If you’re thinking of booking a Queensland getaway but are tired of Brisbane and the Gold Coast, or simply wish to avoid large crowds this summer, then head to Far North Queensland where tranquillity and tropical relaxation awaits.
There’s not much to dislike about Far North Queensland. With its year-round warm weather, beautiful beaches, and stunning drives, FNQ offers an oasis where you can opt for as much relaxation or adventure as you wish. FNQ is home to dozens of national parks and three world heritage sites, not to mention a broad range of activities. Come for the endless nature and stay for the food, wine, and pampering.
To further entice you to take a trip to FNQ this summer, here are some of the best spots to check out, many of which rank as some of the top-rated attractions in all of Australia.
Devonport has been called the Gateway to Tasmania, but much like the island’s first European explorers did, it is often bypassed by travellers who make a quick dash for Hobart, Cradle Mountain, or the beaches of the East Coast.
But The Cove oceanside retreat is ready to put Devonport on the tourism map and make it more than just a gateway, finally offering up a level of luxury accommodation that the city has always lacked.
With a prime central position along Tassie’s northern coast this is the perfect base for exploring all the famous Northwest has to offer. And whether you plan on sailing in via Spirit of Tasmania, or flying into Devonport Airport, you’re just minutes away from Northern Tasmania’s best luxury accommodation.
Set in a sheltered bay in-between Don Heads and Lillico Beach, The Cove is blessed with what are arguably the best ocean views in Tasmania’s north.
For generations, this large full working farm known as Cheviot Dale was enjoyed by its founders and descendant’s of the Lillico family. But now Bruce and Kim Robinson have decided to share their slice of heaven, and welcome all adults to check-in at The Cove!
In the Anglosphere, and the wider world, attitudes towards betting vary a lot. After historically being puritanical, the USA is opening things up, while China retains a hardline opposition to betting (Macau excepted), despite card games having been invented here.
But from dicing in the streets of Greece and Rome, to Baccarat in France, and a horse-betting obsession in Britain, it’s Australians who may just be the world’s best gamblers.
Just as prolific travelers as they are bettors, watch out for the Aussies returning to international casino tourism now that international borders have been announced to reopen.
Most travellers to Tasmania are likely to include a visit to the Tasman Peninsula. It is after all where many of the island’s most notable natural wonders, endemic wildlife, coastal walks, and historic sites come together including the island’s number one attraction, Port Arthur.
With so much to do, it’s far better to base yourself here to discover the region than to take continual day trips driving back and forth from Hobart. And, set in Tasmania’s Eaglehawk Neck (which also goes by its dual Aboriginal name Teralina), The Wayfarer’s prime position places it right in the middle of all the Tasman Peninsula has to offer.
This is a luxury beach shack overlooking the water of the famous peninsula, allowing you to experience Tassie beach shack culture – an escape to a private cottage, vacationing like the locals do.
Moving to a new state or country can be exciting, but you don’t have to fall into the modern stereotype of selling everything you own and starting over with nothing.
The pandemic has sparked a migratory wave across Australia, and moving out of the cities is something Aussies are doing now more than ever before.
But there are a lot of responsibilities involved, including packing your items, decluttering unused objects, sorting out the boxes, and transporting your belongings.
With Sydney being one of the biggest hubs from which people are fleeing, we’ve touched base with removalists Rouse Hill for tips which will help you choose the right removalists for your move.
As far as budget accommodation goes in Sydney, you can’t find a hostel with a better reputation than the Sydney Harbour YHA.
With a killer location, killer facilities, and that million dollar view (think sushi from a rooftop terrace directly overlooking the Bridge and Opera House), booking a room is the best choice you’ll make.
But not only is the hostel clean, affordable, friendly, with spacious, stylish communal areas and all the amenities you’d expect from a modern hostel, it also wraps around the archaeological remains of colonial Sydney.
The Big Dig Archaeological Site is an area of land with archaeological remains from the late 18th century, the time of Australia’s first European settlement. The excavations are part of the hostel itself, and this remains one of the largest urban archaeological dig sites in Australia.
With rooms built around the excavated foundations of over 30 homes and shops from 1795, and artifacts on display throughout it’s halls, this is one of few opportunities in the world to spend the night on an archaeological dig site.
Last year, international travel became much harder. Barred from landing in many countries, you may have found yourself in a situation where you’re stuck inside with nothing to do and had to cancel your long-planned dream vacation. Luckily, there are still places that are waiting patiently for you to come and explore!
With Telportus, you can now engage in a virtual guided tour. These live experiences are just digital versions of guided tours that you’re used to receiving when you travel, but now they’re happening right in your living room.
You can pose questions to local experts in real-time, pointing out what strikes your curiosity. Check out this video, and below for some of the most epic tours!
