Three Sisters, Blue Mountains, NSW

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Three Sisters, Blue Mountains, NSW

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Littlehampton, Adelaide Hills, South Australia

Mount Torrens

South Australia

Mount Torrens is one of the Adelaide Hills's most well preserved historic towns. Declared a State Heritage town by the South Australian government, Mount Torrens's main street is lined with picture perfect 19th century buildings including an old inn, flour mill and several private homes. Today small acre farming, dairying and grape growing are the main industries and there is also a Clydesdale Stud near the town. Mount Torrens is halfway between Adelaide and the Murray River, which saw it become a popular staging point for bullock teams travelling from the river. It was settled in 1853 by George Dunn. In the 1860s gold was discovered and this led to a population boom. And there's more to discover in the Adelaide Hills. It's the home of boutique wineries, country markets, art galleries and charming villages. It's also the place for romantic weekends away, cosy pub meals, scenic drives and nature walks. Children love the Adelaide Hills's giant rocking horse, National Motor Museum and wildlife parks. Located only 20 minutes from Adelaide's central business district, the Adelaide Hills provide a wonderfully refreshing change from the pace of the city.

Tarraleah, Highland Cattle

Tarraleah

Tasmania

Tarraleah was once home to hundreds of hydro electric workers building one of Australia’s first hydro-electric schemes in Tasmania’s central highlands. Today, the whole town of 1920s and 1930s wooden homes has been restored as an elegant wilderness resort. Tarraleah means Forrester kangaroo in the language of the local Aboriginal people, and the site is host to an enormous range of Tasmanian flora and fauna. It is quite possible to see platypus and quolls, wallabies, wombats, Tasmanian devils and echidnas wandering around the town all on the same evening, and some say the Tasmanian tiger is also about. The town’s central Lodge, built in the 1930s for the Hydro engineers and company directors, has been restored to the elegance of its early days when money and craftsmanship were no object. The Art Deco building now houses a contemporary and luxuriously comfortable nine bedroom small luxury hotel – a showcase of Tasmanian art and craft. The town’s cottage, hand built by Tasmanian craftsmen in the 1930s, have also been restored as self-contained one to three bedroom holiday cottages. Tarraleah is 114 kilometres (70 miles), or two hours’ drive, northwest of Hobart on the A10 Highway between Hamilton and Lake St Clair. Geographically it is 20 kilometres from the physical centre of Tasmania, right on the edge of the World Heritage Area – Franklin Gordon Wild Rivers National Park and Cradle Mountain-Lake St Clair National Park. Look out for the huge water pipes which “tumble” down the side of a valley near the chalet. The weather in the central highlands is often wild and woolly, and because of the slightly higher elevation it is cooler in the summer and winter. So remember to bring a warm jacket and wet weather gear.

Mannum, Murraylands, South Australia

Mannum

South Australia

Mannum is a scenic and celebrated Murray River town, ideal for river holidays. It has a beautiful riverfront and excellent recreational facilities including Mary Ann Reserve, home to a playground, boat ramp, picnic tables and kiosk. Visitors can hire water-skis, jet-skis, canoes, kneeboarding equipment or simply drop a line and enjoy the fishing. Mannum's attractive main street has an art gallery, antiques, craft and bric-a-brac shops, and there is a good choice of cafes and hotels, including the award-winning Pretoria Hotel, which offers quality riverfront dining. There are several scenic and historic walks in the town and nearby Mannum Falls has easy and moderate level tracks passing winter-flowing waterfalls, abundant bird life and interesting rock formations. Having celebrated its 150th birthday in 2004, Mannum is a town steeped in history. Blacksmith brothers John and David Shearer spearheaded the settlement of the town after they established their farm machinery factory where they created a string of inventions. In fact in 1897, David Shearer produced one of the first two cars in Australia, which featured a differential gear in an enclosed case. Mannum is also the birthplace of the Murray River paddle steamers, including the first ever built, the Mary Ann, which was constructed in 1853 by Captain William Randell. At the Mannum Visitor Centre you can discover the history of the river and visit the Randell Dry Dock. Installed at Mannum in 1876 it is listed on the National Estate and the only one of its kind in the southern hemisphere. The visitor centre is also home to the PS Marion - a restored 114-year old paddle steamer that is open to the public daily, except when cruising. There is also an art exhibition and fossil display. The Mannum Olde Days and Olde Ways Museum also provides an insight into pioneering days, while Mannum Minerals, which has one of the state's largest displays of gemstones, minerals, fossils and shells, tells the geological history of the area.

