With Euro summers and road trips across the US off the cards for the foreseeable future, we’re turning our attention to our beautiful backyard and all the epic experiences we have on our doorstep.
You know, those incredible sites and jaw-dropping locations that you've been putting on the backburner in favour of using your annual leave and hard-earned cash on an OS escape? Well now is the time to see just how bloody gorgeous Australia is.
But where to start? While the folks at Intrepid Travel might have been your go-to for off the grid international adventures, they’re also curators of magical local escapes.
From an ancient rainforest to pristine coastlines, we’re rounded up five bucket list-worthy adventures you need to book this year. Go on, you deserve it.
Scope Out Esperance
If you’ve been wanting to discover the exquisite natural beauty that Western Australia boasts, then book yourself on the Esperance & Southwest Adventure. Think: morning bushwalks, afternoon swims and stargazing at night. Pretty dreamy huh? Over six days you’ll go on a bushwalk with a Wadandi custodian and learn about native bush foods and medicines, discover the art of fire-lighting and be treated to a didgeridoo performance inside Ngilgi Cave. You’ll explore the hidden coves of Fitzgerald River National Park and bask on Cape Le Grand's white powder sands. And to top it off, you'll enjoy a tasting tour around the Margaret River region and hop between boutique wineries and breweries, a chocolate factory and cheesery. Book this amazing adventure here.
Discover Rich History And Culture In Uluru
Seeing Uluru IRL should be on every Australian’s bucket list. If you’ve always wanted to go but the thought of planning it seemed a little bit overwhelming, then book yourself a spot on this three-day tour. You’ll join a First Nations guide on a walk around the base of Uluru and gain an insight into the land and the locals. You’ll get goosebumps when you wander through the iconic domes of Kata Tjuta and hike through natural amphitheatres, rocky chasms and lush oases in Kings Canyon. And you’ll top it all off by dining under the stars and camping within privately owned sites on the red earth of the Outback. Book this epic trip here.
Go Green In The Daintree
Believed to be one of the oldest tropical rainforests in the world, Daintree is a truly magical place. Spanning 95 km, the region starts at Mossman Gorge, (an hour's drive north of Cairns), and runs all the way to Cape Tribulation. In this epic five-day sojourn, you’ll journey into the heart of the land the Kuku Yalanji people have called home for 50,000 years, into the complex ecosystem of the forest and deserted white-sand beaches. Dreamy right? You’ll learn about hunting native plants from a First Nations guide, encounter crocodiles and colourful birds on a cruise through mangrove thickets and walk under heavy green canopy in Mossman Gorge. Gather your gang and get booking.
Whitsundays Island Explorer
Want to soak up six days of glorious sunshine on secluded palm-fringed beaches and swim in hidden waterfalls and crystal-clear waters? Of course you do. And you can do just that on Intrepid’s Whitsundays adventure. You’ll spend two nights aboard a 100-year-old Tall Ship, visiting various Whitsunday Islands and swimming directly off the boat. Highlights include witnessing a welcome to country and culture talk from a local member of the Ngaro family, hiking on South Molle Island, and having access to your own private beach on the edge of the Coral Sea. Book it here.
Taste Your Way Around Tasmania
Combining unreal rugged beauty with a burgeoning foodie scene, we’re putting a trip to Tasmania to the top of our vacay wish list. This epic, six-day tour is a foodie and nature-lovers dream mixing decadent eats with Tassie’s stunning scenery. In an intimate group you’ll discover uninterrupted UNESCO national parks, from the coastal heath and sand dunes that meet the rainforest in Tarkine to the glacier-sculpted terrain that envelops Cradle Mountain. You’ll stroll along the stunning Hazards Beach in the shadow of Freycinet’s pink peaks and by night you’ll indulge in world-class seafood in quaint coastal towns. Book this exciting adventure here.
Explore The Top End And Arnhem Land
If incredible, goosebump-inducing beauty is your thing then Intrepid’s Arnhem Land tour is where it’s at. Venture to the northernmost section of Northern Territory where the tropics meet the Outback. Think: sandstone escarpments with ancient First Nations rock art, lush national parks full of sparkling waterfalls and breathtaking waterholes. Hooked? We thought so. This five-day adventure spends ample time at Kakadu National Park, Nitmiluk National Park and Litchfield National Park and includes exclusive access to Arnhem Land. You’ll also learn about the cultural importance of these spectacular landscapes through the eyes of experienced knowledgeable locals including a local Bininj Guluyambi guide. Book it here.
Trek Tasmania’s Cradle Mountain
For the adventure seekers, you simply have to tick off Australia’s most famous trek. On this six-day trip, travellers will be guided by two expert mountain guides as they make their way through rainforest and eucalyptus groves, across alpine moors and through valleys, stopping to take in views of bright blue lakes, waterfalls and towering peaks in the distance. By night you’ll camp under a sea of stars, before waking up amongst breathtaking scenery. Best of all, they’ll take care of everything—from tickets and permits to gear hire, like packs, rainwear, sleeping bags, mats, and tents, it’s all included so you can just get busy enjoying your holiday. Book it here.
Check Out Kakadu, Katherine And Litchfield
Want to cover a whole lot of beauty in a short amount of time? Excellent, this trip is for you. Over four days you’ll head out on an outback safari, journeying to NT’s rugged Top End. Soak up local knowledge from your passionate guide as you discover the wonders (and epic swimming holes) of Kakadu National Park, be wowed by Katherine Gorge and go croc spotting in the Mary River Wetlands. But our favourite part is that you’ll spend time with the Traditional Owners of Wulna Country to learn about their culture, including bush tucker talks and didgeridoo and basket weaving demonstrations. Book this magical experience here.
4WD From Broome To Darwin
We love a good roadie and this incredible 4WD Broome to Darwin Overland tour is one of the absolute best. Over 10 days you’ll experience the wild beauty of Australia's northwest tip on this 4WD journey through the Kimberleys. A region of breathtaking scenery, rich brooding landscapes and plentiful iconic wildlife, this is a taste of Australia at its most untamed. Check out the jaw-dropping beauty of the Bungle Bungles, spot crocodiles sunning on the banks of Windjana Gorge, paddle through waterfalls and discover the gram-worthy swimming holes of El Questro and Katherine—seriously they need to be seen IRL to be believed. Head here to book.
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Image Credit: Tourism And Events Queensland, Getty, NT Tourism