Long weekend destinations that are perfect for an anniversary

It’s the date you just don’t forget (and if you do, you’ll probably only do it once!). Wedding anniversaries are an annual celebration of love and commitment, and there’s no better way to mark them than by making time for each other on a weekend away. Here are eight amazing Aussie short-break destinations that are perfect for revisiting your ‘I dos’ in style. Book your stay with Choice Hotels.

Bendigo, Victoria

Get romantic in Bendigo. Image courtesy of Bendigo Tourism
Get romantic in Bendigo. Image courtesy of Bendigo Tourism

Historic Bendigo melds all the charm of yesteryear with a cutting edge culinary scene and contemporary arts and cultural agenda. Bendigo Art Gallery is renowned for hosting blockbuster exhibitions that bridge a broad range of themes, so check what’s on and make this the anchor for your stay. Special spots to eat include the uber impressive Masons of Bendigo, and Wine Bank on View (which occupies a Victorian-era bank building). Bendigo’s wine regions are renowned for robust reds, and a spot of grape grazing is a must-do. Back in town, do sunset champers at the new Nimbus rooftop bar.

Need a place to stay?
Quality Inn Colonial is conveniently located on the approach into town from Melbourne, while the fabulously contemporary Quality Hotel Lakeside sits opposite glorious Lake Weeroona.

Apollo Bay, Victoria

Gibson Steps Beach, 12 Apostles. Image courtesy of Visit Victoria
Gibson Steps Beach, 12 Apostles. Image courtesy of Visit Victoria

Situated half way along Victoria’s epic Great Ocean Road, the coastal enclave of Apollo Bay is ridiculously romantic and perfectly positioned as a base for enjoying everything this sublime region has to offer. Much like love, a visit to the 12 Apostles never gets old. Also schedule a stroll through the Otway Ranges rainforest at Maits Rest, or above it at Otway Fly Treetop Adventures. For your special night out, Chris’s Beacon Point Restaurant has been at the forefront of the region’s dining scene for decades and never misses a step. Alternatively, check out new(ish) kid on the block – MoVida at Lorne.

Need a place to stay?
Comfort Inn The International is located right opposite the beach and offers beautifully presented and generously sized rooms. Walk to shops, cafes and restaurants with ease.

Mudgee, New South Wales

The Zin House Eurunderee Mudgee. Image courtesy of Destination NSW

Over in the Central West of New South Wales, Mudgee is well known for its culinary credentials and creative spirit. This is first and foremost a food and wine destination, and there are endless delicious delights on offer. Try the thoroughly modern farmhouse fare at The Zin House at the Lowe Family Wine Company, or feast on the fine dining menu at Pipeclay Pumphouse at the Robert Stein Vineyard and Winery. Couples that play together, stay together, so roll up your sleeves for a pottery class or dabble as landscape artists. You can even join a ‘wine school’ masterclass. Browse the options here. Fun!

Need a place to stay?
Located on the approach into town for those travelling by road from Sydney, Comfort Inn Aden Mudgee is the perfect accommodation option for your Mudgee getaway.

Tamworth, New South Wales

Carmen’s Italian Restaurant, Tamworth. Image: Adam Ford

Love gone wrong is often the basis for a good country ballad, but there’s nothing so right as an anniversary getaway in Australia’s capital of country music. For starters, Tamworth has a surprisingly diverse and dynamic dining scene and you’re going to need a couple of romantic dinners and long lunches to do it justice. Try Carmen’s for fabulous Italian cuisine in a stylish setting, the celebrated Glasshouse Restaurant for strapping modern Oz, Deco Wine Bar and Restaurant for fare with Art Deco flair (kick off proceedings with a cocktail in the bar), and The Gallery Restaurant for seasonal dishes that showcase the finest local produce. Country drives from Tamworth are a delight, including to nearby Barraba to see its soaring silo art. Cosy up over a prohibition-era cocktail at The Press bar in the basement of the Northern Daily Leader Building.

