Domestic holiday hotspots for Australian travellers in 2016
According to this article published on KarryOn, Australian travellers are starting to avoid perennial domestic favourites like the Gold Coast and Sydney; they’re now heading to Uluru, Launceston and other smaller home-grown hotspots.
Join them now before they all become too crowded and prices soar.
|Local Hotspots for 2016||% increase from 2014 to 2015||% increase over last 3 years|
Stats from Skyscanner Australia
Isn’t it obvious? See the rock itself, aka Ayers Rock, located in Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park. We’d recommend walking or cycling the 9km circumference (you can hire bikes when you arrive). The rock actually isn’t the rectangular shape you’d expect – there are loads of intriguing cave-like crevices, steep cliff faces and striking waterfalls (that’s right, waterfalls in the heart of the Red Centre), making for an interesting expedition. Just note that climbing the rock is considered disrespectful and a tourist no-no. Also watch out for signs warning of sacred areas on your journey around. Photography is banned in these parts.
- It’s not all about Uluru in the Red Centre – check out The Olgas too. Some even claim The Olgas to be more visually striking. Here’s a tip: Take a fly net – you will get absolutely swarmed.
- For ultimate luxury, try the Sounds of Silence dinner. It includes drinks and canapes while watching the sun set over Uluru and The Olgas, followed by a three-course gourmet dinner under the stars. Buy it here.
- Road trip to Alice Springs (it’s actually likely to be cheaper to fly in and out of here than Uluru anyway). The town is only a few hours away by car and you’ll see top-notch scenery and quintessential outback roadhouses that are just too quirky not to stop at. Find car hire deals here.
- Best for Budget: Outback Pioneer Hotel
- Best for mid range: Desert Gardens Hotel
- Best for luxe: Longitude 131° or Sails in the Desert
Top tourist attractions in Hobart include historic Salamanca place (and the huge weekend market held there), Mount Wellington and MONA, which was named as the ‘world’s best’ gallery by Lonely Planet in 2015, beating London’s Tate Modern and New York’s Guggenheim to the punch. In addition to a booming art scene, many savvy visitors are making their way to Hobart for the food and drink. With fantastic local produce (think crispy-skinned salmon, zesty sparkling wine and plump oysters), Hobart is chocka with swanky wine bars and restaurants specialising in these gourmet offerings. Some of our foodie favourites include Ethos, Smolt and The Source (at MONA).
- Escape the city and take a tour of scenic Bruny Island, known for its great walking trails, local cheese, freshly shucked oysters and rare white wallabies.
- Take the ferry to MONA. The journey is an experience in itself. These modern catamaran-style boats are covered in street-art-style decorations and quirky fittings.
- Hire a car and just drive. Hobart is surrounded by some of the most praised countryside in Australia. Discover Freycinet National Park or one of the many nearby bays.
- Best for budget: The Welcome Stranger Hotel
- Best for mid range: Rydges Hotel Hobart
- Best for luxury: The Henry Jones Art Hotel or Saffire Freycinet
3. Proserpine (and the Whitsundays)
The gateway to the Whitsundays, Proserpine is a great place to fly into for a tropical getaway; it’s generally the cheapest way to get to the islands. From Proserpine, it’s a 20-minute drive to Airlie Beach, which is the best jump-off point to the islands and a picturesque party town in its own right. The best way to see as much -- and as many islands -- as possible is to island-hop by yacht or catamaran. Some of the most popular places to stay are Whitehaven Beach on Whitsunday Island, Daydream Island and Hamilton Island.
- See the Whitsunday coast. The beauty isn’t all on the islands; Airlie Beach and surrounds have some postcard-perfect beaches that are hard to contend with.
- On the way to (or from) Proserpine Airport, visit Cedar Creek Falls. Located halfway between Proserpine and Airlie Beach, these pretty rock pools and waterfalls are great for an afternoon dip.
- Get active. The Whitsundays are one of the most striking places to learn how to dive, kayak or snorkel.
- Best for budget: Bush Village Budget Cabins in Airlie Beach
- Best for mid range: Reef View on Hamilton Island
- Best for luxury: One & Only on Hayman Island
Often referred to as Tasmania’s second city, handsome Launceston is fighting back to claim well-deserved must-see status – and it’s doing a stellar job. Known for fine wine and surrounded by pretty parkland, this pocket-sized town is prime mini-break territory. Cataract Gorge and its almighty suspension bridge are just a 10-minute walk from the town centre, but the peacocks roaming the surrounds are the real treat and make for great photo opportunities. Other sights include Lake St Clair National Park and Cradle Mountain, which is just a day trip away. If you’re more inclined to culture rather than nature, then visit the restored Queen Victoria Museum & Art Gallery, well known for its colonial art collection.
- The Tamar Valley wine region is the cream-of-the-crop for local food and wine. Plenty of tours are available from the city centre, so you don’t need to worry about having one glass too many.
- The city’s design centre, Design Tasmania, is a mecca for proud homemakers and interior stylists. It showcases some of the best architects and furniture makers in the area.
- Savour Tasmanian produce at an 1830s flour mill with a view of the River Tamar at Good-Food-Guide acclaimed Stillwater restaurant.
- Best for budget: Batman Fawkner Inn
- Best for mid-range: Aspect Tamar Valley
- Best for luxury: Peppers Seaport
Described as “sophisticated, cultured and neat-casual” by Lonely Planet, Adelaide is fast becoming a city break favourite for smart and savvy Aussies. For a cultured break, explore the Art Gallery of South Australia, meander around the Botanic Gardens and stop by the Central Market (try this breakfast tour). Boasting a well-laid-out grid pattern and plenty of greenery, Adelaide is perfectly planned and perfectly sized to explore with ease. Wildlife fans can take a tour to Kangaroo Island to see koalas, sea lions and kangaroos.
- Located on the edge of the Botanic Gardens, The National Wine Centre showcases the Australian wine industry through the Wine Discovery Journey. There’s also a tasting room and a restaurant on site.
- Take a day trip to Hahndorf, Australia's oldest surviving German settlement. This unique village offers German eateries, gift shops and craft outlets.
- Head to Glenelg beach for white sands, authentic seaside charm and pretty sunsets over the water.
- Best for budget: Comfort Adelaide Riviera
- Best for mid range: Crowne Plaza Adelaide
- Best for luxury: InterContinental Adelaide
Travel deals & coupons
Australia hotels from $99
Valid for stays between 5 March - 8 March 2017 only. Sample stays include Mantra in the Village (Tropical North Queensland) from $99 per night, BreakFree Bell City (Melbourne) from $102 per night and more.
Stays from $109: Mantra Mega Sale
Valid on select stays. Sample destinations include Darwin from $109, Brisbane from $109, Gold Coast from $109 and Melbourne from $119.