The lead-up to a wedding can be crazy. If you’re a bride-to-be that needs a break, why not gather the girls and get away for the weekend? As a Sydneysider, you’re spoiled for choice. From the beach to the bush, these are 10 of the best hen weekends, that are close to home.
Thinking about a treechange for your hen’s? Hightail it to the Highlands, which is flush with bushland, cool-climate vineyards and country gardens. Drive down with the girls and stay at The Coach House at The Rift Estate in Bowral. Built in 1890, its stables have been converted into a six-bedroom home with all the trimmings: think claw-foot baths, fireplaces and underfloor heating. If you can peel yourself away, the property is a short drive from the main street.
Rates from $990 per night
8 Carlisle Street, Bowral
With sun-kissed beaches, beautiful boutiques and bustling bars and eateries, the Central Coast is the ultimate girls’ getaway. And it’s only 90 minutes from Sydney! Make this hacienda-style house in Patonga your base for the weekend. Steps from the beach, the three-storey house sleeps 13 people, and has panoramic views of the ocean and Broken Bay. Catch the sunset from the jetty, and then enjoy a BBQ feast on your balcony.
Rates from $236 per night
Patonga Beach (exact location shared upon booking)
In the Southern Highlands, this eco-chic home is the perfect place to spend time with the girls before the wedding. Nestled among greenery, the four-bedroom house has it all and more, including a purpose-built yoga deck, a herb garden, an outdoor spa and a verandah under the starry sky. There’s even a Japanese Zen garden. During the day, stroll down the many walking trails, then share stories over woodfired pizza.
Rates from $374 per night
Wattle Flats Road, Canyonleigh
Step into Soul, and you’d be forgiven for thinking you’re in Hamptons or Bali rather than the South Coast – picture whitewashed walls and ceilings, oak floorboards, and neutral linens, ceramics and wicker baskets. For your hen’s, book The Farmhouse: a white weatherboard cottage that sleeps up to eight. You could cosy up from dawn to dusk, but in the warmer months, the backyard beckons for BBQs and storytelling sessions around the pool.
Rates from $1500 per night
143 Belinda Street, Gerringong
Spend the weekend wine-hopping with the girls in the Hunter Valley. To avoid being the designated driver, book a one, two, three or four-bedroom villa at the Oaks Cypress Lakes Resort in Pokolbin. The resort has a swimming pool, Jacuzzi, golf course and tennis courts for the active hen, and it’s just around the corner from the Hunter Valley village’s many restaurants and old-school pubs.
Rates from $375 per night
15 Thompsons Road, Pokolbin
At the tip of the Northern Beaches, you’ll find The Archer House: a striking home that sits right on the Whale Beach waterfront. With its minimalistic décor and wide windows overlooking the ocean, it’s an interior design dream – and an entertainer’s one, too. Upstairs, you can whip up meals, watch movies, dine alfresco, and see the sunset from the balcony, and then rest and recharge in the four bedrooms downstairs.
Rates from $1400 per night
Whale Beach (exact location shared upon booking)
Cruise to Kangaroo Valley, and settle into this rustic retreat for the weekend. Sitting on 160 acres of lush greenery, the converted farm shed is bursting with charm. It sleeps seven guests, and features a fireplace, an eclectic mix of furnishings and a fully equipped kitchen outside, plus a woodfired pizza oven, BBQ and spa outside. The Insta-worthy property books up early, so plan ahead!
Rates from $363 per night
Kangaroo Valley (exact location shared upon booking)
Wine and unwind at the Rosby Guesthouse, which is attached to one of Mudgee’s best vineyards. With its picturesque country views, the main house has four king bedrooms (with ensuites), a fully-stocked kitchen and roaring fireplace. Brekkie is included, and usually features eggs from the free-range chooks and goodies from the veggie garden. To turn your hen’s holiday up a notch, book a private tasting at the cellar door.
Rates from $680 per night
122 Strikes Lane, Eurunderee
If you keep winding your way through Kangaroo Valley, you’ll reach Newhaven – an impressive home that has room for 10 people. Perched on a hilltop, the house has sprawling views of the valley and its waterfalls. Along with four bedrooms (one of which has a private deck), there’s a kitchen, living room and fireplace inside. If the weather’s warm, dine alfresco under the grapevines or in the sun-drenched courtyard.
Rates from $1200 per night
Upper Kangaroo River, Kangaroo Valley (exact location shared upon booking)