Noonamah Northern Territory

Noonamah

Northern Territory

Noonamah is a small town just 46 kilometres from Darwin. Noonamah was first settled during World War II when the army set up a series of airstrips and depots in the area. Despite being bombed by the Japanese, the airstrips still remain to this day. Travellers can read about the significance of the airstrips at a memorial site located near Noonamah. The Noonamah Tourist Park and Tavern offers motel rooms, powered caravan sites and camping sites.

Hamersley Range, Western Australia

Hamersley Range

Western Australia

The Hamersley Range sits within one of Australia's largest and most spectacular national parks - Karijini. Here, you can scale Mount Bruce, Western Australia's second highest peak, and explore the depths of 100 metre canyons, revealing four billion years of the Earth's history and some of the oldest rocks on the planet. Flights to nearby Newman, Paraburdoo, Port Hedland and Karratha depart from Perth regularly and put you within two to four hours' drive of the Hamersley Range and Karijini National Park. Guided tours also depart from Tom Price, Karratha and Port Hedland. Or, if you're taking the road trip north from Perth, you'll need to allow about three days - more if you plan to make it a more enriching journey, follow the Warlu Way to discover the region's Indigenous culture and mystical legends. Hidden within the range is nature's very own playground, featuring natural waterslides and inviting pools, adrenalin-pumping climbing adventures and gentle bushwalks. And the real beauty of Karijini is that most of its amazing scenery is within easy reach. You can pull into a car park, walk 50 metres and see waterfalls rushing down canyons into cool rock pools. Abseiling and climbing tours venture deep into Knox Gorge, 'The Centre of the Earth.' Walking trails lead to the cool plunge pools of Dales, Weno and Hancock Gorges, inviting you to take a refreshing dip or enjoy a shower the way nature intended - beneath a cascading waterfall with the steep rocky cliffs of Karijini's gorges towering above. Spend the night under a star-filled sky at one of Karijini's camping facilities, well equipped with toilets, benches and gas barbecues (camping fees apply), or seek a little more comfort in the accommodation options at Tom Price. For more information on walking, sightseeing, camping, flora and fauna, stop by the Karijini Visitor Centre.

Yuleba

Yuleba

Queensland

To look at it on a map, Yuleba looks like a little town on the Warrego Highway about mid-way between Roma and Miles. Sure, it is a well-equipped little town offering many services for travellers, but it's also a place with a rich and important history and more than a thing or two to entice you to stay awhile. Yuleba features in the story of the Cobb & Co era, as it was between Surat and Yuleba that Cobb & Co scheduled its very last horse-drawn coach mail run on 16 August 1924. You can retrace that last run and visit sites of local significance such as the Cobb & Co Mural, Aboriginal native wells (also a pleasant picnic spot) and Cobb & Co Corduroys - where cypress pines were laid to make roads passable in the horse-drawn era. Keen fossickers can hunt for opalised and petrified wood and agates at The Maryanne, and there's plenty of room for bush camping beside the dam. Yuleba's scenic Judd's Lagoon and Wetlands is abundant in flora and fauna, providing a tranquil natural backdrop for bush camping and the perfect spot to relax and connect with nature.

Dubbo Western Plains Zoo

Dubbo

Newell Highway , Dubbo, New South Wales, 2830

Dubbo is a natural tourist destination for all ages and is home to one of the world’s finest open range zoos. Long summers, fine food and wine, pristine parklands and a non-stop calendar of events and festivals make it a favourite place to visit. Set on the Macquarie River, in the heart of New South Wales, Dubbo has many reminders of our pioneering past and setting off on a heritage trail is the perfect way to reconnect with a bygone era. A tour of the fully restored Old Dubbo Gaol, with its murderous tales and hangman’s gallows, is a vivid glimpse into our colonial roots.

