Autumn is the best time of the year for a weekend road trip. The colours of deciduous leaves – orange, red, yellow – against the clean, clear blue sky of an Aussie autumn: nothing beats it.
While Australian native flora is largely evergreen, there are plenty of places you can still witness those wonderful, warm autumn colours.
Here are seven destinations where you can see the rainbow of falling leaves on a weekend getaway or an easy day-long drive.
South Australia: Adelaide Hills
Many may argue that the best time of year to visit this region is over summer, but it’s autumn when ‘The Hills’ really shine. Enjoy the warm oranges of the area’s orchards and vineyards, the brilliant crimson and honey-hued haven that is Hahndorf, soak up the sun in Stirling, park your car and wander through charming towns such as Aldgate, Crafers, Bridgewater and Mylor. A drive through the Piccadilly Valley should also be on your Adelaide autumn list, as should a visit to the Mount Lofty Botanic Garden.
New South Wales: Orange and Bowral
Nicknamed ‘Australia’s Colour City’, it’s probably not far-fetched to think that a town named Orange would be known for its spectrum of stirring floral colour. A 3 1/2 hour drive from Sydney will net you some pretty special sights, tree-wise. The local council plants around 300 new trees in the town each year, meaning it’s one of the best places in the country to enjoy random bursts of seasonal colour.
Check out the Orange Botanic Gardens where you’ll witness fiery maple trees and rows of red and gold apple trees. Also try Robertson Park, Cook Park, Summer Street, Coronation Drive and Sampson Street, plus the summit at Mount Lindsay Park.
Further south is Bowral, once a preferred summer destination for Sydney’s elite and now, with the Autumn Open Gardens program, you can check out their private gardens, including those at Retford Park and Bellagio, along with many others each year.
Victoria: High Country
Bright undergoes an amazing transformation each year, which is probably why it’s the most well-known town in Victoria to spend an autumn weekend. There’s even the annual Bright Autumn Festival celebrating the colours and tastes of autumn, featuring everything from food and wine, to photography and music all leading up to the ultimate event – the Gala Weekend.
But don’t forget to check out the other gold-rush era towns in the High Country region – such as Beechworth, Harrietville, Yackandandah, Myrtleford, Mount Beauty, and Wandiligong for their own wonderful autumn displays.
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