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Top girls' weekends to spend your tax refund on

LIZ RUSSELL, senior tax manager at Australia's largest online tax accountant company, Etax, has provided her roundup of the top 5 Aussie getaways to go on with the girls for under $1080.

Between work, family, parenting, significant other and life admin obligations, the fast pace of everyday life can get the better of us. While spending time with family is great, and romantic trips are always something to look forward to, there needs to come a time where a getaway with the girls is a non-negotiable.


Most Australians earning a low to middle income this year would’ve been able to take advantage of the new government tax offset of up to $1080. Commonly this gets put towards paying off debts or into savings. And, while those are very responsible ways to use your refund, you should always make room for a bit of fun. 


Byron Bay


Here are my top 5 girls’ weekends away for less than $1080 - so you can put a little bit of your refund towards some much-needed quality time with your girlfriends. 


#1 Treat yourselves to a relaxing spa weekend at Elements Byron Bay 

For just $525 per night, you and 3 girlfriends can enjoy a two-bedroom villa at Elements. The rooms are equipped with a kitchen and all the other essentials you might need for a self-catered Byron getaway, so you spend less money on dining out or ordering in, and have more reserved for a spa treatment (or three). 


An added bonus is that not everything in Byron Bay requires you to splash the cash. Round up the girls and head out for a walk to the Byron Bay Lighthouse to check out the view for free, hit the beach, find a rainforest, waterfalls or even visit the Byron Bay markets for some fresh produce and bargain goods. 


#2 Find your happiness in the Hunter Valley 

A weekend filled with wineries and brunches need not be bank-breaking. Most full day wine tours come out at approximately $130, and if you split accommodation between yourself and 3 of your friends at a nice Airbnb, you’re only looking at around $400 per person for a weekend in the Hunter. 


While a brunch at popular local hotspot Love Kitchen is necessary to tie the trip together, feel free to spend a few extra dollars on some great wines, cheeses or chocolates to take home with you. 


Hunter Valley


#3 Not keen on straying too far from Sydney? Stay perched at Palm Beach  

Located just shy of an hour from the Sydney CBD, Palm Beach is an ocean oasis like no other. The best thing about it is, if you’re a Sydney local, you don’t need to spend extra cash on flights or travel - just get the girls in the car and you’re on your way. 


It’s not difficult to find an Airbnb for two nights for less than $600, so you’ve definitely got some leftover cash for dinner at favoured local Alma and lunch at popular Barrenjoey House. 


#4 Venture to the Sunshine State for gorgeous Noosa  

For unparalleled beach views and the freshest local produce Queensland has to offer, Noosa is a world-famous destination known for its expansive beaches and colourful bays. With beaches, restaurants and bars all in play, it makes for the ideal girls’ getaway. 


Hotel or Airbnb stays come in at around $300 per night, and when you factor in flights (direct to Sunshine Coast airport), you’ll still have a bit of money left over to play with.


There are plenty of things to do in Noosa that won’t hurt your side pocket too. Lace up your sneakers and explore the beautiful Noosa National Park to take in the most incredible natural scenery in South East Queensland. Another cheap fitness activity is to rent a paddle boat at the Noosa Everglades and explore 60km of reflective, pristine water. These everglades are one of only two in the world!


#5 Immerse yourself in world-class dining and shopping in Melbourne

Melbourne is and always has been a top choice for a girls’ weekend away - thanks to its dining and shopping options like no other state. 


While this destination has always been known for its coffee and food, you get the most out of it if you’re up for a night out on the town too. Accommodation is reasonable - you’d find something good for around $200 per night (in popular South Yarra). That leaves you plenty of cash for a visit to Abacus (an iconic brunch spot), dinner at Smith & Daughters (100% plant-based Italian restaurant run by celebrity chef Shannon Martinez) and a night out in Fitzroy (to hit nightclubs like Glamorama and The Night Cat).


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Written by: Liz Russell
Published: 9 August 2019

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