Charming yet cheap weekend getaways around Australia

From Fremantle to the Blue Mountains, we've got the best options for a weekend getaway around Australia that won't break the bank.

If there’s one thing everyone loves, it’s a cheap weekend getaway. And Australia’s stocked with pretty stellar options—think rustic retreats next to white sand beaches and verdant valleys, or swanky suites at the heart of a bustling city or away in the countryside. Unwind in the splendour of a historic mountain lodge, head to a buzzing capital for some city-centred sightseeing, or embrace the outdoors at an island-based camping site.

There’s nothing quite like occasional cheap weekends away from the daily grind to revive the soul. And with so much to choose from, finding the perfect place for your escape can be a little overwhelming. So, we’ve selected some of the finest affordable accommodations from around the Aussie map to make things easy.

Waterfront living in the Adelaide suburbs


For an easy cheap weekend away, head to Adelaide’s alluring Largs Pier on the serene waterfront in the city’s suburbs. This stately boutique hotel is a feast for the eyes, with upscale heritage rooms swathed in richly coloured soft furnishings and bathed in ambient lighting. Wake at your leisure within the elegant décor of a Deluxe Heritage Room, and take in the morning air from your private balcony before tucking into a complimentary breakfast of eggs royale in laid-back Largs Bar.

On sunny mornings, meander along the glimmering shoreline of Semaphore Beach and pop into the historic Semaphore Tower for a brief insight into the area’s history. You can then call in at quirky Lickerish for a light lunch of eggplant and tofu dumplings, or pick up a treat or two in the charming shops on Jetty Road. After your wanderings, head back for a cheeky afternoon nap in your suite’s comfortable queen bed before moseying down to the hotel’s Pier Restaurant for an indulgent prosciutto-wrapped chicken breast followed by chocolate cheesecake.

Largs Pier Hotel

9.2 Excellent (1085 reviews)

A cheap weekend getaway in bohemian Fremantle


The Local in South Fremantle epitomises decadence without a hefty price tag. Housed in a heritage pub parallel to the waterfront, you’ll find eight boutique rooms decorated by talented local creatives.

Check into your own personal sanctuary in the aptly-named room The Snug, where you can cosy up to the feature fireplace next to your modern four-poster bed for some weekend reading. If you’ve brought a bit of work with you on your break, you’ll still get those relaxed vibes at your room’s lamp-lit writing desk.

Brunch is big in Fremantle, and you needn’t go far for a feast. Sample Abhi’s brioche French toast with creamy coconut mousse in the hotel’s restaurant, then head out to wander the town’s bohemian epicentre. A 15-minute walk will bring you to the labyrinthine Fremantle Markets, where handmade crafts are displayed next to mouthwatering fresh produce for an eclectic mix of locals and tourists.

Grab a bargain or two, then make your way to Little Creatures Brewery for a fascinating tour—or just sit in the sun-dappled back courtyard to sample Elsie’s WA ale. When your stomach starts to rumble, return to the hotel for a platter of chilli cheese and bacon fries, then settle into the evening with a dram in The Whiskey Bar.

The Local Hotel

9.0 Excellent (254 reviews)

Sunny St Kilda for weekend getaway with an artistic touch


It’s worth travelling the six kilometres from Melbourne to soothing St Kilda for a wallet-friendly, artsy break at four-star hotel Tolarno. Formerly a gallery and the previous home of famed artist Mirka Mora, this luxury accommodation boasts a range of suites for different bank balances and needs.

You can easily keep to your budget in the Piccolo Room, where colour and style collide to provide a cool space brightened by prize-winning artworks. Sip a steaming Nespresso coffee as day breaks, then slip out to St Kilda West Beach for a sun-soaked morning. On especially hot summer days, trade sunbathing for a cool down in the shimmering turquoise waters.

Meander through the Catani Gardens and grab a fruity ice cream at Beachcomber Cafe before returning to the hotel to freshen up in your sparkling ensuite. Once suitably dressed in an airy evening outfit, you can settle in at a table in Tolarno Eating House—big appetites should order the pressed lamb shoulder with garlic-and-rosemary roast potatoes. If you’re up for a challenge, sign up for the Neighborhood Trivia night for the chance to win a few dollars—use it to buy another glass of Four in Hand Shiraz!


8.2 Very good (2030 reviews)

Glamping near Sydney harbour


There’s nothing quite like cheap weekend breaks in the glittering Sydney Harbour, which is what you’ll find at quirky Cockatoo Island Accommodation. This four-star complex is a funky blend of fully furnished apartments and comfortable tents, so there’s something to suit different budgets and accommodation needs.

For a truly memorable experience, pitch up in a pre-erected safari bow glamping tent for a night under the stars with complimentary linen and quilts. Wake early and freshen up with free toiletries in the modern shared bathroom facilities, then dive into your provided Esky cooler for fresh orange juice and pastries to start the day.