In addition to Byron being transformed by the new groups of people flocking here, severe coastal erosion has begun taking its toll on some of the area’s beaches. The fear is that climate change may make this more prevalent or at least more difficult to predict.
Australia’s most hashtagable holiday destination is definitely under threat both by an overcrowding of influencers and Mother Nature herself, leaving many to wonder how much longer Byron Bay will keep its appeal.
You may want to check out this beautiful coastal gem sooner rather than later before it loses its shine. Here are just some of the reasons people can’t seem to get enough of beloved Byron.
Tasmania is a wild island, packed with powerful landscapes both tranquil and pure, yet at the same time untamed. And it’s one of the safest places in the world to travel right now.
Set in the peaceful Huon Valley atop a hill overlooking Southern Tasmania, Villa Talia is a stunning holiday home which presents as an unassuming Australian homestead, though is packed with treasure in the form of opulent furnishings, contemporary fixtures, and tempting adult luxuries.
It’s an adult kinder surprise, and it’s best to be warned that no matter how much you love your own home, from the moment you step through the door, Villa Talia will forever become the home of your dreams.
It’s like running into the celebrity crush you have a free pass for, and discovering they’re just as eager…
You no doubt love your own home and understand the reality of needing to return, but a few nights with Villa Talia is the ultimate fantasy escape; a home you’ll never want to leave.
Tasmania is world famous for its pure air, clean water, and crisp climate. And if you landed here without context, to our ‘lush crisp landscape battered by chilly seas’, pulled up to an imposing 19th century Coaching Inn, and were handed a single malt whisky, we’d forgive you for drawing parallels to Scotland.
After-all, you need a very stable, cool climate to brew the perfect malt whisky (not even modern climate controlled warehouses are as good as brewing in the perfect natural climate), and some of the purest air and water in the world.
Which is why Scottish Whisky has become so famous.
While both superb locations for making whisky, the difference of Scotland and Tasmania is that the distilling of spirits was outlawed here from 1838 to 1991. Though since the law was overturned Tasmania has experienced a craft malt Whisky revival, and the artisanal Whisky movement has earned the reputation of ‘Scotland Down Under’.
150 years was a long time for Tasmanians to wait between drinks, but the State’s pure ingredients and passionate distillers have more than made up for it since.
And that 19th century Coaching Inn? It exists! It sits at 26 Main St Kempton. 40 minutes from Hobart, the Coaching Inn is now a cellar door, with a distillery you can tour in the convict brick stables.
Australia has a long history of sheep farming, and within 50 years of their arrival in 1788, sheep had become the main source of income for Australian industry.
29 sheep arrived in Australia with the British First Fleet. 230 years later, wool markets around the world are dominated by Australian exports, and our country has more than 27 million sheep; raised largely for wool over meat.
Humble farming has defined Australia for centuries, and sheep are considered the iconic Aussie flock; farmers continue to work sheep stations throughout the country to feed and clothe the nation.
A true-blue producing nation, there are now 85,681 farms across Australia, and many sheep properties invite you to stay; to swap those white sneakers for gumboots and experience country life in a real and authentic way.
One such property is Rathmore, an hour from Hobart in Tasmania’s Central Highlands; a historic sheep property settled in 1828, which is unique in offering a choice of accommodation.
Choose to stay in the beautiful sandstone homestead with the land owners, with grand bedrooms and period furniture, or in the historic shearers’ quarters, recently revived to offer a country experience that is rustic chic.
Restricted to Tasmania during the pandemic, Mike and I have made an effort to explore our home state. Though being ‘confined’ to such a naturally beautiful island with a number of world famous wilderness destinations free of crowds and chaos is far from limiting!
Our experience in the Huon Valley was the perfect balance of wild exploration, while still being able to relax in luxury after days full of dramatic adventure; a balance made possible by checking into the ultra modern Cygnet Retreat.
Nestled in Southern Tasmania just a short drive from Hobart, Cygnet is now known as the place to escape the fast-paced stresses of our modern day to day.
Growing up in Hobart, I have many fond memories of heading to our family shack along the coast of Southern Tasmania. It had been years since I had returned to this southernmost part of Australia and I was eager to share the area with my American husband.
Basing ourselves in Dover, this region is defined by a culture of holiday homes; you won’t find high-rise cookie-cutter hotels here; it’s authentic living in seaside towns, from cosy waterfront studios, to beach-side bungalows, and locally owned villas in forested surrounds.
Surrounded by wilderness and relaxation, we were fortunate to stay at what must be Dover’s most unique and stunning property, a turn of the 20th century farmhouse that has been very much renovated into a luxury holiday home.
Known as the Peninsula Experience, this unique and secluded property actually boasts two separate houses which includes The Cape House and The Boat House. This is our experience at The Cape House.
