Top weekend breaks less than two hours away

With overseas travel off the table, for the time being, many of us are rediscovering the incredible destinations right in our backyards. With flexible working arrangements becoming the norm, and people being unlikely to take an extended overseas trip, more regular escapes out of the city for the weekend are on the cards.

They say that half the fun is in the getting there – but sometimes, you just want to be where you’re going. So, we’ve rounded up some short breaks less than two hours drive from home, so you can spend more time kicking back and discovering the destination.


Located a lazy two hours south of Perth, Bunbury is a port city, and well known for sightings of bottlenose dolphins close to shore. Enjoy a weekend in this aquatic playground visiting the stunning beaches, picking up some local fare at the farmers market, or soaking up some culture at the Bunbury Regional Art Gallery.

Related: Bunbury to Busselton: Best Beaches & Bites in WA


At bang on an hour 20 minutes’ drive up the Western Highway from the centre of Melbourne, Ballarat has loads to offer for a weekend away.

This colonial city in the goldfields of western Victoria is absolutely teeming with heritage architecture, living history and nature. There’s something in Ballarat for the whole family – from the living museum at Sovereign Hill, to the Ballarat Botanic Gardens and Lake Wendouree, and the Ballarat Sunday Market. For those who love a tipple, make sure you stop by the Red Duck Micro-Brewery and order yourself a tasting paddle to sample their range of local beers. They also make their own gin if that’s more your speed.

Where to stay?

Choose from several Ballarat accommodation options here.

Ballarat Attractions
This is the old fire station at Ballarat East


Head west from Brisbane on the Warrego Highway, and you’ll find yourself in the beautiful mountain city of Toowoomba in about an hour and 45 minutes.

Known for its stunning gardens, and particular the Toowoomba Carnival of Flowers held in September each year, Queensland’s largest inland city offers a peaceful getaway from the hustle and bustle of Brisbane. Explore history at the Cobb & Co Museum, take in the incredible view and a spot of lunch at Picnic Point Lookout and Parklands, or go hiking in nearby Crows Nest National Park.

Where to stay?

Choose from several Toowoomba accommodation options here.

Things for garden lovers to do in Toowoomba
Image: Shutterstock


Just 5km north of Wollongong, and an hour and a half drive south from Sydney is the charming beachside locale of Towradgi.

It’s an ideal for the kind of escape where you just want to kick back with a book on the beach, visit the local surf club for a meal, and generally get wrapped up in coastal life. Being so close to Wollongong, you can the access conveniences of a larger regional city, or get amongst some of the adventure activities like skydiving over the beach. 

Where to stay?

Choose to stay at one of these Towradgi accommodation options.

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(Wollongong, NSW)


Located in the Northland, just about two hours drive north of Auckland is the coastal city of Whangerei. You’ll be pretty hard-pressed to find a destination anywhere in New Zealand that doesn’t come with the offer of spectacular scenery, and Whangerei is undoubtably no exception.

The jewel of the region is Whangeri Falls, an incredible waterfall over granite rocks, and is easily accessible via a gentle walk from the nearby carpark. Another popular spot to explore is the Whangerei Quarry Gardens, where you can take a tour of this lush sub-tropical wonderland in a golf cart.

Where to Stay?

Choose to stay at one of these accommodation options in the region.

Victor Harbor

At a touch over an hour from Adelaide CBD, Victor Harbor has long been a popular beachside getaway from the city. Enjoy the quaint charm of this seaside hamlet with a horse drawn tram ride, take a 30-minute journey on the historic Cockle Train, or take a day trip out to Granite Island, a small wildlife haven. Victor Harbor is also located nearby to Kangaroo Island which is another great option for a day trip.

Where to stay?

Stay at Comfort Inn Victor Harbor, a relaxing Victor Harbor accommodation which offers a range of rooms and is conveniently located walking distance from the town centre.

Eight amazing things to do in Victor Harbor
Image: Bigstock
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