There are many reasons to travel domestically. You know the language, there’s no need for documentation and most of the diverse continent remains unspoiled and un-hoarded by tourists.
If you needed any more convincing, the 2015 fall in the Aussie dollar has made it much more economical to holiday at home this year. So where to go in 2016? You’ve done the major cities, the Great Barrier Reef and Uluru. The good news is, Australia is rich with hidden gems.
- Margaret River, Western Australia.
The jewel of the nation’s South-west, Margaret River is a gourmet food and wine region only a three hour drive from Perth. Home to world-class wines and world-class waves, this small town welcomes an estimated half a million surfers, wine-lovers and just general backpackers every year. Definitely worth a trip out west.
- The Daintree Rainforest, Queensland.
Located in far north Queensland, this tropical wilderness boasts one of the most exceptional concentrations of animal and plant species on the globe. Soak up the tropical climate and lose yourself in one of the largest rainforests in Australia, and one of the world’s oldest. And if you’re still not convinced, here is David Attenborough’s endorsement.
- The Overland Track, Tasmania
Widely regarded as one of the best ways to trek Australian bushland, the Overland Track is a 65 kilometer walk, usually completed in six days. The hike snakes through Tasmania’s World Heritage scenery, from the breathtaking Cradle Mountain to Lake St. Clair. And don’t fret if camping is not your thing – the track also offers accommodation huts and some toilet facilities.
- Coober Pedy, South Australia
Opals were discovered in Central South Australia just over a century ago, and the small town of Coober Pedy has been supplying most of the world’s gem-quality opal ever since. Coober Pedy is one of the most visually unique settlements in the world, with residents living in underground “dugouts” to escape the relentless sun and dust. Located on the Sturt Highway between Adelaide and Alice Springs, Coober Pedy is well worth a stop-off on your outback road trip. Just be prepared for the heat!
- Arnhem Land, Northen Territory
500km from Darwin, this north-eastern corner of the territory is home to stunning scenery and a predominantly indigenous population. Vehicles travelling through Arnhem Land are restricted by the Parks and Wildlife Commission, ensuring that this pristine pocket of wilderness remains unrivalled across the country. A perfect getaway for hiking, bird watching and learning about indigenous culture.
- Montague Island, New South Wales
A relatively unknown destination located off Australia’s south east coast, Montague Island is a habitat for thousands of bird and penguin species, not to mention NSW’s largest population of fur seals. Tourists can even swim and snorkel among the seals, dolphins and whales. While day tours from Narooma are popular, visitors can choose to stay in the beautiful and historic Lighthouse Keepers’ Quarters, which dates back to 1881.