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Lilianfels

Lilianfels, Katoomba.Lilianfels Avenue, Katoomba, NSWphone: (02) 4780 1200web: lilianfels南京夜网.au
Nanjing Night Net

Lilianfels is made for hedonists wishing to come over all Brideshead Revisited.

Set in English-style gardens, the 85-room country-house resort features a spacious Victorian-era lounge, library, open fires, spa, gym, a billiards room and swimming pools.

Lilianfels is just three minutes’ walk from the iconic Three Sisters, with heart-stopping views over the Jamison Valley, and great bushwalks within easy access.

The region is also dotted with little towns full of brilliant bakers, cosy cafes and smart, sophisticated restaurants. And you won’t do better than the Victorian wood-panelled dining room of the one-hatted Darley’s.

Cost: deluxe rooms from $553 a night (two night minimum stay), including breakfast.

Distance: 100km (2 hours’ drive) west of Sydney.

– Good Weekend

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Alpine Habitats

Alpine Habitats, Crackenback near Thredbo.Corner of Alpine Way and Wollondibby Road, Crackenback, NSWphone: (02) 6457 2228web: alpinehabitats南京夜网.au
Nanjing Night Net

In between Jindabyne and Thredbo are the 18 two-bedroom self-contained cabins of Alpine Habitats, all eco-friendly and north-facing with double-glazed windows and ethanol fireplaces.

The sleek, modern interiors make staying in and gazing through the windows at atmospheric snow gums very tempting, but when the mood to get mobile strikes, the Thredbo and Perisher ski fields, Lake Jindabyne, fishing, mountain-bike riding and waterskiing are all nearby.

If that sounds too energetic, Wildbrumby Schnapps Distillery Door and Cafe is next door.

A nanny service, breakfast hampers and yoga classes are available, and if you have kids, their bedroom is stocked with toys and children’s furniture.

Cost: from $518 a night in high season.

Distance: 470km (6 hours’ drive) south-west of Sydney.

– Good Weekend

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Elliminook

Elliminook.585 Warncoort Birregurra Road, Birregurra, Great Ocean Road, Vicphone: (03) 5236 2080web: elliminook南京夜网.au
Nanjing Night Net

With a main street wide enough to turn a bullock wagon, Birregurra wouldn’t need much tweaking to become a frontier film set.

Drive just out of town, cross a bridge, turn into a green-tunnel driveway and you could be going back even further.

The homestead, built circa 1865, was extended in 1914 and again in 1989, but one of the choicest rooms in this period-furnished, five-bedroom B&B is the original kitchen, complete with built-in oven. The U-shaped complex looks inwards to a rose garden featuring the old household well and outwards onto flowerbeds.

The guest lounge and dining room invite an early sherry or after-dinner port and even, perhaps, musings about “the good old days”.

Cost: from $180 for a double room a night, including breakfast. Winter special until August: pay for two nights, stay for three in the Hope or Bromfield rooms (including continental breakfast).

Distance: 140km (2 hours’ drive) west of Melbourne.

– Good Weekend

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Abergeldie

Abergeldie, Smeaton.3472 Creswick-Newstead Road, Smeaton, Vicphone: (03) 5345 6223web: daylesford.net.au/abergeldie
Nanjing Night Net

To arrive at Abergeldie, with its four antique-filled bedrooms in a lovingly preserved 1870s homestead, is to sit down to home-made cake with cream and tea, served in front of a roaring fire. The tone for your next 36 hours is set.

It’s hard to believe you are in a B&B although, in this case, perhaps it should be called Breakfast and Bed.

Not that there’s anything wrong with the Himalayan mound of pillows and the snowy sheets: it’s just that a meal that includes fresh juice, a choice of fruit dishes (stewed and fresh), a range of cereals, followed by eggs, country bacon, garlic mushrooms and tomatoes with toast, home-made jams and unlimited cups of tea or coffee should not come second to anything.

Cost: cottage, $175 a night; homestead bedrooms, $165 a double a night (includes cooked breakfast).

Distance: 125km (11/2 hours’ drive) north-west of Melbourne.

– Good Weekend

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Wombarra Beach House

Wombarra, NSW (exact address provided on booking)phone: (02) 9331 2881web: contemporaryhotels南京夜网.au
Nanjing Night Net

Nestled in the bush, Wombarra Beach House’s sense of seclusion and privacy could satisfy even the most paranoid celebrity. And if the visitor were a celebrity chef, all the better.

