While Australia’s stunning East Coast undeniably offers some of the nation’s top tourist spots, the underrated West boasts a plethora of incredible locations that ought to be added to your Aussie travel bucket list for 2020!
The largest of Australia’s six states, Western Australia (WA) comprises a third of the country offering so much more than just arid Outback. You’ll find an unparalleled coastline, national parks, wildlife experiences, exquisite wine and food regions and an exciting and ever-sunny urban capital, the city of Perth. A vast state with so much to offer makes picking just ten must-sees no mean feat, though hopefully the following list provides a solid place to start. The two towns kicking off our list recently made it into Australian travel website Wotif’s annual awards top ten places to visit, which is the first time that two WA locations have made the cut!
With its rolling mountain ranges and spectacular coastline, from Torndirrup National Park's surf-pummelled cliffs to Middleton Beach's white sands and the calm waters of King George Sound, Albany in the state’s South West claimed Wotif’s seventh spot. Known as a little slice of Europe in WA, Albany is the western state’s oldest European settlement, shown through its unique heritage architecture and fascinating museums. Situated on the traditional lands of the Minang Noongar and Wagyl Kaip peoples, Albany is rich in Aboriginal history too, with evidence of habitation dating back over 18,000 years, which makes taking a trip to the award-winning National Anzac Centre a must! As well as being an incredible destination for history buffs, Albany offers lots for families too. Hire bikes and cycle to Emu Point, take a dip at the hidden gem that is Waterfall Beach, take a killer whale boat cruise or have the "best fish and chips in WA" at the award-winning Ocean & Paddock!
Walk along the stunning coastline! Photo via @visitalbanywa
2. Margaret River
WA’s premium wine region took spot nine on Wotif’s list and we can certainly appreciate why. Margaret River is the renowned surfing location and wine region of WA's South West with over 135 wineries, making up 3% of Australia's grape production. However, there is more to the beautiful region than simply great wine and surf. Along with fantastic local produce, art galleries, and impressive coastlines, visitors can explore underground caves, hike untouched trails, and bike through towering forests. A few standout activities for us include hiring SUPs and cruising the turquoise waters of Prevelly or Meelup Beach, taking a dip at the famous Injidup Natural Spa or combining two great past times - wine tasting and cycling - by taking a Sip’n Cycle Winery Tour. An awesome one for the kids (big and small) involves hanging about in the treetops at Forest Adventures South West.
Immerse yourself in the magic of the natural spas. Photo via @margaretriver
3. Swan Valley
While we’re on the topic of wine; just north of Perth lies the picturesque landscape famed for being Western Australia’s oldest wine region, with a 32km loop full of food and wine to indulge in! Blending rich Indigenous history with strong European roots, the Swan Valley not only offers an abundance of wineries but also walking trails like no other, historic buildings and some of the finest foods in the state. A few tips from us; take a relaxing boat cruise along the blue waters of the Swan River from the CBD right through to the Swan Valley, or sample some decadent delights from Windarra Honey, Margaret River Chocolate Company or Mondo Nougat! Fun child-friendly activities include hand-feeding roos at the Caversham Wildlife Park, navigating a challenging maze, or playing mini-golf at the Maze, as well as plummeting down an inflatable slide at Outback Splash!
Take a walk through the vines. Photo via @westernaustralia
4. Rottnest Island
A trip to WA wouldn’t be complete without a trip to Rottnest Island; a picturesque island with a laid-back atmosphere, stunning scenery including the world’s most pristine beaches and bays and some incredible marine life. One of the main attractions of this sunny little island are the quirky little marsupials, the quokkas! If you’re wondering how to get around Rottnest Island, bikes are the transport of choice and can be hired or brought along with you by ferry for a small fee. The island is only 11km long and 4.5km wide making it easy to explore with a number of great trails to follow. As well as relaxing, swimming or snorkelling at one of Rottnest’s beaches, or exploring the island on foot or two wheels, you can climb the Wadjemup Lighthouse for the ultimate views across the whole island. From September to May explore the world beneath the waves on the Underwater Explorer!
Float in crystal clear waters. Photo via @rottnestaustralia
5. The Kimberley
A region full of natural wonders not to be missed. The Kimberley, which is located in the northernmost part of Western Australia, consists of small country towns, dramatic coastlines, and World Heritage Sites such as sandstone gorges and incredible waterfalls. We could write an extensive list of places to see in The Kimberley but we’ll narrow it down to a few favourites. Firstly, Broome with its camel-riding on Cable Beach, Malcolm Douglas Crocodile Park, Roebuck Bay, and SSJG Heritage Centre is known as one of Australia’s top tourist destinations for good reason! If exploring waterfalls is a must, you really are spoilt for choice in The Kimberley. Marvel at Mitchell Falls in the Mitchell River National Park or Fortescue Falls in WA’s second-largest national park, Karijini. Take a boat ride or seaplane ride along the wonder that is Horizontal Falls and for the adventurers among us, four-wheel-drive along the Kimberley's Gibb River Road or stay at remote wilderness camp Kooljaman run by the local Bardi people, amidst the rugged red cliffs, white sands and pristine waters of Cape Leveque.
Appreciate The Kimberley's rugged beauty. Photo via @thekimberleyaustralia
6. Ningaloo Reef
There is nowhere quite as spectacular in Australia as Ningaloo Reef. The lesser-known and therefore quieter but equally as impressive as its Eastern counterpart, (the Great Barrier Reef) Ningaloo is a World Heritage Site that will leave you awestruck. A breathtaking 300km stretch of unspoiled underwater paradise renowned for its amazing shark diving, snorkelling with Manta Rays and turtles or swimming at Turquoise Bay. A 13-hour drive (or 90-minute flight) from Perth, Exmouth is the closest town and main gateway to the Ningaloo Coast World Heritage Area. Exmouth is also home to the amazing Cape Range National Park and Charles Knife Canyon where hiking, camping, and scenery appreciating are second to none. A bit further South is Coral Bay where the Ningaloo Reef is closest from the shore, just 500 meters away, and is a small, laidback location where exploring the reef, quad bike trekking, fishing, boat tripping, diving and enjoying a meal and a beer at Bill’s alfresco bar make it a perfect destination for nature lovers and adventurers alike.
