As an Australian, I share an ‘affliction’ of sorts with many of my compatriots. The travel bug. It seems to get many of us at such a young age. Maybe it’s a vaccination issue…
For so many decades now we have been fleeing our homeland for pastures new. More often than not, we uproot ourselves and head for the grey skies of Old Blighty. Or, we run riot in our cultural playground amongst the rice paddies and night markets.
Why is it that we always believe the grass is greener on the other side? Don’t get me wrong, I am all for venturing outside our comfort zone to embrace others’ cultures and explore the unknown. What I question, however, is this: what about our own culture, our own history? What beauty lies waiting to be discovered on our own fair shores?
I am certainly guilty of this. I am constantly planning adventures across the seas (mostly in my head because, you know, money). Whilst I have been fortunate to venture into five out of the six states and one of the two territories, this has been completely under the guidance of my parents. Who doesn’t love a family holiday after all. I have never, however, planned a holiday in my own home, this sunburnt country…and I LOVE planning. Seriously, just ask Typo, or Kikki K, or Smiggle. Yeah, you get the gist.
2017 is going to be different. This is the year to turn the foreign into the familiar and the dreams into reality. So pack your bags (not too heavy because hello budget airline fees) and let’s head out across this land of sweeping plains and see what she has to offer.
The natural beauty of Tasmania
In the past, many may have seen Tasmania as nothing more than an isolated island state off the coast of mainland Australia. Well, times have changed and our southern sister has upped the ante. Just across Bass Strait are sapphire seas, deliciously fresh seafood, rugged coastline, markets, artwork and more. With so much culture and history, I have a feeling my first visit will not be my last.
- MONA: Museum of Old and New Art – the largest privately owned art collection in Australia
- Cradle Mountain: One of the state’s most visited natural attractions
- Salamanca Market: For fresh organic produce, clothes, books and all the tacky souvenirs you could wish for
- Port Arthur: A grim past gives way to the beauty of the surrounding landscape
- Wineglass Bay: For picture-perfect white sandy beaches
A ticket to ride…The Ghan
Image credit: Girl Tweets World
I am ashamed to say I had never heard of this iconic rail journey until a fellow blogger made mention of it on her website. Girl Tweets World has a great write-up of this epic journey spanning from the dramatic scenery of central Australia to the wilderness of South Australia. Covering a whopping 2,979kms (1,851 miles), the entire journey takes three nights and four days. Starting within reach of Australia’s most revered natural wonders, the train barrels along through the grandeur of Katherine, the iconic Alice Springs, the famous opal mining town of Coober Pedy and ends in the cosmopolitan city of Adelaide. Maybe you can end with a cosmopolitan too…
Experience the Australian landscape at its dramatic best with Great Southern Rail’s Ghan Expedition.
Beach time in Byron Bay
My gorgeous friend Lucy is probably the biggest fan of Byron Bay that I know. Unfortunately I never made the trip up during my time in Sydney, so while the trip may be longer now, it is no doubt still worth it. It’s an instagrammer’s paradise with white sandy beaches, turquoise waters and the most decadent brunches that will have you snapping for a solid ten minutes before you realise you should probably stop and just eat. For a hit list on where to sleep, what to see and where to eat, check out The Unlikely Bookworm’s guide to a stylish stay in Byron Bay.
- Cape Byron Lighthouse: Australia’s most easterly point
- The Farm: An 80-acre green oasis that houses a top-notch restaurant, produce store, bakery and florist
- Belongil Beach: The spot for some “totally rad” surfing
- Captain Cook Lookout: A 4km walking track around Cape Byron where you might just spot a feral goat…because, why not?!
Australian wining and dining
I don’t believe my love of wine is any secret. If it was, then I guess the goon’s out of the bag. I have never “indulged” in goon by the way; it is important to me that you know that. I have spent many a weekend amongst the vineyards and rolling hills of Melbourne’s Yarra Valley, sipping on sparkling red wine and chowing down on tasty local treats. The time has come, however, to take my wine prowess across the border. Whilst there are close to 50 wine regions dotted around the Australian landscape (look out liver), the ones on my radar are the Hunter Valley in New South Wales, Barossa Valley in South Australia and Margaret River in Western Australia.
Sweep into Broome
Located in the Western Australian Kimberley region, the beach resort town of Broome is home to the dramatic 22km-long Cable Beach. It’s not just about beauty though; history awaits at every turn. Travel back in time to the prehistoric era at Gantheaume Point to check out the 130-million-year-old dinosaur footprints. Discover the story behind the town’s name (spoiler alert, it was named for an undersea telegraph cable that was laid in the late 1800s, connecting Broome to Singapore). Personally, the moment I am holding out for is a sunset camel ride along Cable Beach (very sorry about the camel burger I may or may not have eaten in Morocco).
“I love a sunburnt country,
a land of sweeping plains,
of ragged mountain ranges,
of droughts and flooding rains.
I love her fair horizons,
I love her jewel-sea,
her beauty and her terror,
the wide brown land for me.”
– Dorothea Mackellar
Adventure is calling…I know I’ll answer. Will you?
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