Let’s face it, Australians both love and live to travel. Aussies love packing a bag, swag or backpack and setting off on an adventure, it’s part of the Australian free-spirited nature. Which is why COVID has been such a tough time for so many intrepid Aussie travellers.
With the hope of state border restrictions easing soon, today we take a look at how Australians will embrace the re-opening of travel throughout this great country when the green light is finally turned back on.
And we do so by embracing eight things Australians love to do more than any others - ride, walk, hike, fish, surf, eat, drink and chill!
Great Ocean Road
For a state that’s been more restricted than any other during COVID, free spirited Victorians will be desperate to get back on the road - and the best way to do it is on two-wheels, rather than four!
Australia's famous scenic winding route of the Great Ocean Road is the perfect place to lose the world and ride away into the sunset, whilst marvelling in the sights of wild cliff-fronts, rugged beaches, ocean stacks and untouched rainforest, all while listening to the cacophony of sounds from the surf, the vast wildlife and the welcoming delight of friendly locals as you ride into each town from Torquay to Warrnambool (yes, that’s 250kms, so get ready to ride!)
It’s true the road is busy at peak times which can disrupt the piece as the four-wheel monsters dives by, but if you ride during non-peak hours and take your time (4-5 days should do it), this is one of the world’s great bike trails. Stop at Lorne, or Apollo Bay, then ride through to the 12-Apostles, before the long final leg to Warrnambool.
Bay of Fires
Everyone who has ever walked the famous Bay of Fires in north-eastern Tassie raves about it.
The untouched nature of the landscape and the perfect mix of beautiful scenery, amazing wildlife and incredible sightseeing makes this one of the country’s favourite walks.
At the edge of Mt William National Park, the Bay of Fires showcases the incredible island-state of Tasmania in the best way. Explore coves and sandy isolated beaches, kayak on the Ansons River and revel in a four-day journey that’s as good as any other, anywhere. But it’s not all about the walking - sample some of Tassie’s very best pinots, and then stay at the award-winning eco-friendly Bay of Fires Lodge.
Australian Alps Walking Track
NSW & ACT & Victoria
In a country full of amazing hikes, from very challenging to moderate, the Alps Walking Track through the Victorian, ACT and NSW high country stands well above the rest!
It’s not for the faint hearted and needs plenty of time (some say 10-weeks to do it really well), but wow what a journey.
Ranging a total of 650kms across the wildest of country, where you will may see wild brumbies roaming and the. sipping water from wild streams, whilst constantly marvelling at the windswept plains, never ending views and constantly varying weather - from crystal clear days to freezing night, this is nature and hiking at its finest.
There are so many highlights, which includes the must see Kosciuszko National Park, but just ensure sure you do it in Springtime and/or early summer when the weather is warm enough, but not too hot - and therefore not putting yourself at risk of the bushfire season!
About 300 kilometers north of Brisbane in Queensland lies Hervey Bay, famous for its crystal-clear waters, fantastic fishing and vast array of gamefish.
There may be better places to fish in Australia, perhaps, but there’s few as beautiful. Sheltered by Fraser Island, the planet's largest sand island, the water is so clear you can see through it and the fish are plentiful beneath. Plus there’s tuna, trevally, flathead, whiting and many many more, plus of course, the mighty marlin - king of the gamefish.
Rest assured if you’re not as into your fishing, the area if also famous for the humpback whales which often calve in these waters during winter.
You can fish from boats, there are charters open regularly and often, fish from sandy beaches or even fly-fish into the saltwater - whatever your fancy, if you like fishing, you love Hervey Bay.
Coolangatta, Gold Coast
Located in the legendary Queensland’s Gold Coast, Snapper Rocks affectionately known as snapper is famous not only on Aussie shores, but also worldwide, as it’s the home break to surfing legends like Mick Fanning and Stephanie Gilmore.
The snapper points, known as Superbanks, is one of the longest points on the planet, full of multiple barrel sections and it all starts at the lava outcrop of Snapper Rocks.
To be fair though it’s not a break you want to be surfing for the first time - it’s one that locals highly populate and does take some experience and surfing knowledge to navigate.
Rest easy though, if you merely want to experience the excitement and overall vibe of the place, then it’s a great place to sit back and people watch from the shores. It’s also Home to the first WSL Quiksilver Pro tour event of the year, where the best congregate to show off their wares.
There’s something so Australian about snapper - a bit like it’s local legends Mick and Steph!
There are few better restaurants anywhere in the world than Brae at Birregurra. And there are few better chefs than Dan Hunter.
The world-renowned chef formerly of Mugaritz restaurant in the Basque region of Spain where he worked as head chef for celebrated chef/owner Andoni Luis Aduriz, he then became head chef at the Royal Mail in Dunkeld, before moving on to Brae in 2013 to venture out on his own, and like everything he seemingly does, it has been a resounding success.
Set on a 30-acre property in the midst of the wild and windy Otway Ranges sits Brae - a true testimony to Hunter’s lifelong connection with the ‘paddock to plate’ philosophy.
The landscaped kitchen garden is right next to the front door and inspires Hunter daily as he continues to evolve and innovate with his daily 13-course menu!
It’s won almost every award imaginable and it’s little wonder. But the best thing is once you’ve finished your meal, you can meander back through the fields to one of six luxury, eco-friendly rooms to finish off what is surely a lifetime culinary experience.
Penfolds Magill Estate,
Adelaide (South Australia)
Margaret River, (West Australia)
Aussies love a wine and what better way to enjoy a wine than at the cellar door of some of the country’s best wineries, in some of the country’s best wine regions.
There are so many to select, from the Hunter in NSW, to Yarra Valley in Victoria, the Tamar Valley region of Tasmania in the north of the state or any of South Australia’s best like the McLaren Vale, Barossa or Clare Valley.
But we’ve been brave (or silly) enough to pick a couple of our favs in Magill Estate on the outskirts of Adelaide and Leeuwin Estate in West Australia’s famous Margaret River region.
For people who know anything about wine, then Penfolds and in particular Grange Hermitage are like the holy grails for wine connoisseurs. The Magill Estate, with its superb modern and newish cellar door, magnificent dining space called Kitchen and absolute top-shelf wines, is a must see.
Whilst Leeuwin Estate is the go-to for true foodies in WA. The wines are incredible - their Art Series Chardonnay is ironically becoming known as the ‘Grange of whites’ and the restaurant menu is out of this world.
Whether you’re visiting Adelaide or the Margaret River, these two wineries are the cream of the crop and we’ll worth a visit to partake in one of Australians favourite pastimes - wine drinking!
Splendour In The Grass
Byron Bay (NSW)
Splendour In The Grass is Australia’s version of America’s Coachella - and by far, its most famous rock festival.
More than 30,000 hit the (north) Byron Bay parklands to listen to some of music’s best and biggest names. The festival, held in July annually, is a great way for Australians to embrace another of their most favoured pastimes - chilling out and listening to music.
Whilst July 21 might be a little way off, what better way to (re) embrace the world of festivals, and completely write-off and forget the miserly 2020, by booking early for one of the best events of the calendar year - the Splendour In the Grass Festival.