Above image taken near Bourke is in 360 degrees. Rotate or tilt your device to look around the image. Image by Jade Jackson.
With Easter falling early this year, it’s an easy mistake to have forgotten to book your accommodation but it’s not too late, with hidden pockets of accommodation, still available for Easter, you just need to know where to look. This year, Easter falls on:
* Good Friday – 30th March
* Easter Sunday – 1st April
* Easter Monday – 2nd April
With average daytime temperatures for March and April up to 23 degrees celsius, (on the east coast of Australia) you can still plan a beach break, before the chill of winter hits. Alternatively did you know you can drive to the Outback in a day?
From Sydney to Bourke takes around 9 hours to drive, and the Port of Bourke Pub (famous because Henry Lawson stayed there) has a renowned bistro, featuring a create-your-own-salad bar, roast vegetables, and potato bake, to go with your grilled steak.
About an hours drive north of Bourke (four-wheel drive is best) you’ll hit the Outback with ochre-red sand, wild emus, and mobs of kangaroos. Even before Bourke you’ll encounter emus, I saw one mob that included about fifty.
If you don’t have a four-wheel drive, then Sydney to Broken Hill in far-western NSW, takes just over 12 hours to drive, and Silverton is an old silver mining town, on the edge of the desert but features a sealed road. It’s also where they filmed Mad Max 2 (as well as 800 Words, and many television commercials) there’s also a quirky museum here, dedicated to the Mad Max franchise.
If you visit Silverton, then continue on for about fifteen minutes past the town to get to Mundi Mundi Lookout. Here you’ll get a sense of the vastness of Australia. To the horizon in all directions is flat, endless desert.
Ever popular is the Central Coast, Newcastle, and Port Macquarie, but there’s less touristy options which can work out cheaper. These include:
* Caves Beach (near Newcastle)
* Shelley Beach (near Bateau Bay)
* Bluey’s Beach (near Forster)
I recently stayed at Caves Beach which is On the peninsular separating Lake Macquarie from the ocean, about 40 minutes south of Newcastle. From the stylishly modern, Caves Beach Hotel we could see the ocean, including humpback whales breaching, on their annual migration. It had a nice pool, a kids club, and onsite bottle shop.
There’s a couple of shops and cafes, in Caves Beach, there’s supermarkets, and restaurants nearby.
Shelley Beach Holiday Park has a good selection of private cabins, some overlooking the beach. During holidays, the park runs activities everyday for kids including a visit from the local firefighters, an animal show, and arts and crafts. It’s only 5mins drive from Bateau Bay which has a decent shopping centre and features Carl’s Jr, an American burger chain, with hand-cut fries, Angus beef burgers, and hand-scooped milk shakes.
Of course, the Blue Mountains are ever popular as an escape, anytime of the year. It’s close to Sydney, it’s peaceful and there’s plenty of jaw-dropping look-outs you can visit, many without even getting out of the car!
For busy weekends, look beyond the usual tourist hotspots of Katoomba and Leura, and instead seek out accommodation in Springwood, Wentworth Falls or Blackheath.
On the way up you could follow the second-hand book trail, eat a bunch of the best pies, or head to one of these lookouts if the weather is crap.
Lithgow provides easy access to wild kangaroo spotting, glow worms and with restaurants like The Blue Fox, and views found at Hassan’s Walls lookout (image below). You won’t find any shortage of things to do in Lithgow, this Easter.
No matter how many times you visit Canberra, there’s always something new to do, watch, see, eat or experience. Whether it’s a passing exhibition, a cultural festival or simply markets.
Just outside of Canberra is the Tidbinbilla Deep Space Tracking Station which has a fascinating museum dedicated to space exploration including objects used and a life-size Mars Rover. Over Easter there is also the play by Award Winning Nakkiah Lui, Black is the New White. There’s also an Easter egg trail at the Museum of Democracy.
So no matter what you’re into, there’s an easily accessible Easter getaway still available to book.
Where’s your favourite spot to escape to for Easter? Comment below.