See the reef a stone’s throw from the shore. Photo via @visitningaloo
A dynamic and sun-soaked metropolis set on the banks of the picturesque and winding Swan River, Perth is renowned for its water sports, awesome beaches, gourmet eateries, quirky galleries, and hip boutiques. One of the most isolated capital cities on the planet yet often voted as one of the most liveable, Perth exudes a relaxed, natural charm. Choose from one of many family-friendly sheltered inlets or beaches such as Como and Cottesloe, or for the keen surfer, the best breaks can be found at Trigg Point and Scarborough. There are many picturesque suburbs to explore by foot or bike and delicious places to fuel up along the way. Nature lovers will delight in Kings Park and Botanic Garden, being a tranquil escape from the CBD and one of the largest inner-city parks in the world. Here you'll find stunning city views atop Mount Eliza and walking trails aplenty, including the Lotterywest Federation Walkway suspended in a canopy of Eucalyptus trees.
Take in incredible city views from Kings Park. Photo via @cityofperth
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The 2019 Kings Park and Botanic Garden Festival is kicking off on Sunday! The Festival is packed with events and activities for garden gurus, wellness devotees, keen conservationists, culture cravers, families and wildflower enthusiasts. Dozens of free guided walks, outdoor exhibitions, acoustic musicians and roving performers, science talks and other activities will take place, against a backdrop of colourful wildflowers. With Instagrammable spots around every corner, iconic WA species including kangaroo paws, waxes, Qualup bells and carpets of pink everlastings are just some of the 3,000 plant species growing in Kings Park. The Kings Park Festival runs from 1 – 30 September. Learn more at @kingsparkandbotanicgarden 📷 @danniexdough
If you like the relaxed vibe of Perth, then you’ll undoubtedly love the laid-back artistically inclined historic port town of Fremantle. A short drive from Perth city where so much local goodness can be found, from eclectic pieces of art, jewellery, and fashion to delicious organic foods and locally brewed beer. Check out what local producers have to offer at the Fremantle Markets or take a walk down Fremantle’s legendary ‘Cappuccino Strip’ where you can sip wine whilst watching street performers or enjoy live music from the towns many restaurants, cafes, and pubs. A trip to the fascinating Fremantle prison, one of Western Australia’s most significant cultural attractions, is a must, as is the Western Australian Museum’s Shipwreck Galleries. The Fremantle Fishing Boat Harbour is another favourite with delicious seafood restaurants aplenty, and of course the Little Creatures brewery, the birthplace of their world-famous craft beer.
Browse the famous markets. Photo via @visitfremantle
Another of WA’s spectacular destinations is Esperance, on the Southern Ocean coastline, approximately 720km from the state capital Perth. A great way to check out this beautiful region is to take a road trip from Albany through to Esperance, which is 483 km of beautiful beaches and wonderful national parks. When in Esperance, the Great Ocean Drive provides an awesome winding Cliffside route to all the best beaches in the area and another of WA’s fascinating museums, The Esperance Museum, is a great place to learn about the area’s rich history. National Parks, Cape Range, and the further out, more rugged Cape Arid, are incredible, with the first being home to stunning white sand beaches such as Cape Le Grand Beach and Lucky Bay, where friendly kangaroos hop along the shoreline. If time permits, we suggest taking a short scenic flight or one hour cruise to Middle Island, where you can see the extraordinary bubble-gum pink Lake Hillier, juxtaposed against the deepest blue ocean.
Don’t be tempted to take a sip! Photo via @westernaustralia
10. Pinnacles and Cervantes
Rounding out our list we've chosen another natural phenomenon, to be found in the Pinnacles Desert in Nambung National Park. Roughly 200km north of Perth, the 4ft limestone formations of the Pinnacles present an almost other-worldly landscape to explore. As well as walking on the moonscape that is the Pinnacles, we recommend surfing giant sand dunes and just outside of the desert, taking a trip to the sandy beaches of Hangover Bay and pristine waters of Jurien Bay Marine Park. Spending time in the town of Cervantes is also a must, ensuring that you sample the area’s famous seafood delicacy of lobster, and journey to the Thirsty Point Lookout that offers panoramic views of the ocean and sand dunes below. Head slightly north to Jurien Bay where you can get up close with sea lions!
Wake up and walk on the moon. Photo via @westernaustralia
We hope our list gives you some food for thought! The easing of restrictions could present the perfect opportunity to pack up the car, camper or RV and hit road, ticking off as many spots as you like on the way. There are many benefits to having your accommodation and wheels all in one, and to make your journey a little easier, pack a Scrubba wash bag for self-sufficient laundry on-the-go! Browse the Scrubba wash bag range to pick up the ultimate gear for your next WA adventure.
Not too long from now you just might get to travel outside again. When that happens why not consider the oldest state in Australia.
Named by Captain James Cook himself in 1770 the state contains some of the best flora, fauna and fun the country has to offer. We’ll skip over the obvious ones, such as Byron Bay, Snowy Mountains and the Hunter Valley. So, here are ten of the best places we can recommend you plant a foot or a tent once lockdown ends.
1. Mungo National Park
Mungo National Park is a world heritage listed wonder located in the middle of NSW just north of the also fabulous Mildura. Its rich in Aboriginal history and is perfect for a walk, picnic or a little bit of camping. It also happens to be the home of the Mungo Lady and Mungo Man. If you’re into Indigenous history the park is home to some of the oldest human remains ever found in the country.
2. Kangaroo Valley
300kms south of Sydney and filled with kangaroos, if you place yourself in the right place and right time, kangaroo valley is has all there is to do. Kayaking, camping, music and food is just the beginning. There are some b&b’s and camping spots are on hand to make your adventure as comfortable as you care to make it. Bendeela is a popular spot for camping on the green banks of the Kangaroo River where even a little bit of fishing is on offer to help you pass the time while the odd bare nose wombat passes by.
3. Warrumbungle National Park
Have you ever heard of a Dark Sky Park? You have now. Warrumbungle National Park. Is Australia’s only Dark Sky Park – that means it’s a park located far enough away from a cities lights to be dark enough that more stars that can be seen from most other packs. It was designated in 2016 by the international Dark Sky Association and is now famously the best place to see the Milky Way.
