2020 is the perfect time to make a dent in your Aussie travel bucket list. So, when the borders open, the national parks are ready for visitors again and we’re all able to travel, here are 12 destinations you’ve got to check out.
1. Kakadu, Northern Territory
This year is the perfect time to tick some of the big Aussie icons off your bucket list and if you haven’t visited Kakadu National Park yet, then start planning. It’s home to the Jim Jim Falls, Ubirr and ancient Bininj and Mungguy Aboriginal rock art, as well as 2,000 plant species and diverse wildlife. The nearest city is Darwin, which is around 150km away, so make a week of it and turn it into a proper Top End adventure.
2. The Great Barrier Reef, QLD
One of the world’s biggest tourism must-sees, the Great Barrier Reef is an incredible natural wonder that’s right on our doorstep. How lucky are we? It’s the world’s largest living organism and spans more than 2,300km, so you’ve got heaps of awesome options for where to base yourself, including The Whitsundays, Cairns, Townsville and Port Douglas.
3. The Kimberley, WA
If remote outback and rugged wilderness, along with steep gorges and arid deserts, is what you’re after from your next Aussie getaway, then The Kimberley is calling your name. It’s one of the oldest and largest wilderness areas in the world and about 526km east of Broome. Make sure you tick the King George Falls off your bucket list while you’re there – it’s EPIC.
4. The Daintree, QLD
Welcome to Australia’s largest tropical rainforest and the oldest rainforest in the world. The Daintree spans more than 1,200sq km and is full of natural wonders, including a third of Australia’s frog population, 65% of our bats and butterflies and more than 10,000 types of insects. It’s also home to the guardian of the rainforest – the cassowary.
South Australia might be most famous for its wine regions, but it’s home to some seriously rugged outback adventures too. The Ikara-Flinders Ranges are one of South Australia’s most iconic destinations and you’ll be blown away by their raw natural beauty. Check out the Aboriginal Dreaming Trail, Kati Thanda-Lake Eyre and all the ancient cliffs and craters.
6. Fleurieu Peninsula, SA
Did somebody say coastal paradise just 40 minutes from Adelaide? Yep, we did! And we’re talking about the Fleurieu Peninsula in SA. Not only is it one of the most majestic coastal spots in the state, but it’s also home to the McLaren Vale wine region. So make sure you pack a sense of adventure AND a big appetite.
7. Freycinet, TAS
When it comes to natural wonders, you’re spoilt for choice in Tassie, but at the top of your list has to be a trip to Freycinet National Park. It’s home to secluded bays and white sandy beaches, incredible wildlife and the most dramatic pink granite peaks you’ve ever seen.
8. Great Ocean Road, VIC
Is there any better way to experience Australia than a road trip? Not likely! And you might as well start off with one of the best in the country – the Great Ocean Road. The whole drive stretches 243km from Torquay to Allansford, but the best thing about this stretch of coastal road is you can do as much or as little as you like – it’s all amazing.
9. Yarra Valley, VIC
Less than an hour out of Melbourne, the Yarra Valley is the perfect place for those wanting to escape the city for a weekend getaway. It’s also the oldest wine region in the state, so make sure you check out some cellar doors and prepare your tastebuds for some of the best wine and produce in the county.
10. Port Stephens, NSW
Home to bottlenose dolphins, pristine beaches and giant sand dunes, Port Stephens is just a 2.5hr drive from Sydney and full of beachside adventures. Explore the Port Stephens-Great Lakes Marine Park, which is twice the size of Sydney Harbour, or hike to the Gan Gan Hill Lookout for the perfect photo op.
11. Lord Howe Island, NSW
Welcome to paradise! And just a two-hour flight from Sydney or Brisbane. This World Heritage-listed island is home to seabird colonies, coral-filled oceans, and plenty of amazing hiking tracks, including one that winds up Mount Gower. If you’re not keen to work up a sweat, simply roll out a towel on one of the pristine beaches and sit back and enjoy the view.
The rugged jewel in Tassie’s crown, Cradle Mountain-Lake St Clair National Park is ancient, iconic and a sight for post-iso eyes. From the famous Overland Track to the park’s icy streams, glacial lakes and, of course, Cradle Mountain itself, this part of Tassie is full of life. Keep any eye out for wombats, echidnas, platypuses, Tasmanian devils and quolls.
There are so many spots to get excited about for your next Aussie getaway. Stop dreaming and start planning!
Heads up! While COVID-19 restrictions are being eased at different levels throughout Australia, we strongly recommend that all travellers seek further information about destinations and attractions before visiting, take extra care and follow all rules to ensure their own health and safety.PLAN YOUR AUSSIE GETAWAY