Australian alternatives for worldwide destinations
Whether it’s island hopping through the Whitsundays, sipping on world-class wine in South Australia, spotting only-in-Australia wildlife or hearing ancient stories from the world’s oldest living culture, every travel experience your clients want can be found right here in Australia.
Each year, millions of people from across the globe make the trip Down Under to explore destinations and experiences that many more dream of. With international travel still uncertain in the near future, if your clients are looking to begin destination planning why not suggest swapping some of those international destinations for true-blue Australian alternatives?
Clients dreaming of Mexico? Find pink lakes and the largest cacti garden in the Southern Hemisphere right in here in Australia:
- South Australia’s iconic pink lakes (SA)
Contrasting colours of pink, blue and green create the striking scene that is Lake MacDonnell in South Australia’s breathtaking Eyre Peninsula. Sometimes called Watermelon Avenue, it features a narrow track that divides the pink waters of Lake MacDonnell with the neighbouring blue-green waterscape. Other pink lakes in South Australia include the stunning Lake Eyre in Outback South Australia, Lake Bumbunga, which is less than a two-hour drive from Adelaide, and Lake Hart, which you can see onboard the Indian Pacific.
- Cactus Country (VIC)
Located in Strathmerton in Victoria, Cactus Country is a 12-acre garden that is home to thousands of varieties of cacti that will transport you to a faraway Mexican desert landscape, surrounded by beautiful plants and sandy walking trails that take you away to the other side of the world. Find a new favourite plant to take home, enjoy ice cold margaritas and Mexican beers in the sun, and be sure to try the famous cactus cake and ice cream too!
Wanting to escape to the Galapagos Islands but travel not feasible? Visit Australia’s very own World Heritage-listed island paradise or spot thousands of nesting sea turtles in Queensland.
- Journey to another world at Lord Howe Island (NSW)
Scheduled to reopen in September, a visit to Lord Howe Island in springtime is like a journey into another world; birdsong fills the clean air and lush mountainous terrain rises up all around you. Bikes are the mode of transport and the top activities include walking out to Kim’s Lookout and Malabar Hill, snorkelling in the lagoon from the beach, playing a round of golf on the picturesque Lord Howe Island Golf Course, glass-bottom boat tours of the lagoon and feeding wild fish by hand at Neds Beach. Keen hikers can climb Mount Gower rated one of the world’s 10 best hikes, the walk takes around eight hours and provides incredible views of World Heritage-listed Island.
- Spot nestings sea turtles in the Sunshine State (QLD)
The Sunshine State is a turtle haven, with six out of seven of the world’s sea turtle species calling the Great Barrier Reef home. Every year, Queensland beaches are swarmed by thousands of baby turtles marching their way to the sea from their sandy nests. It’s a magical sight to behold that if not already on your bucket list, should be placed there immediately. Between January to March is when the majority of Queensland’s shelled residents make their way to the shoreline. Or between November and January, eggs are laid as the summer heat warms the sand to help incubate the eggs, with hatching commencing six to eight weeks later.
The United Kingdom
Scotland on your list? Tasmania has more whisky, green villages, golf courses and fresh seafood than you could ever dream of…
- Enjoy a tour of Australia’s southernmost whisky distilleries (TAS)
With crisp fresh air and water, you can get a taste of some of Australia’s best whisky in Tasmania’s burgeoning distillery industry. Located in the rugged wilderness of the Tasman Peninsula, the cosy McHenry Distillery produces a range of smooth, uniquely Australian spirits. Don’t miss the Sloe Gin, crafted using berries foraged from the hedgerows around northern Tasmania. Meanwhile, in the heart of Hobart there is Lark Distillery, which has grown to be one of the top malt whisky distillers in the country, creating premium spirits with time-honoured methods.
- Hit the golf course in some of Australia’s most scenic settings (TAS)
Located along the wild and remote coast of Northeast Tasmania and ranked second in Australia, The Dunes Course at Barnbougle Golf Resort has gained a reputation as one of the world’s most impressive links courses. The fourth hole boasts the largest bunker in the entire Southern Hemisphere. Complete your trip with a day at Barnbougle Lost Farm, one of Australia’s most visually spectacular golfing experiences. Lost Farm Lodge offers stylish accommodation overlooking the golf course or the ocean, and the restaurant sources the finest Tasmanian produce and wines for memorable meals.
Forget the English countryside, it’s time to explore quaint Australian villages
- Unwind at the picturesque seaside town of Port Fairy (VIC)
Situated in a picturesque nook of the Great Ocean Road, the historic fishing township of Port Fairy is one of the most beautiful seaside villages you will find. Enjoy a stroll around the fisherman’s wharf and charming whitewashed cottages before sitting down for lunch at the cutting edge local restaurant, Fen. Spend your afternoon wandering through the array of boutique stores and art centres, where you can even watch glass blowing! After a day on your feet, settle in for afternoon tea at Time & Tide Tearoom or something a little stronger at the nearby Suffoir Winery, Brewery and Cidery, before enjoying a restful night at the boutique hotel, Drift House.
Central and Northern Europe
Swap sailing the Greek Islands for the Whitsundays – Australia’s picture-perfect island destination
- Experience luxury by sailing through the Whitsunday Islands (QLD)
It’s hard to beat the romance of sailing through the Whitsunday Islands. Think spectacular sunsets, clear moonlit nights, secluded beaches and pure air. You can sail, swim, snorkel and dive at sheltered anchorages such as Blue Pearl, Butterfly and Hook Island bays. Visit Whitsunday Island and walk the pure white, silica sands of Whitehaven Beach. Several cruise companies will provide you with all that you need, including Sailing Whitsundays, Aquarius and Prosail.
Swap a European food adventure for one of the many world-famous Australian wine regions
- Escape the city to the Hunter Valley (NSW)
Known for its unique expression of semillon, the Hunter Valley in New South Wales is the oldest wine region in Australia. Just under 3.5 hours from Sydney by car, the Hunter is home to some of Australia’s most famous winemaking families, like Tulloch and Tyrrell. At Audrey Wilkinson, visitors can expect to taste rich semillon and earthy shiraz as they enjoy a view of the expansive valley dotted with vineyards. Tyrrell’s Wines offers a daily winery tour that takes guests behind the scenes of one of the region’s oldest estates as well as premium private tastings.
Experience the wonder of the Northern Lights
- Head south for the magnificent Aurora Australis (TAS)
Like its Northern Hemisphere counterpart, the Southern Lights (Aurora Australis) illuminate the night sky with flickering shades of green, blue, purple and red. The Southern Lights can be viewed all year round – although most commonly during winter, May to August, and during the spring equinox in September. Aurora Australis is visible from several spots across the country, but your best chance of witnessing this phenomenon is from Australia’s southernmost state – Tasmania. Head to Bruny Island, Satellite Island, Bathurst Harbour and Cradle Mountain for the beautiful low-light conditions you need to spot the glimmering light show.