunshine Coast

It’s almost greedy the way Queensland’s Sunshine Coast encompasses both the brilliance of the Pacific Ocean and the lush green of the hinterland, but to garner a reputation for its ‘endless summer’ is almost shameful.

Noosa Beach

Swallow your outrage by submitting to a massage on the sand with Noosa Main Beach Massage followed by an almost obligatory post-session shop on Hastings Street. Kayak the Noosa Everglades with Kanu Kapers and introduce your tastebuds to local chef Peter Kuruvita’s signature snapper curry at ALBA by Kuruvita.

Coolum Surfing School

Prefer a little action? Learning to surf with Coolum Surfing School, frolicking at Rainbow Beach, swimming with those aforementioned whales at Sunreef Mooloolaba and hiking the 11 peaks of Glass House Mountains are all on the table.

Stay

Oaks Sunshine Coast Oasis Resort

Consistently ranked among the top family resorts in Australia, Oaks Sunshine Coast Oasis Resort has everything you could ever need with a stunning Caloundra address. You’ll find a fun-filled waterpark, putt-putt golf, resort-style pool, plus a range of accommodations from one-bedroom apartments to three-bedroom villas.

Lock in a snowy getaway in Queenstown

Queenstown makes no apologies for its focus on snow sports – just as you shouldn’t apologise for taking a long weekend to enjoy the best the powder-tufted city has to offer. Feel the crunch of ice underfoot at The Remarkables, Cardrona Alpine Resort and Coronet Peak (the latter is the only resort in New Zealand which offers night skiing).

Onsen Hot Pools, Queenstown, NZ

Don’t miss a cedar-lined soak and treatment at Onsen Hot Pools as well as a cheeky pinot noir or two with Appellation Wine Tours. New restaurants making big waves in Queenstown include Little Aosta, a fast-paced trattoria by the team behind AOSTA, and ORO, a sophisticated restaurant anchored in the celebration of seasonal produce.

Stay

Oaks Queenstown Shores Resort

Offering close proximity to some of the world’s top snowfields, Oaks Queenstown Shores Resort features one- to three-bedroom apartments and chic four-bedroom penthouses complete with underfloor heating, lake and mountain views and gas fireplaces.  

Start planning your winter escape today. Visit oakshotels.com

SEE ALSO: 4 Australian Escapes You Need to Book Right Now

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