Australia may be known for its large cities such as Sydney and Melbourne, but scattered across the country are many small town gems.
And it’s here, among the small local communities where you will discover true Australian culture, with many offering a laid back atmosphere, and access to some of the country’s most stunning natural beauty.
Many small towns throughout Australia can be accessed by nearby regional airports or within a short drive from the larger capital cities where it’s easy to book affordable flights.
So get off the beaten path and avoid the overwhelming crowds of Australian tourist hotspots by visiting some of these best Australian small towns.
Australia’s only tropical capital city, there are many reasons travelers include Darwin in their Australian itinerary.
Some travel for the access to the Outback, using the city as a gateway to the spectacular wilderness the Northern Territory has become famous for. Iconic national parks like Kakadu and Litchfield are only a few hours’ drive away, and the unique Tiwi Islands are a boat-ride away.
Gazing confidently out across the Timor Sea, and one of the best places in the world to catch a barramundi, some travel for the seafood.
A small yet cosmopolitan city, Darwin is certainly removed from the rest of the country, with a relaxed lifestyle, unique multiculturalism, and diverse history. It’s closer to Indonesia than Sydney, and makes for a truly unique trip regardless of the time of year you plan to go.
Australia is one-of-a-kind country for many reasons. It comprises the entire Australian continent, the island of Tasmania and countless smaller islands. It boasts a wide variety of landscapes, with mountain ranges, tropical rainforests, and a dry desert.
Australia is the smallest and the driest continent on Earth. Fantastic desert or semi-arid land commonly known as the Outback covers most of the land. Nevertheless, the waters that surround the continent feature almost as much variety in landscapes as the surface: vivid corals, tropical fish, massive rock formations, and historic shipwrecks. Nature here is omnipresent and features a diverse range of unique species as well as the most dangerous ones.
Whether you’re looking for a calm spectating experience, heart-pumping adrenaline rush, or maybe something in between – Australia has a lot to offer. The above combination makes the country a real wonder for tourists from all corners of the world looking for an unforgettable adventure.
Melbourne is Australia’s second most populous city and is filled with just as many attractions. While most tourists will check out the MCG, Eureka Skydeck, Sea Life Aquarium, Queen Victoria Market, and the Royal Botanic Gardens, others may be searching for experiences a bit off the beaten path.
So what do local Melburnians do for fun, while escaping all the tourist hot spots? Here we explore Melbourne’s lesser known gems which will leave you with more unique experiences and feeling like a true local.
It continually amazes me that Hobart manages to draw all the attention when it comes to Tasmanian travel. Yes, the city boasts the famous Salamanca Market, but try finding a parking spot on a Saturday morning and navigating around the masses of people.
Launceston on the other hand is a hidden gem located in the state’s north that has only recently begun gaining the attention it deserves. As one of Australia’s oldest cities, Launceston oozes historical charm, but blends it harmoniously with modern style and technology. Even a trip to the local post office becomes a treat.
Bringing history alive is central to Launceton’s identity, and the recent launch of Pepper’s Silo Hotel is a great example of this. A luxury hotel on the banks of the scenic Tamar River, the Mantra Group has converted the Kings Wharf grain silos into a work of accommodation art, while keeping the character and heritage of an iconic 1960’s landmark.
When it comes to stunning islands, we are fortunate to live on a planet where we’re spoiled for choice. From the Greek Islands to some 7,000 that form the Philippines, paradise islands inhabit all corners of the globe.
And whether you’re satisfying a craving for adventure, or searching for a potent Caribbean rum, there are plenty of options that will make you feel worlds away from the urban craziness you’ve traveled to escape.
The following are 10 of the world’s most stunning tourist islands. Leave us a comment at the end and weigh in on your favorite island experiences around the globe.
Australia is one of the world’s most remote and popular tourist destinations. This wildland forms an edging around two opposing worlds: modern and sophisticated cities and miles of mystic and indigenous land that’s left to be explored by aspiring adventurers.
These days, staying entertained while traveling is easy with the aid of modern devices like your phone. Watching a movie under the stars, taking beautiful photos; it’s all possible with a few power banks and the internet. But for those able to detach themselves from their electronics, there’s definitely something to be said for being present in the moment, and fully embracing an experience. Too often these days we end up missing out on the moment, because we’re distracted by, or attempting to live it through the screen on our phone.
So, in honor of disconnecting, and fully immersing ourselves in an experience, the following are incredible Australian adventures, worthy of choosing to live in the moment (without your phone!)
