If you thought Australia was only about its vibrant and modern cities, then brace yourself for a big surprise - the good kind!
Aussie cities are the star attraction of every traveller’s itinerary, and rightly so! But shying away from this limelight are the beautiful surrounds. From islands that appears only during low tide to places cut off from the world, Australia is so much more than city lights and skylines. Read on to discover more.
Unwind in unspoilt nature
Tasmania’s famed wonder, Cradle Mountain, impresses all with its pristine wilderness and jaw-dropping scenery. Two hours west of Launceston, Cradle Mountain is where rugged mountains touch mirrored lakes and curated walking trails guide you through ancient rainforests spanning across the area. You’ll have the chance to spot uniquely Aussie wildlife, including Tasmanian devils, wombats, quolls, platypus and echidnas. It’s the perfect place to unwind!
Snap a pic of Australia’s colourful lakes
The stunning blues and greens of Australia’s coast are a crowd favourite, but if you’re looking for something different, take a trip to see one of the country’s colourful lakes. Australia’s Golden Outback has bubblegum pink lakes that are a photographer’s dream. Lake Hillier is the most famous of the pink lakes, and can be found near Esperance in Western Australia. The region is also home to Lake Ballard, a shimmering salt lake near Kalgoorlie that features a permanent art installation of 51 metal statues. In South Australia you can find Lake Eyre, the world’s largest ephemeral lake. Containing water or not, it's a phenomenal sight of swirling colours, best seen from above on a scenic flight.
Leave the crowd behind at Vlasoff Cay
Looking for something secluded and remote? Well nothing beats a picnic on a private island, especially one as picturesque as Vlasoff Cay. A small streak of sand in an ocean of blue, this tiny sand island appears only at low tide. Get here by a helicopter or a chartered boat (from Cairns) and set up camp with a picnic basket and a bottle of champagne. With no trees, buildings or even humans around, it’s the perfect getaway setup. Swim, snorkel, chill or relax; the island is yours!
Walk through the world’s oldest tropical rainforest
A UNESCO World Heritage-listed site, Daintree Rainforest invites envy with its beautiful ancient ferns, emerald green vines and lush canopies. Here you can trek through jungle and discover plants and animals found nowhere else on the planet. Fly through the trees on a zip-line for a bird’s-eye view. Cruise along the winding waterways of the Daintree River and head to Cape Tribulation, where the rainforest meets the Great Barrier Reef. As the inspiration for the movie Avatar, it won’t take long to see that the Daintree really is a magical place.
Discover the heart of Australia
No matter how many photos you see or stories you hear about the Red Centre, nothing prepares you for your first encounter with it. Standing 348 metres high, Uluru rises taller than the Eiffel Tower. While standing before Uluru is an experience in itself, you can also sign up for a guided tour where you’ll discover tiny details that give this monolith its character or opt to soar high above the Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park with a helicopter ride. Alternatively, you can indulge in a sunset dining experience and witness the rock undergo a metamorphosis of colour. It’s something you don’t want to miss.
Live the island life at Rottnest Island
Western Australia’s slice of island fun, 'Rotto' as it is lovingly known by locals, is just a short ferry away from Perth. Once on the island, you will be spoilt for choice when it comes to activities – swim in the clear waters, bushwalk in search of the native quokkas (keep your cameras ready), unwind on any one of its 63 pristine beaches, hire a bicycle to explore the island or simply relax at beachside hotels and cafés. Stay a day or a week; a good time is guaranteed.
Enjoy sun, sand and sea at Mornington Peninsula
Mornington Peninsula blends together the best of Aussie coastal living and traditional charm to give you the perfect getaway. Just an hour south of Melbourne, here you can enjoy lunches at vineyards, swim with dolphins and seals, visit a wildlife sanctuary, ride horses along beaches and across vineyards, visit cheesemakers and distillers, go bushwalking, relax at hot springs and pose against Victoria’s famous colourful bathing boxes.
Escape the city life at Lord Howe
A two-hour flight from Sydney, Lord Howe is a crescent-shaped island of rainforests, crystal-clear waters, crisp white-sand beaches and panoramic views. And if that isn’t compelling enough, here’s something more to motivate you: No more than 400 people are allowed on Lord Howe Island at any given time. This means you will have plenty of space for secluded walks, private swims, undisturbed candle-lit dinners on the beach, and sojourns to uninhabited fringing islands armed with baskets of chilled bubbly and delicious local produce.
Explore a zoo without fences
With more than a third of the land being a conservation park, Kangaroo Island is often hailed as one of the best places for close encounters with Aussie wildlife. From kangaroos and koalas to Tammar wallabies and short-beaked echidnas, they are all found here. In addition to being a wildlife haven, the island doubles up as a luxury retreat. Savour some of Australia’s best local produce, wine, gin and brews, dig into some delicious Marron - a South Australian seafood delicacy, stay in an award-winning lodge and indulge in a massage session on a cliff-top spa.
UnDiscover more of Australia
Scenic drives in Australia