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Australia: Where to go when you've been everywhere

story by: Anna Sarjeant

We all love Aussie for a holiday, but do you find yourself returning to the same spots year-in, year-out? Fear not, for every well-loved Aussie recreation, there are a dozen more to discover.


GOLD COAST

If you like this... Superman & Green Lantern at Warner Bros Movie World
Roller coaster rides that’ll churn your insides and stuntmen throwing themselves into peril, or movie-themed motion stimulators followed by a casual yarn with Batman. You’re either very young, or young at heart – and either works! Warner Bros Movie World has it all; stunt shows and street parades, white knuckle rides and characters patrolling the park, from Bugs Bunny to Tweety and even Marilyn Monroe. Have a guess who dad will be talking to!

Then you'll love this... Shrek, Kung Fu Panda & The Wiggles at Dreamworld With nine high-adrenalin, Big Thrill rides, over 40 attractions and the title as Australia's largest theme park, Dreamworld Gold Coast also boasts ABC Kids World; home to Giggle & Hoot, The Wiggles, Play School and the Bananas in Pyjamas’ fun maze, not forgetting the famous residents of Cuddlestown. Suitable for big kids, small kids and those old enough to foot the bill, there are tiger shows, DreamWorks Experience and virtual reality V8 Supercars. Look who’s driving now!



QUEENSLAND ISLANDS

If you like this... Staying on the coast
What’s not to love about endless days of sun, sea and sand? Holidays that are so relaxed you needn’t do anything more strenuous than saunter from the pool to the beach. The Queensland coast offers a lively social scene and water-centric activities that lure plenty of visitors. Hours are divided between idle lounging and finding cafes selling fresh just-pressed juice, or jumping waves in the sea, commandeering a jet ski and sipping a frosty Aussie beer outside the nearest bar.

Then you'll love this... Queensland island hopping
Queensland island hopping. Why settle for one slice of paradise when you can have more? From Lizard Island in Tropical North Queensland to Tangalooma on Moreton Island in southeast Queensland, there’s always something different to enjoy. There’s also the Whitsundays, where you can spend the entire day jumping from one idyllic beach to the next. From swimming with turtles to eco adventures, teeing off and luxe indulgence, you name it, there’s an island offering it.



TROPICAL NORTH QUEENSLAND

If you like this... A Great Barrier Reef day cruise
The perfect set-up of teal water and endless coastline fringed with palm trees. Your vessel slicing through the water, with sugary soft sand in the distance and if you’re lucky, whales on the horizon. For the water-babies there’s nothing better, activities abound. From snorkelling and diving (including helmet diving for those that don’t want to get their hair wet!) to coral exploration, semi sub rides and plenty of dips in and out of the sea.

Then you'll love this... A Great Barrier Reef heli-tour
The high-rolling Aussie lifestyle. Soar over the famous Great Barrier Reef in pure luxury. Heli-tours provide bucket-list wow-moments from the air rather than land or sea. The Tropical North Queensland colours from a bird’s eye perspective swirl like a painter’s strokes; turquoise hues fused with shallow coral. There are stunning scenic tours on offer, or go the extra mile and land at the Agincourt Reef pontoon and spend over three hours on and under the water.



SUNSHINE COAST

If you like this... Mooloolaba
With its perennial perfect climate and laidback welcome, little wonder Mooloolaba is a firm-favourite destination on the Sunshine Coast. For the getaway that’s delivered with little fuss or flare, days needn’t be any more taxing than sunbathing on the beach, barbecue lunches and a wine while you dine – of which Mooloolaba offers sublime varieties of both. Popular properties include family friendly Mantra Mooloolaba and Nautilus Mooloolaba.

If you like this... Twin Waters
Fifteen minutes north of Mooloolaba sits the Novotel Twin Waters Resort and Grand Mercure – both top-picks for families. You get that happy resort vibe in a unique location, even boasting their very own lake with a water park and sailing opportunities. Holidays can be as relaxed or as exclusive as you like with both hotels offering traditional hotel accommodation as well as self-sufficient apartments. Twin Waters’ golf course is also recognised as one of the top six in Australia.