Experiencing underwater life never ceases to inspire and amaze. Offering an entirely different pace, human beings have long been enchanted by the blue silence, surrounded by marine life.
It is true that some of the coolest places on the planet are under water. There are hotels, shipwrecks, temples, museums, restaurants and other underwater sites around the world that are worth diving and snorkeling for.
While the list of exceptional underwater experiences seems as endless as the great depths of the sea, we’ve put together our favorites; some the top sites to don a full face snorkel mask and explore underwater life.
With colourful shop windows, golden beaches and turquoise waters, and an extremely zen town mentality, there are very few places that can compare to the hippy town of Byron Bay.
A favourite on every east coast Australia road trip, Byron Bay truly is one of a kind. It boasts glorious beaches, an amazing chilled out atmosphere, enough bars and restaurants to keep you fed and watered for weeks, and beautiful surroundings.
But there are a couple of things you should know before visiting this captivating town in northern New South Wales, which will ensure you make the most of your time in the town and see the very best of Byron Bay.
Jungles may make up only six percent of the earth’s land surface, but they produce nearly half of all the oxygen we require to survive. And, home to some of the world’s most iconic and endangered wildlife, jungle destinations offer a travel experience unlike any other.
Jungle trekking is a way to transport yourself back to a time of exploration as you come face to face with landscapes and animals few people have seen with their own eyes; from the lush humid jungles of the Amazon, to spotting tigers and sloth bears in the national parks of Nepal.
On June 5th, over 140 nations will participate in celebrating World Environment Day. And what better way to celebrate than by listing the countries that are home some of the world’s greatest rainforests.
We can only hope that through continued conservation efforts and sustainable eco-tourism, we can preserve these great jungles for generations to come. You might think that jungle trekking sounds primitive, but you might be surprised to find that the best hotels for jungle trekking are as much luxury as they are eco-lodge!
When it comes to eco accommodation, there are eco lodges; the type that offer rustic accommodation in pristine natural surrounds, and then there are eco lodges; architectural gems so sleek and sophisticated, it’s easy to forget that they’re good for the environment. The newly launched Coastal Pavilions at Freycinet Lodge are the latter.
Ecotourism is thriving in Tasmania, and Freycinet Lodge has long been the sweetheart of the tourism scene. Nestled within Freycinet National Park, it offers one of the most unique locations for accommodation in Australia, with the ethos of looking after the environment first, and then the guests who come to appreciate it.
But their nine new pavilions have completely redefined what an eco lodge could be. Extending the current values and experience, innovative architecture seamlessly blends nature with accommodation in a way we have never before seen.
Blurring the lines between inside and out, a stay here is an immersive experience which draws the wilderness in, while not sacrificing on luxury or comfort. And we’re absolutely loving it!
Australia’s second largest city, Melbourne is one of the world’s most liveable cities, and draws visitors from all over the globe with its elegant European feel, convenient and reliable public transportation, rich culinary heritage, and wealth of exciting attractions.
With year round festivals and events, there is always something happening in Melbourne. Whether you fancy watching sports, enjoying entertainment, or simply want to relax in beautiful gardens, Melbourne makes for the perfect holiday no matter what your personality is.
Though how do you know if Melbourne is the destination for you? Even though it’s a pretty safe bet in terms of an incredible vacation, what kind of travelers does the city suit?
As of March 2018, the Australian Government introduced a new work visa in replacement of the 457 visa – the Subclass 482 Temporary Skill Shortage (TSS) visa.
The Government’s March visa changes have been highly anticipated since its announcement in April last year that they would be replacing the 457 visa in order to address Australia’s skills shortages and to prioritise Australian workers.
Brisbane based migration agents, Results Migration have agreed to take us through the changes.
Nowadays, the internet comfortably allow sports fans to watch their favorite games virtually anywhere in the world, without the need to move around. With live streaming, and VPN’s you don’t even need to be in the same country to be able to catch the game.
But sports and travel do go together, and there’s something truly magic about soaking in the atmosphere of an actual event. Physically being there, in the middle of the action, screaming your favorite athlete’s name.
If you’re a sports fan visiting Melbourne you certainly won’t be bored. Sports has a strong representation in the city, and Victoria is Australia’s most sports-loving state. Melbourne’s sporting calendar is packed with electrifying events, so if you find yourself in town, pick up your tickets and get ready for a religious experience!
