Australia’s Best City Staycations this Easter

Heart - Add to profile

Feb 22, 2016

Forget the long weekend traffic and peak season prices – Kimberly Gillan shares the best ways to become a tourist in your own city this Easter.

Melbourne

With four days up your sleeve, it's an opportune time to brave the Punt Road traffic and venture to a new side of town. South-siders can get a dose of fresh air at the Collingwood Children's Farm where the little ones will make furry friends and you can tuck into some of Melbourne's best cafe fare. Sunset begs for a lychee and ginger vodka with a city skyline view from the rooftop of Fitzroy's Naked For Satan (closed Good Friday).

Foodie northsiders ought to venture south to fossick for gourmet street eats at St Kilda’s new Saturday hang-out Hank Marvin market or settle in for a long lunch at Chin Chin's new Singaporean sibling Hawker Hall. And with Gelato Messina in both Fitzroy and Windsor, you're only ever a stroll – and a line – away from the ice-cream that has everyone murmuring in delight.

If pampering is where you're at, book into Chuan Spa at the Langham and spend the rest of the day enjoying the hotel's pool, Jacuzzi and steam room for true holiday-at-home vibes. 

SEE ALSO: The 10 Best Rooftop Bars in Melbourne 

Brisbane

You're spoilt for long-weekend entertainment choice in Queensland's sunny capital. Set aside Saturday morning to pretend you're in Paris with a decadent crêpe, croissant or omelette at the Jan Powers Farmers Markets (by the Brisbane Powerhouse) and pick up some produce to take to nearby New Farm Park for a picnic and a play.

There's plenty happening at the Gallery of Modern Art, so set aside a day to wander through the Journeys North photography exhibition where you'll see snapshots of Queensland life in 1988, while kids can be entertained with interactive activities at the APT8 exhibition. Cap off the mind-expanding experience with a Middle Eastern or African meal at Gerard's Bistro in Fortitude Valley.

Get your Mother Nature fix with a trip on the vehicle ferry to North Stradbroke Island, where you can take a stroll along the pristine Cylinder Beach then have fish and chips at Point Lookout and a beer at the Stradbroke Island Beach Hotel Spa Resort (known locally as the Straddie Hotel).   

Adelaide

With much of the city closed on Good Friday, it's a good day to catch a tram to Glenelg for a beach walk or if you've got wheels, an hour's drive will take you to Carrickalinga for rock pool exploration and a stunning sunset. The TeamKids Beyond Bank Easter Appeal will also kick off on Good Friday with a family-friendly event to be held at Adelaide Festival Centre Dunstan Playhouse. Tickets available from March 3rd.

Start your Saturday with a wander around the cosmopolitan Adelaide Central Market, where you can park yourself at Jamface by Poh for a sweet goat candy coffee and a pastry by MasterChef alumnus Poh Ling Yeow. A wander among the stalls will give you a taste of some of the Barossa’s and Kangaroo Island's best wine and produce and once you've done your shopping, cross the street to Star House for arguably the city's best dumplings.

Footy's back on Sunday afternoon so head to Adelaide Oval to watch Port Adelaide take on St Kilda.

Perth

The Fremantle Street Arts Festival begins on Saturday, so head on down to check out the live music, circus performers and poetry, and while you're there, make like an out-of-towner and take the Great Escapes tour of the Fremantle Prison to learn about con artists’ ingenious escape attempts from this historic gaol. Debrief the day with a pizza and a pale ale at the Little Creatures Brewery.

Spend your day at Hillarys Boat Harbour, marvelling at the luxurious boats bobbing in the marina and treating yourself to a cider at The Breakwater venue's Lower Deck bar (closed Good Friday) or a special meal upstairs at Ishka, one of Perth's most awarded restaurants.

It's the last weekend for the Moonlight Cinema, so get to Kings Park and Botanic Garden for a walk amongst the beautiful Bold Park bushland before laying out your picnic rug to enjoy a flick.

Sydney

It wouldn't be Easter in Sydney without a trip to the Royal Easter Show where little ones will beeline to the showbag stalls and pony rides and thrill-seeking big kids will test their bravery on a carnival ride. Recover from the shenanigans with an early road trip or train ride to the Blue Mountains where an energising bushwalk will build your appetite for a decadent lunch at Tomah Gardens Restaurant, overlooking Wollemi National Park.

Head to Oxford Street for some gourmet bar bites and cocktails at This Must Be The Place, Darlinghursts favourite new institution, then on Monday take a fresh look at the Harbour while stand-up paddleboarding (with Oz Stand Up Paddle Centres in Rose Bay) to invigorate you for the short week ahead.