With international travel plans still on hold and no crystal ball at my disposal, I’m starting to think 2021 will be a great opportunity to explore more of my own backyard. Wherever you are in the world, now is a great time to start travelling closer to home. And while it is tempting to never want to leave the house again, enjoying your own personal freedom and space on the planet is still as important as ever. So, where should you travel in Australia this summer? Here are our top picks!
Lord Howe Island, New South Wales
This is perhaps my favourite place in all of Australia. I could say that about a few places but truly, Lord Howe Island is some other kind of magic. You will arrive on the island in just under two hours. Qantas Link fly between Sydney and the island daily, making it a great choice for Sydney-siders to escape the city in a heartbeat.
Once there, Lord Howe Island packs a punch in terms of activities. Every inch of the island feels like it is ripped straight out of a movie scene and that is perhaps why a number of Hollywood films have been created here (most notable being Blake Lively’s shark drama, The Shallows).
Blue Mountains, New South Wales
Another great summer destination for those who prefer the mountains to the beach is the Blue Mountains. You can reach the mountains in one hour by road or 90 minutes by train from Sydney. Once there, it is as quiet and serene as you’d imagine from the photos. If you’re going in search of silence and solitude, I couldn’t recommend a better destination.
Bruny Island, Tasmania
Over on the island of Tasmania there are an abundance of destinations with few to no crowds and Bruny Island is no exception. Despite a huge popularity increase in recent years, Bruny Island still has so much solitude to offer travellers. There are endless beaches tucked away in quiet corners and some of them require a few hours hike to get there. This just makes the destination so much more worthwhile!
The Grampians, Victoria
When I visited the Grampians in Victoria I had a deep sense of nostalgia for my earlier trip to the Blue Mountains in New South Wales. So if you’re looking for solitude and silence, this is where to escape the city. The Grampians can be reached in three hours drive from Melbourne. It is quite a scenic drive as you enter the countryside and you can make a halfway stop at Ballarat for lunch. In summer there are endless activities on offer. Activities such as rock climbing, kayaking and long bush walks are readily at your disposal. So if you’re more of an adventurous traveller, this is one of the best places to travel in Australia this summer.
Great Ocean Road, Victoria
As one of Australia’s most sought after locations to visit, it is little wonder you are seeing the ethereal Great Ocean Road on our list of must visit summer destinations! This is a great day trip from Melbourne if you’re looking to escape the city, however it is an even better weekend away if you plan your trip in advance. If you are visiting as part of a larger trip around Australia, consider driving through all the way from Melbourne to Adelaide and taking in the Southern coastline.
Kangaroo Island, South Australia
If there was just one destination on this list I would travel to on a whim, it would be Kangaroo Island. The natural beauty of this island off the coast of South Australia is truly something to behold and my only regret when visiting a few years ago was not choosing to stay longer. You’ll need a week on Kangaroo Island to really make the most of your time here. With 509km of Coastline and indigenous species like kangaroos (duh), sea lions and so much more, there really is no end to the amount of time you could spend here.
I’ve been telling everyone and anyone who will listen that Norfolk Island is Australia’s best kept secret. Since I visited four years ago, I’ve been itching to get back. There’s just something so untouched and untamed about this small island that packs a punch! Even cows are given right of way, as vehicles are expected to give way while they roam freely. There’s a real sense of community on the island, too, which leaves you feeling a world away from the constructs of city life.
The Flinders Ranges, South Australia
Although this might be the hottest time of year to visit, we really don’t think there is a bad time of year to find yourself in the Flinders Ranges. South Australia will spoil you for choice when it comes to adventure travel and the Flinders is a mecca for one adventure after another. This area is full of great hikes, ranging from day treks to multi-day adventures. If you’re up for the challenge, the Arkaba Walk is considered one of the best walks on offer in Australia. The highlight of my time on this trek was an evening sleeping under the stars in my swag (pictured above).
See more of my adventures in Australia this summer on Instagram.