Five quirky hidden hideouts for your travel bucket list

·Lifestyle Editor
·4-min read

Whether you're looking to escape the daily grind, reconnect with a romantic partner or get in touch with nature, there is a getaway for every Aussie right on our doorstep.

With travel now front of mind after the Covid pandemic halted it for the past two years, people are rushing to book overseas trips and tropical getaways.

However, there are plenty of hidden gems to explore just a couple of hours from our major cities – giving you the perfect opportunity to pack your bags to escape even just for a weekend.

Marlon Law, founder of booking platform Riparide – which provides luxurious but affordable escapes for Aussies to unplug and break free from daily interruptions – says there's no need to look across the ocean, with great travel experiences that are equally as rich right in our own backyard.

"At Riparide, travellers are able to connect with and build a greater appreciation for nature, adventure and fulfilment through our short escapes," he told Yahoo Lifestyle.

"We give our travellers everything from an adventure hiking up mountains and discovering waterfalls, to a secluded, romantic escape with a private outdoor hot tub, and even a quirky renovated bus with an epic view of the iconic Aussie outback.

"For us, travelling locally reminds us of the beauty and adventure we're surrounded by."

We've pulled together a list of five of the most quirky hidden gems you can escape to in just hours.

Five quirky hidden hideouts


Hidden Alpine Village in Hotham Heights, is just a 4.5-hour drive from Melbourne. Hidden in Victoria's Hotham Heights, this getaway is a unique eco-village surrounded by snow and gum trees.

This escape is for anyone who wants to add a little luxury and uniqueness to an average camping trip, with mulled wine and a toasty warm fire pit a must.

Travellers can enjoy their dinner in a cosy communal restaurant tent before staring up at the stars through the transparent top of your private snow-dome.

The Hidden Alpine Village is just 4.5 hours from Melbourne. Source: Riparide
The Hidden Alpine Village is just 4.5 hours from Melbourne. Source: Riparide

The Redleaf Carriage 343 in Fitzroy Falls, just shy of two hours from Sydney, is definitely a destination with a difference. Switch off your phone and breathe in the fresh country air as you explore the bush.

Perfect for those looking for a romantic weekend away, this 1890s train carriage located on a small working farm is the height of luxury.

It is a converted guard and passenger carriage with antiqued mirror walls, cosy doona and robes, and of course, sheepskin rugs.

Redleaf Carriage 343 is definitely a getaway that will be remembered. Source: Riparide
Redleaf Carriage 343 is definitely a getaway that will be remembered. Source: Riparide

Why stay on dry land when you could escape to the Watershed, Dangar Island, on NSW's Central Coast. This unique experience is just a quick jet down the river to a secluded bay where your home away from home awaits you. This boat has three levels, a picturesque 360-degree view and best of all provides ultimate privacy.

Enjoy total privacy and 360-degree views at the Watershed. Source: Riparide
Enjoy total privacy and 360-degree views at the Watershed. Source: Riparide

DULC Tree House is nestled in the treetops of Victoria's Grampians. Get in touch with nature as you dine on your very own private deck overlooking your tranquil surroundings. This getaway is perfect any time of year, so now is the perfect time to pack a lakeside picnic, fish off the side of your kayak or take a walk to Mackenzie Falls, one of Victoria's largest waterfalls.

Ah, the serenity.

Nestle yourself among nature at the DULC Tree House. Source: Riparide
Nestle yourself among nature at the DULC Tree House. Source: Riparide

You'll find it near impossible to leave The Church in Tantawangalo, on NSW's South Coast, with this luxe utopia a must for the bucket list. While The Church offers a homey vibe, there is certainly a splash of opulence in this 1905 gothic revival with a freestanding bathtub and wood fireplace.

The Sapphire Coast is right on your doorstep, with the secluded Pambula Beach a must-visit during your getaway. For those feeling a little bit more adventurous, cycle on Tantawangalo's gravel roads and visit the Longstocking Brewery just a short stop away.

The Church is a 1905 gothic revival with an opulent twist. Source: Riparide
The Church is a 1905 gothic revival with an opulent twist. Source: Riparide

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