Who says your friends can't be your Valentine's? Valentine's Day doesn't have to be exclusively about celebrating your significant other; it can be a great chance to show some love for your friends as well. Forget about being alone on Valentine's Day and make this a chance to have some quality time with your besties. Book a car, grab your girls and set off on one of these incredible girls' getaways.
1. Indulge in a winery tour in McLaren Vale
You hardly need an excuse to do a winery tour, but Valentine's Day is the perfect reason to enjoy some of the finest tipples Australia has to offer. At the heart of viticulture in South Australia, McLaren Vale is a region saturated in world-class wineries. Only a 45-minute drive from Adelaide, the vineyard-covered hills have a Mediterranean vibe with sweeping seaside vistas and plenty of beaches to lounge on. The real reason people go isn't for the pretty scenery, however, but the excellent wines.
Shiraz is the most famous variety to come out of McLaren Vale, but cellars in the area stock a range of other wines as well. There is no shortage of culinary offerings either, so eating, drinking, and being merry will all be on the agenda – just make sure you have a designated driver to ferry you safely from one vineyard to the next.
Jan 21, 2017 at 1:57pm PST
2. Take a DIY gourmet Tasmanian food tour
Indulge your relationship with food by heading over to Tasmania to tuck into some of the best gourmet eats in Australia. There are organised tours that will whisk you around the island, but a better way to explore Tasmania's cuisine is to hire a car in Hobart and make your own tour. A verdant isle, Tasmania's soils push forth all sorts of wondrous produce and there is an obvious seafood theme most places you go.
Farmer's markets and local farm-to-table eateries are the best places to start. Some of the best food finds come from produce stalls on rural roadsides, where you can pick up delightful things like cherries, apricots, and raspberries. Seafood restaurants and artisanal cheese makers round out the epicurean adventure. As a grand finale, there is House of Anvers, a confectionery that uses fresh Tasmanian cream to produce the best girly Valentine's Day treat – Belgian chocolate.
Jan 9, 2017 at 10:40pm PST
3. Get a massive dose of cuteness at Cape Hillsborough
A 45-minute cruise up the coast from Mackay, Cape Hillsborough National Park exists at a sweet spot where rainforest meets the beach. In this spectacular location you can find one of the most unique Australian beaches. Cape Hillsborough Beach, also known as Casuarina Beach, is where wallabies and kangaroos hop out to play on the sand. Well, they're looking for mangrove seed pods and seaweed, but they look adorable doing it. As they bound about on the beach, there are ample opportunities to get that iconic shot of kangaroos on the beach at sunrise. Don't try and get too close though: these are wild animals and should be treated with respect.
Dec 7, 2016 at 12:01pm PST
4. Rejuvenate in Daylesford
The best girls' getaways always involve a spa of some kind. Take the chance to treat yo'self and drive out to Daylesford to soak in the mineral waters there. A former gold-mining town, Daylesford is smack in the middle of a region that has the largest concentration of mineral springs in the whole country. Dayesford and neighbouring Hepburn Springs are famous for the bubbling mineral water that wells up from the ground, with a range of spas and wellness centres complementing the springs. There is no better place to go for some physical and spiritual rejuvenation. Daylesford is only an easy 90 minutes' drive from Melbourne; far enough to feel like a proper getaway, but still easily accessible. Go ahead – get massaged and pampered.
Dec 7, 2016 at 5:21pm PST
5. Amp up the adrenaline in Cairns
A road trip to Cairns is always a good idea. A gateway to the Great Barrier Reef and the Daintree rainforest, Cairns is a great place to go for adventure. For a little something that will get your heart racing and lungs sore from screaming, check out the Minjin Swing. 'Swing' seems like too tame of a word to describe this exercise in fear, though. The Minjin Swing takes you from zero to 120 kilometres an hour in just three and a half seconds.
The scariest part is the fact that you have to pull the release yourself. If you need a sweaty hand to hold as you dive into nothingness, you'll be happy to know two, or even three people can ride the swing together – perfect for you and your besties. A rush of adrenaline is guaranteed to cure any blues you might have been feeling on Valentine's Day.
Jan 2, 2016 at 10:51pm PST
So what are you waiting for? Round up your single friends and book a car big enough to fit all of you – this Valentine's Day is all about having fun.