Geeveston - Southern Forests

Geeveston

Tasmania

Geeveston is the administrative centre for the timber industries and apple growers of south eastern Tasmania. It is 62 kilometres (39 miles) south west of Hobart on Highway A6, and is the gateway to the Arve River forests and Hartz Mountains National Park. In the town centre you will find the Geeveston Forest and Heritage Centre, which tells the story of the area and the surrounding forests. Further west along Arve Road Forest Drive (Highway C631) is the Tahune Forest Reserve and the Tahune Airwalk. The area’s rivers are home to brown trout and you can visit the Geeveston Highlands Salmon and Trout Fishery to learn the skill of flyfishing. In the lush green valleys nearby, apple orchards pattern the hillsides and during the soft autumn days you can buy buckets of Pink Lady, Crofton, Red Delicious, Granny Smith and Fuji apples from roadside stalls. Geeveston has bed and breakfast, lodge and backpacker accommodation and is a good base to stay while exploring the forests, national park and Picton and Huon rivers. The area was explored during the first days of the colony but not settled until the mid 1800s. Even before the English settled Tasmania, the French explorer Admiral Bruny D’Entrecasteaux (1792) marvelled at the height and girth of the trees covering the landscape. One of the first families to settle the area was the Geeves, who moved to Lightwood Bottom in 1850. The town’s name was changed to Geeves Town in 1861, and eventually became Geeveston. To reach Geeveston from Hobart, take the Highway A6 to Huonville and continue through Franklin, home of the Wooden Boat School, to Geeveston. Geeveston’s location in the southern forests dictate its weather pattern. It may be slightly cooler at any time of the year, so always make sure you have a warm jacket and wet weather gear, particularly if you plan to explore the wonderful mountains of the Hartz Mountains National Park.

Wombat

Wombat

New South Wales

Wombat, located on the Olympic Highway, 15 kilometres south west of Young, has a general store, recreation facilities, school and a hotel with New South Wales' longest continuous liquor licence, granted in 1877. Visitors head to Wombat to enjoy the experience of picking their own cherries, peaches and sugar plums in season.

Hopetoun, Western Australia

Hopetoun

Western Australia

Escape to a the southern coastal town of Hopetoun, where the dramatic untouched coastline and magnificent Fitzgerald River National Park invite you to trek, swim, fish and explore one of the most bio-diverse landscapes in the world. Nestled on the shores of pretty Mary Ann Haven, three hours and 45 minutes east of Albany, Hopetoun is seven hours by road from Perth, making it the ideal place to stop on a south coast road trip from Albany to Esperance. Just nine kilometres from town, the 329,000 hectare Fitzgerald River National Park opens up before you. One of Australia's largest and most botanically significant national parks, it's renowned for its rugged hinterland, coastal scenery and more than 1,800 beautiful and rare plant species, many unique to the park. Explore this spectacular landscape in a four wheel drive, canoeing on the river or walking the many trails. In addition to 20 per cent of Western Australia's plant species, you'll find the park's shores and estuaries abound with bird life. During the winter months, you can also spot southern right whales as they come into secluded bays to calve - one of only three places in Australia where this occurs. Flanked by 200 kilometres of pristine coastline, Hopetoun boasts a sting of stunning beaches where you can swim, surf and fish. Spend a lazy afternoon on Barrens Beach, swimming, snorkelling and exploring the rock pools. Visit the blow holes and cave at East Mylies. Or take the ocean drive from Hopetoun to East Mount Barren Lookout, enjoying the breathtaking coastal scenery and vistas along the way. With so much to experience, you'll want to extend your stay. Camp with kookaburras in the beautiful bush setting of Fitzgerald River National Park, or choose from a range of accommodation options in Hopetoun, including a hotel, motel, caravan park, chalets and holiday cottages. Your appetite is equally well catered for, with everything from a la carte restaurant dining to cafes and counter meals available in the town.

Information provided by the Australian Tourism Data Warehouse