Peninsula Hot Springs, Mornington Peninsula, Victoria © Visit Victoria
Make memories: 3 Aussie girls’ trips
Gather your best girlfriends for a girls-only getaway that will fulfil a lifetime of squad goals and funny stories.
By Krysia Bonkowski
Make your next girls’ trip one for the memory books. A holiday is only as good as the people you share it with – and if you happen to be sharing it on a private beach, well, all the better. Australia’s hidden retreats and dreamy landscapes offer the ultimate backdrop for quality time. Coordinate your calendars, cancel all other plans; the world can wait. These are the ultimate places for a group trip with your best girls.
Kick back on a private island in Queensland
Where: Pumpkin Island, a 45-minute boat ride from Yeppoon.
Recruit your favourite beach babes for the barefoot island escape you’ve dreamed of. A 45-minute boat ride from the Queensland coastal town of Yeppoon sits Pumpkin Island – 6.1 hectares (15 acres) of empty beaches and azure, fish-filled waters.
The low-key eco-retreat is made up of just seven solar-powered, self-catering lodgings. Best of all, your group can claim this corner of the Keppel island group, part of the Southern Great Barrier Reef, as your own private island without breaking the bank. Living on Pumpkin time, the toughest decision you’ll face will be which stretch of sand to claim for the day. Slip on snorkels and swim alongside turtles, pluck oysters from the rocks for impromptu picnics, and let easy conversation flow beside a beach bonfire long after the sun has set.
- How to experience it: Visit during September to see humpback whales breaching and playing with their newly born calves.
Switch-off and get active in Tasmania's Freycinet
Where: Freycinet National Park, a two-hour drive from Hobart.
Pure white sands curving around calm seas of a startling blue, framed by pink cliffs and deep green forests – even by Tasmania’s high standards, Freycinet National Park over-delivers on scenery. Reconnect with nature and your girl gang while sailing, hiking and swimming together on the Freycinet Peninsula, midway along Tasmania’s east coast.
On Freycinet Experience Walk’s all-inclusive, four-day private tours, your guides will help you discover must-dos like Wineglass Bay, as well as pockets off the tourist trail by foot and boat. At night, you’ll retreat to the sustainable Friendly Beaches Lodge (so off-grid there’s not even mobile coverage), where private chefs whip up multi-course meals using sublime Tasmanian produce. Catch up with your chosen companions at the candlelit table over a local cool-climate wine, before resting up for the next day’s explorations.
- How to experience it: While you don’t have to be an athlete to join the walk, a good baseline fitness level is recommended for maximum enjoyment.
Be pampered in Victoria's Mornington Peninsula
Where: Mornington Peninsula, a 1.5-hour drive south of Melbourne.
If there’s anywhere to sip, swim and sauna with the girls, it’s in Victoria’s Mornington Peninsula. A place where dreamy blue coastline meets rolling hills dotted with picturesque vineyards and steamy hot springs. It’s the calming countryside escape you’ve been waiting for.
Tour the region's finest vineyards with your girlfriends before sinking into the oh-so relaxing waters of the Peninsula Hot Springs. Set amid the lush landscape of the region, the healing waters of these mineral pools will leave your group feeling revitalised, refreshed and nourished. And it’s not just gloriously relaxing hot springs on offer, but a whole range of wellness activities, from yoga to meditation and hot and cold therapy sessions. For the ultimate bonding experience, book your group onto the body clay ritual – it’s not every day you can cover your bestie in detoxifying clay.
- How to experience it: While you’re in the area, book a table a the award-winning Laura at Pt Leo Estate for a long lunch accompanied by cool-climate wine. Walk off your meal around the estate's impressive sculpture park.