Is anyone else dreaming of an adventurous getaway right about now?
With so many of us locked down, it might not feel like the right time to dream up
a holiday. But we’ve found it to be quite a soothing - even aspirational - way to
escape reality for a bit.
Maybe it’s the gorgeous photos or scoping out the accommodation options,
but when things get a little too much, planning a trip - even a future-based or
pretend one - can help boost your mood. So if you’re in need of a bit of
distraction, we’ve rounded up our top dream destinations across the country.
We might not be getting on a plane overseas anytime soon, but with any luck
we’ll all be able to explore our stunning country in the coming months.
About five hours south of Sydney or three from Canberra lies the gorgeous
seaside town of Bermagui. Part of the Sapphire Coast, Bermagui has made a
name for itself as a deep sea fishing town with a picturesque harbour,
but in recent years people have also discovered it's grower’s market,
surrounding vineyards, isolated bushwalks, and laid back vibes.
With the state of things right now, we can’t picture anything better than escaping
to a quaint seaside town, swimming at Cuttagee Beach or the Blue Pool,
bushwalking through Mimosa Rocks National Park, and then enjoying a meal of
local produce before a soothing sleep by the ocean.
Image: Lark Hill Winery
The nation’s capital has a reputation for classroom field trips to Parliament
House, but once you dig a little deeper, it’s clear that Canberra has more to offer
than meets the eye. For starters, the place is full of cool nightlife, gourmet
restaurants, vineyards under an hours’ drive, and fascinating farms. Want to join
in on the winter truffle hunt? Outside of Covid times, Blue Frog Truffles runs a
yearly truffle hunt where you can join the team alongside their dogs as they go
in search of foraged truffles.
Or you could enjoy a day trip out to the biodynamic Lark Hill Winery and stay for
lunch after your tasting. Spend a few hours or a whole day exploring Braidwood,
with their enthralling antique and retro stores, not to mention the artisan
sourdough at Dojo Bread and coffee at Albion Cafe.
Another seaside oasis, Apollo Bay lies at the foothills of the Otways in all its
half-moon shaped glory. Here, you’ll forget the worries of the world as you
admire seal colonies strutting along the shore, go kayaking, fishing, or
swimming in the ocean, and enjoy the catch of the day over dinner. There’s even
And if you’ve had enough of the coast for a minute, not far out of the Bay is the
Great Otway National Park, where you can hike around rainforests and gullies to
your heart’s content. Just three hours from Melbourne, this place is a winner for
a relaxing vacation.
Where do we begin with Cradle Mountain, or as it’s referred to down there,
Tasmania’s rooftop? If you’re a keen hiker, this is the place you’ll want to
explore, with everything from a six-day alpine hike on the Overland Track to a 3
hour walk around the glacially carved Dove Lake.
And if you didn’t bring your hiking shoes or all-weather tent, there’s also the
Cradle Mountain Wilderness Gallery full of exhibitions and art, a Tassie devil
sanctuary, and helicopter tours if you’re all about that aerial view.
Montville in Queensland flies somewhat under the radar - but on your next
adventure, we don’t think you’ll mind. Just on the outskirts of the Blackall Range,
this quaint little town is home to art galleries, interesting boutiques, and of
course, cracking coffee shops with loads of character. There’s even an old clock
shop selling everything from grandfather clocks to cuckoo clocks. Have dinner in
one of the town’s historical buildings, like Montville Cafe Bar & Grill or Wild
Rocket at Misty’s, visit the weekend farmer’s market, and admire the
architecture of the gorgeous old Chapel.
Plus it’s situated right near the Kondalilla National Park so you can soak up all
the great outdoor goodness or even escape to a rainforest cabin for ultimate
privacy. All bases are covered here, so it’s the perfect escape to plan.
While every trip to the Northern Territory tends to revolve around Uluru
(and why wouldn’t it!?), a special mention goes to Kata Tjuta, or The Olgas,
a natural wonder and cultural landmark about 40km west of Uluru. These 36
rock domes are mesmerising anytime, but they really make a statement with
their colourful glow around sunrise or sunset.
Join a cultural tour to learn the significance of the land for Aboriginal people,
be immersed in the Dreamtime stories from the area, and soak it all in on one of
the many walking trails around these towering rock domes. Take your pick from
some of the gentler walks like Walpa Gorge Walk or commit to the
moderate-difficult Valley of the Winds Walk - a 7.4km circuit that takes you away
from the crowds and rewards you with unbelievable vistas. At the end of the day,
Uluru–Kata Tjuta National Park is Aboriginal land and jointly managed by
its Anangu traditional owners and Parks Australia. Places to stay near Uluru are
all within the Aboriginal-owned Ayers Rock Resort, with plenty of options available.
Over on the west coast lies the bustling port city of Albany, the dream marriage
of beaches, history, nature, fresh and local food, wine, and more. Seems to us
that you could take anyone here and they’d find something to love!
Visit in Autumn for whale watching season or over summer for the true coastal
Some of the highlights of this destination include the Natural Bridge and The
Gap, icons along the Vancouver Peninsula where you can admire the ocean at
her finest; a walk up Mount Clarence for an added dose of natural perspective;
the local museums; white sand beaches with towering cliffs; or even a farm stay
to get a taste of the local farm life first-hand.
Ever wondered what it might be like to swim in the crater lake of an extinct
volcano? Then it’s time to meet Mount Gambier. Along the Limestone Coast, this
destination is a curious one that boasts not one - but four - stunning crater lakes,
sinkholes, and a scenic drive with jaw-dropping views. Come in November to
see the natural phenomenon of the Blue Lake, where the colour turns from gray
to a striking emerald blue.
The Umpherston Sinkhole is another icon in the area, where the roof of a cave
collapsed, making way for its namesake to build a “sunken garden” in the late
1800s. From hot pink hydrangeas to calla lilies and lush ferns, this garden is a
sight to behold, and will give you goosebumps when the sun fades and the lights
twinkle around the oasis.
And if we haven’t sold you yet, keep travelling along the Limestone Coast to
explore lagoons teeming with wildlife, coastal dunes at Coorong, the historic
beach resort of Robe, and plenty more views that will take your breath away.