Here are our top suggestions of where to take a summer break.
Okay, so we know we’re stating the obvious when we say that it gets hot in Australia during summer but it’s also the time of year when people look forward to a break away from home, especially if you’re a city dweller.
Many of you will have your favourite holiday hotspot, but if you’re looking to try something different this year, here are five fab destinations that will enable you to get away from it all.
Robe, South Australia
While Victor Harbour is probably South Australia’s best-known holiday hotspot, being so close to Adelaide means it does get incredibly crowded. So if you're prepared to drive a little further from the city – about four hours – Robe is a great alternative.
This small seaside resort is locally renowned for its seafood – crayfish and lobster, in particular. You can simply grab one that’s ready to eat and head to the beach or a nearby cave for a picnic lunch. Or, if you enjoy your seafood sans sand, then there is an abundance of restaurants serving this local fare.
Robe also offers some quaint architecture, quirky boutique shops and the opportunity to explore the history of one of the state’s oldest settlements. And once you’ve spent the day exploring the town, there is 17km of sand on Long Beach where you can relax or take your 4WD for a spin.
The mild climate that Robe is blessed with means that even in the heat of summer, the temperatures are more bearable than you would experience closer to Adelaide.
Albany, Western Australia
Although the west coast of Australia is one of the warmer parts of the country in summer, the cooling ocean breeze ensures that a trip to the coast is a pleasant escape from the sweltering city heat.
Approximately a five-hour drive from Perth, Albany sits on the Southern Ocean coastline and is home to some of Australia’s most stunning beaches. It’s also nestled in the Great Southern Wine Region, giving access to quality cellar doors for those wishing to indulge in some full-bodied reds.
If wining, dining and lazing on the beach become a little tiresome, then the beautiful Stirling Ranges National Park is quite literally on your doorstep. And for those fit enough to make it to the top, the 360-degree vista from the top of Bluff Knoll is worth the trek.
If you don't fancy a five-hour drive, you can take a regional flight from Perth. Duration: one hour.
If you truly love the great outdoors and the ocean, then 1770 is pretty much a must-see.
Seventeen seventy, also known as 1770, is a pretty tiny town, yet still boasts enough accommodation and camping to base your stay in this truly glorious environment.
Surrounded by national parks, it’s a walkers’ and hikers’ paradise. Or, if you prefer more aquatic pursuits, then the easy access to Lady Musgrave Island is ideal for those looking to snorkel and dive around a pristine part of the Great Barrier Reef.
A trip to 1770 really is the chance to get away from it all, with very little in the way of modern city amenities, apart from a few shopping centres, to detract from its natural beauty. In fact, apart from the Reef, the greatest attractions are the chance to spot a rare Loggerhead Turtle or the chance to enjoy a glass of wine on the beach as you marvel at the truly spectacular sunset.
Being small and easy to drive around, Tasmania is possibly Australia’s favourite summer travel destination. Once you’re done with Hobart and Launceston, next on your list of places to visit should be Bicheno.
Situated on the east coast of the Apple Isle, about a two and a half hours’ drive from Hobart, Bicheno offers an alternative to the more popular Coles Bay. Larger in size, finding accommodation is easy and there are a few more amenities and attractions at hand for those looking to spend a night or two away from home.
Home to Tasmania’s little, or fairy, penguins, Bicheno is also the gateway to the stunning Freycinet National Park. Nature and wildlife really are the main attractions of the town, with Bicheno’s Blowhole, which, on days of high swell, shoots pouts of water 20 metres high – an impressive sight.
Australia’s most photogenic beach, Wineglass Bay, is an easy day trip, and the pink granite of the Hazard Mountains’ twin peaks are a magnificent backdrop to Freycinet National Park.
Kangaroo Valley, New South Wales
If beaches aren’t your thing, then a trip to the Southern Highlands of New South Wales may be more appealing.
Located just two hours south of Sydney, Kangaroo Valley lacks the excessive crowds of some of the other Highland towns and villages, and offers the chance to step back in time. Despite having a National Trust listing, Kangaroo Valley is often overlooked, and it makes the likelihood of spotting local wildlife on your bushwalk even greater.
But it’s the local food that makes the Valley worth visiting. The mild, comfortable climate makes it incredibly pleasant to enjoy the delicious local produce for which the area is renowned. Take a trip along the foodie trail and indulge in wine, olives, fudge and chocolate all produced locally, or take some time out in a delightful café or local pub.
With the main town home to a population of around 350, spend any length of time here and you may just meet them all!
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