4. Morton National Park
With 11 plus walking trails, cycling, waterfalls and Grand Canyon style lookouts Morton National Park is a one stop shop for any type of outdoor enthusiast. It has something for the young and old with gentle walking trails and scenic waterfalls or even mountain biking for those who are happy to go with the larger bumps. There’s tonnes of camping nearby so no need to fork out for a hotel if you’d like to stay in the great outdoors. It does cost a whopping $4 per car per day, which means someone in the car will have to forgo their midmorning coffee or hot chocolate, but I we’re sure you’ll find it worth it.
5. Lord Howe Island
Although currently closed Lord Howe Island is a paradise in waiting for when lockdown ends. Consisting of over 2000kms of coastline and countless kangaroo’s the island has the feel of a resort in the surrounding of national park. There’s swimming, surfing, snorkelling, scuba diving and for the vitamin-d deficient, sunbathing. Camping is not permitted unless you’re a resident of the island as a way to help maintain its pristine surrounding as a way to maintain its World Heritage listing, but there are plenty of fantastic places to stay that’ll make it hard for you to leave.
6. Outback NSW
Yes, Outback is a place. To get your taste of the Australian outback you simply need to go to Outback, the very large region of the state in the upper left quadrant of the state. Full of indigenous history you can trek into the region through its rugged 4x4 trails. Home to not one but three national parks you’ll see big red kangaroos and emus racing across the rich and rugged landscape. The skies are mostly crystal clear making it perfect for camping out under the stars. The best gateway to get there is through Dubbo, east of Sydney.
7. Bouddi National Park
A little-known gem located near Gosford and south of Sydney, is Bouddi National Park; it’s 1,532 hectare park with a temperate rainforest (also known as a moss forest), the ocean tucked below steep cliffs, walking trail, fishing, and whale watching. It’s perfect for camping on a weekend or weekend getaway. The icing on the cake? Its only 90mins from Sydney!
8. Birubi Beach
Just north of Newcastle is Birubi Beach – a great place to holiday, especially with kids. Home to some massive expansive sand dunes that will keep them occupied for days. Teenagers can sandboard. Adults can ride camels. Those who prefer the smell of petrol, there’s 4WD Safaris or even quad bikes. The ocean is only a few footprints in the sand away so learning to surf is option for the those looking to push their heart rate through the roof. The road there can lead you a million directions but regardless you’ll always end up in the right place.
9. Booderee National Park
From beaches to birdwatching this gold nugget of s destination hidden in the Jervis Bay region of NSW has everything you’re probably looking for with a host of outdoor activities. Like most campgrounds in coastal Australia there’s fishing, swimming, snorkelling, but at Booderee there’s boating. On the surface you’d think boating and camping went almost hand in hand, but in reality, finding a great place to camp with a better place to float your boat is much harder than expected. Its recently invested $750,000 to redesign and update the wharf making it not only vastly better than what is currently there, but most importantly, safer.
10. Kanangra-Boyd National Park
Just 180 km from Sydney is one of NSW greatest national parks. There’s no shortage of luscious greenery and gorgeous, not to mention cute, Australian animals. Part of the Greater Blue Mountains World Heritage Area the scenery is nothing short of spectacular. Massive sandstone cliffs line the horizon above the trails that wind in-between the forests below. The fire trails can be accessed by walkers, but cyclists will get the most out of them with a mountain bikes. It’s got same great fishing for those who love trout and if you are there in the summer months canyoning is both possible and popular.
We hope that our list gives you some food for thought! The easing of restrictions could present the perfect opportunity to pack up the car, camper or RV and hit road, ticking off as many spots as you like on the way. With social distancing and heightened hygiene being the new normal, having your accommodation and wheels all in one definitely has its appeal, and to make that journey a little easier, why not pack a Scrubba wash bag for self-sufficient laundry on-the-go! Browse the Scrubba wash bag range to pick up the ultimate gear for your next NSW adventure.
With Coronavirus restrictions now easing off Australia-wide, Queenslanders are starting to look forward to setting the wheels in motion for those non-essential trips to the amazing places in the state they call home!
Known aptly as “The Sunshine State”, it comes as little surprise that Queensland (QLD) is Australia’s most popular holiday destination. A state with a truly outdoor focussed lifestyle, it’s hard not to be drawn to the pristine beaches, colourful coral, idyllic tropical islands, World Heritage-listed rainforests, waterfalls and rivers! To kick off our top ten dynamic destinations to visit within QLD’s sunny borders, we have chosen one of Australia’s most visited destinations and one of the natural world’s seven wonders...
1. Great Barrier Reef
A UNESCO World Heritage listed marvel that is in fact the world’s largest living structure and is visible from outer space! Stretching 2300km up the Queensland coast situated in the Coral Sea, the enormous area encompasses over 3000 coral reefs, hundreds of tropical islands, an abundance of marine life, breath-taking coral and ancient cultural connections. Diving, snorkelling and sailing activities provide spectacular scenic views both above and below water. Tours in glass bottom boats launching from Cairns, Port Douglas and Airlie beach are great options, as are camping or resort stays on the many beautiful islands in the marine park. For a once in a lifetime opportunity, ‘Reefsleep’ at Hardy Reef provides an intimate overnight encounter with the reef whereby guests can dive, snorkel and explore the amazing ecosystems by day and sleep at a permanently moored pontoon, located 39 nautical miles from shore on the outer Great Barrier Reef! Sadly climate change is draining much of the reef of its colour, so hurry and visit while you still can. Everyone can enjoy the region in an environmentally and reef-friendly way that maintains the area’s ecological, cultural and heritage values!
See the epic blues and famous heart of Hardy Reef. Photo via @queensland
2. Fraser Island
A favourite location here at Scrubba HQ, the beautiful Fraser Island is the world’s largest sand island and another UNESCO World Heritage site not to be missed. Located 3 hours north of Brisbane by road, and mainly accessed from Hervey Bay by car and passenger ferries, Fraser Island’s unique natural splendour owes to it being a popular destination for four-wheel drive adventures and campers. Explore the island’s vast pristine beaches, crystal clear perched lakes, ancient rain-forests and multi-hued rock formations! Drive on the wind-swept Seventy Five Mile Beach to the bubbling Champagne Pools, sandstone cliffs of The Pinnacles and remains of the Maheno shipwreck for an unforgettable experience. A swim in the famous Lake McKenzie is a must, as is exploring the rainforest trails by foot and whale watching from several of the island’s undisturbed vantage points! Worth mentioning; Hervey Bay on the mainland is one of Australia's best fishing destinations, and a launching point for tours of the area and its amazing marine life.