The Huon Valley has long been a popular day trip option from Hobart. After-all, just a 30 minute drive south of the city and you’ll be at the source of some of the finest food and freshest ingredients in the country.
Apple growers, craft cider makers, boutique winemakers, salmon producers, and other homegrown produce means even many locals make the drive just for lunch.
But this is a region defined by more than just its food excellence, and if you’re visiting the State, the traditional day trip from Hobart won’t even come close to doing the region justice.
Because on top of the apple cider, salmon sushi, and mouthwatering apple pie (trust me, you’ll order two servings), the Huon Valley also serves up incredible natural beauty, and a huge range of adventure. And they serve it to you on a platter!
The Huon Valley is full of beaches, caves, thermal springs, and is the gateway to the southern forests and World Heritage Wilderness Walks. You can explore by jet boat, hang glider, foot, or car, and if you’re hungry inbetween, fuel up on produce from local roadside stalls.
The Huon Valley is not a day trip destination. It’s worthy of far more time. We recommend at least four to five days for exploring the region.
In 1798, European explorers Bass and Flinders sailed along the northern coast of Van Dieman’s Land, known today as Tasmania. They took a colonial sloop and proved that it was indeed an island, separated from mainland Australia by a strait (today called the Bass Strait).
Rowing up the Tamar River to where Launceston is today, their exploration laid the groundwork for some of the first European settlements in the country, and in 1806 Launceston became a township.
It’s easy to first think of Hobart or Sydney when seeking out colonial heritage in Australia, though Launceston has a rich and vibrant heritage, and one of the finest early cityscapes in the country.
Defined by Georgian buildings and Victorian gardens, Australia’s third oldest city is today a shining example of adaptive reuse; with fashion boutiques, bars, banks, and high-tech offices sitting inside colonial churches, town halls, and towers.
And as far as historic hotels? The Leisure Inn Penny Royal is a boutique, family-friendly apartment hotel, set in an 1840’s corn mill.
In recent years, rumors have begun to spread about the existence of a wildlife rich island off the coast of South Australia, in the Southern Ocean / Great Australian Bite.
A natural, rugged island where native animals like kangaroos, sea lions, koalas, and penguins roam freely, through an interior of sand dunes, bush-land, and pink lakes; one surrounded with impeccably clear waters where you can swim with wild dolphins, while feasting on mouth-watering food and wine at the end of the day.
Kangaroo Island is Australia’s third largest island, and while it feels like you’re a million miles from the rest of the world, the SeaLink Kangaroo Island ferry takes only 45 minutes from the mainland.
Australia’s very own Galapagos, this is one of the world’s greatest nature based destinations, and this year is the perfect time to visit!
Australian figures from the recent pandemic are looking much more positive, and as the country starts making its way out of lock-down, smaller workplaces are returning to work, and state wide restrictions are starting to lift.
But while the country is opening up to domestic tourism, and family businesses can open up shop, international tourism is far further off, and larger Australian industries like casino resorts are still under lock-down.
Casino tourism had recently become travel’s largest sector, with casinos like Crown Melbourne attracting more tourists per year than the likes of the Sydney Opera House!
Supporters of the online gaming industry speculate that the pandemic will be the final blow to traditional gaming; one of the serious implications of the coronavirus at Australia Casinos is the cultural shift towards online gambling.
So with this significant source of revenue and employment suddenly out, the question then becomes: will casino tourism in Australia recover?
Did you know that South Australia is home to the nation’s oldest surviving German settlement? Set in the Adelaide Hills, Hahndorf is what you get when early German migrants travel to Australia on a Zebra!
Yes, you read that correctly! Though the migrants fleeing religious prosecution in 1839 didn’t saddle up on the black and white kind, rather a ship named Zebra which was captained by Dirk Meinerts Hahn.
The slice of heaven in the Adelaide Hills where the passengers and crew would eventually settle would end up being named after the Captain. Today, visitors to Hahndorf experience a traditional European village blended with Aussie spirit.
Set along leafy Main Street in the heart of town are three unique properties by The Haus Group. We stayed at the award-winning The Studios by Haus this past autumn (boutique self-contained apartments), and were totally charmed by this historic yet contemporary Australian town.
When we embarked on our ‘Road Trip for Good‘ at the beginning of March, the purpose was to visit bushfire affected parts of the country, and do our bit to support struggling local economies.
The start of 2020 saw unprecedented bushfires rip through Australia; millions of people were affected, but the devastation wasn’t just limited to property, wildlife, and land. It also decimated local economies across the country, as travelers cancelled their plans.
Summer is peak season for tourism in Australia, and many small businesses rely on the visitor economy. Even if the fire didn’t reach their doors, the sudden drought of tourism was a heart aching pill to swallow.