The kitchen features an expansive stainless-steel benchtop, which could be one of the reasons Rose Gray of London’s River Café once rented this place.

The four-bedroom, two-bathroom glass and steel house has a central wood-fired heater (which can be boosted by the reverse-cycle heating), cool decor and ultra-comfortable beds. Rug up for walks on the nearby Sea Cliff Bridge or northern Illawarra beaches such as Austinmer, or for a visit to Wombarra Sculpture Garden.

Cost: from $800 a night (two night minimum stay); $700 a night for a five night minimum stay.

Distance: 65km (1 hour’s drive) south of Sydney.

– Good Weekend

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The Buckland Studio Retreat

The Buckland Studio Retreat.McCormacks Lane, Buckland Valley, Vicphone: 0419 133 318web: thebuckland南京夜网.au
Nanjing Night Net

Attention to detail sets Buckland Studio Retreat apart from many other weekend-away offerings.

There’s the choice of three types of pillow, L’Occitane personal products, fluffy heated towels, an espresso machine in each of the five self-contained studios, and a selection of good magazines.

Plus there’s the guests-only “breakfast cafe”, just a short walk through a pasture to a funky farm shed.

Here, anyone familiar with what the Germans call frühstück will savour the buffet of fresh fruit, local bread, cheeses, spreads, home-made muesli, eggs, bacon and all the trimmings, plus the morning papers and an endless flow of coffee.

All this just 12 kilometres from Bright, and perfectly sited to capture a dramatic sweep of the Buckland Valley from your architect-designed studio’s doorstep.

Cost: from $300 a night, including breakfast (two night minimum stay). Packages available.

Distance: 330km (4 hours’ drive) north-east of Melbourne.

– Good Weekend

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The Cottage at Hopewood

The Cottage at Hopewood.Hopewood Country House & Garden201 Centennial Road, Bowral, NSWPhone: 0411 448 817web: hopewoodcountryhouse南京夜网.au
Nanjing Night Net

This self-contained cottage has two bedrooms, so is suitable for one or two couples, and the kitchen and pantry are generously stocked with enough provisions for a delicious breakfast.

Thoughtful touches, such as marshmallows for hot chocolate and good instructions for appliances, make for a relaxing stay, plus there is a coffee machine, a variety of teas, magazines, board games, DVDs and CDs, an open fire, bath, tennis court, underfloor heating in the main bathroom, heated towel racks, expansive gardens and more. The restaurants, cafes and wineries of Bowral are all within easy striking distance, as is the Bradman Museum, bushwalks and golf courses.

Cost: one couple, $330 a night; two couples, $440 a night. Two night minimum stay.

Distance: 120km (11⁄2 hours’ drive) south-west of Sydney.

– Good Weekend

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Outlook Hill Vineyard

97 School Lane, Healesville, Vicphone: (03) 5962 2890web: outlookhill南京夜网.au
Nanjing Night Net

Three cottages sit overlooking a gentle Yarra Valley panorama of vineyard, grazing country, bush and hills.

The Chocolate Cottage, so named for its decor (and not the complimentary Lindt), is tasteful and comfortable. A vaulted ceiling, french doors and lots of glass on the valley side give it a feeling of space, the bathroom is impeccable and the bench kitchen well stocked.

To one end lies the home vineyard, producing wines that have picked up awards since their first vintage in 2003, and the restaurant. It will deliver, but you’d miss out on encountering the theatrical maître d’ who takes every order with a flourish.

At first glance, the relaxed air, cafe-style tables and reasonable prices suggest a casual meal is in the offing, but the food – big on local produce – is splendid. The TarraWarra Museum of Art (311-315 Healesville-Yarra Glen Road, Healesville; 03 5957 3100; twma南京夜网.au) is a short walk away, but you could easily spend a weekend at Outlook Hill without venturing out.

Cost: Pinot and Lime cottages, $520 a weekend (two nights) for two adults (extra adults, $35 each); Premium Chocolate Spa Cottage, $560 a weekend; Gallery suites (two), $580 a weekend.

Distance: 65km (1 hour’s drive) east of Melbourne.

– Good Weekend

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Cedars Mount View

Cedars Mount View.60 Mitchells Road, Mount View, NSWphone: (02) 4990 9009web: cedars南京夜网.au
Nanjing Night Net

The location The Hunter Valley, north of Sydney, is Australia’s oldest wine-growing area and the nation’s sixth-most-visited destination. The area extends from about 120 kilometres to 310 kilometres north of Sydney and is known for its shiraz and semillon grape varieties. There are also plantings of chardonnay, cabernet sauvignon and a small quantity of pinot noir.