Picture Perfect at Lake McKenzie. Photo via @queensland
3. Port Douglas
Port Douglas, with its long strip of pristine beach, lush green mountains and vast blue ocean, makes for an irresistible tropical getaway in QLD’s far north. Along with its own idyllic appeal, two of Australia’s heritage listed marvels lie on its doorstep; the Daintree Rainforest and Great Barrier Reef. It’s tempting to spend the days soaking up the sun, sea and views from the pristine Four Mile Beach with its white sand and aquamarine waters, but the trendy town itself boasts a number of things to do, see and eat! Choose from cool al fresco eateries serving delicious seafood, live-music bars, modernised resorts, great golfing spots and a myriad of local excursions running daily. These include incredible Great Barrier Reef cruises, sunset sailing trips, scenic helicopter flights and rainforest wilderness safaris.
The idyllic Four Mile Beach. Photo vis @tropicalnorthqueensland
4. Daintree National Park
Port Douglas leads us nicely on to our next unmissable destination; the world’s oldest surviving rainforest, the Wet Tropics World Heritage Daintree National Park, which is home to the highest concentration of threatened and endangered species on the planet, as well as 100-million year old plants! Located just north of Port Douglas and an hour’s drive from Cairns, the park includes two main sections; the crystal-clear waters and lush forests of Mossman Gorge, and Cape Tribulation, where tropical rainforest fringes the reef-dotted shores of the Coral Sea. The area is best explored via guided safari with many operators offering tours on amphibious vehicles, stopping for rainforest hikes and tropical fruit tastings. A self-drive tour is also an option if you’re feeling adventurous! Ziplining through the rainforest, horseback riding, swimming at Mossman Gorge’s peaceful waterholes, looking for cassowaries along the Jindalba Boardwalk, and hiking the many rain forest trails also offer some memorable ways to experience the ancient area.
Explore the park on horseback. Photo via @tropicalnorthqueensland
The largest city in QLD’s topical Far North, Cairns is a tourist favourite owing to its laid-back, friendly atmosphere, palm-lined streets, lush parks, gardens, beaches and its proximity to QLD’s most wondrous sights. In the city itself, enjoy a stroll along the 5km Cairns Esplanade running along the bay and take a dip in the saltwater swimming lagoon, or stroll through the beautiful Flecker Botanic Gardens, followed by a visit to the fascinating Cairns Museum. As well as to the aforementioned Daintree rainforest and Great Barrier Reef, Cairns is a prefect launching pad for day trips to the picture-perfect Palm Cove, the lofty Skyrail Rainforest Cableway and Kuranda Scenic Railway, the lush Atherton Tablelands, the tropical Fitzroy Island and the otherworldly Paronella Park!
Jaw-dropping views from the Kuranda Scenic Railway. Photo via @tropicalnorthqueensland
6. Whitsunday Islands
One of the many highlights of the Great Barrier Reef is this network of 74 idyllic tropical islands strung along it off the Central QLD coast. The islands, 69 of which are national parks, can be reached by boat from Airlie Beach and Shute Harbour. Island Activities include serene snorkelling opportunities and swimming amongst tropical fish and coral, enjoying the silky white sand beaches and walking on trails through the lush greenery. For a spot of luxury, a stay at the exclusive Hayman Island may appeal, or perhaps at the Palm Bay Resort on beautiful Long Island, with access to 13 km of walking tracks or well-developed Hamilton, the largest of the island resorts. Alternatively and with social distancing in mind, immerse yourself in nature and camp among the dry rainforest, grasses or above dense coral rubble that makes up the shore. The real star of the show is the dreamy Whitehaven Beach on the uninhabited Whitsunday Island, which is not only one of Australia's top stretches of coast, it often scores a place on lists of the best beaches in the world!
Tropical paradise at Whitehaven Beach. Photo via @queensland
7. Townsville and Magnetic Island
Bustling Townsville, Australia’s largest tropical city, is situated on Cleveland Bay at the foot of a 300m high granite clag aka Castle Hill. Walk to the peak for breath-taking panoramic city and sea views or stay at ground level and walk the Strand, the scenic waterfront promenade where you can take a dip, have a picnic or check out Jezzine Barracks for some history. The Botanic Gardens, museums, aquariums, hiking and biking trails make for an excellent family friendly holiday destination and an ideal base for excursions and tours, particularly to the Great Barrier Reef and the beautiful Magnetic Island. The latter, a short 25 minute ferry ride, is an island paradise brimming with epic scenery, awesome walking trails, pristine beaches and spectacular snorkelling sites. Our top must see; the breath-taking shipwreck of SS City of Adelaide at Cockle Bay. Wade out to it at low tide or jump on a boat tour to learn about its history and check out the stunning surrounds. Magnetic Island is also home to bountiful native wildlife, especially rock wallabies and koala and you can even have breakfast alongside the koalas at Bungalow Bay Koala Village, the only resort in Australia with its own on-site wildlife park!
Mother Nature has taken over. Photos via @thismagneticiland
While we’re on the topic of Koalas, Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary in QLD’s capital is one of the few places where you can touch and feed these sleepy native animals! As well as the wildlife sanctuary, Australia’s third largest city is known for its relaxed lifestyle, balmy climate, lush parklands, Botanic Gardens and flowing picturesque river. Riverside walking and biking trails, shops and restaurants make for family-friendly activities, as well river cruises and the River Life Adventure Centre offering action-packed water sporting activities right on the river. Experience Brisbane’s eclectic arts and cultural scene, visit the Queensland Museum, or the Gallery of Modern Art, enjoy city views from the Mt Coot-tha Lookout or use the city as a base for epic daytrips and excursions to the best that Queensland has to offer. Some nearby highlights include a number of national parks, the famous Australia Zoo, tropical island getaways (Moreton Island, North Stradbroke Island and Bribie Island are favourites) and family-friendly theme parks.
