9 Reasons Not To Leave Australia For Your Next Holiday
We all love an overseas holiday, let’s not kid ourselves.
There’s nothing like turning on your out-of-office, grabbing an obligatory Quarter Pounder after you’ve battled your way through border security, and settling into your (likely teeny tiny) seat ready for a delightful 15-to-38-hour flight hoping that no unhappy babies or guys who forget to wear deodorant boarded this particular aircraft with you...
Ah, the price we pay for an O/S adventure.
But Europe is full, as we learned yesterday. So you know what’s also good? Maybe even (dare we say it) just as good? Keeping your holiday local.
Of course, nobody’s trying to dispute the amazingness of visiting a new country -- all that culture to soak in, unbelievable wildlife and scenery to explore -- but you can get a big serve of all those things by staycationing in our little* corner of the world...
*(Bigger than every country in Europe, btw. Not that it's a competition.)
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1 We have our own Grand Canyon. Kinda.
Oh, you were looking for a geological marvel barely a stone’s throw from one of the country’s major cities? No worries, we've got one of those.
NSW’s Capertee Valley, just three hours' drive out of Sydney, is actually 1km wider than the US’s infamous Grand Canyon. Ha-UGE.
We admit, it’s not as deep or as long, but still pretty damn impressive. In fact, Capertee is the world's second largest canyon, and surrounded by World Heritage listed wilderness, it can definitely give Old Mate Grandy a run for its money.
2 Our shorelines honestly rival Croatia's
If you’ve been dreaming of boat season in the popular Eastern European country, you can get very comparable yacht-side action in Queensland’s Whitsundays -- with smaller crowds and easily-as-'Grammable picture potential.
The 74 incredible islands that make up the Whitsundays are home to some of the most pristine coral reefs and white-sand beaches in the country, and you can swim, snorkel and just plain old chill-the-F-out to your heart’s content.
3 We have some of the most ancient stuff in the WORLD, no joke
Thought England’s Stonehenge and Egypt’s pyramids were old? Well, you’re right, they are. But at around 4000 years old, they’re basically just little babies compared to Australia’s cave paintings -- some of which are some thought date back more than 40,000 years.
Uluru in the Northern Territory is an incredible place to visit to get a glimpse of not only indigenous rock art dating back tens of thousands of years, but also some unbelievable scenery (those rock formations, wow!). And if you've been after a midwest US desert vibe, all the vibrant red sand set against a vivid baby-blue sky will have you covered.
4 There's a south-of-France vibe in Tassie
If you can't get enough of the rolling lavender fields of Provence (or you just really dig the relaxing scent) but can't afford the international airfare, put Tasmania on your must-visit list. Wine, cheese, a certain je ne sais quoi... it's all in our southernmost state.
The Bridestowe Lavender Fields outside of Launceston are worth a visit, with rows upon rows of the delicate purple blooms making for a tres-chic photo opp . Plus, you can get your mouth around some of their famous lavender ice-cream -- it might not be a fresh croissant, but it's easily as delish!
5 You can even get a glimpse of Georgian England
Staying in the country's most southern state for juuust a minute, grab yourself a bit of ye olde Britain in Richmond, half-an-hour's drive from Tassie's capital Hobart.
The Richmond Bridge is a convict-era landmark, and Australia's oldest stone bridge, dating back to 1825. That's around the same time the aristocracy were swanning around 'taking the waters' in Bath, England, while the convicts were being shipped Down Under, FYI.
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6 There's a little local 'Aloha' on offer
Lush green mountain-scapes framing white sandy beaches might have you thinking you’ve landed on the Hawaiian island of Oahu, but this tropical paradise is a two-hour plane ride from both Brisbane and Sydney.
With thriving rain forest to discover, mountaintops to climb (seriously, the views), porcelain-white sand to laze the days away upon, and unbelievably clear waters just teeming with tropical creatures to swim with (or even hand-feed), Lord Howe Island (aka paradise) is the stuff dreams are made of.
7 You want wine Country? Oh, we've got wine country...
Alright, just chill out for a second; nobody's saying that Australia's famous wine hotspots are a replacement for the vineyards of Tuscany and Sicily in Italy, or France's Bordeaux or Beaujolais regions. We would never.
But if you like a tipple with a gorgeous view of a grapevine or two a little closer to home, well, you're welcome.
From NSW's Hunter Valley (a couple of hours out of Sydney), to Margaret River in WA and the Yarra Valley in Victoria, we have the vino-lovers sorted Down Under. But South Australia's Barossa Valley is home to some of the oldest vineyards not only in Australia but the world, and are definitely worth a look-see. Or is that a look-sip?
8 We can Bratwurst with the best of 'em
If Oktoberfest is your Mecca and you can't think of a better final meal than currywurst, you needn't go all the way to Germany. Hahndorf, in the foothills of Adelaide, is Australia's oldest surviving German settlement and it definitely offers up that Bavarian charm without the round-the-world price tag.
Come to check out the original German-style architecture -- but stay for All Of The Food, because as well as attempting to wrap your mouth around Australia's largest German hotdog (yes, it's a thing -- the Hahndorf Inn), you'll be dying to try everything at the artisan cheese stores and old-school sweets shops dotted around town.
HOT TIP: Yes, the small town does hold its very own Oktoberfest, coming alive in (surprise, surprise) October. Think: all the pretzels, steins and lederhosen you can poke a stick at...
9 We can even give you U.S-style coastal hustle and bustle
Love a luxury penthouse apartment overlooking sunshine-soaked beaches for daytime, paired with a dank pumping nightclub when the sun goes down? You could head to Miami... OR you could simply sashay up Oz's east coast to the good-old Gold Coast.
It's the perfect spot for those who love a side of nightlife with their seaside vacays, offering up clean, patrolled beaches, a bunch of chain stores (options from luxe to less) and beautiful rainforests for anyone who's looking to sample some nature with their nightlife.
HOT TIP: This party playground is probably best known for being schoolies central, but if you avoid their peak season (roughly three weeks from mid-November -- every single year), you should be able to hang out with over-18s who are in town to get amongst the glitz of the beachside city.