The place Cedar Mount View comprises a “nest” of five luxuriously decked-out cedar cottages that have been carved out of a eucalypt forest, each one located at the end of its own “drive” for maximum seclusion. The setting is idyllically rural and only half an hour’s drive from the village of Pokolbin, which lies at the very heart of the Hunter Valley region.

The experience It’s hard to think of a more luxurious and private getaway. If you arrive after dusk, you can be sure of being on the receiving end of some good, old-fashioned hospitality; owner Jenny Lewis or her daughter, Bree, will have nipped up from their nearby homestead to light candles and turn on the wood stove (which, as it turns out, is activated – miraculously – by the mere press of a button!). The whole scene will be suffused with a warm, orange glow. All that’s then left for you to do is to ease the lid off a complimentary bottle of locally produced Briar Ridge Shiraz and congratulate yourself on the immense good fortune that brought you here. By day, explore the many epicurean delights of the Hunter Valley, which include any number of boutique wineries and, more to the point, their very caring-and-sharing cellar doors.

Don’t miss … making a reservation (Friday and Saturday nights only) at Robert Molines’s fine-dining (and hatted) Bistro Molines (749 Mount View Road; 02 4990 9553; bistromolines南京夜网.au) at nearby Tallavera Grove Vineyard. Or if you prefer a more casual vibe (lunches and brunches only), drop in at his lower-key Briar Grillade Cafe (Briar Ridge Vineyard, 593 Mount View Road; 02 4990 8601; briarridge南京夜网.au) for a truly magnificent chargrilled eye fillet of beef on gorgonzola gnocchi.

Cost: The Gums, $315-$425 a night; The Vue, $425-$550 a night (two night minimum stay).  

Distance: 160km (2 1/4 hours’ drive) north of Sydney.

– Good Weekend

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Keevers Cottage

Keevers Cottage.Upper Kangaroo River Road, Kangaroo Valley, NSWphone: (02) 4465 1404web: keeverscottage南京夜网.au
Nanjing Night Net

The location The green, green hills in and around Kangaroo Valley, some 150 kilometres south of Sydney, offer stunning vistas. Contented dairy cows graze on lush pastures under impressive sandstone escarpments, while in the Kangaroo Valley township, cafes, restaurants, antique shops and an ice-creamery tempt the passing tourist.

The place Heading north from the town, cross the historic 1898 Hampden Bridge, take the first right and travel seven kilometres on a narrow road into the far reaches of Upper Kangaroo Valley. There, beneath walls of ochre-coloured rock, you’ll find Keevers Cottage. Looking deceptively small and rustic on approach – it was once a remote post office ­- and standing amid perfectly manicured lawn, maple trees and a stone-edged pond, the wooden cottage has been superbly restored. There are three bedrooms and a huge open-plan kitchen, dining and lounge area that is perfect for families and/or group entertaining.

The experience Seclusion is the key word. Apart from the odd burrowing wombat, you’re unlikely to be disturbed during your stay. Winter chills are of little concern, thanks to a north-facing deck that captures the sun all day – perfect for a glorious long lunch. At night, sit around the outdoor fireplace and admire the constellations overhead, or snuggle up inside on the comfy lounges and enjoy the central heating. Or you could fold open the windows on both sides of the spa and enjoy a hot tub while looking out at panoramic views. This is what they must mean by the saying “Immersed in nature”!

Don’t miss … There are several bushwalks in the surrounding area, including along the rim of the Fitzroy Falls, while at the end of Upper Kangaroo River Road is a delightful swimming hole. At Kangaroo Valley township, grab a beer and grub at the historic Friendly Inn (59 Moss Vale Road, Kangaroo Valley; 02 4465 1355). For the more adventurous, there are kayak trips down the Kangaroo River with Kangaroo Valley Safaris (02 4465 1502; kangaroovalleycanoes南京夜网.au) or Kangaroo Valley Adventure Company (02 4465 1372; kvac南京夜网.au).

Cost: $595 a weekend for one bedroom; $695 for two bedrooms; $795 for three bedrooms; $25 booking fee. Two night minimum stay.

Distance: 155km (2 hours’ drive) south-west of Sydney.

– Good Weekend

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