Endless aquatic fun. Photo vis @Brisbane
9. Noosa Heads and Sunshine Coast
With incredible food, wine, festivals and scenery ranging from serene cliff-fringed beaches and quiet coastal rivers to lush bushland interweaved with hiking trails, it’s no surprise that the Sunshine Coast is a perennial favourite amongst Aussie vacationers. Located in QLD’s southeast, the coast stretches from Caloundra to Noosa Heads, with the latter being a popular family-friendly resort area. Basking at Noosa’s stunning Main Beach, hiking the trails of Noosa National Park, shopping at the nearby Eumundi Markets or catching some great surf are always high on the agenda when visiting the area! In fact, surfing is also one of the most popular things to do in the Sunshine Coast, with most towns having their own awesome surf breaks. The smaller resorts of Coolum Beach, Peregian Beach, and Sunshine Beach are all worth a visit for some coastal fun or take a road-trip inland to the region’s hinterland to hike and explore Glass House Mountains National Park, a cluster of volcanic plugs rising out of the coastal plain, as well as the quaint mountain villages of Montville and Maleny.
Hike to the breath-taking Glass House Mountains. Photo via @queensland
10. Burleigh Head National Park and Gold Coast
With 200 stunning National Parks across QLD, nature lovers really are spoilt for choice. The small but beautiful Burleigh Head National Park in the heart of the Gold Coast never disappoints. Discover the wild, rocky headland on walks such as the beautiful Ocean View Walk from Tallebudgera Creek along the rocky foreshore and watch whales from the Tumgum Lookout in spring and sea-eagles soaring along the coast. See the ancient volcanic columns that meet the sea in this park, which also features rainforest, eucalypt forest, pandanus groves, tussock grassland, coastal heath and mangroves. Get up early and catch the magnificent sunrise whilst watching the surfers at the point on the park’s northern side, one of Australia's most famous surfing point breaks. Picnic on Burleigh foreshore or relax on Echo Beach! There are many more breath-taking National Parks in the area such as the subtropical rainforest Lamington, the impressive Woolumbin or the nature plus winery combo of Tamborine. For a more lively urban experience, the city itself is well known for its great shopping, dining, nightlife, theme-parks and 50 plus km of golden sand on its doorstep!
An epic road trip destination with its famous routes both along the amazing coastline and rugged outback, Queensland is a camper and RVer’s dream. Well-equipped campgrounds and free-camping spots are scattered throughout the state and what better way to explore whilst still being able to maintain social distancing! Avoid the crowds and tread lightly by packing a pocket-sized washing machine to take care of your laundry on-the-go. Browse the Scrubba wash bag range to pick up the ultimate gear for your next QLD adventure.
A state that acted fast to keep on top of the Covid-19 spread, with low case numbers, no community transition and zero fatalities, the Northern Territory is now easing back into normality. In some well-received news, Territorians have been given the green light to camp, hike and swim through some of the NT’s parks and reserves!
Known as Australia’s ‘spiritual heart’, the NT is a land rich in aboriginal history and traditions, incredible space and landscape ranging from vast deserts and wetlands to red-rock gorges and rapid rivers, epic wildlife and a cosmopolitan city. Attracting visitors from far and wide to immerse themselves in the state’s unique character, It’s no surprise then that in 2019 the NT was voted as one of the top 30 emerging travel destinations in the world for 2020 by Travel Lemming. Our top ten list of must-sees starts at the Red Centre, in the south of the territory, and is a land of parched deserts and striking rock formations...
1. Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park
Uluru, one of Australia’s most iconic tourist attractions, is an 863m high red monolith rising up from the desert within the World Heritage-listed Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park. A magnificent rock structure which holds deep spiritual significance to the Anangu people, who manage the park in conjunction with Parks Australia to ensure that their traditional lands are protected. Another sacred site, which lies roughly 40km from Uluru within the park, is a formation of dome-shaped rocks called Kata Tjuta (the Olgas). To appreciate both sites, a tour led by an aboriginal guide is recommended, and a visit to the fascinating Cultural Centre at the base of Kata Tjuta is a must. The 10km walking/biking track around the base of Uluru provides some great views, with multiple more viewing platforms around the park allowing for stunning photo opportunities, particularly at sunrise or sunset, when the rich burnt orange colour of both rock formations is at its finest. Hot air balloon flights, camel tours and sunset BBQ dining also provide some spectacular experiences!
The unmissable Kata Tjuta. Photo via @ntaustralia
2. Kakadu National Park
Another world heritage-listed National Park and Australia’s largest is Kakadu which lies in the NT’s north. In contrast to Uluru National Park, the coastal landscape of Kakadu consists of river estuaries, mangrove swamps and tall monsoon rainforests, with flood plains further inland through which rivers wind and weave into the sea. Stunning waterfalls such as the famous Gunlom Falls, Jim Jim Falls and Twin Falls can be found within the escarpment of Arnhem Land, and incredible hiking trails further inland. The park is home to amazing wildlife varieties including 70 species of reptile with the most dangerous and largest being the saltwater crocodile! Explore the park by car, on foot, or by boat, with camping options aplenty!
Take a plunge at Gunlom Falls! Photo via @kakadutourism
The NT’s vibrant capital, Darwin, is next on our list. A multi-cultural hub on the Indian Ocean which visitors flock to for its tropical outdoor lifestyle, impressive harbour and beaches, rich war history and delicious Southeast Asian-influenced cuisine. Sample laksa, mud crab or Kakadu plums at the famous Mindil Beach Sunset Markets where 60 food stalls stand alongside arts and crafts stalls, street performers and musicians! History buffs will relish in a visit to Darwin’s defence force museums, or the Cyclone Tracy exhibits at the Museum and Art Gallery of the Northern Territory. With temperatures sky high all year round, cooling off at the city’s wave pool or awesome free water park in Leanyer is essential! Darwin also offers a great base for visiting some of Australia’s best national parks such as Litchfield and the aforementioned Kakadu or you may like to take a road trip to one of the top end’s famous jumping crocodile boat tours or swim amongst these incredible beasts - if you dare - in The Cage of Death at Crocosaurus Cove Darwin!
