International travel is (still) off the agenda, but luckily there are plenty of places to explore in our neck of the woods. Here are the destinations making our ‘must travel’ list this summer.
Rae’s on Wategos
If you’re looking to relax and refresh over a short weekend, you can’t go past this Byron Bay favourite. As pictured in the image above, it’s certainly luxe, with on-site dining and a world-class spa, and its absolute beachfront position on Wategos Beach makes it the perfect place to forget about the stresses of the silly season and escape. Go with the girls or for a romantic rendezvous – you won’t regret it.
A little further north at sleepy Cabarita, The Hideaway offers the ultimate beachfront glamping experience. The spacious tents are decked out with everything you’ll need for a relaxing night’s sleep – air conditioning included – and the on-site kitchen and bathroom amenities are worlds away from the standard found at your average campsite. We recommend pedalling to nearby Halcyon House for lunch, on one of The Hideaway’s bikes.
Seahaven Beachfront Resort
When it comes to Noosa accommodation, you can’t go past Seahaven. This absolute beachfront resort is perfectly positioned on bustling Hastings Street, but looking out over the ocean from your room, you’d never know it. Enjoy long sunny days on the sand, indulge in delicious food from the many nearby local restaurants then sleep off your food coma by the pool. They’ve even got family suites if you need one.
A Queensland holiday fit for royalty (literally!), Fraser Island is one destination you need to add to your bucket list. With a lake so fresh only three species of fish can live in it, and a native dingo population believed to be the most pure in Australia, Fraser Island is a natural marvel. Enjoy a camping trip there, or check into the island’s eco resort, Kingfisher Bay.
Note: Fraser Island has been experiencing severe bushfires over the past six weeks and counting. Be sure to stay updated on the situation before booking, and remember to support struggling local businesses and transport providers when you can.
With an almost identical climate to Hawaii and palm trees to match, Bargara might just be one of Queensland’s best kept secrets. Situated just outside Bundaberg, this seaside suburb is beloved by visiting families for its pristine coastline, natural wonders – the Mon Repos Turtle Centre, for example, is just a short drive away – and many kid-friendly amenities and playgrounds.
Quaint and cosy, Yamba offers everything you need for the perfect family holiday. From the secluded beaches to the ocean pool, plus the bevvy of local restaurants and shops, Yamba is the ideal destination for a memorable family holiday – whatever the weather. Spend sunny days by the ocean or rainy days in the historic Yamba cinema, before hitting up the iconic Pacific Hotel for sundowners. Don’t forget to visit the rock pools at Angourie before you leave the area.
Voted Australia’s favourite family resort, Paradise Resort on the Gold Coast is the perfect vacation (or stay-cation) destination for you and the kids. Seriously, this place has everything. Chill out at the on-site ice skating rink, meet up in the epic kids’ club (which features a space room, Egpytian room and safari room, just to name a few) or make a splash in the water park, then head back to your room for some afternoon relaxation. Perfect.
Experience the perfect combination of relaxation and fun at Sea World Resort, nestled in the heart of the Gold Coast. Soak up the sun while the kids swim enjoy Spongebob’s Splashbash, the Resort’s colourful, underwater adventure playground, or spoil yourself like never before by wining and dining at the award winning Hatsuhana restaurant, cooling off by the pool or indulging in a relaxing massage at the beauty salon. The resort offers direct monorail access to Sea World, famous Gold Coast beaches and shopping.
Oaks Sunshine Coast
From the fun-filled waterpark and Kangaroo Jumper to the putt-putt golf course, sand put and climbing frame (plus more!) this Caloundra gem is perfect for families. But don’t worry parents – you’re covered too! Why not relax by the resort pool with your holiday novel or enjoy a cocktail on the balcony at Reflections Restaurant, while the kids run rampant (safely) throughout the resort?
The Calile Hotel
Brisbane’s James Street has got a major facelift, and it’s all thanks to The Calile Hotel. From the moment they flung open the doors, guests have rushed to soak up the sun by the Beverly Hills-style pool, enjoy a meal at the hotel restaurant, Hellenika, and relax in the glam art deco suites overlooking one of Brisbane’s most bustling precincts. If you visit, don’t forget your pocket money – a shop at the many local boutiques is a must-do.
This Coolangatta favourite has been recently revamped, and it’s well worth checking out. The panoramic pool looks like it’s been plucked out of a Slim Aarons photo, while the rooms – which haven’t all been renovated – offer great bang for your buck. Go with your partner for a quick local getaway, or bring the kids for a fun family stay-cay if that’s more your speed!
Last but certainly not least, those looking to experience Brisbane in a new way can’t go past a night (or five) at The Fantauzzo. Tucked under the Story Bridge in the now iconic Howard Smith Wharves precinct, there’s no shortage of restaurants to visit and bars to frequent during your stay. In the hotel itself, don’t miss sunset from the rooftop Fiume Bar or the chance to sweat it out in the world-class gym. You’ll never want to check out.
Feature image credit: www.raes.com.au