Australia has some iconic holiday spots but sometimes the best places are not so well known.
So, when booking your next trip, why not consider some alternatives to the usual destinations you might be used to.
From camping to glamping
We’ve talked about glamping before; an alternative to camping for those who love the great outdoors but don’t want to sacrifice their creature comforts.
For those who want to experience life under the stars and the bright lights of the city, UNESCO-listed Cockatoo Island in Sydney Harbour offers up market packages for those who “crave a camping adventure without the hard work".
With tours and exhibitions available year round, and the rest of Sydney just a short ferry ride away, Cockatoo Island is a unique getaway experience for the experienced camper as well as anyone looking to try it out for the first time.
From theme parks to Scenic Rim
Queensland’s Gold Coast is the home of several of Australia’s most prominent theme parks. And as much fun as a trip to Dreamworld, Movieworld and Seaworld can be, less than an hour's drive west of Brisbane and the Gold Coast lies the Scenic Rim. The Scenic Rim is home to world-heritage listed rainforests, mountain streams, bushland, farmland; as well as a variety of accommodation options, from camping grounds to high-end luxury.
Water sports, rock climbing, horse riding, horseback riding, abseiling and hot air ballooning are just a few of the adventures you can enjoy in addition to more relaxing pursuits like bushwalking, shopping, and golfing. Using a rewards program like NRMA Blue can save you money on Gold Coast theme parks and accommodation.
From coastal road trip to desert train
A road trip along Australia’s East Coast is a rite of passage for many Australians. But for those in search of a new adventure, there’s a different kind of cross-country trip; The Ghan, the transcontinental train traversing Australia from Darwin to Adelaide. Referencing the camels and camel drivers that helped build the infrastructure of Australia's outback, The Ghan (as well as an extended trip called The Ghan Expedition) offers fine food and drinks, comfortable cabins and shared lounge areas. One of the great train trips of the world - The Ghan is a high end and high cost exprience, but one you will never forget.
Off train experiences are also an important part of The Ghan, with stops at gorges, rivers, historic and spiritually important places for Aboriginal culture; and for the more adventurous, mountain biking, helicopter and aircraft trips.
From exotic resort to Australian paradise
While international destinations like the Maldives and the Caribbean are often luxurious and beautiful, there are a number of island paradises much closer to home for Australians.While visitors often flock to Hamilton Island in the heart of the Great Barrier Reef, there are other islands in the Whitsundays that are stunning tropical retreats. Long Island, is private and secluded and offers Balinese style accommodation dwellings right on the beach with the convenience and affordability of self-catering. There's also snorkelling, kayaking, fishing and watersports. Other non-developed islands in the area are perfect for adventurous travellers who want to bush walking or explore by boat. With warm weather year round, travel outside of peak holiday times to get the best deal for your trip. And remember to protect yourself with travel insurance before you go.