A little close for comfort. Photo via @ntaustralia
4. Litchfield National Park
A 90-minute drive south of Darwin is the beautiful Litchfield National Park, which makes it a great first port call of call when heading out of the city or even as a day trip. Swim at the park’s stunning waterholes, gaze at powerful waterfalls or for a bit of adventure hit some wild bushwalking trails. For the experienced and well-prepared, the 39km Tabletop Track takes hikers through Litchfield’s savannah woodlands, along beautiful creeks and to breathtaking swimming holes and waterfalls such as Florence Falls and Wangi Falls. Buley Rockhole with its relaxing shaded tiers of crystal clear water is also a must-see and for something a little unique, check out the two-metre tall magnetic and cathedral termite mounds here too! Our top tip is to take a scenic 4WD trip to the Lost City, a formation of large sandstone columns near the Tolmer Falls in the park’s west where you can take a dip in a plunge pool, explore the ruins of the Blythe Homestead and enjoy a peaceful picnic. Camp for a night or three amongst the magnificent surroundings of a national park not to be missed!
The mesmerising Florence Falls. Photo via@ntaustralia
5. Alice Springs
Australia’s most famous outback town and geographical centre, Alice Springs, is an important launching pad for the four big sightseeing attractions in the Red Centre such as Uluru, Kata Tjuta, the MacDonnell Ranges and Kings Canyon. The town itself, once unassuming and dusty, now boasts a number of restaurants, hotels, caravan parks, shops and galleries showcasing Aboriginal art. Learn about indigenous culture at the Araluen Cultural Precinct, spot some incredible wildlife at Alice Springs Desert Park or check out more crocs at Alice Springs Reptile Centre! The surrounding countryside also offers visitors the chance to hike the Larapinta Trail, one of Australia's most challenging walks, and drive the Red Centre Way from Alice Springs to Kings Canyon or to the iconic Karlu Karlu aka Devils Marbles a few hours away! Desert safaris on quad bikes, hot air balloon rides, and camel rides are other popular things to do!
Epic Red Centre Drives. Photo via @ntaustralia
6. West MacDonnell Ranges
Heading west of Alice Springs you’ll find the majestic West MacDonnell Ranges snaking almost 200km into the sunset. The West Macs, as they’re often referred to, are home to some of Central Australia’s most spectacular scenery, including some truly amazing waterholes, hidden gorges and intriguing chasms. There are so many special spots in the West Macs but if we had to pick a few we’d start with Simpsons Gap as it’s a great way to experience the rugged topography of the ranges, where deep gorges contrast wide desert-like plains with black-footed rock wallabies making an appearance early morning and late afternoon. Other must-see places include Emily Gap with its shallow pools and green budgerigars, Standley Chasm with its glowing red rock walls and Ellery Creek Big Hole with its dolomite rock formations and refreshingly cool swimming hole. For the keen hikers, there are many trails to choose from such as the 24km hike from Alice Springs Telegraph Station to Simpsons Gap which marks the first section of the famous Larapinta Trail, one of Australia's most famous outback walks. Enjoy stunning views on foot and on four wheels; the road that winds past the ranges, aka The Red Centre Way, is one of Australia’s most iconic drives along with the Mereenie Loop Road. Take this 1140km route to tick off many of the outback’s iconic sights in one four-day trip.
Cool & serene Ellery Creek. Photo via @ntaustralia
7. Kings Canyon
This aforementioned famous dirt track will also take you to the ever-popular Kings Canyon in the Watarrka National Park located about midway between Alice Springs and Uluru, where you’ll find the deepest gorge in the Red Centre and more than 600 species of native plants and animals! Perennial waterholes can be found at the canyon’s base, while the upper part of the gorge, known as the Garden of Eden, features lush ferns and palm forests, as well as historical indigenous rock paintings. Located on a plateau above the canyon is an area rich in flora and fauna known as the Lost City which features red sandstone rocks weathered into the semblance of ruined houses and streets. To take in the most jaw-dropping views of the gorge, there is the 6km Kings Canyon Rim Walk which takes a challenging few hours to complete and is particularly rewarding at sunrise. The less adventurous, or those with aversions to heights, can venture deep into King’s Canyon at ground level and be dazzled by the beautiful canyon walls from below. Stay in the caravan park for the night to ensure that you have enough time to take it all in; get up early, hit the trails, take a scenic flight or even a camel safari!
Challenging hikes with rewarding views! Photo via @ntaustralia
Translating to "Islands of Smiles", a visit to this unique haven will make you do just that! Take a 2.5 hour trip north across the water from Darwin to this tropical paradise for a fascinating dose of indigenous culture, white-sand beaches, dense jungles, world-class fishing and breathtaking sunsets. The Tiwi Islands comprise of two main islands named Bathurst and Melville (and nine more uninhabited islands), with permanent residents being of mostly aboriginal descent. Whether you visit via an organised day trip or you stay a little longer at a beachfront lodge, locals are friendly and welcoming and there is plenty on offer to keep the whole family entertained. Take in the beautiful scenery, immerse yourself in the traditional lifestyle, enjoy a cultural or wildlife tour, watch an artist paint or carve at a gallery, learn how to weave a pandanus mat, witness a dancing and smoking ceremony or sample some delicious fresh seafood! Head to Tiwi in March for their Aussie Rules Football grand final; a sport which is held in high regard amongst islanders!
A happy paradise. Photo via @ntaustralia
For a touch of magic, a visit to Mataranka is not to be missed. A picturesque place made famous for the beautifully scenic sandy-bottomed thermal springs in which you can float on the gentle current of crystal clear warm waters around the natural circuit shaded by pandanus palms. The Thermal Pool at Mataranka Homestead remains an icon for visitors, and the environmental walk and swimming at Bitter Springs Thermal Pool is a beautifully relaxing experience. For a change of pace, check out the free Barramundi feeding at the Territory Manor where fish are caught with bare hands! A lovely spot to set up camp for the night and another amazing location to tick off on your big NT road trip.
