Sneak away for a couples’ retreat in one of these romantic destinations
There’s nothing quite like a weekend rendezvous with a loved one. And with Valentine's Day falling on a Wednesday in 2018, there’s a great excuse to take three days off and treat yourself to a February long weekend or take a sneaky midweek staycation. Here are a few places you can go in New South Wales.
Most romantic getaways in New South Wales
Lord Howe Island
If a Valentine’s splurge is what you’re after, Lord Howe Island is it – and technically in New South Wales. This Pacific paradise limits island guests to just 400 at a time. You’ll need a few days off over the weekend, but it’s well worth it.
- A two-hour flight from Sydney will land you amongst lush hills surrounded by impossibly turquoise water teeming with life.
- Best for: Seclusion.
- Where to stay: Capella Lodge.
Stroll through the endless rows of grapevines, sip on some of the country’s best wines, taste fine cheeses, and then retreat to a picturesque estate. It really is the perfect escape.
- An hour’s drive from Newcastle and two hours from Sydney, the area boasts more than 150 vineyards.
- Best for: Wine lovers.
- Where to stay: Spicers Vineyard Estate. All rooms have a spa bath.
Known for its colourful gardens, beautiful landscapes with tranquil waterfalls and leisurely pace, the Southern Highlands is a world away from the bustle of the city.
- A 90-minute drive from Sydney or two hours from Canberra, the area has much of the appeal of the Blue Mountains’ clifftop walks, waterfalls and quaint towns without the crowds.
- Best for: Older couples.
- Where to stay: Peppers Manor House.
Vineyard restaurants serve up topnotch cuisines and cool-climate wines in New South Wales’ emerging wine region. The area is also known for its fresh produce.
- Just under four hours’ drive from Sydney, Orange’s Heritage Trail gives a great insight into the city’s history dating back to the mid-1800s.
- Best for: Food and wine lovers.
- Where to stay: De Russie Boutique Hotel
Byron Bay Hinterland
While Byron is known for its beautiful beaches, travel just a few kilometres inland and you’ll find tranquil rolling hills that produce the area’s fresh produce.
- Within easy reach of Byron Bay or the Gold Coast, this region has enough national parks, waterfalls and secluded walking tracks to keep you busy for weeks.
- Best for: Nature lovers.
- Where to stay: Crystal Creek Rainforest Retreat
Take a quiet bushwalk, slip into a refreshing rock pool or relax at a Japanese-style spa during a serene getaway to this UNESCO-listed region.
- An easy two-hour train ride or 90-minute drive from Sydney, Blue Mountains National Park is full of bushwalks and scenic lookouts with incredible views.
- Best for: Nature lovers.
- Where to stay: Lilianfels Blue Mountains Resort and Spa
Image: Jervis Bay Tourism
Take a stroll through the impossibly white sands of Jervis Bay’s beaches, where tropical-coloured waters lap at your feet and the odd dolphin may swim by. You’ll be questioning whether the city is still just a few hours away.
- About three hours from either Sydney or Canberra, Jervis Bay has plenty of beaches that will have you feeling like you own the place.
- Best for: Beach bums.
- Where to stay: Rent a beach house