Chelsea Park (Burradoo), Southern Highlands, NSW
Built in 1946, Chelsea Park is one of just two classic art-deco mansions in the Southern Highlands (near the town of Bowral), a favourite region for Sydney-siders craving fresh air, local wines and pretty gardens. Filled with period pieces – from lamps to lounges and much inbetween – the interiors are a delight for deco devotees to roam. The two spacious upstairs rooms feature fireplaces (gas-lit), pleasant views and plush carpeting, with private bathrooms down the hall; while the Japanese-inspired downstairs room has an en suite with spa. The “Chelsea Egg” breakfast, preceded by fresh berries and cereal, eliminates any need for lunch.
• + 61 2 4861 7046, chelseapark.com. Doubles £89 midweek, £113 weekends (or £202 for weekend special: two nights including one supper and breakfast)
Hughenden Hotel, Sydney, NSW
The Victorian-era charm of The Hughenden is enhanced by a superb location. Pleasing details aside – such as wrought-iron balconies, marble fireplaces and meandering staircases – this restored 1870’s building in Woollahra is close to one of Sydney’s largest green spaces, Centennial Park, ideal for walking the pets permitted at the hotel. Sports-lovers can catch cricket, Aussie rules football or rugby at the nearby Sydney Cricket Ground, while Queen Street strip offers consumables both antique and boutique. A bar, a baby grand, a sun terrace and a hot breakfast seal the deal, though the rooms for under £100 are “cosy”.
• +61 2 9363 4863, thehughenden.com.au. Small doubles £97, standard double £127
Payne’s Hut, Gippsland High Country, Victoria
So remote that it even perplexes Google Maps, the rustic luxury of Payne’s Hut in Glen Valley is excellent value for those prepared to stray off the beaten path. Skimming the border of Victoria’s Alpine national park, at this distinctly Australian accommodation you’ll stoke your own wood-fire stove in a room with windows allowing for stunning star-gazing. Mobile reception is lacking but picturesque bushwalks are in ample supply. Fish for trout, glimpse snow-capped mountains, watch kangaroos bound by, or relax with fine local wine as kookaburras chorus. Gourmet meals are at an additional cost, eaten at a long communal table.
• + 61 3 5159 7255, payneshut.com. Doubles from £93 B&B