Tranquillity awaits. Photo via @ntaustralia
10. Nitmiluk National Park
Another incredible national park holding deep spiritual significance for Australia’s aboriginal people and another of the NT’s most iconic locations lies 244km south-east of Darwin and closest to the town of Katherine. Nitmiluk comprises a series of natural gorges up to 100m deep on the Katherine River and Edith Falls. Katherine Gorge is the main feature, being one of the park’s 13 interior gorges which are peppered with waterfalls, rapids and of course amazing views. Flowing out of the neighbouring Kakadu National Park, the Katherine River has carved a remarkable route through the rocky layers of the vast outback of Nitimulik. There are many sights to behold and explore within the park’s pristine wilderness; pull the walking boots on for a two-hour or perhaps five-day hike, take a dip at one of many swimming holes, enjoy a boat trip through the gorges, take a scenic helicopter flight or rent a canoe! Nitmiluk has become a popular stop-off for those brave enough to make the long drives across the NT’s vast wilderness!
Paddle through the impressive gorge. Photo via @ntaustralia
The red dirt roads of the Aussie outback are calling! The NT is undeniably Australia’s home of truly epic road trips, amazing camping locations, the most rewarding hikes and endless adventuring into the unknown. And when it comes to travel gear, Scrubba has your back. Pack up the car or RV, grab your portable washing machine and hit the road. Whether you wind up in the outback off the beaten track or at a busy campground with a trunk-full of dusty, sweaty clothes, your Scrubba wash bag has your laundry covered! Having no need to seek out communal laundry facilities gives you the freedom to travel clean, light and free. Browse the Scrubba wash bag store to pick up some handy gear before you go!
With Victoria being the last Australian state to begin rolling back its Coronavirus restrictions, VIC residents are now starting to plan and look forward to having the freedom to hit the road, camp, hike, and explore the amazing state they call home.
Victoria is home to one of the most liveable cities in the world, so it comes as no surprise that the popular state is brimming with sights to see and places to discover. Although the climate is not as tropical as Queensland, it still has some of Australia’s best beaches, particularly along The Great Ocean Road and Mornington Peninsula. Victoria has Australian Heritage Listed parks across the state with heaps of native wildlife to see. Here are just some of the amazing places we included in our top ten list in Victoria.
Kicking off our list is VIC's vibrant capital city, Melbourne, which has earned The Economist Intelligence Unit's title of world's most liveable city numerous times, and for good reason! An exciting, dynamic city that Scrubba is lucky to call home, Melbourne is renowned for its iconic architecture, sporting events, shops and abundance of restaurants and cafes to dine in and take away from. The best way to get around Melbourne is by the well-connected public transport services such as the iconic trams (free within certain sections of CBD) and trains or by car, bike and on foot. Start your day at the iconic Flinders Street Station then stroll directly across the road to Federation Square and visit the various galleries, followed by a short walk to the famous street art laneways, full of colour and character, for a spot of brunch at one of the many laneway cafes. After hitting the shops, from high-end to high-street, wander along the Yarra River on the Southbank Promenade and stop for a cocktail, delicious snack, and live music. During Summer months, the Queen Vic Night Market offers the perfect opportunity to experience street foods from different cultures, and all year round the market offers live entertainment and fashion, art, homewares, and grocery stalls - a great place to support small business. Melbourne is also home to a number of world-renowned annual sporting events and leagues from AFL, Forumla1, Grad Slam tennis, and cricket.
Urban beauty at its finest. Photo via @visitmelbourne
2. The Great Ocean Road
A trip to Victoria is not complete without a drive along one of the world’s most famous coastal roads. The Great Ocean Road is 200km from Melbourne and stretches from Torquay - famous for its world-class surf beaches - all the way to Warrnambool. It usually takes four hours to travel to the end of The Great Ocean Road, but it is worth stopping off at some awesome spots along the way. Campgrounds can be tricky to find on the route, however, we highly recommend staying at Port Campbell National Park, and the best towns to stop at along the way are Apollo Bay, Lorne, Twelve Apostles, Loch Ard Gorge and the stunning waterfalls in the Otway National Park. When visiting attractions such as the 12 Apostles, we recommend arriving before sunrise to not only beat the crowds but to also get the opportunity to capture some great scenic shots.
Always worth the drive! Photo via @visitgreatoceanroad
The Great Ocean road leads us to our next unmissable destination, the third-largest national park in Victoria, the magnificent Grampians National Park. Located along the western districts close to Halls Gap, the national park is home to beautiful waterfalls, panoramic lookouts, rock formations and colourful spring wildflowers. The Grampians is also referred to as Gariwerd, it is full of rich indigenous culture, seen in ancient rock art along the 144km stretch of walking trails. We recommend checking out some of the lookout walks that lead to beautiful McKenzie Falls, the Pinnacle and the great camping spots at the Balconies. Before you leave the area, make sure you get involved in activities such as horse riding, kayaking, overnight hiking and abseiling.
Admire the parks spectacular horizon at sunset. Photo via @thegrampians
4. The Murray
The Murray River region is situated along the border of New South Wales and is home to Australia’s longest river, the Murray River, and towns such as Mildura and Echuca Moama. This outdoor-focused region is popular for its incredible fruit growing areas, wine, cultural festivals and its peaceful scenery ranging from red sand dunes, river red gum trees and sandy riverbanks. Those wishing to escape Melbourne’s unpredictable weather will love the region's milder winter and consistently warm summers. If you enjoy water sports, the season runs all year round with water skiing competitions taking place in Mildura! Our top must-sees and must-dos include a visit to the Trentham Estate Winery, a trip along river in a historic paddle steamer, taking snaps at the highly 'Instagrammable' cactus gardens in Strathmerton and perhaps a round of golf at one of forty golfing venues designed by elite pro golfers. Stay in the region's amazing accommodation options from quirky BnB's to free campgrounds that require no bookings situated along the river. Murray Sunset National Park is a great camping option or if you’re after a unique experience book one of the many luxury houseboats that features outdoor spas and hammocks. Now that sounds like a relaxing place to visit once restrictions are fully lifted!
