Romance | Food and Wine | City | Beach 03 February 2023

4 Places To Make You Fall In Love With Travel Again In 2023

It’s February and that means love is in the air. But instead of making it all about roses and romance, we’re reigniting a love for travel this month. 

People may come and go from your life, but one thing that will remain is a passion for adventure – so find your spark and fall back in love with travel this February. 

Choose to romance yourself with a solo trip away, explore new places on a Galentine’s adventure, or rediscover old favourites with your dear Valentine again in 2023.

Go gourmet in the Hunter Valley

For food and wine lovers, the Hunter Valley should be an obvious choice for a gourmet escape. The rolling vistas and vines of the valley house more than 150 cellar doors. As Australia’s oldest wine region, the Hunter has it all, but it’s particularly well known for its top-class Sémillon and shiraz varietals. 

Of course, there’s more to the Hunter Valley than wine. You and your friends or your significant other can float high above the lush landscape in a hot air balloon, trot on horseback through the vineyards, or cosy up with a fireplace in winter and a picnic in summer. This destination is all about the gourmet, so expect delicious local cheeses and chic restaurants to taste test too.

Where to stay: The expansive 300-acre Oaks Cypress Lakes Resort is located in the heart of the Hunter with a pro golf course and country club, two restaurants, two bars, three pools and two tennis courts.

Related blog: Couple’s Guide to the Hunter Valley 

Sunrise over Hunter Valley vineyards

Embrace Brisbane’s new stride

Sydney this, Melbourne that. What about Brisbane? If you haven’t been paying attention to what’s been happening in Australia’s third city, then you may have missed the part where Brisbane had a serious glow up. Plan a long-weekend adventure to the concrete jungle and get to know the latest iteration of Queensland’s subtropical capital of cool. 

Spend your days soaking up sunshine, culture and galleries, and your nights exploring new restaurants and dancing atop rooftop bars. There are dozens and dozens of new places to eat, drink and play, so do some research and take your pick of new wine bars and old favourites scattered along Fish Lane, at the riverside Howard Smith Wharves, or in the CBD

Where to stay: Base yourself in the heart of the city at the Oaks Brisbane Aurora Suites. This 67-storey tower offers stunning views from its private apartments, complete with a swimming pool, jacuzzi and gym. From here you can walk everywhere you need to go.

Brisbane, Queensland Australia

Get back to basics in Port Stephens

Maybe your idea of travel and romance is somewhere expansive, where the horizon has no limits and you’re surrounded by bushland and beaches. Maybe you’re dreaming about Port Stephens. 

This quiet beach destination offers excellent hiking in Tomaree National Park, camel and quad bike adventures on the largest moving sand dunes in the Southern Hemisphere, and, of course, wide sandy beaches perfect to rest, reset and reconnect.

If you’re in town with a date or adventurous friend, Port Stephens is known as the dolphin capital, and you can join Moonshadow Cruises to meet the friendly marine mammals up close. You’ll enjoy lunch onboard while you zip around spotting dolphins, or you can return at sunset for a three-course dinner cruise.

Where to stay: Relax and unwind in one of the largest swimming pools in Australia at the Oaks Pacific Blue Resort. When you’re not cutting laps in the 480-metre-long lagoon-style pool, recover in the heated spa and Japanese steam room.

Port Stephens Beach

Seek out two World Heritage-listed sites in Port Douglas

You don’t have to travel across the globe to see bucket-list-worthy wonders. Every year thousands and thousands of visitors land on this giant island to seek out the greatest icons – so isn’t it time you explored your backyard too? 

Tropical Port Douglas, an hour drive north of Cairns, is an idyllic paradise backed by the UNESCO World Heritage protected Daintree Rainforest on one side, and the incredible Great Barrier Reef on the other. 

With the reef and the rainforest, Port Douglas is the only place in the world where two World Heritage listed sites co-exist. Spend a day or three exploring the world’s oldest living rainforest. The Daintree hides 180 million years of secrets across nearly 900,000 hectares. Then venture out to the magnificent Great Barrier Reef to snorkel or learn to scuba dive and find Nemo and his friends. 

Where to stay: When you’re not exploring paradise, laze about the tropical lagoon-style pool (complete with swim-up bar) at Oaks Port Douglas. The resort has been designed to mimic the lush tropical surrounds and is just moments from famous Four Mile Beach.

Sunset by the ocean at Port Douglas