After months of being cooped up, Australians are eager to get out and about, breathe in that fresh air and start holidaying once again. We know that road trips within our own shores will be our favoured travel method in the 20/21 summer period and beyond, with RV travel presenting us with the most desirable option in today's pandemic-altered travel climate! Newcomers to RV travel are emerging across the nation, all keen to shake off that cabin fever and experience our awe-inspiring country whilst having control of their own environment.
Read more →
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.
With new cases of Coronavirus slowing to a trickle, in turn leading to the easing of restrictions on non-essential travel within the state, South Australian residents will have the perfect opportunity to really discover those parts of their home states that they might have otherwise overlooked!
South Australia (SA) is often missed off Australian travel itineraries, yet it is a state steeped in history, with lots to offer and the perfect place to get an international fix, now that overseas travel is off the cards for a while. The Mediterranean climate hosts world-renowned wines, extinct volcanoes, white sand beaches, German-influenced towns, and cenotes. We're sharing ten of our favourite spots which hopefully make it onto your South Australian hit list as well.
1. Kangaroo Island
Kangaroo Island offers one of the best wildlife experiences in South Australia. After the recent bushfires, the crowd numbers have dropped dramatically, but there are still plenty of beautiful untouched locations. Once the restrictions have been lifted, travel to the island will provide much-needed support to communities and help boost local tourism. Wildlife areas not to be missed include the Seal Bay Conservation Park and the Flinders National park. At these locations, you can see subspecies of kangaroos, wallabies, and other furry marsupials. As well as being environmentally conscious, this Island has a vibrant food and wine scene, with a few wineries to check out such as the Islander Estate and Dudley Wines (divine food and views). For the beer enthusiasts amongst us, craft ales can be sampled at the Kangaroo Island brewery and if you happen to be visiting on the first Sunday of the month, you can check out some local art, food, and culture at Penneshaw Market.
Endless locations to visit on the island. Photo via @authentickangarooisland
2. Eyre Peninsula
Only a brief flight away from Adelaide, a seafood and coastal paradise can be found in South Australia's Eyre Peninsula. The Eyre Peninsula’s coastline spans across 2000 km and is home to towns like Port Lincoln and Whyall. Coffin Bay oyster farm offers tours for those who love food with an experience. Dressed in a fishing wader and boots you will learn how to shuck oysters straight from the ocean. These tours also allow you to experience Peninsula’s scenery while enjoying locally sourced wine. If oysters aren’t your thing, then the Eyre Peninsula offers many wildlife experiences. You can swim with the friendly sea lions found at Baird Bay or go cage diving with great white sharks at Port Lincoln, which is the only location in Australia where you can see this large species of shark up close! With eight secluded rock pools to swim in at low tide and open caves you can explore, the Thalia caves rock pools are another great location to visit on your holiday.
The breathtaking Thalia rockpool from above. Photo via @eyrepeninsula
3. Coober Pedy
Coober Pedy, otherwise known as the opal mining capital of the world, is located in the middle of a desert. It’s hard to imagine that this dusty town that resembles Mars used to be covered by the ocean over 150 million years ago. Not only is this location known for opal mines, but also for its unique lifestyle. Coober Pedy’s inhabitants live underground in dugouts to escape the intense weather conditions that range from 45℃ in summer to -1℃ in the winter months. Town dwellers embrace these conditions by living in houses made from sandstone bed rocks that allow for the temperature to stay at a bearable temperature of 22℃. Even places such as the Catacomb church, art galleries, and motels can be found underground.
Hike through the surrounding desert! Photo via @emu_escpae
4. Barossa Valley
Barossa Valley is a wine lover’s haven with many world-renowned wineries and culinary destinations. It is one of Australia’s oldest grape-growing regions and is only an hour away from South Australia’s capital. There are many things to do in Barossa Valley with 150 wineries to choose from and biking trails that give you an opportunity to see the many vineyards. Many popular Australian shiraz brands such as Penfolds, Wolf’s Blass, and Jacobs Creek come from this region. One of the unique experiences that Penfolds offers is the opportunity to blend and craft your own wine. The weekend farmers' markets are a great way to sample local produce such as homemade breads, desserts, local cheeses, and of course, more wine.
