Story by Susan Harte, A Magazine.
We are fast approaching the shortest day of the year and the leaves continue to fall… but don’t be disheartened! There is plenty to be excited about with winter upon us.
With our well-worn summer clothes firmly packed away, it’s high time we snuggled up in warm woollens, with a jacket and a pair of boots ready to throw on at a moment’s notice. Winter is a fine time to plan a few adventures away whether it’s close by or zipping over the Tasman for some culture and Kiwi hospitality. If it’s the warmth you crave, you can always head north or venture to the northern hemisphere for a European summer. Whatever it is, there’s something to suit your getaway preference.
The start of winter for me is all about the turning of the leaves in beautiful tones of red and yellow, crisp blue days and roaring fires. The changing colour of nature at this time of year is fleeting – and you won’t find it so much in Sydney, so I recommend you head out to the grandeur of the Blue Mountains.
The Hydro Majestic is the grand old lady of the Blue Mountains. Built in 1903 as Australia’s first health retreat, it has been beautifully restored and now offers beautiful rooms, restaurants with fabulous sweeping views of the mountains and you can even get your tea leaves read. Call into the Norman Lindsay sand stone gallery and gardens and admire the sculptures amongst the falling leaves.
I normally head off the main road when driving back to Sydney, and make sure to stop off at Mount Wilson, a village that almost feels forgotten by time. It is a little taste of England with grand beautiful homes, divine gardens and if you catch it soon enough, it’s ablaze with colour. The home of chestnuts (this is the season to collect your own), nothing could be more perfect for donning those coats and boots…
Another direction from Sydney you can head to the Southern Highlands. Rent a cottage at Jellore Cottage or Settlers Inn – both circa 1860 and cute as a button. Snuggle in for the night around the fire then venture out to the quaint village of Berrima. Make sure to shop at the Berrima lolly shop, and the Cottage – a store that always astounds me with its wonderful collection of English hats and clothing and a whole room of rolls of Liberty London fabrics! Pop next door to the Magpie for lunch or head to Biota Dining.
Whatever you’re getaway preference this winter, don’t forget about exploring the most picturesque spots in NSW’s beautiful back yard.