As Mother’s Day approaches, don't be tempted to buy her yet another pair of slippers or grab a box of chocolates from the service station. What she’d love most is to spend some quality time with you, so take her on one of these great daytrips.
Blue Mountains, NSW
Nothing says Mother’s Day quite like high tea and the Hydro Majestic does one of the best in the business. Located in the tiny town of Medlow, it was one of the country’s grandest hotels when it opened in 1904. Afternoon tea is served in the panoramic Wintergarden with sweeping views out over the Megalong Valley. The winding drive through the mountains from Sydney is equally gorgeous and there are plenty of lookouts to stop for a quick family selfie.
Australia’s original spa town has been drawing visitors to its mineral rich waters for more than 100 years. Head straight for the Hepburn Bathhouse to soak in the pools and indulge in a dreamy spa treatment. Once you’re suitably relaxed, have a wander around the charming town of Daylesford and its quirky boutiques, galleries, antique stores and second-hand bookshops. Grab a late lunch at the Farmers Arms, the oldest pub in town that’s had a seriously swish makeover.
Rottnest Island, WA
Forget taking the ferry with the hoi polloi. The only way to see Rottnest Island is from the deck of a luxury catamaran with the wind in your hair and a glass of wine in your hand. Rotto (as the locals call it) is just 19 kilometres off the coast of Fremantle and fringed with perfect, powder-white beaches. Your ship will drop anchor for snorkelling, stand-up paddleboarding and kayaking, or you can paddle yourself over to the sand to catch some rays. Keep an eye out for the island’s cutest resident, the quokka.
Sunshine Coast hinterland, Qld
Queensland’s beaches tend to get all the press, but head inland for the day and you’ll be amazed at the beauty of the lush hinterland. The Glass House Mountains dominate the landscape with their striking vertical columns formed by volcanic activity. You can appreciate them from the climate-controlled comfort of your car or get your blood pumping with a hike. The area is dotted with delightful little towns such as Montville and Maleny where the quiet streets are lined with excellent restaurants including the two-hatted The Long Apron.
Bruny Island, Tas
All of Tasmania is a gourmet paradise but on Bruny Island, things get even more delicious. Spend the day driving around this little laid-back gem, stopping off to sample smoked meats, freshly shucked oysters, artisan cheeses, crunchy sourdough, creamy fudge and the best locally grown produce. Visit Australia’s southernmost winery to pick up some fantastic cool-climate chardonnay or try a flight of Tasmanians single malts at the Bruny Island House of Whisky. You’ll probably need a nap on the ferry home.
Barossa Valley, SA
South Australia is famous for its wine regions and the best ones are within easy reach of Adelaide. It’s hard to go past the Barossa Valley, which is at the heart of the state’s wine industry. Jump on a bus or take a private car tour (you won’t want to be driving) for a day of tastings at legendary vineyards like Penfolds and Wolf Blass, as well as some of the smaller local labels. Just remember to pack light – you’re going to need some room in your bag for a few bottles.