Smart (and cheap) little holiday ideas to take over the long weekend

March 17th, 2016

As the rare four-day long weekend approaches, working Aussies breathe a sigh of relief, shortly followed by a momentary freak, usually consisting the following words “Can’t. Waste. Weekend”. We get it.

Never fear Nimble readers, we’ve got your solution. We asked around, scoured the web and talked to the experts on the best (and cheapest) places to go over a long weekend.


Sunshine Coast

We know, the Sunshine Coast is the been there done that of Queensland. But trust us, the old money/everything shuts at 4pm vibe is but a thing of the past. From Mooloolaba to Noosa, there’s activities and nightlife a-plenty to suit a variety of palettes. The once desolate after seven streets of Maroochydore are alive with whisky and jazz bars, multi-cultural cuisines and multi-level nightclubs.

If early mornings and nature are more your scene, the mystically sounding Fairy Pools are the go. Hidden away in Noosa National Park, at the tip of the headland at the eastern end of Granite Bay lie two naturally occurring tide pools, and in our opinion, are worth 2,000 pictures.  According to this guide it will likely take you half the day and there is some rock scrambling involved (so please go at your own risk).

Of course, the most expensive part of a trip is usually the accommodation, so for folks of all kinds of budgets and styles of sleeping, our top picks include:

Camping: Noosa North Shore Camping: $23-$29 per night and Boreen Point campground: from $24

Airbnb: Private rooms in Maroochydore start at $80 per night, whereas entire homes begin at $120

Girraween National Park

The ancient boulders of Girraween National Park are nothing short of dramatic and that’s just the beginning of its natural wonders. Only a three-hour drive from Brisbane is an opportunity to switch off (literally, because there’s no phone reception) and be surrounded by prehistoric nature. Everyone is welcome too; whether you’re a family of five, an adventurous couple, or a bunch of mates looking to create memories. Girraween boasts hiking and walking trails for all levels of fitness, swimming holes and animals big and small. Best of all, it’s a super cheap getaway costing only $5.95pp per night. Score!


For reasons unbeknown, Newcastle gets overlooked as a holiday destination for the prettier sister of the Great Lakes district Forster, but hear us out: it actually has the best of all worlds. Beaches? Tick. Thriving arts scene? Tick. Café culture? Tick. Interesting convict history? Double tick.

Visit Newcastle has some cool itineraries for day-trippers and long weekend stayers. We recommend staying a few days to explore the hinterland, the history and of course, sneak in a few waves at Mereweather Beach.

Newcastle may have the potential to blow a budget, so we recommend going for an Airbnb (starting at $75 per night for a private room) or pitching a tent (starting at $25 per night).

Camping at Pebbly Beach

By the time Easter rolls around, Sydney is getting pretty cold. So if you’re hoping to grasp on to the last of the warm weather, pitching a tent at Pebbly Beach could be your final homage to the sun – for this year at least!

For those who aren’t sold on the idea of messing around with poles and pegs, Pebbly Beach offers primitive shacks for $125.

So what do you do at Pebbly Beach? Well what anyone would do really – swim, read, bird watch, relax, walk, nap… more napping.

Wilsons Prom National Park

Photographers and Instagram warriors: Wilsons Prom was simply created for you and your snapping fingers. It has it all. Soft, whitewashed beaches, whimsical rainforests, striking mountains and offshore islands – all across 50,000 hectares. If you’re hoping to get amongst nature over the long weekend and be Cheryl Strayed (she was the lady who did the whole ‘Wild’ thing – yep, the Reese Witherspoon movie) for a night, The Prom offers plenty of hikes, both day and overnight, starting from Tidal River.

If you’re looking for the perfect balance of comfort and budget, The Prom has the opportunity to camp, caravan, or stay in a cabin or hut.  


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