Featured image: Jervis Bay Sea Cave. Photo: Jordan Robins
With travel-hungry couples now free to roam the Aussie east coast, our bags are packed and we’re ready to make tracks. So, what’s on your #holidayathome wish list? Zooming in on the great states of Queensland, New South Wales, and Victoria, we have a few locations in mind for a romantic road trip or fly-drive escape.
Palm Cove, Queensland
We couldn’t resist the tropical-luxe village vibe of Palm Cove for our Queensland getaway. This coastal enclave (30 minutes north of Cairns) is resort town perfection — from its pretty palm-lined beachfront to its tempting selection of boutique hideaways and decadent day spas (you’re overdue for a couple’s massage, right?). Palm Cove is all about sun-kissed moments and plenty of indulgence. Which is why we love it!
There will definitely be a stop at the acclaimed Nu Nu Restaurant for sundowners and a leisurely seafood dinner right on the beachfront. And we can’t wait to get buffed and polished at our favourite local haunt, the outstanding spa at Alamanda Palm Cove. We may even book a Daintree day trip or a gondola glide over the rainforest at nearby Kuranda. But honestly, after the year that was, we’ll be perfectly happy just floating between the resort pool and the golden sands beyond. On holiday.
Stay: Just steps from the sand at the gorgeous Alamanda Palm Cove by Lancemore
Jervis Bay, NSW
Even with its swag of holiday hits (we’re talking beautiful, uncrowded beaches, pristine bushland, and charming coastal towns) Jervis Bay has managed to fly under the radar for many interstate visitors. We’re planning to remedy this with a trip to the bay and surrounding Shoalhaven region on the NSW south coast, three hours from Sydney.
The coastal hamlet of Huskisson will be our launch point to tour the crystalline waters of Jervis Bay Marine Park and meet the region’s beloved bottlenose dolphins before seeking out the sheltered waters of Honeymoon Bay (how could we not?) for a paddle. Fun fact: Jervis Bay is home to some of the world’s whitest sand, and we’ll be running it through our fingers on the White Sands Walk. This romantic 90-minute stroll through glorious Jervis Bay National Park and on to the sugar-fine sands of Hyams Beach promises to be a holiday highlight.
Then we’ll level up our foodie options with a drive through the historic townships of Kangaroo Valley and Berry, factoring in plenty of stops for locally made pie, fudge, pastries, olives, and wine. Our non-negotiable? A stop at The Famous Berry Donut Van. Might need another looong beach walk after that one.
Stay: In a King Deluxe Safari Tent at back-to-nature glamping retreat Paperbark Camp
Yarra Valley, Victoria
It’s all about wining, dining, and rolling green hills in the Yarra Valley. Holiday heaven, right? An hour from Melbourne, this super-scenic destination is the state’s oldest wine region and renowned for its cool-climate varieties of chardonnay and pinot (although we don’t expect any trouble tracking down a delicious Bordeaux blend or tasty cider either.)
A long weekend sipping our way around cellar doors (looking at you Yarra Yering) will come with the Yarra’s most delicious dilemma — where to eat? Will it be lunch at De Bortoli’s lovely Locale or a gourmet picnic on the lawn at TarraWarra Estate? Should we choose kitchen garden goodness at Oakridge or head straight to Seville Estate and discover why the Halliday Wine Companion named it 2019 Winery of the Year. We’ll also need to leave time for a delicious seasonal feast matched with Mac Forbes wines at Graceburn and a lively yarn at Payten & Jones, both in Healesville.
After a few days of pure indulgence there’ll also be an atonement of sorts: attending Sunday School (aka an intimate behind-the-scenes Champagne fest) at Chandon. Cheers to that!