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If you can’t go here, go there: Australia’s best destination doppelgangers


“Holiday here this year,” they stated. And so we did, like our lives relied on it.

Aussies by no means do issues by halves, and the previous 12 months spent exploring our personal yard is testomony to our enthusiasm for journey in all its varieties. In truth, we’ve been so gung-ho to see Australia that we’re rapidly reserving out our favorite locations, and rent vehicles are both changing into scarce or sweary costly in high-interest locations.



But solid your web just a little additional and you’ll see there are nonetheless loads of gems to unearth. From a faraway archipelago to a boutique wine area, there’s an Atlas value of Aussie spots providing uncrowded and cheap escapes with the “shh” issue.

Agnes Water can have you feeling mellow very quickly. Picture: Tourism and Events Queensland

Instead of Cairns… Agnes Water

You don’t have to goal excessive to seek out your true north. Set on the southernmost level of the Great Barrier Reef, this sun-soaked browsing paradise is just some hour’s drive from the Sunshine Coast and a thong’s throw from the resplendent corals at Fitzroy Reef, Lady Musgrave Island and the Masthead Islands. Holiday leases can be found at nice charges and nature has a mellowing impact right here, with grounding coastal hikes, sundown kayaking and reef snorkelling affording the chance to get current.

The views over Narooma have to be seen to be believed. Picture: Supplied

The views over Narooma need to be seen to be believed. Picture: Supplied

Instead of Byron… Narooma

Give up the countless seek for the “next Byron” and head south to this up-and-coming seaside jewel. With its coastal and hinterland stays, world class oysters, life-affirming produce (cheese, please!), crystal clear shallows and proximity to protected nature reserve Montague Island, this laidback city on the Sapphire Coast is the brand new dwelling of coastal cool. And now that Merivale mogul Justin Hemmes has bought the native The Whale Inn and Restaurant and the Quarterback bar, Narooma is getting a glow up.

Parts of the Gold Coast have a surprisingly nurturing quality. Picture: Supplied

Parts of the Gold Coast have a surprisingly nurturing high quality. Picture: Supplied

Instead of Bali… Gold Coast

Wellness junkies may be eager for the waft of incense and the sound of ‘selamat pagis’, however there’s high quality nurturing available within the GC hinterland. Peering out from the cover of Currumbin Valley, Eden Health Retreat provides three- and six-day packages incorporating rest, well being and nature. While at Gwinganna Lifestyle Retreat, stays vary from weekend to week-long and embody natural delicacies and spa therapies. Don’t miss Burleigh Heads for Canggu-esque eats at Rick Shores, Jimmy Wah’s and Burleigh Pavilion.

Get lost in time at Wilpena Pound. Picture: Archie Sartracom

Get misplaced in time at Wilpena Pound. Picture: Archie Sartracom

Instead of Uluru… Wilpena Pound

This mountainous pure amphitheatre in South Australia’s Adnyamathantha Country (Flinders Ranges) dates again 630 million years, covers eight instances extra space than Uluru and is 300 metres increased. The native Yura individuals consider the Dreaming story that this sacred web site is 2 rainbow serpents, therefore why it’s disrespectful to climb the best peak. Marvel on the space’s 800 million years of historical past on bush walks, a scenic flight or on 4WD by means of the rocky, fossil-rich passage often called the Corridor Through Time.

Brindabella Hills Winery

Brindabella Hills Winery is ready in your go to. Picture: Visit Canberra

Instead of Mudgee… Canberra District Wine Region

With 160 years of wine-making historical past in its cellar, this wildly underrated boutique wine area is among the ACT’s best stored secrets and techniques. Thanks to the area’s numerous terroir, a few of the 140 vineyards listed here are experimenting in rising hard-to-find cool-climate varieties resembling Sangiovese, Tempranillo and Gruner Veltliner. There are greater than 40 wineries inside 35 minute’s drive of the eucalyptus-laden capital, so pack your weekender, verify into the Ovolo Nishi and let Van du Vin or Vines and Wines Tours do the driving.

The Great Ocean Road has surprises at every turn. Picture: Supplied

The Great Ocean Road has surprises at each flip. Picture: Supplied

Instead of Tasmania’s Great Eastern Drive… Great Ocean Road

An Australian National Heritage-listed journey that takes in wild and wooly cities, iconic surf breaks and eye-popping nature, this 243-km coastal street journey is world class, and for the time being it’s all ours. Tick off the Twelve Apostles, see the hovering large Californian Redwoods within the Otways and dip your toes within the Southern Ocean at sandy Childers Cove. Stop into Apollo Bay for contemporary crayfish after which retreat to you luxe eco-cabin Sky Pods to look at the coast churn exterior.

Umpherston Sinkhole is a highlight along the Limestone Coast. Picture: Michael Ellem

Umpherston Sinkhole is a spotlight alongside the Limestone Coast. Picture: Michael Ellem

Instead of the Kimberley… the Limestone Coast

A bubble-popped panorama of secluded swimming holes, blue lakes and caves, South Australia’s Limestone Coast is an earthly wonderland with outer-space enchantment. A volcano erupted within the space some 5,000 years in the past and shaped 800 historic caves, sinkholes and sunken gardens, together with the 25-metre-deep Hells Hole, Umpherston Sinkhole and The Little Blue Lake. Inside the 800,000-year-old Naracoorte Caves, South Australia’s sole World Heritage web site, lie the bones and fossils of prehistoric wildlife, together with marsupial lions and the pygmy hippo-like Zygomaturus trilobus.

Abrolhos Islands

The Abrolhos Islands are considered one of WA’s best-kept secrets and techniques. Picture: Tourism WA

Instead of the Whitsundays (or the Galapagos)… Abrohlos Islands

This archipelago of aquatic eye-candy lies 60km off Geraldton on Western Australia’s Coral Coast. Gawk at its 122 atolls from the air on a scenic flight first after which get close-up on a multi-day boat constitution. Dive its shipwrecks, snorkel with sea turtles and marine life, spot dolphins and sea lions or be part of a fishing tour on the hunt for scallops, coral trout and octopus. Billed as Australia’s reply to the Galapagos Islands, this protected nationwide park is simply as worthy of an Attenborough hat-tip.

There's a lot more going on at the snow than just skiing. Picture: Robert Blackburn

There’s much more occurring on the snow than simply snowboarding. Picture: Robert Blackburn

Instead of Japan… ski Victoria’s High Country

In winter, the alpine cities of Falls Creek, Mount Hotham and Mount Buller within the Victorian Alps are blanketed in snow and riders come for apres-ski as a lot as they do the slopes. Together, the resorts supply 250 downhill runs for skiiers and snowboarders, ski-in ski-out lodging, in addition to snow glamping, snowshoeing to cheese fondue and even dog-sledding. Snow fiends are stored properly fed and hydrated all through the season, with a bunch of hip bars and eating places to cozy up in, together with speakeasy-style Elk.

Snorkelling is a great way to see marine life on Lady Elliot Island. Picture: Supplied

Snorkelling is an effective way to see marine life on Lady Elliot Island. Picture: Supplied

Instead of Fiji… Lady Elliot Island

A slice of sustainable paradise on the Southern Great Barrier Reef, this coral cay is frequented by of sea turtles and manta rays, and it’s sole resort turned one hundred pc sustainable in 2020. Time it proper and your keep in a glamping tent or beachfront unit at Lady Elliot Island Resort may coincide with turtle hatchings or nestings, manta ray feeding or the humpback whale migration. We doubt you’ll tire of snorkelling off the seashore, but when you do, dive at one of many 20 websites close by.

Who needs a safari when Chompy is waiting for you in the NT? Picture: Getty Images

Who wants a safari when Chompy is ready for you within the NT? Picture: Getty Images

Instead of safari… the Top End

If Australia had a ‘Big Five’, topping the listing could be the saltwater crocodile. And the Northern Territory is dwelling to a few of the world’s most beastly. Embark on safari close to Finnis River, simply 90 minute’s drive from Darwin. Here, outback wrangler Matt Wright hosts in a single day excursions from his Top End Safari Camp, which features a crocodile encounter and feeding, an airboat cruise, a scenic flight, gourmand barbecue and in a single day outback glamping. Or splurge at Bamurru Plains, which has 10 safari tents, an infinity pool and quad bike safaris.

Halcyon House is local and laid back. Picture: Supplied

Halcyon House is native and laid again. Picture: Supplied

Instead of Noosa… Kingscliff

This far north NSW coastal city has a few of the most dreamy seashores on the Tweed Coast, and the best bit is that they’re nonetheless largely abandoned. The Tweed Shire sits inside an historic protect volcano, and the area is ample with pure magnificence, rainforest walks, juicy native produce and classy bars and eating places. Cabarita Beach’s Halcyon House has change into an establishment for weekending Sydneysiders. But it’s lately been joined by a handful of hip new hangs, together with “new world Italian” No 35 Kitchen & Bar from Icebergs Group alumni Daniel Medcalfe and Rachel Duffy.

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