One of many delightful wineries. Photo via @mybarossa
5. Flinders Ranges
Take a 4WD adventure along the red dust road of the Flinders Ranges in the heart of the outback. This dry and rugged landscape has a mountain range stretching over 400 km and features incredible sunsets, which is perfect for nature lovers and photographers. A trip exploring these ranges is not complete until you see the Flinders Ranges National Park. At this national park you can visit the Wilpena Pound, which is a natural amphitheater surrounded by mountains. Indigenous art at Arkaroo Rock, fossils, and a section of the famous long-distance Heysen trail are some of the many things you can also see in the Flinders Ranges. If you’re looking to experience farm life, you can stay in a luxurious villa located on Rawly sheep farm. The Rawly sheep farm also offers scenic flights that fly over the Flinders Ranges and are a great way to view the impressive mountains from above.
Explore the Flinders Ranges in a 4WD! Photo via @lukeriddler
6. Mount Gambier
Immerse yourself in the city of limestone caves, crystal lakes, sinkholes, and vibrant green fauna. Mount Gambier is a city near the border of Victoria where people usually stopover when driving to Adelaide. If you're only passing by, make sure you make a stop to stretch your legs at Blue Lake. This lake was caused by a crater of an extinct volcano. Depending on the time of the year, the lake changes colour from sky blue to grey. If you're interested in seeing South Australia’s only world heritage location, go ahead and check out Naracoorte Caves. These ancient caves are made from limestone and you will see plenty of stalactites, fossils, and bats! After a day of exploring Mount Gambier, we suggest checking out some sinkholes. Believe it or not, these sinkholes are actually cenote formations, just like the famous cenotes in Mexico. The sinkholes in Mount Gambier are Australia's only cenotes and one of the few places that these can be found on the planet.
The freshwater cenotes and stalactite caves. Photo via @discover_mount_gambier
7. Fleurieu Peninsula
Located southwest of the Mount Lofty Ranges is the Fleurieu Peninsula, an area that has picturesque beaches and wildlife reserves. It is the perfect outdoor-focused location, popular with visitors for its fishing, walking, whale watching, surfing and swimming. If you're looking for a beach resort or family vacation Victor Harbor is one of the best places to stay. Make sure to check out Lake Alexandria where the Murray River flows in between the ocean.
The stunning clear blue ocean meeting the Murray River at Coorong National Park. Photo via @officialfleurieupeninsula
Hahndorf is located in the Adelaide Hills and is one of the few German settlement towns that still exist in Australia today. A small town that was established in the mid-1800s, Hahndorf is filled with German architecture, culture and history. Stone cottages, pubs with a wide selection of German beer on tap and German-inspired dishes on the menu as well as shops brimming with brightly coloured flowers playing traditional German music line the town's quaint streets. A walking tour or trip to the German Migration Museum to take in some of the town's history is recommended, as is free tastings and sampling from local wineries, specialty food stores, and alehouses. Awesome activities for the little ones include picking strawberries at Beerenberg Family Farm, getting up close with animals at the Hahndorf Farm Barn, or taking a little trip to the magical Fairy Garden.
Immerse yourself in Hahndorf's unique culture. Photo via @hahndorf_southaustralia
9. Clare Valley
Away from the bustling cities and coastal towns of South Australia, you can find a small winery town called Clare Valley. This region is famous for its Riesling wines and also internationally renowned for its boutique beers and ciders. If you're a foodie, we highly recommend visiting this area in May for their annual “Clare Valley Gourmet weekend”. It is a huge celebration of their local food and wine grown in the area with live concerts and plenty of food to taste. One winery that needs to be on your list is Jesuit Winery at Sevenhill. This is the oldest winery in the region that features an underground cellar, St Aloysius church, and a crypt. If crypts and wineries don't appeal, check out Red Banks Conservation Park or Lake Bumbunga to be at one with nature!
Home to one of Australia's edible-looking pink lakes. Photo via @clarevalleysa
Last but not least, is South Australia's vibrant capital city. Adelaide is the smaller, less busy, and greener version of Sydney and Melbourne, and home to many markets and festivals celebrating art, food, music and culture such as Adelaide Fringe and the WOMADelaide. One place not to miss is the Royal Botanic Gardens, hidden in amongst the nineteenth-century architecture. The stunning gardens are in a secluded part of the city with wide open spaces and a fascinating conservatory.
Picture perfect picnic spot. Photo via @cityofadelaide
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 South Australian adventure.