Need a place to stay?
Located in the heart of the CBD, CH Boutique Hotel, Ascend Hotel Collection melds Art Deco style with modern convenience. Just five minutes’ drive west of the city centre, Quality Inn Ashby House Tamworth offers terrace suites, premier and deluxe rooms, a family suite, and a self-contained apartment. Fancy diving into a guitar-shaped swimming pool? You can’t go past a stay at the Econo Lodge Savannah Park Tamworth.

Rockhampton, Queensland

Rockhampton is renowned as the capital of Queensland’s cattle country, but under that tough exterior beats the heart of a true romantic. Fancy an impromptu vow renewal? Aim high at the Nurim Circuit Elevated Boardwalk on Mount Archer or go low in the Cathedral Cave at the Capricorn Caves (which comes complete with chapel-style seating and a stone pulpit!). Give your love wings (well, blades at least) on a scenic flight over the city of Capricorn Coast with Rockhampton Helicopters. Then push the boat out on dinner and drinks at Boathouse overlooking the Fitzroy River, or style it up even further in the chic laneway restaurant at Headricks Lane.

Need a place to stay?
Quality Hotel Regent Rockhampton occupies a fully restored former TAFE college (circa 1914), and no expense has been spared upgrading the interior to 21st century standards. Close by, Denison Boutique Hotel, Ascend Hotel Collection is a traditional luxury guest house in every sense. Be transported back to yesteryear, while enjoying all the conveniences that modern travellers expect.

Adelaide

Explore Adelaide’s boutique bar scene, including Mr Goodbar. Image courtesy of The South Australian Tourism Commission.

Adelaide is a destination that was made for celebrating something special. Great restaurants, fine wine, top notch cultural attractions, stunning parks and gardens, and a hand-in-hand-walkable city centre are all part of the attraction. Enjoy a stroll through the gorgeous 51 hectare Adelaide Botanic Gardens or hire a paddle boat built for two and navigate the picturesque Torrens River. You’ll pass Adelaide Zoo – home to celebrity panda power couple Wang Wang and Fu Ni. Eating out in Adelaide is about as good as it gets. Channel good vibes from the city of love at Parisian-style Delicatessen Kitchen & Bar or try the sublime menu of culinary concoctions at Apoteca. Then settle in for cocktails in one of the inner city’s super cool small bars.

Need a place to stay?
Browse all Adelaide accommodation options.

Kalgoorie

Your golden anniversary may still be some way off but that doesn’t mean you can’t add a touch of glitter to this year’s celebration. Just head for historic Kalgoorlie in Western Australia’s Goldfields-Esperance region. Start your visit by doing the excellent Kalgoorlie Boulder Audio Walking Tour, which will introduce you to more than 50 heritage sites across the Kalgoorlie and Boulder CBDs. Many were built on the back of the gold rush of the late 1800s. Today, unimaginable wealth continues to be drawn from the Super Pit, and if you’re interested, mine tours operate on the third Sunday of the month. Alternatively, why not try and strike it lucky yourselves? Book in for a day of prospecting on a private gold lease with Gold Prospecting Kalgoorlie. In the evening, enjoy some gold-plated outback hospitality at one of Kalgoorlie’s many heritage pubs. Carriages Restaurant offers upscale bistro meals in a contemporary setting.

Need a place to stay?
Quality Inn Railway is located just a stone’s throw from the heart of Kalgoorlie and features a seasonal tropical-style outdoor pool. Room service is available from onsite Carriages Restaurant.

Plan your anniversary getaway with Choice Hotels

Choice Hotels has you well and truly covered in Australia with a superb range of accommodation options to suit every budget. Search online and book direct for a Lowest Price Guarantee.

About the writer
Adam Ford is editor of The Big Bus tour and travel guide and a travel TV presenter, writer, blogger and photographer. He has previously had the opportunity to travel the world as host of the TV series Tour the World on Network Ten.

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