7 Last Minute, But Totally Epic Easter Escapes

By Chloe Sputore
31st Mar 2021

a couple relax by the pool at Tiwi Island Retreat, surrounded by white sand and palm trees

It can be tricky to plan these days with the universe throwing everything at us from Covid lockdowns to historic flooding events, so you’re forgiven for being unprepared this year when it comes to the impending Easter break. Not to worry, we’ve got your back with seven last minute, but totally epic Easter escapes to suit those in every corner of the country. 

Be quick, some of these experiences might book out soon, and don’t forget the choccy. 

New South Wales

Yass

With a name like Yass you know you’re in for a good time over the long weekend in this sweet town that was once the stomping ground of Banjo Paterson. Made famous by the Queer Eye guys during their Down Under special, this remote NSW town is just under three hours from Sydney by road. Be sure to hit Clementine Bakery early to pick up a bounty of hot cross buns, bread and danishes, before scoping out one of the area’s several alpaca farms. Careys Cave is a 50km drive from Yass if you’re up for a spot of spelunking, and when hunger strikes you can drop into Tootsie, a cute little cafe/gallery combo housed in a 1930s Art Deco building with a mosaic garden and 24 flavours of gelato to choose from. Pick up some antique bric-a-brac from Ross’s Relics, then make a beeline for the winery trail.

a figure sits by a campfire at night.

Victoria

Clunes

Get lucky and nab some last minute accommodation in Clunes over the long weekend and you have yourself the relaxing literary escape of your dreams. One of the world’s 15 internationally declared Booktowns, Clunes also features architecture from the gold rush era, specialty museums and cute cafes. Cuddle up to bunnies, joeys and lambs at the Tinakori Animal Farm and then sweeten your day even more at the quaint Widow Twankey Confectionery Emporium. Kick back at Eastern Peake’s cellar door and taste some of their delicious vinos while enjoying the view and then rev up your engines once more to hike to the 100 year old Lollipop Tree at scenic Mount Beckworth. From The Book Fossicker to Huc and Gabet Books of Interest, it would be wrong not to pick up a few old tomes along your way. Clunes is just under two hours from Melbourne by car.

Queensland

Gympie

From unspoiled beaches to lush hinterland, Gympie has got a little something for everyone this long weekend if you’re able to get there. If you’ve got a 4WD head out to Double Island Point within the UNESCO Great Sandy Biosphere to take in some of the bluest water, whitest sand and best surf in the country (no wonder there’s a spot called Honeymoon Bay), otherwise you won’t be disappointed by the array of sandy hues on show at the accessible to all Rainbow Beach. Pick up some fresh produce at the Dagung Growers Market on Saturday from 3pm, and if you’re a fan of macadamias check out Lindols to stock up on the tasty nuts and have a macadamia-inspired bite to eat at the cafe (double choc macadamia brownie, anyone?) Then walk it all off on the Imbil to Brooloo Rail Trail in the Mary Valley. Spend an afternoon strolling around charming Gympie City and maybe even try your luck panning for gold at the Gold Mine Museum

a stretch of golden sand meets blue seas and sky at Honeymoon Bay

South Australia

Naracoorte

If you’re in South Australia a caving weekender is calling you this Easter break—if you’re quick you can still nab some sites at the BIG4 Holiday Park in the area. Situated along the Limestone Coast between Adelaide and Melbourne, Naracoorte boasts some of the most incredible caving experiences in Australia and they’ve got the World Heritage stamp of approval to prove it. You can also sip on the new release Landaire Chardonnay at the quaint Padthaway Estate Winery and check out the Wonambi Fossil Centre to discover what’s brought paleontologists to the area for decades. Once you’re done with caving, cool off (or brave the chill) at the impressive man made Naracoorte Swimming Lake and then take in the array of bird life on a one hour return walk along the Tea-Tree Boardwalk in Bool Lagoon Game Reserve. Before heading back to the daily grind be sure to pick up some local honey, cheese, strawberries and bread from nearby towns Lucindale and Frances.

Western Australia 

Chittering Valley

While Margaret River and Rottnest are off the cards at such late notice, an escape to the Chittering Valley will not disappoint. An easy hour and a half drive from Perth, the area spans Chittering, Bindoon, Moora and Muchea and is home to some stunning scenic drives (hello rolling hills), historic churches, beautiful bush walks and wineries. Bring enough cash for the roadside produce stands and hit up the visitors centre for more local goodies. If you choose to stay overnight you can try your luck with one of the beautiful bed and breakfasts or hit Peace Be Still Campground to take in the gorgeous banks of the Brockman River. Don’t miss the Berry Sweet Strawberry Farm, Stringybark Winery and The Farmgate Experience (bookings required). 

Northern Territory

Tiwi Islands

We recently had the pleasure of checking out the Tiwi Islands and it’s safe to say we’re completely hooked. And the good news for you is there is still (very limited) accommodation available at Tiwi Island Retreat this long weekend. Get there by ferry or charter flight and once you arrive you’ll be greeted by Aboriginal culture, beautiful sandy beaches (with a few crocs lurking in the shallows of course) and breath-taking scenery. When you’re not taking in the naturescapes or chatting to the locals, you can sign up for a Tiwi By Design walking tour where you’ll be greeted with a beautiful welcome to country featuring totem dances and a smoking ceremony, followed by damper and tea and an opportunity to learn about the island’s rich culture. Before the tour is over you’ll get to make your own screen printed t-shirt or tea towel featuring a Tiwi design which will help you to remember the experience for years to come. To ensure the Tiwi community and their land remain protected, permits are required to enter the island and can be arranged here

sparkling blue water meets red sand and lush mangroves on the Tiwi Islands

Tasmania

Deviot

While there’s not a whole lot to do in this cute little town near Launceston, there’s plenty of relaxation to catch up on which, when coupled with Easter eggs and hot cross buns, sounds like an absolute dream. And the best bit, there are plenty of Airbnb’s left up for grabs. Perched on the tranquil Tamar River, your first stop is the weekly Saturday markets to pick up some tasty local produce that you can whip into any number of feasts back at your chosen pad. Feel like you’ve been whisked away to Europe for an afternoon at the stunning Marions Vineyard, open every day. They’re stocked with all of the tempranillos, cabernets and syrahs your heart could desire. If you get tired of relaxing (impossible) you can take a short drive to the perfectly manicured Glengarry Bush Maze and Tearooms where a formal hedge maze, mini golf and paddle boating await.

Prefer to travel with your four legged friends? Check out the best pet-friendly accommodation in Australia.

Image Credit: Elise Cook/NT Tourism, TEQ, asiafoto/Getty

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