Swim or relax along the sandy bank on the Murray River. Photo via @visitthemurray
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As we all navigate these unchartered waters, the most important thing is we stay safe. We know now isn't the right time to travel, but we can still provide you with the inspiration to dream of your next visit to the Murray region. You can also support our beautiful region by buying online some of the delicious, fresh produce we’re famous for or purchasing a gift voucher to use in the future from one of our many accommodation providers, attractions, restaurants and cafes. If you were planning to travel to the Murray region soon, you can help our tourism operators and give yourself something to look forward to by postponing your booking rather than cancelling. Postponing your booking is a huge help to our tourism operators during this very challenging time and they will be extremely grateful for your support. As soon as we can all travel again and you’re looking for somewhere to relax, rejuvenate and reconnect, we’ll be ready to welcome you back to the Murray region with open arms and share our hidden gems with you. In the meantime, sit back and relax as we inspire you with images of our remarkable region of endless adventures, colourful culinary trails, scenic golf greens, breathtaking natural landscapes and a fascinating history – all threaded along a legendary river. 📸@nomadasaurus 📍@echuca_moama
The third-largest city in VIC’s regional North-West, Ballarat is a family-friendly area that has been voted multiple times as Australia’s best major tourism attraction. Ballarat is accessible via a ninety-minute drive from Melbourne or trip on the V line train from Melbourne CBD's Southern Cross Station. This area is not just known for its gold but for its historic buildings, museums, and natural environment. The number one tourist attraction in the area is Sovereign Hill; take a step back into the 1850s to learn about gold mining and daily life. Perhaps even try on some historical period costumes for an old-fashioned photograph to cherish. Next on the list, and free to enter with your Sovereign Hill ticket, is The Gold Museum where you can check out some gold replicas and temporary exhibitions. If you’re looking to end the day with a light walk or an older style tram ride, we suggest visiting the lovely Lake Wendouree. There are stacks of nice view points, not to mention plenty of swans and a massive playground to keep the kids entertained.
Roam around Australia’s best tourist attraction. Photo via @sovereignhill
6. Daylesford and Macedon Ranges
A small country town in the Macedon ranges, Daylesford is famous for its natural mineral spring spas, fine dining, galleries, and boutique cottages. It is only around an hour away from Melbourne and would be the perfect location for a day trip or a weekend away. To unwind and relax in the countryside, we highly recommend the Hepburn Bathhouse and Spa, it features a couple of heated mineral baths, a salt bath, steam room, and a few beauty pampering options. Next stop we recommend checking out a couple of wineries and restaurants. One place we are sure to venture to once the restrictions have been lifted is Cafe La Trattoria to try their lavender champagne. Take in the history of the Macedon Ranges and explore the Convent Gallery in Wombat Hill Botanic Gardens, where even none art lovers will appreciate the breathtaking space and surroundings.
A stunning experience. Photo via @daylesfordmacedonranges
7. Dandenong Ranges and The Yarra Valley
Our next destination is the wine capital of Victoria, just an hour East of Melbourne, and a region full of bushwalk tracks, lush gardens, and beautiful parks full of trees. In the Yarra Valley and Dandenong Ranges, you have over 160 wineries to choose from. These cellar doors specialise in cool climate wines like Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, and some lesser-known varieties. One must-see winery is the TarraWarra Estate in Yarra Glen, this estate boasts a stunning location with interesting architecture that holds a contemporary art gallery and a restaurant. For the best views in the area head to the Mount Dandenong Observatory to see the forest scenery or ride a hot air balloon at sunrise along the Yarra Valley to view the skyscrapers from a distance, as well as the Yarra River, flora, fauna, and grapevines. This region is the perfect weekender away from our busy city!
Take a peaceful flight over the Yarra Valley. Photo via @yarravalley
Heading south of the Yarra Valley, you will find the southerly point of mainland Australia located along the Gippsland. A few hours drive from the city, Gippsland encompasses some great natural environments with pristine lakes, national parks, limestone caves, coastal villages, and countryside towns. This stunning area stretches from the Victorian Alps all the way to Bass Strait, where you can visit natural beauty at Wilsons Promontory National Park. The best things to see at the Prom are Squeaky beach, wildlife, Vereker Outlook, and the southern point at Mount Oberon. Campsites are generally booked out well in advance and its best to pre-book. One of the best seaside towns to visit is Lakes Entrance, which is home to Australia’s largest inland lake system. Gippsland has suffered a lot in recent times, with the terrible 19/20 bushfire season, and current COVID19 pandemic so now that travel restrictions are easing, let's plan our next day trip!
Dreamy views at Squeaky Beach. Photo via @visitgippsland
9. Phillip Island
Phillip Island is situated two hours off Victoria's Southern Coast and is a popular island day trip or weekend getaway spot for Melbournians. A 140km journey from the CBD, the island is famous for its wildlife, particularly for its native penguin population. One of the best experiences is the Penguin Parade Night Tour, whereby you can watch Fairy Penguins walk up along the beach at night to feed their chicks. Penguins can also be seen resting in little dugouts at The Nobbies Viewpoint Walking Trail. The Nobbies also has an Ocean Discovery Centre where you can book tours to Antarctic Journey, Koala Reserve, and many other special attractions.
Take a stroll through The Nobbies. Photo via @phillipisland
10. Mornington Peninsula
After completing a visit to Philip Island, exploring the Mornington Peninsula is a must! Only a ninety-minute drive from Melbourne, this area is known for its stunning coastlines, seaside towns, and wineries. At Arthurs Seat, you can go on a chairlift to see views that include the calmer side of Port Phillip Bay and the back beaches of Bass Strait. Cape Schanck is another beautiful town that has a national park and the second lighthouse built in Victoria. The next place not to miss is the award-winning Peninsula Hot Springs which also features saunas, bathhouses, cave pool, and a walking trail. The hot springs offer twilight sessions in the warmer months to help you unwind after a busy day of exploring!
See the picturesque views from up high. Photo via @officialmorningtonpeninsula
We hope that our list gives you some food for thought! The easing of restrictions could present the perfect opportunity to pack up the car, camper or RV and hit road, ticking off as many spots as you like on the way. With social distancing and heightened hygiene being the new normal, having your accommodation and wheels all in one definitely has its appeal, and to make that journey a little easier, why not pack a Scrubba wash bag for self-sufficient laundry on-the-go! Browse the Scrubba wash bag range to pick up the ultimate gear for your next VIC adventure.