Australia

Head off on a boys' weekend away: 8 stays for your next bro-cation

You don't need to wait for a stag do to head off on a boys' weekend away. Check out these eight spots for your next trip with the squad.

While the girls are off on a weekend of partying and pampering, there’s no need to spend your time at home watching Game of the Thrones re-runs. Pack your bags and head off on a high-octane 4×4 adventures or big-game deep-sea fishing. Or maybe you prefer a more chilled affair, like days spent at the beach or exploring the vineyards of Australia’s wine capital.

Choosing a place to go, things to do and where to stay can push organising that weekend break with the boys a bit too close towards the too-hard basket. But not to worry, we’ll help with the planning—our list has all the top spots covered, so all you need to worry about is who’s shout is next.

Island time and mini mokes in the sunniest part of Queensland

Annemarie Strehl

Imagine relaxing in the sunniest part of Queensland, putting your phone on silent for that off-the-grid feeling and enjoying fresh seafood caught straight off the coast you’re looking at. Even though Maggie island, as the locals call it, is only a short ferry ride from Townsville, it seems like you’re much further away from the hectic pace of modern-day life.

If the mood for adventure takes, hire mini mokes to zoom around the island. These four-person go-karts—a mix between a Mini and an open-top sand buggy—are a fun way to check out the island’s stunning beaches and reefs, and a wide range of bushwalking tracks.

If you prefer a slower pace, the Forts at Arthur Bay is a prime walking spot. It is home to one of the biggest wild koala colonies in Australia, so make sure to keep an eye out for these furry friends in the wild.

Hotels in Magnetic Island

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Where to stay on Magnetic Island

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After a day of action-packed sightseeing, end your day enjoying the views over famous Horseshoe Bay from your private balconies at Maggies Beachfront Apartments. These spacious, air-conditioned apartments are ideal for your boys’ weekend.

The rooms’ kitchenettes and large verandas with their own barbecues give you the option of firing up a feast, but you can always head out and book a table at one of the top quality bars and restaurants nearby. For spending days in the ocean, you’ll be in a prime location to the only beach on the island with a stinger net, which means you can swim in the warm ocean all year round.

Maggies Beachfront Apartments

Magnetic Island, 3.6 km to Alma Bay
9.0 Excellent (295 reviews)
Excellent Location 9.1 / 10
WiFi in rooms
Car park
Wellness centre / Spa
Gym
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A boys' trip with food, beer and whisky on the Apple Isle

There are few places in the world with the same avid foodie vibe as Hobart. The compact town centre offers a wealth of bakeries, bistros, pubs, whisky joints and restaurants, culminating at Salamanca Square, which has the highest concentration of eateries and bars in the city.

Hobart is the foodie centre of the craft produce state. Feast on scallop pies, enjoy craft beers you can’t get on the mainland and take a tour of Aussie whisky distilleries like Lark, Nant and of course, Sullivan’s Cove.

Once you’ve eaten your fill and experienced the delights of Tasmania’s craft spirits, make your way up Hobart’s highest point—Mount Wellington—for unrivalled views over the city and the southern coast.

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Right on the waterfront and converted from old sandstone warehouses, the Salamanca Wharf embodies not only the historic vibe of Battery Point but also the modernity of Tasmania’s capital. Its rooms are cool and comfortable, and the fully-equipped kitchens mean you can stock up on local produce from the town’s best delis for a night in with the lads.

When evening comes, it’s only a short walk into town where bars and restaurants line the laneways. For great cocktails right on the water, hit the highly regarded Glass House at the end of Brooke Street Pier. Alternatively, head further into Battery Point for old-school pubs with a naval feel like the Ball and Chain and the Drunken Admiral, and enjoy the history of the oldest part of Hobart.