WESTERN AUSTRALIA

If you like this... Swan Valley
Exploring Western Australia’s Swan Valley from the inside-out, with daily wine tours and plenty of tastings. Just twenty minutes drive east of Perth CBD, guided day trips are quick and convenient, with both a host and driver, their wine knowledge more than extensive. Typically you’ll visit five wineries, a boutique brewery and the famous Margaret River Chocolate Company along the way. The best time to visit is between September and December, to coincide with the stunning wildflower season and warm spring weather.

The you'll love this... Margaret River
Situated in the heart of Western Australia’s southwest region, and only three hours drive south of Perth, the Margaret River region is one of Australia’s most strikingly diverse holiday spots. Hop in a car for self-drive exploration, or join an organised tour and head to the home of over 80 wineries and microbreweries. Plan your visit to complement big events such as the Gourmet Escape, or visit throughout the year for plenty of gastronomic delights, world famous surf breaks and a laid-back vibe.



SOUTH AUSTRALIA

If you like this... Kangaroo Island

Food in its purest form. Organic cheese and cultured yoghurt, honey harvested from Ligurian bees and seafood so fresh it’s practically still swimming. No doubt South Australia’s Kangaroo Island is your favourite island to grace this earth. A haven of fertile land and water, Australia’s finest gourmet foods – as well as the country’s most talented artisans – reside here. As wild as it is delicious, you’ll know its renowned food and wine trails well; sampling products directly from the source.

Then you'll love this... Fleurieu Peninsula
Beer. But of course! Venture to South Australia’s Fleurieu Peninsula, only forty five minutes south of Adelaide, and experience an off-road 4WD beer tour with ‘Off-Piste’. Forge a route through the rugged terrain on-board a robust Toyota Troop carrier, while gaining a behind-the-scenes look into various boutique breweries, complete with lunch. A labour of love, discover award-winning hand crafted beers, all served with a backdrop of back-country vistas and stunning coastline.



NEW SOUTH WALES

If you like this... Byron Bay
The gateway to abundant surf opportunities, one hour south of Gold Coast Airport. Host to a medley of annual events, be sure to catch the annual BluesFest in March – the quintessential blues and roots music festival. Next year's acts include UB40, City and Colour and Tom Jones! Byron Bay is a year-round crowd puller, popular with all those who enjoy a cruisey combination of relaxation and recreation, from energising dawn surfs to sleepy late-morning markets.

Then you'll love this... Port Stephens
Port Stephens is Sydney’s playground, just two hours drive north of the city. Head to Port Stephens' coast and ride a thundering quad bike across the massive sand dunes (run by a local indigenous company who will ensure you’re smiling throughout). Home to over 100 bottlenose dolphins, dolphin-spotting tours and kayaking trips depart from Nelson Bay and whale-watching is also popular during the annual migration north in June and July, and south from September to November.



VICTORIA

If you like this... Melbourne Zoo
Seeing your little tykes getting acquainted with Australia’s fascinating wildlife; their grins spreading from ear to ear. If you and the family are big fans of Melbourne Zoo, you’ll already know it’s one of the best days out in the Victoria state; the ultimate wildlife encounter and just five minutes from Melbourne’s CBD. Stroll through lush Asian and African rainforests, discover Australian bush land and if it's water creatures that excite, visitors can even venture underwater.

Then you'll love this... Werribee Open Range Zoo
Why travel across the globe when you can get a taste of African safari at Werribee Open Range Zoo? A mere 30-minutes out of Melbourne and en route to the Great Ocean Road, discover African, Asian, North American and Australian wildlife across more than 200 hectares of open range environment. The animals have so much space they behave exactly as they would in their natural habitats. Hop on a free safari tour or stay overnight for a unique ‘Slumber Safari’.


> VIEW ALL OUR HOT AUSTRALIA DEALS HERE

*Thanks to Tourism and Events Queensland, Tourism West Australia, the South Australia Tourist Commission and Jason Busch Photography for their images.

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