As Australia rings in 2016, the country welcomes world renowned restaurants to its dining scene, new ways to connect with the world’s oldest living culture, exciting ways to explore the stunning coastline and more. With new experiences available throughout the year, start planning your dream holiday and discover why there’s nothing like Australia.
From desert art to a world-famous restaurant residency, there are plenty of reasons to visit Australia in 2016.
Eat at world-famous restaurants in Sydney
Inspired by Australia’s exceptional produce and innovative food culture, some of the world’s top chefs are heading to Australia. Following the 2015 visit to Melbourne by Heston Blumenthal’s The Fat Duck, another of the world’s most influential restaurants, Noma from Copenhagen, will relocate to Sydney for 10 weeks.
From late January, Noma will open for lunch and dinner five days a week at Sydney’s new waterfront precinct Barangaroo. Rene Redzepi’s menu, inspired by Australia’s shoreline, will showcase local produce and a quarter of the seats at the pop-up will be reserved for international visitors. Register at noma.dk/australia. Stay nearby at the Langham Sydney which has recently unveiled a multi-million dollar makeover.
Also appearing in the Sydney food scene is Hong Kong’s famed Michelin-starred dim sum house Tim Ho Wan which has opened an outlet at Chatswood on Sydney’s lower North Shore and has plans for restaurants in Chinatown in Melbourne and Sydney’s city. The crumbly baked barbecue pork buns are just as delicious as those sold in Hong Kong.
Also Try…Australia’s home grown world-class dining experiences including Attica, Quay, Sepia and Brae. All four restaurants were named in the prestigious S.Pellegrino World’s 100 Best Restaurant list in 2015.
View some of the art world’s biggest blockbusters
Australia’s art galleries are hosting some large and well known exhibitions in early 2016.
In Sydney, the Art Gallery of NSW will host The Greats: Masterpieces from the National Galleries of Scotland from October 24 2015 until February 14, 2016. The Museum of Contemporary Art will show ceramics, tapestries and sculptures from controversial British artist Grayson Perry (December 10 2015 – May 1, 2016). In the same city, the Powerhouse Museum will stage the world premiere of The Art of the Brick: DC Comics exhibition (November 21 2015 – May 1 2016). This showcase features the largest ever collection of DC Comics-inspired LEGO artwork.
At Melbourne’s National Gallery of Victoria, Andy Warhol/Ai Weiwei (December 11 2015 – April 24, 2016) brings together more than 300 works from the avant-garde American and Chinese artists.
Discover new Indigenous tourism experiences
Connect with world’s oldest living culture through new and diverse Aboriginal tourism experiences.
In Cairns, Queensland Tjapukai Aboriginal Cultural Park has recently unveiled an extensive refurbishment. Visitors can now enjoy a new range of Indigenous performances in state-of-the-art theatres and galleries.
While in the Northern Territory, you can learn about the traditional culture of Arnhem Land through a range of new tours with Lirrwi Yolngu Tourism or visit the Tiwi Islands’ artistic communities on a new Sealink tour from Darwin.
Enjoy authentic hospitality beyond Australia’s cities
There are plenty of reasons to travel outside Australia’s cities to regional destinations in 2016 with new and revamped hotels and restaurants ready to welcome visitors.
In the Blue Mountains near Sydney, the iconic 1904 clifftop hotel, the Hydro Majestic, has reopened after a six-year multi-million dollar renovation. For a stunning view, take high tea in front of the picture windows overlooking the blue-tinged Megalong Valley.
Also in New South Wales, the Elements of Byron, a luxury MGallery beachfront resort, will open at Byron Bay in February 2016. The region also recently gained the award winning Three Blue Ducks restaurant, located at The Farm, a 32 hectare property that focuses on sustainable-farming practices.
From 1 April 2016, Ayers Rock Resort will host the art installation, Bruce Munro’s Field of Light near Uluru. The installation features 50,000 stems with frosted, coloured glassed spheres which will illuminate as darkness falls. This will be the largest version of this installation created to date.
While in South Australia, escape to Paringa a small town in the Riverland region where you will find luxury accommodation, The Frames. The villas are located on a cliff top with stunning views of the great Murray River.
Pedal your way to the heart of Australia
If it’s great in a car it’s even better on a bike, and new cycle trails mean even more of Australia’s stunning coastline, magnificent forests and charming towns are accessible on two wheels.
In Western Australia’s southwest corner follow the Munda Biddi Trail, which means ‘path through the forest' in the Nyoongar Aboriginal language. Whether you’re looking for a week-long adventure or a shorter ride, the off-road cycle trail has plenty of options and it is suitable for all levels of cycling experience.
For those looking for something more extreme, try the new purpose-built network of single track mountain bike trails near the township of Derby in north-east Tasmania. Called the ‘Blue Derby’, it has 40 kilometre of beginner and intermediate trails leading through lush forests with another 40 kilometre due to open in mid-2016.
Explore Australia’s beautiful coastline
No less an authority than iconic natural history professor David Attenborough has described a visit to the Great Barrier Reef as an “unbeatable experience”. In early 2016 Attenborough will share his experience of spending three weeks on-board a research vessel at the UNESCO World Heritage-listed site in a three-part documentary.
Go glamping on the outer reef in a unique experience run by Sunlover Reef cruises. Up to 18 guests head out to a specially-built pontoon 26 nautical miles from Cairns where they spend an afternoon snorkeling before eating a barbecue dinner, watching sea-life in an underwater observatory and sleeping in a ‘swag’ (bedroll) under the night sky.
Off the coast of West Australia you can see one of the largest congregations of killer whales in the Southern Hemisphere between January and April. With up to 100 killer whales – and whaler sharks, giant squid, sperm whales, and masses of sea birds – gathering off Bremer Bay it’s a remarkable natural phenomenon.