COVID-19 border restrictions will be scrapped in Australia as of Wednesday 6 July, so there’s no better time to explore all that our nation has to offer.
Visiting (and leaving) Australia just got a whole lot easier, thanks to the removal of COVID-19 border restrictions.
Travellers will no longer have to complete a Digital Passenger Declaration (DPD) to declare their vaccination status, and visa holders can enter the country without needing an exemption. Aussie citizens will also have an easier time returning home, making international holidays hassle-free.
But why leave? There are endless amazing things to do and destinations to explore in Australia – beyond its big cities. So be sure to add these to your travel bucket list.
Best for: quintessential Australian road trips plus hiking
Just a short drive from Melbourne, the Grampians offers scenic drives, quaint heritage towns, five-star lodges and award-winning food and wine. With its rugged sandstone mountain ranges and spectacular waterfalls, the region is tailor-made for adventure. Tackle wildflower trails and panoramic heights before unwinding with fine dining and wine tastings.
Lord Howe Island
Best for: unspoilt wildlife and wilderness
Heralded as the ‘Galápagos of Australia’, Lord Howe Island is Australia’s most exclusive destination. Home to scores of exotic fish, unspoilt beaches and untouched coral reefs, the UNESCO World Heritage-listed Island is must-visit. Spend your days hiking through subtropical rainforests and cycling beside the Tasman Sea. With only 400 visitors allowed on Lord Howe at any one time, you’ll feel as if you have the whole magical place to yourself.
Best for: eco-conscious experiences
More than half of New South Wales’ Central Coast is made up of wilderness areas, making it an ideal region for nature lovers to explore in Australia. This ECO Certified Destination boasts 42-plus beaches with uncrowded stretches of sand and renowned surf breaks. It’s also home to several national parks and a host of experiences for the eco-conscious traveller.
Murray River region
Best for: quaint riverside towns, dining and culture
The Murray is Australia’s longest river, and one of the longest navigable waterways in the world. Whether you’re hiking, drifting, paddling, dining or simply blissing-out, the Murray River region is one of the best places to explore in Australia. Expect foodie trails, farmers markets and wineries, plus a range of Indigenous cultural experiences and art.
Read more: The best things to do along the Murray River
Best for: underwater treasures and convict tales
Sitting proud in the South Pacific Ocean, Norfolk Island will take your breath away. This tiny island measures just five by eight kilometres, is smothered in Norfolk pines (naturally) and barricaded from the sea by cliffs and crystalline bays. Here, you can snorkel at picture-perfect Emily Bay, take a tour by catamaran, climb the ‘Uluru of the South Pacific’, play golf, discover Australia’s penal past and that’s just a start.
Explore Australia in style
One of the best ways to explore Australia by road. From the Coral Coast to rugged landscapes, blue-hued mountains and culinary cruises around the best vineyards, there is a road trip route in Australia to suit any taste.
Hire a car, hit the road and add these must-see Australian landmarks to you bucket list. Need some inspiration?
Where to stay
Looking for an Australian stay with a difference? Consider bunking in an affordable tiny house retreats for much-needed rest and relaxation. Australia boasts a swathe of rural getaways, ready to welcome travellers looking for that perfectly quaint eco-friendly escape.
A step up from glamping, each tiny house offers hot showers, a cosy queen bed, and a kitchenette from coastal retreats to winery getaways.
For more information on travelling to and from Australia, visit the Smart Traveller website.
Feature image © Tourism Australia
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