The Weekend Series: five cosy cottages perfect for your next winter weekender
Just because the temperature is dropping doesn’t mean our desire to get out and about diminishes. Winter is the perfect time for travelling, especially when it means have your pick of cottages and quaint bed and breakfasts. We’re all for getting outside and checking out our own backyard, which is why we’ve sourced five adorable cottages (that are only a few hours drive away) that make for wonderful winter escapes.
Godshill, Bunya Mountains
There’s nothing quite like a sojourn to the mountains, especially when the big-city bustle becomes too much to bear. Godshill is a stunning self-contained retreat that has the right amount of rustic charm and modern amenities, offering a perfect balance for a relaxing weekend away. The lodge is a Queenslander home that can sleep 14, situated on a private estate that is bracketed by rainforest and Bunya pines. New kitchens, bathrooms and furniture were added to the residence in 2015, but a quaint antique feel has been retained and matched by a curated selection of wall art. The building also features a bird watching bar for nature lovers, hanging egg chairs for the down-tempo relaxing types, a games room for the competitive ones, a fireplace (a winter necessity) and a fully-equipped kitchen.
Valleydale Cottage, Byron Bay
Although it’s winter, there’s no reason to avoid the beach. If we’re being completely honest, this adorable abode is actually situated in the hinterlands, but it’s only a hop, skip and a jump from the water if you fancy a chilly dip. Valleydale Cottage is a picturesque destination situated in the lush hilly surrounds of Goonengerry near Byron Bay. Retaining the original aesthetics of a bygone era, the abode allows guests to take in the morning mists settling on the valley from the impressive veranda, or snuggle up inside in front of the crackling wood fire. The building boasts an on-site library, luxurious bathrooms, romantic king-size beds and an expansive country-style kitchen. Most importantly though, it looks simply stunning. Few cottages are as stylish as this.
Image: Valleydale Cottage
Let’s set a scene – you wake up from a restful slumber to a jaw-dropping view of mist rolling across a picturesque lake. Sounds serene, doesn’t it? Well, that’s just one of the things you can look forward to if you stay at Cloudlake. Tucked away on the fringes of Ravensbourne National Park, Cloudlake is an organic farm that features rolling vineyards, landscaped gardens and olive groves, as well a picture-perfect lake surrounded by rainforest. On the fringes of this forest you’ll find Cloudlake’s lodges – two gorgeous structures that make for ideal getaway abodes. The Boathouse is a contemporary pole house with decks overhanging the lake, cooking facilities, barbecue, a wood fireplace and hammocks for idle snoozes. The neighbouring house Mother of Ducks is the larger spot, perfect for families or groups with wrap-around verandas, an outdoor kitchen, a spacious undercroft and more.
Over the cold season, Stanthorpe turns into a dreamy winter destination with an abundance of cosy accommodation choices. Alure is a luxury retreat situated on gorgeous farmland, surrounded by granite boulders and boasting two amazing villas. Set amongst native bushland, these domiciles are secluded and tranquil, offering opportunities for relaxing and revelry. Get comfortable in front of the slow-combustion fire with a wine, gaze upward at the stars, cook up a storm in the top-notch kitchen or outdoor barbecue, get intimate in the outdoor heated spa or sleep soundly in one of the cushy king-size beds.
Hillview Cottages, Kingaroy
If you’re seeking a chance to soak up a bit of history during your whirlwind weekend away, Hillview Cottages in Kingaroy has history to spare. The three cottages on site are longstanding structures that have been repurposed with a host of handy amenities. The Church was originally built in 1912, and has been renovated to include an open-plan living space, fireplace, deck, galley kitchen, spa bath, and a private paved deck with barbecue. The Cottage is a renovated caretaker’s cottage that boasts polished wooden floors, unbeatable views of the South Burnett countryside and a two-person spa bath. The Dairy is the final cottage, which sleeps six adults with a host of amenities for groups to take advantage of.
Image: Sandy Hunt