Girls’ trip

Take a refreshing break from the everyday. Sarah Blinco shares three excellent destinations to book with your besties

There’s nothing quite like that time spent with the greatest of your female friends.

Writer Gloria Steinem sums it up nicely: “Women understand. We may share experiences, make jokes, paint pictures, and describe humiliations that mean nothing to men, but women understand.”

This is exactly why we – at any age – can benefit from a relaxed, candid, fun and judgement-free girls’ trip. It’s good for your heart and spirit.

It doesn’t have to be fancy or far either. Try these:

Wineries in the south-east

The Darling Downs and Granite Belt is the surprising contemporary option that’s seemingly designed especially for a girls’ weekend! Get it art director Aimi Hart – also wine aficionado and expert on the area – offers her favourite locations.

“Tours do go to this one, but Hidden Creek Winery is perfect for a girlfriend getaway. It’s got such a beautiful outlook.

Savina Lane has a gorgeous cellar door for tastings and a little boutique selling clothing and jewellery. The Italian owners produce wine which is outstanding and has won many awards.

The Granite Belt Brewery offers cute cabins to stay in and has a wonderful restaurant.

Finally, don’t pass on the Jersey Girls Cheese Cafe, a Stanthorpe icon – amazing homemade cheeses served with matching wine.”

Calm in Palm Cove

An easy – and often inexpensive – flight up the coast to Cairns, will transport you and your squad to a tropical paradise. If you’re keen for a quieter scene, then hire a car in Cairns and follow your bliss about 30 minutes’ north to Palm Cove.

Take your pick from a range of stylish accommodation, overlooking pretty islands and the Reef. Palm Cove is made for exploring cute shops and gossiping over coffee.

When the weather is right, there’s no better place than this to chill-out at a cool waterfront bar and enjoy the beautiful light as the sun sets (Get it publisher Leanne Hart and I vouch for this).

Local activities include snorkelling and water sports, boat trips, rainforest walks and wildlife experiences. Alternatively, agree on road trip music and go for drives. Head up the coast This is exactly why we – at any age – can benefit from a relaxed, candid, fun and judgementfree girls’ trip. It’s good for your heart and spirit. to Port Douglas, or back into the city. Cairns will see three new five-star hotels open in the next eighteen months – there’s not been a five-star property here in over two decades, so perhaps it’s worth adding an overnight stay to your itinerary. If you find yourself in Cairns before your flight home, be sure to add a farewell stop at the sublime Salt House restaurant and bar to your ‘must do’ list.

Ease and adventure in Brisbane

Not too far, yet far enough for it to feel like a break away, Brisbane is always a good idea. Over the years our capital has truly grown into a classy city.

You don’t even need to drive – take a leisurely one-hour train ride into Central, and base yourself near the Brisbane river. The Riverwalk is spectacular either early in the morning or later in the afternoon, as the light, just right, settles across the cityscape.

There’s a host of excellent places to try for food and drinks, from authentic Asian cuisine scattered across the city centre, to casual yet chic ambiance at an old favourite – the Port Office Hotel, and glamorous waterfront venues like the Riverbar & Kitchen overlooking the Story Bridge.

There’s a host of shows, openings and exhibitions on all year round, so you could plan your trip around something unique that’s scheduled. That said, some of the best fun to be had is unplanned. You can easily reach all points of interest on foot in the capital, play it

by ear, and choose your own adventure.

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