Husbands are with the kids, boyfriends have hit the golf course and dogs are at the neighbours. After weeks of careful planning and enough negotiating to orchestrate an armistice, other halves (and little quarters) are otherwise occupied. It’s time for a girls’ weekend – and watch out, because when the ladies get together, they know they’re going to have fun By Lisa Perkovic & Margaret Pincus

Shoes and shots aren’t everyone’s scene for a girls’ weekend. Women are renowned multi-taskers, so what could be better than a break with only one priority on the agenda?

Giving new meaning to the boozy weekend, a trip to your nearest wine region is the perfect excuse to crack open a bottle or four. The basic elements to any girls’ trip are still there – browsing among different seasons’ stock and ample over-indulgence – but everything is just that little bit more mellow. Tastings along a trail with long lunch in between is a great way to while away the day, so target your nearest “valley” and dive in: the NSW Hunter Valley, WA’s Swan Valley (closer than Margaret River for a short break), SA’s Barossa Valley or Victoria’s Yarra Valley are ideal. Many of the estates in these areas are setting up spas and suites to accommodate guests but it’s important not to take sides.

Base yourself in a house along the route and make sure each vineyard gets a visit. After all, the only loyalties lie with the girls.

In the Yarra Valley, the Mercure Yarra Valley Balgownie Estate Vineyard Resort & Spa has local wine, facials, walking trails and a fireside restaurant onsite just in case you’d prefer everything to come to you ( Pod-like geisha baths in the Natskin Spa are a fun way to enjoy group hydrotherapy with the girls while the duo-treatment rooms fit up to four. Their midweek “Girls Just Want to Have Fun” package is a great excuse to extend your stay.


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