52 Weekends Away: Australia's best weekend getaways

There are trends that emerge with every 52 Weekends Away issue. This year, the 29th annual edition of Good Weekend's much-loved domestic travel special, it's glamping.

Whoever manufactures the upmarket safari-style tents that are popping up on empty paddocks and grassy lawns around thecountry must be making a motza.

Forget the basic tents of old: these sit on wooden decks, have en suites and kitchenettes, and are usually kitted out with upmarket queen-size beds, rugs, lights, side tables and even TVs. Teeny-weeny pod-type houses are also going up at a rate of knots, so the architects and builders behind that development must be doing it sweet, too.

Other noticeable trends include bathtubs on decks with amazing vistas – accompanied, if the property owner is smart, by a complimentary bottle of bubbles – and a tendency towards celebrating the artists whose work graces the walls of boutique hotels and Airbnbs nationwide.

So dive into our 2019 list of places to stay right around the country, which has been compiled with a view towards both practical advice and couch dreaming – and once again, with the help of our friends at Traveller.

-Katrina Strickland, Good Weekend editor

Queensland

Victoria

Those looking for a short break in Victoria are spoilt for choice – farmhouse adventures, seaside drives and eclectic discoveries await.

Luxury meets  minimalist industrial chic at Ross Farm.

Luxury meets minimalist industrial chic at Ross Farm. Photo: Supplied

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New South Wales 

From hidden homesteads to Sydney staycations and stunning seaside escapes, there are plenty of ways to relax in NSW.

Mona Farm in Braidwood.

Mona Farm in Braidwood. Photo: Kimberley Low

Tasmania 

The best of Tasmania forges together rustic historical buildings and new-world charm.

Moss in Hobart.

Moss in Hobart. Photo: Supplied

Australian Capital Territory

With Canberra's accommodation transforming – and booming – in recent years, art, culture and food are taking centre stage in the Nation's capital.

Midnight Hotel. Braddon.

Midnight Hotel. Braddon. Photo: Ryan Linnegar Photography

South Australia

From scenic retreats to picturesque properties found among the state's rolling hills, South Australia's short-break offerings are legendary – and often boast some of the country's finest produce.

Cadole Avalon in South Australia.

Cadole Avalon in South Australia. Photo: Sam Noonan

Northern Territory

Australia offers some of the best glamping, thanks to our ability to provide remote locations with First-World luxuries. As Tim Elliott explains, for the ulimate Aussie glamping experience, it is hard to beat Northern Territory experiences, including one situated in the Kakadu National Park.

Wildman Wildeness, Point Stuart in the Northern Territory.

Wildman Wildeness, Point Stuart in the Northern Territory. Photo: Supplied

Western Australia

From a modern hostel to art hotels, Freemantle and Perth have accommodation to suit every taste.

The Adnate, Perth in Western Australia.

The Adnate, Perth in Western Australia. Photo: Supplied

About Good Weekend's 52 Weekends Away cover artwork

 William Mackinnon, From the acorn to the oak (2019) Acrylic, oil and automotive enamel on linen, 193cm x 163cm; image courtesy of the artist, Jan Murphy Gallery and Hugo Michell Gallery; Narelle Autio/Michael Reid Sydney + Berlin.

William Mackinnon, From the acorn to the oak (2019) Acrylic, oil and automotive enamel on linen, 193cm x 163cm; image courtesy of the artist, Jan Murphy Gallery and Hugo Michell Gallery; Narelle Autio/Michael Reid Sydney + Berlin.

This 2019 painting is by 41-year-old Spain-based Australian artist William Mackinnon, who was inspired by a visit he and his partner Sunshine Bertrand made to Sydney's Rose Seidler House, designed by the late architect Harry Seidler for his mother. "One day, we would like to build a modernist house in the bush near the coast," Mackinnon says. "From the Acorn to the Oak is redolent with feeling and longing for this dream." As he worked on this piece, Bertrand fell pregnant. "The painting sits somewhere between nostalgia for a country we no longer call home – one of gum trees and surf – and the fantasy of a place we might one day design and live in," he says.

Mackinnon studied at London's Chelsea School of Art and Design and worked as Tim Maguire's studio assistant for three years before earning a masters of visual arts at the Victorian College of the Arts. Over two decades of exhibiting in Australia and overseas, he has been a finalist in numerous prizes, including the Archibald and Wynne. His work is held in several collections, including those of Artbank, Macquarie Group, the University of Melbourne and the State Library of Victoria.

To read more from Good Weekend magazine, visit our page at The Sydney Morning Herald, The Age and Brisbane Times.

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