Seven reasons to take a break in the bush

TIME TO GO BUSH: Head out to the regional areas and support communities get back on their feet. Picture: Shutterstock
TIME TO GO BUSH: Head out to the regional areas and support communities get back on their feet. Picture: Shutterstock

We know you're busy. But there is always something to celebrate. Here are seven reasons to take a regional holiday.

1. Valentine's Day

Impress your true love with a romantic escape that gives back. Book a weekend away this February 14 at a cute bed and breakfast or maybe a Bubbletent, dine locally and stock the car with regional produce and wine.

For a relaxing nature-filled escape, book a stay in the gorgeous mountain villages of Leura or Blackheath, a beach escape to Port Macquarie, Yamba, Bermagui or Mollymook, or for a true wine weekend head to the vibrant winemaking regions of Mudgee, Orange, Cowra, Lovedale, the Southern Highlands or the Shoalhaven.

2. Easter long weekend

The South Coast areas of the Shoalhaven, Eurobodalla and Sapphire Coast are always a hit with visitors so take advantage of the four-day long weekend (10-13 April) and explore the South Coast and its network of coastal villages.

Go dolphin watching in Jervis Bay, snorkelling with seals at Montague Island, paddle boarding in Tathra or explore the Killer Whale Trail in Eden.

3. Autumn leaves

The cooler weather is the ideal time to head to the Southern Highlands, Snowy Mountains, Hunter Valley or Blue Mountains.

Be it truffle and mushroom hunting in Oberon, apple picking in Batlow or Bilpin, or taking in the autumn leaves around Tumbarumba, Katoomba or Bowral.

4. School holidays

Relive the nostalgic family road trip these school holidays and pack up the family for a week or two of fun and adventure. Explore Outback NSW, ideal in April, June and September, and visit the Artesian Spa Baths in Moree, go fossicking for opals in Lightning Ridge and White Cliffs, stargaze in the Warrumbungles, take a camel ride in Silverton or explore iconic Broken Hill.

5. Mother's Day

Treat your mum to a weekend away this May: book a spa and wine-filled weekend in the Hunter Valley; high tea and chocolate tasting in the Blue Mountains; visit the Koala Hospital and wildlife parks in Port Macquarie; or get lost in the history and heritage of Armidale.

6. Whale watching

Whale-watching season kicks off along the NSW Coast from May to November each year. More than 30,000 whales make their way along the Humpback Highway, and you can watch the spectacular show from clifftops, beaches and cruises.

At Coffs Harbour, you can swim alongside whales with Jetty Dive, while in Port Macquarie, Port Jet gets you out into open ocean in less than 10 minutes.

Further south, at Batemans Bay you can join Region X or Bay and Beyond for a sea kayaking tour, on Broulee Island you can enjoy a 360-degree view of the ocean and in Eden you can celebrate the whales at the annual Eden Whale Festival in November.

7. Weekend away

From a South Coast road trip to a Hunter Valley wine escape to a surfing safari along the North Coast, a weekend at any time of the year is the perfect opportunity to jump in the car with your empty esky - just stay local and shop regional on the way.

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