Melbourne may be Australia’s second largest city, but just outside the city (and even within) you’ll find incredible natural attractions where you can witness a wide range of wildlife.
Just outside Melbourne’s CBD you’ll find some of Australia’s finest sanctuaries for authentic wildlife encounters, home to both Australian and international species. And within the city, there are an incredible range of attractions, including the zoo, the aquarium, and many nature parks prolific with native wildlife.
Admission fees can start getting quite expensive after you hit a few of these attractions. So we recommend purchasing a Melbourne iVenture Card for up to 40% of the city’s best wildlife experiences (the card also includes a wealth of attractions within the city itself).
Australia’s second largest city, Melbourne is one of the world’s most liveable cities, and draws visitors from all over the globe with its elegant European feel, convenient and reliable public transportation, wide array of delicious gastronomic offerings, and wealth of exciting attractions.
With year round festivals and events, there is always something happening in Melbourne. Whether you fancy watching sports, enjoying loads of entertainment options, or simply want to relax in beautiful gardens, Melbourne makes for the perfect holiday no matter what your personality is.
Here are some of Melbourne’s top attractions and experiences you must experience in 2018.
Ask any international wine buff about Australian wine and you’ll probably see them cringe. Which is usually because when people think of wine and Australia they conjure up images of the cute little “critters” that often find their way onto our bottle stickers.
But there is much more to Australian wine than the cute yellow kangaroo and wombat labels will have you believe, and a visit to Australia’s wine growing regions will open your mind and your taste buds to new adventures.
While Australia’s largest wine regions can be found in South Australia (Barossa Valley) and Victoria (Yarra Valley), if you journey just 2.5 hours North of Sydney you will arrive in the beautiful Hunter Valley.
This region is unique, not only for its hot climate, but can also lay claim to the title of Australia’s oldest wine producing region. Vineyards that were planted in the 1860s still produce wine today with vines as old as 60 years still producing fruit. Put simply, the Hunter Valley is the birthplace of Australian wine.
It was the crack of dawn but Peter and Jeanie Kelly from Murray Offroad Adventures were on time and ridiculously chirpy. All it took, however, was a dash down the Mallee Highway and a quick pit stop at the Hattah General store (Jeanie phoned our coffee order ahead, the star) for those early-morning dozy feels to disappear as the day started to brighten and the temperature began to rise.
The pink lakes of Murray Sunset National Park are truly breathtaking. Endlessly blue skies sit against bright pink waters and sparkling salt deposits; this is one phenomenon you have to see to believe.
Regional Victoria is full of stunning sights and the natural beauty of the Hattah-Kulkyne national park is one of the many examples of that.
In the heart of the Australian bush, the outback park is home to a superb freshwater system of creeks and lakes that connects to the Murray River, and within it lives a whole host of beautiful bird, marine and wildlife.
Although don’t make the mistake of assuming Hattah-Kulkyne is only of interest to binocular toting nature lovers, there is plenty to keep everyone occupied!
Nestled between Byron Bay and Coffs Harbour on Australia’s stunning northern NSW coast is the relaxing seaside town of Yamba. Although it may not receive the same attention of larger cities in the region, make no mistake, Yamba offers travelers a wealth of adventure and excitement rivaling the likes of Sydney and Brisbane.
With stunning beaches, a wealth of outdoor recreation, iconic wildlife, and numerous parks and reserves, there’s a reason Australian Traveller Magazine named it Australia’s number one town! And the best part, is that Yamba allows you to escape the crowds.
Wrapped within 600 hectares of rainforest near famous Angourie surf beach, the luxurious Angourie Rainforest Resort is fast becoming a hotspot for travellers to northern NSW. And it’s one of the best places to base yourself for access to Yamba and surrounds.
You really couldn’t ask for more out of a destination when it comes to things to do in Cairns, Australia. The gateway to Australia’s iconic Great Barrier Reef as well as the massive 110-million-year-old Daintree Rainforest, Cairns overflows with incredible beaches, abundant rare wildlife, picturesque secluded islands, caves, and much, much, more.
Enjoying a tropical climate in far North Queensland, the region showcases some of the best natural attractions Australia has to offer. So why not travel beyond the major metropolitan cities of Sydney, Melbourne, and Brisbane to embark on a true Aussie adventure in Cairns.
Once you arrive, there is definitely no shortage of epic day trips at your disposal, all within reach of Cairns’ best hotels. When planning your Cairns itinerary, we highly recommend adding the following day trips in the surrounds.