Feel free, feel alive and feel new with these picture-perfect nature escapes for your next weekend away in NSW.
Across the state, you’ll find family-friendly farm stays, cosy mountain lodges, concrete jungle urban sanctuaries and romantic holidays in the heart of wine country. These kinds of breaks are the perfect remedy when you need to reconnect with nature. Read on to discover our top picks for the perfect weekend nature escape in NSW that'll leave you feeling free, alive and renewed.
Take a nature escape to: a farmstead
Who needs a blaring alarm clock when you can rise to the gentle clucking of chickens or the solitary crow of a rooster at a luxury farmstead? Take the whole family for a fun-filled weekend nature retreat to places where you can pick fresh fruit and vegetables straight from the garden, collect your own eggs for breakfast and feed the friendly cows, sheep, chicken and pigs.
Turn your Farmstead stay up a notch and go down the luxury route with a stay at Jambaroo Valley Farm. Just a two-hour drive from Sydney, you can enjoy a hands-on farm stay without forgoing life’s little luxuries. Stay in a gorgeous cottage with indoor and outdoor fireplaces and soak in a Swedish hot tub. From here, admire panoramas of the south coast’s Jambaroo Valley and ocean beyond. Head just over 1.5 hours inland from Sydney to Parklands Country Gardens and Lodges, a dreamy farmstead nestled on 28 acres of manicured gardens with a private lake where you can feed the resident ducks.
Take a nature escape to: the mountains
There’s something magical about the mountains. That crisp, alpine air. The stunning, rugged terrain. Switch off your phone and let time slow down so you can enjoy the little things. Head out on a leisurely hike, plunge into frigid mountain-fed creek waters and curl up by the fireplace in the evenings. Take a nature escape to NSW to the Blue Mountains, renowned for its breathtaking scenery: soaring cliffs, eucalyptus forests and waterfalls make up this UNESCO World Heritage-listed area.
For some of the best mountain views, stay at the stunning Belle Bois – an idyllic country retreat in Capertree Valley. True romantics can’t pass up a weekend nature escape to Bubbletent Australia in Capertree, south of Belle Bois. Stay in magical clear domes and count the stars or spot constellations without having to leave your bed. For absolute seclusion, sleep among the eucalyptus forests at Chalets at Blackheath, where just four chalets are dotted across seven hectares of land: it's almost too easy to forget the rest of the world during your stay.
Take a nature escape to: the Byron Hinterland
Effortlessly chic and laidback, Byron Bay is renowned for its beaches, surfing and trendy eateries, and a mere 15 minutes inland, the landscape shifts from golden beaches to the lush, rolling hills of the evergreen Byron Hinterland. It’s the best of both worlds: A promise of rural tranquillity with city conveniences within reach.
Find your bliss at the Bali-inspired Sanctuary in the Pocket retreat, a Zen hideaway nestled amid five acres of botanical gardens. Here, unplug from the rest of the world and spend balmy days exploring historic villages like Bangalow, following walking circuits through the World Heritage-listed Gondwana rainforest, and finding secret waterfalls and swimming holes. For a romantic rendezvous, spend a weekend at Blackbird Byron for adults-only luxury with Pacific Ocean, Cape Byron and rainforest panoramas.
Take a nature escape to: a wildlife city retreat
Calling all lovers of wildlife. Experience absolute luxury on your next weekend away in NSW while around you koalas climb trees, echidnas roam and platypus play at the Wildlife Retreat at Taronga. This elegant eco-retreat is located in the heart of Taronga Zoo in Sydney and is designed to blend seamlessly into the zoo’s bushland while boasting unmatched views of Sydney Harbour’s iconic skyline.
With many of Taronga’s species nocturnal, enjoy the rare opportunity to stay overnight and witness wildlife when they’re most active. In the stunning retreat, savour all the luxuries of modern life. Enjoy high-speed Wi-Fi, sophisticated rooms with high-end amenities and an award-winning restaurant. The undisputed highlight? Coming eye-to-eye with a cuddly critter munching on eucalyptus leaves outside your room’s window.
Take a nature escape to: wine country
Seeking that perfect drop for your next weekend away in NSW? Take a nature escape with a stay amid the rolling hills and sunkissed vineyards of Hunter Valley. A two-hour drive from Sydney, this premium wine region is home to Australia's oldest vines (some dating back to 1820). You’ll also find new and up-and-coming cellar doors, including Vamp by Lisa McGuigan, Brokenwood Vines and Usher Tinkler Wines.
For the ultimate weekend retreat, book your stay at the award-winning, five-star Château Élan at The Vintage. This Tuscan-inspired country escape perfectly places you to enjoy sublime vineyard views, high-end gastronomy and use of The Vintage golf course. All with a fizzing glass of sparkling wine within reach, of course. Or stay a stone's throw from the white shores of Mollymook Beach at Cupitt's Estate, where luxury pods boast al fresco bathtubs and a minibar stocked with the winery's boutique wine and house-made cheeses.
Take a nature escape to: the valley
In the heart of Kangaroo Valley's untamed wilderness is the romantic Wildes Boutique Hotel, enveloped by the undulating hillsides, twisty-turn rivers and small villages. This is your invitation to switch off from the rest of the world: leave your phone back in your room and embrace the clean air, the crunch of grass underfoot, and the trilling song of a rainbow lorikeet.
There's a Californian-style outdoor swimming pool to enjoy lazy summer days beside, while rooms feature their own private courtyard or balcony that's ideal for sharing a glass of wine at the end of the day. The exceptional Wildes Dining is a celebration of the local produce: come for dinner and be wowed by the modern Australian cuisine that's sparked with a fun Mediterranean flair.