Catch one of the regular ferries over to Circular Quay for a busy day getting to know Sydney’s thriving heart. Make a pit stop at Gelato Messina for a silken scoop of salted caramel and white chocolate, then sail back to the island for an afternoon game of tennis on one of the hotel’s outdoor courts. Afterwards, pick up a chicken souvlaki barbeque dinner pack from on-site eatery Societe Overboard and fire up one of the communal grills for an evening feast.

Cockatoo Island Accommodation

9.0 Excellent (219 reviews)

A cheap weekend getaway under the stars


The beguiling BIG4 Grampians Parkgate is an ideal base for wanderings around the grand Grampians region. From family cabins to deluxe villas, romantic spa studios to nature-nestled camping pitches, you’re sure to find an option that suits.

To save the most dollars, choose an unpowered grass site and catch a sound night’s sleep beneath the watchful guard of towering trees. Cook up a quick brekkie in the camp kitchen as dawn breaks, then venture out into the wilds of Grampians National Park.

A morning of walking requires extra sustenance, so call in at Livefast Cafe on your way back for a gut-busting brunch of Thai fried eggs with lemon and ginger-infused rice. Welcome the afternoon in the sparkling swimming pool back at camp, then challenge your tent-side neighbours to a game of volleyball.

On rainy days, head indoors to the games room for a lively tournament. When the sun starts to set on clear evenings, gather around the roaring fire pit and toast marshmallows until they’re gratifyingly gooey.

Nrma Halls Gap Holiday Park

Halls Gap
9.2 Excellent (597 reviews)

An escape to the mystical Blue Mountains


Escape to the evocative Blue Mountains for a stay in the historic Metropole guesthouse. You’ll ditch the daily grind in favour of log fires and old-fashioned charm when you check in to a Classic Double for a couple of cosy nights with your other half. Breakfast is complimentary, so fill up on freshly scrambled eggs and hot buttered toast in the hotel’s dining room ready before a day of exploring.

Stroll gently along the length of Katoomba Street and call in at Blue Mountains Chocolate Company. Sample exquisite handmade truffles as you walk just six minutes to the epic observation deck at the Three Sisters, where you’ll gaze out over hazy mountain vistas.

Afterwards, it’s a comfortable walk along Dardanelles Pass for prime photo ops. Once you’ve reached breath-taken-away status, head back to one of the hotel’s lounges for a quiet game of pool or relaxed conversation in antique armchairs.

Dinner can be found a two-minute walk away at Avalon Restaurant and Cocktail Bar, where you’ll tuck into roast duck and a classic Old Fashioned. After dessert, retire to the leather sofas of Metropole’s charming library for a nightcap.

The Metropole Guest House Katoomba

8.4 Very good (1464 reviews)

Dazzling Darwin for a getaway in the sun


Set your sights north for a delightfully affordable break in Northern Territory favourite, H Hotel Darwin. When you check into your tastefully decorated H Queen Room, shed your shoes for soft, complimentary slippers and claim your spot on the lavish pillow-top bed.

As dreamy as your sleep will be, you’ll be eager for morning to bring brekkie at on-site D Bar & Restaurant—the bacon rashers, eggs and crispy hashbrowns will bolster you for meanders through the lush greenery of Bicentennial Park. Crocosaurus Cove is a hot spot for kids, so spend an educational hour with the centre’s toothy residents before refuelling with a chocolate-drizzled fudge brownie shake at nearby sugar den Alley Cats Patisserie.

Call in at the hotel’s rooftop gym or dive into the depths of the outdoor pool to burn off any excess calories, then grab an afternoon coffee in the comfort of your room while you flip through the day’s paper at your sleek work desk. D Bar’s tapas menu will coax you out as evening approaches, so catch an early bite of crispy beef strips and Cajun wedges before testing your bartender’s skills with a Dirty Martini or tropical Mai Tai. To top off the night, snag a poolside recliner and watch as twinkling stars begin to appear.

H On Smith Hotel

Top rated
8.6 Excellent (2050 reviews)

A Central Canberra gem for a city escape


Accommodation in central Canberra doesn’t get more tempting than the Mantra MacArthur Hotel. Hugging the edge of the Central Business District, you’ll be surprised at the affordability of this ultra comfortable sanctuary.

A Deluxe Studio blends convenient amenities like a bar fridge and private workspace with understated style for a budget-friendly escape, whether for work or pleasure. In the morning, wake in a navy-accented king bed and take your tea in your pyjamas for an easy start to the day. You’ll get a midday ‘sleep-in breakfast’ of eggs, sautéed spinach and Turkish toast at on-site eatery Polidato, after which you can jump on a bus to Parliament House for an afternoon of playing tourist.

With an aromatic cuppa in-hand from Terrace Café, take a 10-minute meander through the National Rose Garden to fascinating Questacon—the scientific wonders on display wow both young and old. A fully equipped gym awaits your return to the hotel, so you can end the afternoon with a heart-pumping workout. A hot shower in your sparkling ensuite will prelude a refined evening meal back at Polidato, where you can chase melt-in-the-mouth tuna crudo with cinnamon sugar-dusted Galaktoburiko.

Mantra MacArthur Hotel

8.4 Very good (1695 reviews)