5 essential ingredients for planning the ultimate long weekend in Australia

Aussies love to travel and one of our favourite places is our own backyard! We also love a good long weekend in Australia, so whether you’re dreaming of the great outdoors, craving good food and wine, or simply need a little R ‘n R, here are our 5 essential ingredients for planning the ultimate Aussie weekend trip.

A dose of adventure…

two people hiking the Overland Track through bushland in Tasmania

Itching to go somewhere new or get off the beaten track? The ultimate long weekend in Australia should dish up just the right amount of excitement and fun. You could go hiking and biking through the wild and mysterious Maria Island National Park in Tasmania. It’s a haven for friendly wildlife like wombats and kangaroos, and home to a spooky convict-built ghost town.

While you’re in Tasmania, you could also take in some of the best views of the World Heritage-listed Hartz Mountains on the Tahune AirWalk that takes you 50 metres above the Huon Valley forest floor. Or take a hike up Mount Amos for spectacular views of the iconic Wineglass Bay.

twelve apostles great ocean road victoria australia

Get your thrills on the 120-metre high Melbourne Star Observation Wheel with stunning views across Melbourne. Or embark on one of Australia’s greatest road trips – the Great Ocean Road. This scenic coastal drive will take you to some of the most breathtaking views in Australia. Be sure to bring your camera as you cruise from Loch Ard Gorge and The Bay of Islands to London Bridge and the iconic Twelve Apostles.

For even more adventure, why not forget your ordinary hotels and try something a little different. We’ll take you glamping in a luxury canvas tent at the Bay of Fires Bush Retreat. Here you’ll tuck into local delicacies around the campfire, including freshly shucked oysters from the beach!

EXPERIENCE THIS ON: Majestic Tasmania

…And time to relax

luxury eco tent on the beach Discovery Rottnest Island

The ideal long weekend in Australia also has plenty of time to rest and rejuvenate. Leave the hustle and bustle of the city behind and escape to some of Australia’s most peaceful beaches, islands and farmlands.

You might like to indulge in a soothing mineral bath at the historic Hepburn Bathhouse and Spa in Daylesford. Or go back in time to the 1850s as you enjoy afternoon tea on the picturesque property of Lavandula, with European gardens and heritage farm buildings.

For more quiet farm life, you can meet the family who run Olive Farm on the beautiful Mornington Peninsula. Learn how they grow a range of quality food and wine and get to know their gorgeous farm animals.

Josh Kooma playing the didgeridoo in Cape Naturaliste Western Australia

Get in touch with your spiritual side with a stirring experience at Cape Naturaliste. A local Indigenous guide will share Dreamtime stories of this traditional area, a traditional fire lighting and a unique didgeridoo experience.

For the ultimate tranquil retreat, head to Rottnest Island on our Australia weekend trips. Here you’ll sleep under the stars just metres from the beach in a luxury eco-glamping tent. Dreamy!

EXPERIENCE THIS ON: Ultimate Wonders of the West

Beautiful nature

red rocks blue water Bay of Fires Tasmania

Paradise is calling! Australia has some of the most beautiful and diverse landscapes in the world, and the best long weekends take you back to nature. Some of the country’s highlights are the spectacular Bay of Fires and Freycinet National Park in Tasmania.

There’s also the gorgeous Grampians National Park, where you’ll find rugged mountains, magical waterfalls, and lush forests rich in wildlife. It’s also home to the largest number of rock art sites in southern Australia. You can meet the traditional people to hear ancient stories and learn about their intimate connection with the land. 

underwater shot of a sea lion Penguin Island Shoalwater Islands Marine Park Western Australia

You’ll be spoilt for choice with beautiful nature in Western Australia. Go from Kings Park in Perth, one of the largest inner-city parks in the world, to the stunning Penguin Island in Shoalwater Islands Marine Park. Here you can spot playful penguins, dolphins, sea lions and sea birds on a scenic cruise through the sanctuary. Don’t forget about Rottnest Island, home to some of Australia’s most beautiful beaches and snorkelling in its crystal clear waters.

GET INSPIRED BY: Victoria’s Natural Wonders

Fantastic food…

freshly shucked oysters on the beach Bay of Fires Tasmania

Prepare your stomach for a foodie escape on your long weekend in Australia. There’s no end to amazing restaurants, bars, farms and markets to explore around the country. You can go from the famous Salamanca Market in Tasmania to the Fremantle Markets in Western Australia, or the craft breweries of Launceston to the world’s best coffee shops in Melbourne. 

Some of our favourite restaurants we’ll visit on our Australia weekend trips are the Agrarian Kitchen Farm and Cooking School in the Derwent Valley and The Argus in Daylesford (who use seasonal produce from their kitchen garden).

There’s also the Parker St Project at the Royal Mail Hotel in Dunkeld (they get most of its produce from Australia’s largest working kitchen garden), The Post set in Perth’s original General Post Office, the Other Side of the Moon in Cape Naturaliste, and Bread in Common in Fremantle. 

Royal Mail Hotel kitchen garden Dunkeld Victoria

You can’t miss out on Australia’s local produce and the best place to try it is straight from the farms. We’ll take you to Willie Smith’s Apple Shed to sample fresh apples, pears, berries, local cider and apple brandy. Or head to Pyengana Dairy Farm to sample gourmet cheese over a relaxing lunch.

Sample the best smoked salmon at 41° South Tasmania, and enjoy lunch at the Christmas Hills Raspberry Farm. Explore the beautiful Ashgrove Tasmanian Farm, and get a taste of farm life at Green Olive farm in Mornington Peninsula. 

Why not try out some of Australia’s native foods? You can sample bush tucker in the Grampians with local Indigenous Australians. Or head to Cape Naturaliste, where you can also discover native bush medicine. 

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…And superb wine

Hay Shed Hill Winery Margaret River Western Australia

If you’re in the mood for some wine-tasting, we’ll take you to some of Australia’s best wineries. We love Moorilla winery, Tasmania’s second-oldest vineyard, Bell and Gong Winery in Longford, and Jack Rabbit Winery on the Bellarine Peninsula.

There’s also the Hay Shed Hill Winery, an award-winning vineyard in the world-famous Margaret River wine region. Here you can indulge in a 7-course degustation with matched premium wines. 

RELATED CONTENT: Aussies, here’s how your travels can directly boost the local economy

Great company

crowd of people on a sydney beach Australia

All great long weekends in Australia come with good company. You could go away with friends, your family, or that special someone on a romantic getaway.

If you’re travelling with kids, they’ll love exploring the colourful alleyways of Melbourne and the underwater wildlife of Penguin Island. For more amazing wildlife, bush and beaches, hop over to Tasmania. If you want a romantic retreat, we love escaping to the luxury eco-tents Rottnest Island or the Bay of Fires.

Need more inspiration for your long weekend in Australia? Check out our new Near Not Far trips around Australia. What are your essential ingredients for planning an Australia trip? Let us know in the comments below!

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