Local Escapes

5 Local Getaways For Less Than $500

By Samantha Kamala
17th Dec 2017

getaways from the gold coast

Here we are in the second decade of the third millennium. Donald Trump is president, Golden Gaytimes have evolved into sandwiches, and $500 does not get you far. 

Having five Granny Smiths to your name once meant you were really close to a home loan or a Valiant with burgundy leather interior. These days it means you could have a really fun slash generous night at Elsewhere or—assuming you’re really good at reloading your internet and have supreme flexibility with travel dates—perhaps nag a flight to Tokyo (where you’ll need $300 a night to sleep in something akin to a coffin).

But alas! In these unpredictable and frugal times there are still some glimmers of hope in the form of delightful local getaways. From a vineyard to a yurt, and even a converted church, taking weekend retreat need not cost you a fortune. 

Skip a few smashed avo breakfasts and these trips will soon be yours.  

Heal House

New Farm, Brisbane

Just up the road, our dear friend Brisbane has a lot to offer the cultured weekend vacationer. Think Tibetan dumplings at The Himalayan Cafe and fields of magic pumpkins by Yayoi Kusama at QAGOMA. But why cram your Brisbane venture into a singular day when you can space the intolerably boring drive over a weekend, staying at Heal House for less than 500 smacks in between? The dolled up Queenslander is adorned in antiques and old world charm, with hand written notes left on stark white bed sheets, nesting between charcoal timber walls. Room rates start at $249 twin share, inclusive of a breakfast banquet of croissants, bircher muesli, local fruits etc. etc. Consider yourself healed. 

Find out more here

The Old Church Bed & Breakfast

Boonah, Scenic Rim

In the year of 1874, the people of Boonah prayed outta purgatory in the walls of a very cute church. We assume it didn’t boast the teal claw foot bath back in those days. Nor the potbelly fireplace and plush white bathrobes. But its arched windows and striking ceilings stand proudly nodding to the holy history gone by. Prices start at $155 per night for twin share, meaning you’ll have spare change to spend in the neighbouring burbs of Beaudesert and Warwick. Or, more likely to splash on the suite of activities the The Old Church offers up, such as sour dough baking workshops, yoga classes and wildlife walking tours. 

Find out more here

Barney Creek Vineyard Cottages 

Bigriggan, Mount Barney

Though we have near and dear grape growers in Mt Nathan and Mount Tamborine, travelling a little further afield will give a true sense of escapism. The vineyard of Barney Creek sits near the foothills of Mount Barney, one of the state’s highest mountains and part of the World Heritage-listed Gondwana Rainforests of Australia collective. After a romantic eve in your Barney Creek Vineyard Cottages lakeside bungalow, you can arrange a picnic of slow cooked shiraz casserole and butterscotch pudding. No shortage of decadence ‘round this neck of the woods. The wine bottled here is not sold in any other retail space, but you can buy a few for the road and quaff the flavours of your getaway for years to come.

Find out more here

The Shalimar Yurt

Wilsons Creek, Goonengerry National Park, NSW

A self-contained timber yurt set on a certified organic farm in a rainforest clad valley of Wilsons Creek. There you have it, the definition of paradise. Just 10 minutes out of Mullumbimby, The Shalimar will see you drinking out of fresh water springs, harvesting fresh herbs, and slowing back to the days of boiling a kettle on flame. Starting at $140 per night quad share, you can afford to do this weekender twice. 

Find out more here

Silk Pavilions 

Mount Burrell, Mebbin National Park, NSW

For that mismatched couple that’s one-part five star, one-part camper, glamping offers a nifty solution. In the canvas walls of Silk Pavilions there is no shortage of indulgence. Timber floorboards, elegant chandeliers and wooden bathtubs are just some of the features in your home away from home complete with jaw-dropping mountain views. Being in this region offers a wealth of activity; picture yourself horseback riding in the Numinbah Valley, downing a satay tofu burger to live music at the Sphinx Rock Cafe or sipping champers as the sun sets on a valley of kangaroos. And you’ll need to make time for the 100-metre waterfall swim at Minyon Falls. 

Find out more here.

More of the camping type? Check out these sweet camping spots around the Gold Coast, perfect for rookies. 

Image credit: Amy Higg

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