Hit the Road

New South Wales is back open for intrastate visitors, so you can now enjoy some attractions close to home. Travel editor Winsor Dobbin reports. 

Wineries with cellar doors across the state have been given the green light to welcome wine tasters with immediate effect, and resorts and hotels are once again able to open their doors to overnight guests. 

The relaxation of coronavirus restrictions sees cellar doors able to offer up to 50 guests seated wine tastings, without the necessity to serve food.

“The NSW wine industry has faced drought, fires and the pandemic all in a short period of time and we cannot wait to start to make some new, more positive, memories with the wine loving public,” said New South Wales Wine industry Association president Mark Bourne. 

“Of course, it won’t be back to normal exactly as there are still restrictions and guidelines in place to make sure we all stay safe.

“We are looking forward, however, to those travelling to our wine regions in June joining us on this journey, as cellar doors offer new COVIDsafe models for enjoyable wine tastings and experiences, along with our usual exceptional wines and service.”

Bourne added: “The cellar doors in all of the 16 wine regions of NSW are committed to a successful re-opening, committed to following all the best safety practices and most importantly committed to exceeding visitors’ expectations by offering the very best wines and regional experiences available.

“We have been delighted to receive so many enquiries about coming to visit a winery with a trip to regional NSW, but I must highlight that we are all living and operating in a changed landscape and so to avoid disappointment, I highly recommend that you book ahead for things like tastings, lunches and dinners.

“Once booked, please be respectful by arriving on time for your bookings. Most importantly, enjoy the new safe and exciting tastings and wine experiences on offer across NSW.”

So maybe head to Orange, Mudgee, or the Hunter Valley for a gourmet escape.

Some other NSW travel magnets that should be on your radar:

A bush escape
If you really, really want to get away from it all then New South Wales bush retreat Turon Gates (above) – which reopened on June 1 – is an excellent choice. Turon Gates recently added six riverside, self-catering glamping tents on its 6000-acre property at Capertee on the outer edge of the Blue Mountains. 

The new 50sqm tents feature teak and canvas interiors and combine a rustic charm with functionality. 

Furnishings include a sumptuous four-poster bed plus daybed and lounge area, contemporary bathroom (with bath for two), kitchenette with Nespresso coffee machine and a Danish wood burner stove for winter nights. Expect a welcome gift of local wine and honey, complimentary toiletries, and an in-tent selection of magazines, books, and board games. 

All Turon’s tents overlook the clear trout stream running through the property, which is dotted with cabins and alive with native wildlife. After a three-hour drive from Sydney you will be surrounded by kangaroos, wombats, the odd platypus, and echidnas.

Katoomba, Mudgee, Bathurst, and Lithgow are within easy reach. The sustainable resort is solar powered but wifi is available around the glamping site. 

For more information about Turon Gates including accommodation options, prices and availability visit www.turongates.com/ 

Roads less travelled 

The 12-hour road trip from the inner west to Broken Hill is about as far as you can go in NSW without crossing into another state. For a taste of the outback without leaving NSW, outback tourism company, Out of the Ordinary Outback, has released some special accommodation offers to help cooped-up travellers enjoy the sunshine, fresh air, big skies, vast spaces, and endless horizons.  

Out of the Ordinary Outback’s accommodation properties in Broken Hill and Wilcannia opened on June 1 with White Cliffs opening from July 1. 

Out of the Ordinary Outback owns seven properties in far west NSW: Broken Hill Outback Resort as well as The Argent Motel and The Tourist Lodge – both in Broken Hill, and the Copper City Motel/Hotel in Cobar, Warrawong on the Darling at Wilcannia, the Ivanhoe Hotel Motel and the famous White Cliffs Underground Motel – Australia’s largest underground accommodation. Out of the Ordinary Outback also owns the Tri State Safaris touring company.

From July 1 you can stay at the White Cliffs Underground Motel for one night for $149 per room (including continental buffet breakfast) and stay a second night for half price. 

Stay at more than one property in Out of the Ordinary Outback’s portfolio and receive a 5% discount at each property as part of a multi-property package. www.outoftheordinaryoutback.com.au

A little luxury 

 Closer to Sydney – and a tad more luxurious – Bell’s at Killcare on the Central Coast is offering three nights for the price of two.

 Set on 30 acres adjacent to the Bouddi National Park and with access to seven isolated beaches, Bell’s is the perfect luxe getaway.  The stay-three, pay-two min break package includes three night’s boutique cottage accommodation, daily a la carte breakfast served in your cottage or the restaurant, unlimited wifi and free latest-release in-room movies.  

The Bell’s Day Spa reopens on June 5 and guests can dine either in their cottage or in the Wildflower Bar and Dining restaurant. 

The package is available for $760 per night (third night free) in a spa suite, any night of the week in June, July, and August. Wildflower is open for dinner every night and for lunches on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday from June 5. 

For bookings see:  www.bellsatkillcare.com.au