As real travel is not allowed during the coronavirus pandemic, it’s time to embrace virtual travel. And what better way to start than checking out what each state in Australia has to offer. It might even provide you with some inspiration to plan your next adventure – after all, domestic travel is likely to be allowed before international travel.
So whether you’re looking for inspiration to plan an Australian adventure or if you simply want to view something other than Netflix and the walls of your home, here are some great videos, live streams and experiences that will give you the illusion of travelling from the comfort of your couch.
Check out life under the sea and virtually snorkel the Great Barrier Reef without having to get wet. These 360-degree videos show you the spectacular views from above the reef before taking you underwater to explore. Start your journey from a secluded island or from the popular holiday destination Hamilton Island.
Alternatively, you can enjoy a complete interactive experience led by the one and only, Sir David Attenborough, who will guide you through five key locations across the reef and teach you about the wonders of marine life.
Get cultured with virtual tours of The Queensland Art Gallery & Gallery of Modern Art, Queensland Museum or Queensland Air Museum.
Distract yourself with webcam footage of the adorable koalas, dingo puppies and swimming platypus at Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary website. Or tune into SEA LIFE Sunshine Coast Aquarium’s live feeding streams to meet the seals and get up close with little blue penguins.
Take a coastal walk on the dreamy Pumpkin Island located off Queensland’s Capricorn Coast. This interactive experience lets you be the guide so you can pick and choose which parts of the island you want to see.
Soar high above Cairns with Skyrail Rainforest Cableway’s virtual tours. There are three live streams to choose from — Cairns & Coral Sea, Barron Falls and Barron Gorge — all of which offer spectacular views gliding above one of the world’s oldest rainforests.
Discover Uluru and the surrounding area with a local indigenous guide – the traditional landowners of Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park. This virtual tour, hosted by Story Spheres, combines 360-degree visuals with storytelling audio to help you learn.
Or if you really want to experience the beautiful Northern Territory with minimal effort then watch the Australian romantic comedy Top End Wedding. The story follows an engaged couple on a mission to find the bride’s mum prior to their dream wedding and it features areas including Darwin, Tiwi Islands, Kakadu, Arnhem Land and Nitmiluk/Katherine Gorge.
South Australia Tourism are making virtual travel easy with the launch of SATV, a platform with fresh virtual content and live stream events that focus on bringing South Australia to you.
Some of the experiences already available include, learning how to assemble the perfect cheese platter, learn about winemaking and cook alongside one of Adelaide’s best chefs.
Bring some adrenaline to your isolation with this virtual shark dive experience in the Eyre Peninsula. This eerie underwater footage takes you to eye level with Australia’s Great Whites.
Enjoy a relaxing virtual kayak along the Murry River and take in the sounds, sights and wildlife of South Australia’s Riverland region. See the video here.
Grab yourself a wine and make a stop in the wine-lovers region of Barossa by watching the video below that showcases all the beautiful vineyards and local wildlife.
New South Wales
Get a feel for what it is like to ferry into Sydney Harbour and virtually explore Sydney in an immersive 360-degree experience. See the city’s iconic landmarks including Circular Quay, Sydney Opera House, Sydney Harbour Bridge, Luna Park, the Royal Botanic Gardens and ANZAC War Memorial.
If you’re after a bit of adrenaline, Illawarra Fly Treetop Adventures is offering a virtual zip line tour that will take you flying through the canopy with the help of a guide. Follow their Facebook page and you might even catch one of their virtual treetop walking tours.
Watch the sunset over the famous Sydney Harbour Bridge and Sydney Opera House in a 360-degree video or explore the city’s atmosphere in the video below:
Visit the zoos and wildlife parks around NSW to brighten your mood as so many of them have begun live streams and virtual talk shows allowing you to tune in for feeding time or just get a behind-the-scenes experience. Taronga TV lets you hang out with tigers, seals, elephants and more; Mogo Wildlife park has launched a new #AskAZookeeper video diaries; Wild Life Sydney Zoo is letting you join in for crocodile feeding, quokka hangouts and kangaroo watching; and Eco Eggs farm has a live chicken cam. Check them all out here.
Do a wine tasting in the Hunter Valley. If you place an order with Ben Ean Winery you can then book a Skype date with one of the cellar door staff and enjoy a virtual wine tasting. Brokenwood has a similar offer.
Take one of six virtual tours of The Melbourne Museum where you can uncover the stories of Victoria’s history, walk through Australia’s native flora and fauna or delve into the story of our planet.
Marvel at the Twelve Apostles – a coastal national park made up of majestic limestone rocks that have gradually eroded to an impressive landform. This virtual tour gives you an aerial view of the breathtaking coast and even lets you switch between land and sea views, as well as morning and sunset.
To add to the experience, check out the 360-degree video below.
Say hello to the animals as Zoos Victoria is streaming the giraffes, lions, penguins and snow leopard cubs from Melbourne Zoo and Werribee Open Range Zoo. Check out all the streams here.
Go whale watching with Whale Watch Western Australia and witness these gentle giants in their natural habitat. So far, you can take your pick between a tour to Perth Canyon to see a family of blue whales or to Flinders Bay in Augusta to spot some Humpback whales. More videos will be uploaded in the coming weeks.
Visit Busselton Jetty located in the stunning Margaret River region. At 1.8km long, Busselton Jetty is the longest jetty in the southern hemisphere and offers wonderful views out to the ocean. Take a virtual train tour aboard the Stocker Preston Express that travels along the jetty and learn the history of the area or join marine scientists in one of their educational videos and learn about the history, marine life and ocean pollution at the Busselton Jetty. Check out all the tours here.
Explore Rottnest Island, off the coast of Perth in Western Australia, and see quokkas in their natural habitat in this 360-degree video.
If you’re into the arts, Hobart’s Museum of Old and New Art (MONA) is streaming their Tim exhibit – a man showing off his tattooed back, created by Belgian artist Wim Delvoye. Tim will be in the gallery between 10am and 4pm daily, simply sitting to display the artwork. Otherwise, tune in on Saturdays and Sundays at 1pm to hear him talk – book in here.
See the Aurora Australis – aka Australia’s version of the Northern Lights – from Mount Wellington located on the southeast coast of Tasmania. If you were there in person, it’s hard to get the right timing however this panoramic 360-degree image lets you see the starry night sky in all its glory and from all the best angles. You can also check out panoramas of Wellington Falls, Mt Wellington summit and Flinders Island.
Get a glimpse of the impressive Three Capes Track that spans across 48 km on the Tasman Peninsula and boasts some incredible clifftop views: