Trans-Tasman bubble: 6 under-rated Aussie travel spots
There’s been chat of trans-tasman travel opening up for a while now. It was previously halted after a second wave of Covid hit our Aussie neighbours. Things have changed (again) and tourism leaders have officially announced plans for Kiwis to travel across the ditch from November.
Jacinda Ardern has tentatively backed the plans, this week saying it’s “possible” quarantine-free travel to Australia could happen before Christmas. We love New Zealand and all, but it’ll be nice to get a change of scenery (and warmer weather). Here are our top under-rated Aussie travel spots. (Travel might be restricted by state, so we’ll leave our favourite Victorian locations for another time).
Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park
The big red rock, Uluru, is an iconic Australian landmark. But it’s also worth a visit in real life. The immense rock is incredible to see, but the National Park offers much more. Learn the cultural significance and history of the place, and choose from a bunch of spectacular walks, bike rides and tours.
Australia’s isolated island cousin of Tasmania is a hidden gem. Capital city Hobart has become a hive for creativity and music, offers plenty of good Aussie fare and boutique accommodation. With almost half its area protected to preserve the natural beauty, you can explore everything it has to offer by foot or water.
Generally speaking, islands have a way of providing good holiday vibes. Kangaroo Island is a 45-minute ferry ride from Cape Jarvis in South Australia. The untouched landscapes are home to incredible scenery and an abundance of wildlife. Spot echidnas, koalas, and kangaroos on land; penguins, sea lions and dolphins in the water. If you’re the outdoorsy type, it’s a great Aussie travel spot for hiking, sandboarding and scuba diving.
It’s the furthest Aussie city from New Zealand, but we won’t complain about a 7-hour flight after months of global travel restrictions. Uncomplicated and lively, Perth is just an enjoyable place to be. Australia’s sunniest city, with a stretch of seriously good beaches, a bustling night life and marine adventures. Jump on the ferry to Rottnest Island for amazingly clear, azure waters and your chance at a Quokka selfie (Rottnest’s own cute marsupial).
If you’re the kind of Aussie traveller that’s only visited the big smokes of Australia, experience something different in Broome. Once a sleepy outback town, Broome now offers its own charm. White sand, turquoise water and red rocks make an epic landscape. The ocean is inhabited by whales, dolphins, turtles and tropical fish.
Byron is the epitome of Aussie beach lifestyle, just a 2 hour drive from Brisbane. Soak up some rays at an idyllic beach, hit the waves or just revel in the boho vibes. Walk to the iconic lighthouse, take a ride on the solar-powered vintage train. Hit the markets, or enjoy the country charm of Byron’s hinterland.
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