Ok yeah so Valentine’s Day is a thing, but let me put it to you that, actually, your mate group deserve to share in the love more. After 16 years together, my friends and I have had each other’s backs for literally a decade longer than any significant others.

Don’t get me wrong, I thoroughly approve of the partners, they’re great people, but their contribution just does not yet reach the same dedication we’ve had for each other. Yet for some reason, there’s such a misguided and outdated notion that a ‘partner’ is the only type of relationship that’s really worth celebrating. Let’s change that.

So yeah, grab your partner a bunch of flowers by all means, but single or not, reserve the real PDA for your mates. They’ve earned it. We’ve even set out the elements of the most iconic, Leslie Knope-style Galentine’s so you get the love fest started, BFF style.

Why not take the team out of town? It doesn’t even have to be far away or for more than a night. Everybody has a spare night. Now is the perfect time to start planning so you can take each other on a quality adventure.

Beach Vibes

Are you and your squad beachy people? Allow me to strongly recommend NSW’s South Coast. You really can’t go wrong around here; spectacular coastline and quiet towns make for epic chillness and a guaranteed recharge.

Ever heard of Towradgi? Probably not, which is why its untouched beauty is perfect for a mate getaway. Only about five kilometres from Wollongong, this beach serves up spectacular sunsets, one of those man-made beach pools so you can swim without the waves, and a Bowlo for all your cheap beer and pub grub needs.

There’s not a lot better than a beach day that ends with board games back in your hotel, and no one can convince me otherwise. But if you’re looking for something a little more unforgettable, why not sign the group up for a skydive? Or a surf lesson if you still want exhilaration without the height.

Proximity to the beach when it comes to your accommodation is essential, so be sure to pick somewhere nice and close like the Comfort Inn Towradgi Beach.

City Chic

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Perhaps city vibes and fancy cocktails are more your jam? You can’t really go past Melbourne then, can you? Super cool laneways, unbeatable street-art and arguably Australia’s best small bars and nightlife, and that’s coming from a Sydney-sider. Plus they are ALL about their coffee and brunch, so that’s your morning sorted.

A little research ahead of time will go a long way. This is a city that thrives on its unique restaurants and bars and a little plan beforehand can give you the foodie experience of your dreams. Of course, you also can’t go to Melbourne without exploring the street art. If you want to go self-guided, check out the city’s street art map here, or join in an organised tour to socialise and really delve into it.

Whatever you choose to do, get your team some classy digs where you can get the celebrations started, like Clarion Suites Gateway Melbourne.

Country Escape

There’s a reason people always head to the outback in movies when they’re trying to ‘find themselves’ or just reset from their hectic lives. There’s also a reason that’s often with a bunch of besties by their side. Grab your closest mates and head into the red centre for some good old country hospitality and a view completely different to your own.

Somewhere like Kalgoorlie will dish up those classic Aussie red dirt sights, isn’t too hard to get to and has plenty to keep you entertained. Nab yourselves a hotel in the middle of all the action – with a pool, obvi – like Quality Inn Railway.

It’s not every day you’ll see views like this, and there are plenty of local bushwalks to help you really appreciate the town and its surrounds. From red dirt to native flowers, you can’t go wrong by heading into nearby Karlkurla Bushland Park. Then you can settle into the Beaten Track Brewery for a well earned, locally brewed bevvie. Or of course, you could head into one of the spas in town for massages.

Image: Instagram / [@taylorswift]