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Borrowdell Vineyard, Orange
Photograph: Seth Buchanan

Five last-minute summer escapes

Fancy making a break for it? Here are five summer escapes within a few hour’s drive from Sydney

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Whether you’re hankering for wine and cheese in the valleys or a romantic beachside trip for two, has the tools for your perfect weekend away. Pack your bags and hit the road – you’ll feel better in no time.

The Hunter is a popular getaway destination for its wineries, restaurants and views. Make a weekend of it and stay at the Thistle Hill Guesthouse. It’s a scenic drive into the heart of the area, regarded as one of Australia’s finest wine-growing regions. Spend your days drinking Shiraz and Semillion as you travel between vineyards, then enjoy the vast gardens – all 25 acres of it – at the Thistle Hill Guesthouse.

Nestled in the beautiful landscape of the Blue Mountains, the Sebel Hawkesbury Resort and Spa is a blissful place to unwind. It’s home to an expansive day spa, indoor heated swimming pool, a sauna and never-ending gardens. You’ll leave the retreat feeling wholly revitalised. The Sebel is located just 45-minutes drive from Sydney’s CBD, but it feels like a million miles away.


Need a relaxing beach escape? Sanctuary Point is well known throughout the region as a quiet, picturesque beach haven. The Edgewater B&B is located right on the water’s edge, with panoramic views of St Georges Basin. It’s adults-only (woo-hoo!) and a little romantic, if that’s the kind of weekend you’re looking for.

  • Travel
  • Palm Beach

Short on time, but need to get out? Just an hour’s drive up the coast, Palm Beach is an easy escape for Sydneysiders but it can seem a world away from your daily life. Base yourself at Barrenjoey House, a boutique cottage sitting opposite Palm Beach wharf, right in the middle of the action. Kick back and enjoy one of Australia’s most famous beaches before settling into the plush surrounds at the beach house.


You want to stay in the one we've pictured, don't you? Well you can. Found on the slopes of the extinct volcano Mount Canobolas, Borrodell Vineyard has breathtaking views across the Towac Valley and Orange. You'll be surrounded by grape, cherry and apple orchards, and you can spend your days sipping the region’s famous wines. Top tip: book a table at Sister’s Rock restaurant and order their award-winning wines from the underground cellar.

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