Question: We are nine girlfriends turning 60 next year. We usually rent a house for our annual weekend away. Next year, we want a week away - possibly at a resort - within four or five hours' flying time from Sydney. We prefer accommodation as a group, not four or five hotel rooms. Any suggestions as to where we could have fun and spoil ourselves around April next year?
- Judy Childs, Collaroy.
Answer: You don't state if all nine women want to be flashing a passport, as five hours' flying gets you to some brilliant places in New Zealand and the South Pacific. Staying onshore, though, you and your friends could be "glamping" - glamour camping - in five luxury tents built 50 metres from the water's edge at Ningaloo Reef in Western Australia, with the Cape Range National Park behind you and gourmet meals and top wines in front of you. You don't lift a finger, unless it's to point at something remarkable in the landscape. See salsalis.com.au.
If you're thinking deep south and are in a St Trinian's mood, an old boarding school has been turned into a stylish nine-bedroom mansion. Woodbridge on the Derwent, at New Norfolk - is a quiet spot, half-an-hour's drive from Hobart. April is crisp but not cold. See woodbridgenn.com.au.
For northern exposure, Meryula is a six-bedroom home in the Beachfront Mirage Estate at Port Douglas. It's close to Four Mile Beach and has a gourmet kitchen, indoor-outdoor dining for 12, a heated saltwater pool, gym and games room. Port Douglas is about an hours' drive from Cairns. See executiveretreats.com.au
Book now, and remember, negotiate that rate!
- Lynne Whiley
If you have any travel questions, we'd love to hear from you. Write to travelshd@fairfaxmedia .com.au. Personal correspondence cannot be entered into. Only questions appearing in print will be answered. If your question is published, you will win a Lonely Planet guidebook.