Our gratitude can’t be expressed deeply enough for the outpouring of love, donations, and support which flooded in from around the world, and from around the country. But the bushfire recovery is far from over, especially for those who have lost their income.
By mid March a pandemic swept in, and we were forced to rush home. But as Australia went into lockdown and we cut our trip short, the residents of bushfire affected Australia had a clear message:
‘Please don’t forget about us’.
Southeast Queensland’s Gold Coast has a reputation as a gaudy family friendly holiday destination with theme parks, beaches and wild nightlife.
While it is indeed all of those things, for those that venture outside of the usual tourist hotspots, it has so much more to offer, from great food to endless outdoor activities.
Locals feel that just by living here, it’s like winning one of those giant American lottery jackpots – there’s a reason so many Aussies move to the Gold Coast, though it’s not for the typical tourist haunts!
Check out our list of things to do on the Gold Coast beyond the theme parks and Surfers. You may find that you’re the next person wanting to move!
From Vegas to Macau, and channeling James Bond in Monte Carlo, casino tourism has become one of the biggest travel trends around the world.
We’re living in the age of the casino tourist now, where, just as travelers head overseas to enjoy architecture, history, or nature, gambling is a very real, and very relevant interest that motivates people to jet off to another country.
While there are many bucket-list worthy casinos, and in fact whole casino cities, Australia is emerging as a surprising hot spot for casino tourists. In fact, Australia’s most popular casinos attract more visitors than the Sydney Opera House!
If you’re heading to Australia to take in the casino scene, the following are things you should know about Aussie gambling culture, regardless of whether you’ve got your poker face on in Hobart, Melbourne, or Sydney.
Flying into or out of Perth Airport?
Perth is one of Australia’s easiest airports to navigate; it’s small in size, close to the city, and doesn’t have the congestion of more popular airports like Melbourne or Sydney.
Though from the parking, to the airline lounges, connecting to Wi-Fi, and finding a place to sleep, we’ve put together the following tips so you can maximize your experience.
Most visitors to Tasmania are searching for an escape from the congestion and stress of large cities. They come in search of wild landscapes, ancient rain-forests, and Australia’s cleanest, freshest air.
For those who fly into Hobart, they find a hub of history, arts, festivals, food, and modern culture. But for those seeking nature; truly untouched, untamed, and unexplored style nature; Tasmania’s west is one of Australia’s last true wilderness frontiers.
Secretly tucked away along the southern fringes of the Tarkine Wilderness Area, the Corinna Wilderness Experience is a wilderness retreat which offers an escape from places that are increasingly falling victim to overtourism.
Corinna is one of the most beautiful remote parts of the world yet surprisingly still easily accessible. While set within Australia’s largest area of Gondwanan cool-temperate rainforest, Corinna was once a historic gold mining town.
Positioned just steps from the pristine rainforest and beautiful silent Pieman River, there are a number of adventurous activities available to those modern day explorers looking for an epic holiday.
This article will dive into how you can escape to Corinna, and spend time exploring the pristine wilds of Western Tasmania yourself.
One of the southern-most points in Australia, Bruny Island lies off the south coast of Tasmania. Though despite being just a short drive and ferry ride from Hobart, less than 10% of travelers to Tasmania visit, choosing instead to head to more famous parts of the State like Cradle Mountain and Freycinet National Park.
While Bruny Island may only be 50 kilometres across, the unassuming island is one of Tasmania’s best kept secrets, and while small in size, it certainly packs a heavy punch; think stunning natural beaches, elusive quolls and white wallabies, and sustainable luxury at its finest.
You’ll need at least 3 days to really do the island justice, and when it comes to accommodation, we can highly recommend Free Spirit Pods; gorgeous, fully self contained eco-pods set on the waterfront, backed by 8 acres of bushland on North Bruny Island.
Australia’s second oldest capital city after Sydney, Hobart is one of Australia’s most fascinating and history-rich destinations. It offers a unique culture that is much different than you’ll find on mainland Australia, and was one of the first regions of Australia to be explored; Sullivans Cove was the initial landing site for early British settlers in Hobart and Risdon Cove would become the first European settlement in Tasmania.
Hobart continues to showcase its long history to this day, having preserved much of its early landmarks and original buildings. And for those looking to be in the heart of it all, there’s no better place to drop anchor than Battery Point, one of the city’s most prestigious (and historic) suburbs.
Battery Point is the entertainment and cultural hub of Hobart, and it’s where most of the city’s major events take place, from the famed Salamanca Markets to Australia’s biggest and longest running food and wine festival, the Taste.
As far as accommodation goes, Battery Point’s Salamanca Wharf Hotel is where we choose to stay; a contemporary self-contained boutique apartment hotel, perfectly situated for easily exploring, just steps from Salamanca Place.