Having spent the last few years living abroad I now wish to rediscover my home city of Sydney to keep that 'travelling feeling' and share my findings with those that might want a bit of inspiration.
Published February 10th 2014
International experiences in domestic Australia
Domestic Holidays for International Experiences
Who needs to leave Australia? Our continent serves up everything your heart could desire, without you needing a passport to experience it.
I want to go on safari in Africa
Love animals? Love the romanticism of a luxury safari tent? Don't want to pay over $2000 for airfares alone to get you there? Our home-grown safari camps and lodges will make you feel a million miles away from our suburban centres whilst immersing you in local nature with abundant wildlife.
Bamurru Plains alongside the western boundary of the Kakadu National Park in the Northern Territory offers an extraordinary diversity of flora and fauna you won't find anywhere else in the world. Species you may encounter on your au-natural getaway include wallabies, dingoes, crocodiles, buffalo, wild pigs, and any number of bird species. You can view the difference ecosystems from traditional open-top safari cars when on land or cruise the mangroves aboard an airboat tour. You can choose activities to suit your own interests and budget.
Nine safari suites border the floodplains and the layout of each welcomes the natural world regardless of the time of day with the floor to ceiling windows that allow you to enjoy the local wildlife at all hours of the day or night from the comfort of your own bed. Prices start from $520 pp per night or flight inclusive package ex Darwin for two nights from $1590 pp twin share and include all meals and selected beverages.
Safari in Australia
I want a health and yoga retreat like Eat Pray Love
You don't need to go to India or Bali to immerse yourself in a yoga or meditation retreat. Australia's retreats are taking hold of the new wave of health awareness sweeping the nation, providing luxurious getaways dedicated to healthy body, soul and minds.
Gaia Retreat and Spa in the Byron Bay Hinterland is one of the Pacific region's premier health retreats with celebrity clientèle including home-grown songstress Delta Goodrem. Whether your intention is to detoxify, lose weight or simply de-stress from city life, Gaia provides an amazing space to do this, fusing Asian island elegance with Australian simplicity in its 19 rooms and common areas.
Light and healthy gourmet offerings appear several times per day along with ever-present tea and fruit. You can choose to dine communally with your fellow health-devotees or elect to stay in the sanctuary of your room. Activities and treatments are tailored to your individual needs on arrival. Indulge in pottery, learn about flowers, yoga, meditation and more; this is a place where you can feel free to try something new.
The Gaia experience does not come cheaply, with two night packages starting at $1145, but when you consider the inclusions (three gourmet meals and multiple snacks, all activities) it is well worth it. Forget the flight to Bali, an Ubud spa experience is right on our very doorstep.
Relax and rejuvenate at Gaia
I want to go to exotic waterfalls and islands
If you've ever watched Castaway and felt inclined to book an elaborate holiday to Costa Rica or South East Asia you wouldn't be alone. But you may find more seclusion by staying close to home. With a little research, you will save a lot of time and money by visiting our own amazing offerings right here in Australia. Ken Duncan's photography can provide your initial inspiration and then try the internet for more. Our local waterholes and waterfalls just beg a visit whenever they appear in print.
The Karijini National Park in WA is world famous for its crystal clear rock pools, massive gorges and luscious waterfalls. Multiple cavernous waterholes cater for the tourists during all four seasons of the year with space aplenty for you to feel you are the only people in the world. Light and shade dapple the majestic limestone rockeries, or try the fauna covered waterways, and the rushing waterfalls.
A day in Karijini will make you feel like you've toured several South American countries. Take your pick, get off-road and get away from the cities. Western Australia welcomes you to your own private slice of paradise. Multiple companies service tours of the area if setting out solo is not your thing.
I want to feel like Indiana Jones discovering a hidden temple
Feel like you need to go to Cambodia or northern Thailand to discover ancient temples that time has left behind? Why pay all that money on airfares for the trip wherein the majority of your time will be spent lying on a beach with only a day or two of real cultural immersion? Stay domestic instead, you can achieve all of this in Cairns.
Paronella Park in Cairns has all the trappings of a forgotten world right like those out of Indiana Jones. The park was first opened to the public in 1935 and is lovingly preserved. Wander the gardens, marvel at the wildlife, circle the Catelonian castle architecture, cross the waterfall on the swing bridge, and enjoy the 1930s hydro electric generator all set amidst thick, tropical rainforest. A day ticket costs $40 for adults and $20 for children with family passes available. Located 120 kilometres south of Cairns, you can either stay in Cairns or if you like, why not stay the night onsite in one of the cabins or the camping ground to truly awaken your adventurous spirit?
Paronella Park in Cairns
I want to visit a deserted island
Wished you could get away from everyone and everything like Tom Hanks in Castaway - although, of course, know you could leave when you were ready?
Dampier Archipelago is a collection of 42 uninhabited islands in Western Australia – most of which permit camping.
You will need a boat, a navigator, all your supplies for the evening and a bit of common sense to ensure you stay safe as the islands don't have much shade and animals roam free. But for those who are self sufficient and don't mind getting back to basics, the Dampier Archipelago will enchant you with its serene emptiness.
Enjoy the solitary seascape, indulge in individual reflection. Refer to the Western Australian government's guide to the area here for information regarding which islands allow camping and all relevant information for planning your trip.