Short and sweet re­treats

Haven Magazine - - SCHOOL HOLS -

Can’t get away for a ‘big’ hol­i­day these school hol­i­days? No fear. Grab your map and com­pass be­cause we’re head­ing off in all di­rec­tions in search of the best week­end des­ti­na­tions to recharge the fam­ily's bat­ter­ies.

north

It may only be a cou­ple of hours away, but there’s so much to do and see at the Sun­shine Coast that you re­ally do need to spend the week­end there. Whether you’re meet­ing an­i­mals on land at Aus­tralia Zoo or un­der the sea at Sea Life, en­joy­ing some re­tail ther­apy at the Eu­mundi Mar­kets or along Noosa’s Hast­ings Street, or win­ing and din­ing at the dozens of res­tau­rants and cafes up and down the coast, the Sun­shine Coast re­gion has you cov­ered. Hik­ers will love ex­plor­ing the Glass House Moun­tains and Noosa Na­tional Park, while those seek­ing some R’N’R might pre­fer to find a spot in the shade of a pan­danus and prac­tice their peo­ple-watch­ing. What­ever you’re af­ter, you’ll find it at the Sun­shine Coast.

south

It’s our largest city and home to some of Aus­tralia’s most iconic land­marks, and stun­ning Syd­ney is just an hour’s flight away. Fly there Satur­day morn­ing and spend the morn­ing wan­der­ing around the CBD and Botan­i­cal Gar­dens, or one of the many mar­kets, then head to Luna Park in the af­ter­noon. Spend some time at the beach – whether you hang around Bondi or Manly de­pends on which side of the har­bour you pre­fer – visit one of the art gal­leries or mu­se­ums or catch a show at the Syd­ney Opera House. Then, on Sun­day evening, fly home again feel­ing well-ac­quainted with Syd­ney and all that it has to of­fer – oh, but not be­fore say­ing hello to the gi­ant pig, Kevin Ba­con, at the Grounds of Alexan­dria, of course.

west east

North Strad­broke Is­land (known to lo­cals as Strad­die) truly does have to be seen to be be­lieved. From the rocky head­lands and sprawl­ing beaches to the in­land sand dunes and lakes, Strad­die can be best de­scribed as a lit­tle slice of par­adise – and the per­fect des­ti­na­tion for a re­lax­ing week­end away. Surf the breaks or doze on the beach, then treat your­self to some fish and chips or gelato for your ef­forts. You’re sure to leave Strad­die feel­ing re­laxed and re­plen­ished, but be­ware of PSD (post-strad­die de­pres­sion) – an in­flic­tion most com­monly ex­pe­ri­enced as your barge or wa­ter taxi glides away from the Dun­wich jetty and you watch the is­land shrink into the hori­zon. Be­tween the tree-lined streets, rich his­tory and more parks than you can count on two hands, our western neigh­bour sure has a lot go­ing for her. If you’re af­ter a coun­try respite, Toowoomba is the place to go. Around two-hours away from the Gold Coast, Toowoomba’s abun­dance of green and ex­plo­sions of brightly coloured flow­ers couldn’t be more dif­fer­ent from the blue and cream-coloured coast­line. And this be­comes even more ap­par­ent when the Car­ni­val of Flow­ers hits Toowoomba from Septem­ber 21-30, over­tak­ing the city with rain­bow flo­ral ar­range­ments, food and wine dis­plays and plenty of fam­ily ac­tiv­i­ties.

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