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5 Weekend Getaways Guaranteed to Beat the Winter Blues

What better way to wait out the last few weeks of winter than by hitting the open road? Speed up spring’s arrival by taking a well-deserved break and see why these destinations are some of the hottest spots to discover while the weather’s still cool.

Savour the Snow in Victoria

Mt Hotham Ski Field Victoria Australia

Trade in the Great Ocean Road for the Great Alpine Road and steal the last of the season’s snow at one of Mount Hotham’s exclusive ski resorts. Oft overshadowed by its coastal cousin, the Great Alpine Road is one of country Victoria’s best kept secrets and a spectacular way to explore the region’s majestic mountain ranges before you hit the slopes.

When you’re finished frolicking in the freshly laid powder, head two hours east to Falls Creek, where you’ll find warming fires, seasonally-inspired restaurants and even an authentic Polish vodka bar – perfect for pretending you’ve just stepped in from Poland’s snowy peaks.

When Sunday afternoon inevitably arrives, skip the traffic and head south down the slalom to return your Melbourne airport car hire without ever having to set foot in the city.

Do a Culture Crawl in the Sunshine State

Brisbane South Bank Night Sky Queensland Australia

While the promise of sunshine and soaring temperatures is temptation enough, in August and September Brisbane also happens to be booming with events and festivals to please even the pickiest traveller.

Grab a car hire in Brisbane and cruise to South Bank to catch cabaret, comedy, theatre and more at the Brisbane Festival – an international arts showcase that crashed onto the city’s cultural scene in 2009. Alternatively, if you fancy yourself as a craft beer connoisseur, make tracks towards the annual Beer InCider Experience, where you’ll find a delicious cast of independent Aussie brews and a stellar line-up of live music acts to match.

Venture through Vineyards in New South Wales

Hunter Valley Vineyards New South Wales Australia

When spring’s approach begins to sway tourists toward the coast, savvy travellers can enjoy uninterrupted access to a bevy of boutique wineries nestled in the Hunter Valley – New South Wales’ award-winning wine region, set just three hours north-west of Sydney’s CBD.

Seize your opportunity to sip on world-famous Semillon at a cellar door or call into the Hunter Beer Co – a petite pub that truly puts the micro in micro-brewing. Don’t let its small size fool you, though – while it may be one of the country’s most miniscule beer-brewing institutions, this quaint little joint packs a punch with a fixed offering of pilsners, pale ales and lagers, as well as a regular rotation of seasonal brews.

Go on a Gourmet Getaway in South Australia

Barossa Valley Wine South Australia

While Adelaide’s legendary beaches and the Barossa Valley are guilty (albeit, worthy) of stealing the spotlight, one mustn’t forget that this coastal town is also at the cross-section of the Clare Valley, McLaren Vale and Coonawarra wine regions, making it prime terrain for pathfinding foodies.

Choose a chariot fit for the occasion and head for the hills in a luxury car rental from Adelaide, where an award-winning assembly of wine tastings await. If the promise of a swoon-worthy Sauvignon Blanc or Barossa Shiraz isn’t enough to whet your palate, don’t despair – Adelaide’s hillsides also happen to be brimming with micro-breweries, cheese factories, and chocolate shops – not to mention the humble town of Hahndorf, where frothy, overflowing beer steins are served cold with a side of sauerkraut and a sizzling bratwurst.

Still too tame for your tastebuds? Plan to visit toward the end of September, when Adelaide’s annual Night Noodle Markets guarantee a weekend well spent gobbling gyoza and devouring dim sum beneath the stars.

Experience Wildflower Season in Western Australia

Wild Flowers Western Australia

If you’ve ever wanted to frolic in a flower-filled meadow Sound of Music style, a trip to Western Australia in peak wildflower season is as close as it gets – unless, of course, you want to splurge on a trip to Salzburg. Go the easy road – in this case, the coast-hugging Brand Highway – and journey 250km north of Perth until you reach Lesueur National Park, which bursts with the blossoms of nearly 1000 species of wildflower well into October.

While the dramatic display is nothing to sneeze at, allergy-prone adventurers might want to pass on the colour-cloaked mountain ranges and hit the pristine beaches of Western Australia instead. Warmer and quieter than their southern counterparts, this is the perfect place to wash off the winter blues.

Keen to ring in spring with a mid-year escape? Book a car hire in Australia at one of our nationwide locations and get ready to make the most of winter.

Images used under license from Shutterstock.com

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