Salamanca Wharf

Top rated
Hobart, 28.8 km to Bruny Island Ferry Terminal
9.0 Excellent (1346 reviews)
Excellent Cleanliness 9.3 / 10
WiFi in rooms
Car park
Pets allowed
Wellness centre / Spa
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Four-wheel driving, rainforest walks and island lakes in Queensland

If you and your mates are looking for something a little higher octane, Fraser Island is ideal. A quick ferry ride from the coastal town of Hervey Bay, Fraser is the world’s biggest sand island and made for a boys’ weekend away with a four-wheel-drive school, car hire or you can drive your own 4x4s along 75 Mile Beach—the island’s eastern freeway.

Alternatively, hike through rainforest bushwalks and swim in Lake McKenzie; watch as the colours change to dark navy the further you swim out. If you want to go all out, book a scenic flight that takes off and lands on the beach—one of only three commercial flights in the world to do so.

Hotels in Hervey Bay

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Back on the mainland, the Mantra Hervey Bay is right on the waterfront in the heart of the town’s nightlife. The hotel’s spacious apartments are perfect to meet up for a drink before you go out, and the pool and spa overlook the marina. All rooms having water views from their balconies for calm mornings perfect for curing a hangover. From the Mantra, it’s easy to get to the Fraser Island ferry wharf, and you can hire jet skis, kayaks or private boats nearby too.

Mantra Hervey Bay

Hervey Bay, 1.7 km to Vic Hislop's Shark Show
8.0 Very good (2859 reviews)
Excellent Location 8.7 / 10
WiFi in rooms
Car park
Wellness centre / Spa
Gym
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Culture, history and war in the nation's capital

For a spot of culture and history, what about a boys’ weekend exploring the nation’s capital? Canberra’s museums, monuments, and the awe-inspiring Anzac War Memorial offer fascinating insights into Australia’s modern history and the major events that have shaped the country.

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Ovolo Nishi is on the banks of Lake Burley Griffin, close to the entertainment district of the city. The stylish, masculine yet fun aesthetic makes it the perfect stay for a weekend away with the blokes—not to mention the free minibar in your room. Enjoy free breakfast during your stay and even better, borrow pushbikes from the hotel for free to explore the city and the lake.

After such civilised activities, the lads will want to dig into the city’s party scene. Canberra’s nightlife is often undervalued and overlooked, with a wealth of excellent restaurants, bars, clubs and shows on tap. Head to Garema Place—a pedestrianised ‘piazza’—to be in the thick of it or hang around NewActon Precinct on your doorstep for Spanish and Italian dining options. The Canberra comedy circuit offers plenty of laughs throughout the year, so see what’s on at the Canberra Theatre Centre when you’re there.

Ovolo Nishi

Canberra, 2.4 km to Australian War Memorial
8.8 Excellent (1391 reviews)
Excellent Cleanliness 9.2 / 10
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A boys' weekend in the sporting capital

The home of AFL, a heartland of NRL and one of the nation’s finest cricket grounds, Melbourne’s the perfect sporty city break for you and your mates.

Before you don your team’s colours and head to the ground, take advantage of Melbourne’s legendary café scene. Fitzroy’s Lune Croissanterie and Brunswick’s East Elevation are firm favourites and both just quick trips on the tram. Mornings are simple with the whole city giving you an array of quality breakfast and lunch options, and what’s recognised as the best coffee in the country.

At full time, the city’s multitude of bars, restaurants and all other kinds of entertainment—from the aquarium to boat cruises on the Yarra—are near at hand ready for the lads to party on.

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The Adina Apartment Hotel Northbank is comfortable and each room has a large balcony of its own. Rooms are more like apartments, with kitchens and dining areas, which is perfect if you and your mates want to have meals in or set the night off with drinks on your balcony.

You’ll be centrally located, close to the city centre yet on the doorstep of one of the biggest sports arena–the Marvel Stadium. From your hotel, you’re also a stone’s throw from Bourke Street trams or Flinders Street Station, and even better, Melbourne’s Crown Casino.

