Australians may not be able to travel overseas at present but that doesn’t mean missing out on some exceptional travel experiences here in Australia. Travellers can #RoamAtHome and still feel like they are having an overseas adventure.
If you had you plans to explore Asia and now those are cancelled, here is where you can swap it out and discover the same, if not better, in Australia’s back yard.
Nature and culture in Tropical North Queensland
The jungles of South-East Asia have nothing on Australia’s World Heritage-listed rainforests that stretch across the country, covering every climatic type.
You can trek through all five climatic types of rainforest in Queensland. In Tropical North Queensland, the World Heritage-listed Wet Tropics includes Kuranda Rainforest and the Daintree – the oldest tropical rainforest on earth. If you’re looking for a warm winter escape, head to Tropical North Queensland for a natural and cultural experience you won’t soon forget.
Connect with Indigenous Australian spirituality with Dreamtime Dive & Snorkel (running tours from 1 July), which invites you to step back into the Great Barrier Reef’s Dreamtime with Indigenous sea rangers on a day tour to two spectacular outer Great Barrier Reef sites, Moore Reef & Milln or Flynn Reef. Then hit the jungle with Daintree Rainforest Tours from Port Douglas (available from 1 July), to experience the rich diversity of the Daintree Rainforest through various national park walks.
Party at Airlie Beach
Gateway to the Whitsundays, Airlie Beach is a coastal town of palm-fringed beaches, waterfront parks and alfresco restaurants. Spend a few days exploring before you head off on your island holiday where you’ll find plenty of action, from sailing to scuba diving to skydiving.
The Airlie Beach markets are starting back up 27 June and are held every Saturday morning on the esplanade for locally made jewellery, clothes and crafts. Packed with top restaurants, cafes and nightlife, Airlie Beach provides the tempo of an aquatic playground, with nearby retreats to tropical rainforest and waterfalls in Conway National Park.
Catch and release on the reef
Swap South-East Asia’s fisheries for an Australian angler’s paradise.
What keen angler could resist a sustainable fishing trip to the Great Barrier Reef? A staggering 300,000 square kilometres (116,000 square miles) of pristine waters, idyllic islands and unbelievably beautiful coral cays make up the reef, and charter boats will take you to places where it feels like no-one has ever fished before.
Black and blue marlin, sailfish, dogtooth tuna, giant trevally and wahoo are among the incredible creatures that call the Great Barrier Reef home. Operators up and down the reef include Far North Sports Fishing, East Coast Angling, Renegade Fishing Charters and the luxury live-aboard Elizabeth EII.
Snag a Barra at the Top End
Catching a big barra is top of the bucket list for many anglers, and the tidal estuaries and rivers of the Northern Territory are among the best places to do it. The Top End also offers some spectacular blue-water sport fishing — with longtail tuna, queen fish and Spanish mackerel among the most popular species.
The choice of operators and fishing experiences in the Top End is almost as vast as the array of fish. Set up camp in Arnhem Land or on the Cobourg Peninsula. You can even jump aboard a helicopter to go heli-fishing – whatever floats your (fishing) boat.