Queensland has a worldwide reputation for hot, sunny days and spectacular beaches but the Sunshine State also knows how to shine in winter. Here’s a round up of some of the best Queensland winter getaways within a three hour drive of Brisbane.
Mt Tamborine romantic winter getaway
Mt Tamborine is home to wineries, walks and wonderful accommodation. Seaview Farm Retreat is particularly romantic with three private cottages perched on an escarpment. Panoramic views of the distant Gold Coast and luxurious touches like handmade soaps, super-fluffy bathrobes and Mount Tamborine plunger coffee make a stay here extra special. Pick up a bottle of sparkling to enjoy with the complimentary cheese platter waiting in the fridge then indulge in a Ripple Couples Massage in front of the fire. Seriously indulgent and very romantic. There’s also a two person spa bath with breathtaking views. Breakfast is delivered to your door in a cute basket and tastes as good as it looks: think layered berry compote with natural yoghurt and ginger crumble, toasty warm banana bread and a jug of freshly squeezed juice. Stroll through the rainforest canopy on an elevated walkway at the Tamborine Rainforest Skywalk, enjoy a tasting at Tamborine Mountain Distillery, or browse the stores along Gallery Walk on your way down the mountain, it’s a charming drive and a fitting end to a wonderful stay.
Blackhall Ranges winter getaway
High on the Blackhall Ranges you’ll find Montville and Maleny, two pretty rural communities with an artistic heritage and beautiful views across the range. Spend a few relaxing hours exploring Montville’s shops and galleries before checking into Spicers Tamarind Retreat. This indulgent culinary escape has private pavilions dotted among the gumtrees. Sign up for a morning class at the superb on-site cooking school then sit down to enjoy the results with a glass of wine followed by a massage at Spa Anise. Couples can book the hydrotherapy room for a private steam and spa followed by a rain shower for two overlooking the rolling fields prior to their treatment. It’s hard to tear yourself away from that beautiful pavilion but take the time to discover where that soothing sound of rushing water is coming from. Gardners Falls is the perfect spot for a picnic lunch and just a few steps from your accommodation.
Granite Belt romantic winter getaway
Queensland’s wine capital provides a welcome escape from the big smoke with myriad cellar doors and stellar dining at country prices. Drop into Suttons Juice Factory and Cidery for a slice of their famous apple pie or pick your own strawberries at Strawberry Fields. Granite Belt accommodation is terrific and there are plenty of things to do. Wine tasting is a delight at Stanthorpe as the winemakers themselves hold court at most cellar doors. Amateur aficionados can take their passion one step further at the hands-on Winemaker for a Weekend course at the Queensland College of Wine Tourism. This training college which also has an excellent restaurant specialising in local produce. If you’re looking for somewhere cosy yet contemporary to stay, Mossy Rock Cabin is surrounded by bushland and has an indoor and outdoor fireplace.
Noosa romantic winter getaway
Winter is the perfect time to enjoy Noosa’s thriving food and wine scene, it’s many natural attractions and some great accommodation specials. Take a stroll through the National Park or explore the Noosa Biosphere Reserve, a series of freshwater tidal parklands covering 150,000 hectares, on a kayak tour. A Noosa dolphin spotting cruise is another great winter activity as you can enjoy being out on the water without getting wet. Hastings Street is a top spot for shopping with an impressive choice of boutiques and homeware stores. If you feel like enjoying a meal, a coffee or a glass of wine, you won’t have to fight the summer crowds for a table. Drop into Aromas Noosa where wicker chairs face outwards in classic European style and everyone comes to see and be seen. If you are after something more low key, million dollar views can be yours for the price of a drink at the Noosa Heads Surf Club. .
Scenic Rim romantic winter getaway
Lovers of the great outdoors will appreciate the natural beauty in the heart of Lamington National Park. Hit the trails during the day then relax in front of the fire at O’Reilly’s Rainforest Retreat as the sun sets over wispy clouds slipping between the mountains. This glamorous self-contained accommodation ticks all the boxes: dreamy designer decor, jaw-dropping valley views from the king size bed and everything you need to whip up a romantic BBQ dinner for two. Allow time to stop off at Albert River Wines, a boutique winery housed in a grand historic homestead, for Devonshire tea and a wine tasting or two. Canungra Valley Vineyards is another lovely spot, perfect for a picnic lunch or a relaxing glass of wine overlooking the vineyard before the scenic drive up the mountain to the lodge where native birds herald your arrival.
Springbrook romantic winter getaway
Springbrook is at its best in winter with cosy accommodation that’s perfect for fireside chats. Curl up on the couch with a glass of red or relax in a two person spa bath at Springbrook Lyrebird Retreat while butterflies dance past the window. The Mouses House Rainforest Retreat is another popular choice for couples with 12 charming chalets, some of which have private outdoor hot tubs in the heart of the rainforest. Most Springbrook accommodation is self-contained so bring some decadent treats to share. If you do feel like eating out Dancing Waters Cafe, a casual day time dining spot located next to Springbrook National Park, makes the ideal jumping off point for a stroll to Purlingbrook Falls Lookout. The Natural Bridge is another beautiful spot that’s not to be missed.
Gold Coast romantic winter getaway
With its beautiful beaches and laid back vibe, the Gold Coast has long been a family favourite but not everyone arrives with a bucket and spade. The Gold Coast is the perfect spot for a romantic winter escape with someone special. Keep an eye out for accommodation deals at hotels like The Star Gold Coast, Avani Broadbeach Gold Coast, The Darling Gold Coast, or QT Gold Coast. Winter is the best time to go whale watching on the Gold Coast. The pristine waters just off this part of the Queensland coastline have a whale watching season which lasts from June and November. There are also loads of great Gold Coast markets to explore or you could go on a Gold Coast hot air balloon ride. In winter, you get to enjoy a sleep in as balloon flights at this time of year have a later start plus you get to see the sunrise.
Disclosure: The writer loves getting away each year for a romantic winter escape in Queensland with her husband.
If you’re looking for accommodation in Brisbane, we have reviewed the Treasury Hotel, The Calile, Ovolo The Valley, W Brisbane, Capri by Fraser Brisbane, Hilton Brisbane, The Johnson, NEXT Hotel Brisbane, Sage Hotel James Street, The Westin Brisbane, Oaks Brisbane Festival Suites, Royal on the Park, Ibis Styles Elizabeth Street, Sofitel Brisbane, Crystalbrook Vincent, The Inchcolm by Ovolo, Alex Perry Hotel & Apartments, and Pullman Brisbane Airport.