Adina Apartment Hotel Melbourne Northbank

Melbourne, 10.7 km to Airport Essendon
8.5 Excellent (6666 reviews)
Excellent Location 8.8 / 10
WiFi in rooms
Car park
Pets allowed
Wellness centre / Spa
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Deep-sea fishing and island exploring in Western Australia

Tourism Western Australia

Everyone loves a fishing expedition, so why not get the lads on a boat out on the Indian Ocean? Rockingham—a coastal town 45 minutes south of Perth—is made for anglers. Deep-sea fishing charters leave from the port every day to take you out into the blue.

If you’re looking for wildlife encounters closer to shore, the once-in-a-lifetime dolphin experience will give your mates the chance to swim with bottlenose dolphins. Alternatively, take the ferry to Penguin Island to see the largest colony of little penguins in Western Australia.

You’re also close to famous Rottnest Island, where you can cycle around the island and spot quokkas, or head to Adventure World Theme Park, if you’re all Attenborough’d out.

Hotels in Rockingham

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Quest Rockingham’s serviced apartments are ideally located near the water and close to the cafes, pubs and clubs of the town. Each apartment is decked out with cooking facilities and lounge areas, and the outdoor barbecue’s all yours if you want to cook up your catch of the day.

Quest Rockingham

8.9 Excellent (475 reviews)
Excellent Service 9.3 / 10
WiFi in rooms
Car park
Pets allowed
Gym
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Cookery classes, jet boats and bar hopping

For a crab-cracking, prawn-peeling masterclass, you have to bring the boys to Sydney. Straight at the source, a cooking lesson at the Sydney Fish Market is where you can learn to make the perfect seafood paella or spicy Singapore chilli crab to kick off a weekend like no other.

After you’ve learnt a thing or two in the kitchen, hop on a jet boat and tear up Sydney Harbour, then seek out little cocktail bars scattered throughout the CBD. If beer’s more your flavour, Marrickville’s craft brewery tour will show you some of the best IPAs, Pale Ales and Saisons in the country. Alternatively, what about a pub crawl through historic Balmain, the suburb with more boozers per capita than anywhere else in the country.

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The Hyatt Regency Sydney is the largest premium hotel in the city, so you’ll be sure that there is plenty of space for you and your mates. Rooms are bigger than your average in Sydney and all have water or city views.

For its incredible location, you can’t beat this accommodation as it overlooks Darling Harbour and allows you to easily stroll into the heart of the city. Its rooftop bar, Zephyr, has great views and even better drinks.

Hyatt Regency Sydney

Sydney, 8 km to Airport Sydney
8.2 Very good (5519 reviews)
Excellent Location 9.2 / 10
WiFi in rooms
Car park
Pets allowed
Gym
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A boys weekend in Australia's premier wine country

Famous around the world for its wine, the Barossa Valley is the mecca for a guys’ weekend amongst the vines. Boasting an estimated 50 wineries across its 1000 kilometre-squared region, the Barossa Valley will keep you and your pals busy, happy and well-imbibed. Most wineries offer a generous cellar door experience, showing off their most popular in-season wines. And many offer food as well to sustain you on your wine safari.

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Book a wine tour or DIY it with rental bikes from the Novotel Barossa Valley. Rooms here are bright, fresh and comfortable. Though, we recommend you book a stay in one that has balcony views looking out onto the hills and Jacobs Creek’s Vines.

This hotel also has its own pool, restaurant, bar and even a golf course, so once you’ve enjoyed the cellar doors of some of the nation’s best-known wineries, relaxing back in luxury will fulfil the most ardent epicure’s needs.

The Cellar Kitchen restaurant serves high-quality cuisine with a focus on produce and wine from the Barossa, and there’s even an option to have a wine tasting from the hotel’s own cellar door.

Novotel Barossa Valley Resort Hotel

Top rated
8.6 Excellent (2031 reviews)
Excellent Location 8.9 / 10
Car park
Pets allowed
Wellness centre / Spa
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