Covid-19 has kept leisure travellers firmly behind territorial lines for far too long. However, the success of some countries' efforts in combating the virus means that leisure travel may well be on the horizon! With Singapore and Australia considering a travel bubble to allow residents to travel quarantine-free between the two countries, it’s not too early to start planning that much needed great escape.
For us, we can think of plenty of reasons why Australia is reigning on our travel list. Because of its proximity to Singapore, it’s far enough to be considered a “long-haul” vacation, but near enough for peace of mind. The great weather (breezy and sunny) or #sweaterweather that people so loved can both be found in Down Under. Best of all, the country is welcoming to tourists and has definitely not rested on their laurels when it comes to attractions. Speaking of which, these new attractions and tours definitely need to be on the radar!
1. Ultimate Climb by BridgeClimb, Sydney
This climb is a great place to apply the adage “go big or go home”. Located in Sydney, the Harbour Bridge is as iconic as it can get when it comes to world-famous landmarks. There are four packages you can choose from, but the new ultimate climbing package allows you to conquer the entire Bridge from South to North, and back again. Before this, BridgeClimbers could only scale the South side of the Bridge to reach the summit.
2. Light to Light Walking Track, South Coast, New South Wales
If the idea of trekking from lighthouse to lighthouse inspires the romantic in you, this particular walk in New South Wales features stunning views – from heathland to forest, tea tree groves to banksia woodlands, and sheltered coves to towering red-rock platforms. If you’re lucky, you may even spot seals, seabirds and whales! Begin the adventure from Sydney by driving south towards Boydtown Beach Holiday Park — a roughly 480km drive through coastal towns, plenty of photo stops and food points.
3. Gay’Wu - The Dilly Bag Tour for Women, East Arnhem Land, Northern Territory
Get to the wild and mysterious land of East Arnhem Land via daily flights from Darwin or Cairns. You’ll land in the Nhulunbuy airport, also known as Gove, the entryway into the culture of the area’s Aboriginal inhabitants. Join hands with your sisters and embark on the Dilly Bag tour. Named after a traditional Australian Aboriginal bag woven from plant fibres (dillybag), this women-only tour allows you to experience Yolŋu philosophy and kinship, weaving, painting, astrology, healing ceremony, crying ceremony (Nathi), cooking and bush medicine, dancing, gathering oysters or mud crabs and more, depending on the seasons.
4. Cradle Mountain with Premier Travel, Tasmania
Spot wombats, marvel at glacier lakes, watch the stars, experience Australia’s bush-walking and more with private guided tours such as Premier Travel, who’ll take you through the World Heritage-listed Cradle Mountain. There is plenty of history and magic in the previously seemingly-barren land, and more than enough tour options for you to fully experience Tassie.
5. RISING Winter Festival, Melbourne
Why limit art to within a museum space? The RISING festival starts this year, featuring 750 Victorian artists and their interpretations of identity, labour, life cycles, the environment and technology with installations and huge projections all around the city of Melbourne. This new festival is an amalgamation of the Melbourne International Arts Festival and White Night, offering visitors a spectacular experience.
6. Museum of Underwater Art, Townsville
Check both scuba-diving and quirky museums off your list as you descend into the only underwater art museum in the Southern Hemisphere. The Museum of Underwater Art (MOUA) located in Queensland was created to inspire reef conservation, restoration and education globally.
7. Four Winds Gin, Canberra
After the 2019/20 bushfires affected her family vineyard, Sarah Collingwood from Four Winds turned smoke-tainted grapes into gin. In a collaboration with The Canberra Distillery, Sarah and her family have been able to recycle their smoke-tainted grapes into a completely new and delicious product. Cheers to that!
8. Fraser Island Hiking, Fraser Island
Fraser Island (K’Gari) is known for its four-wheel-drive adventures, but do you know that there’s a lesser-travelled route of foot travel that’ll take you through the landscapes of the world’s largest sand island? The Fraser Island Great Walk stretches for 90km through coastal wallum, woodlands and subtropical rainforest. Brand new tour offerings include guided small group and self-guided tours, Fraser Island Hiking, and luxury package across 2-, 3- and 4-day itineraries.
9. Wildflower Tour, Western Australia
For all the insta-worthy moments you’ve missed last year, there’s more than enough destination in Australia to make up for it, with locations such as the dazzling wildflower fields in Western Australia. See for yourself! These particular images are from an upcoming tour AAT Kings is launching in Sep 2021.
10. Exceptional Kangaroo Island, Kangaroo Island
They call it Kangaroo Island, but this third-largest island off the coast of mainland Australia holds more than just kangaroos, with sea lions, koalas, birds, penguin colonies, coastal rocks shaped naturally into artlike formations — all packed into an incredible eco-tourism experience you must have in your lifetime. Get the most out of your visit via Exceptional Kangaroo Island tours, as they curate and guide your visits to spectacular remote locations, as you learn about the rich history, ecology and lifestyle of Kangaroo Island.
11. Sky Pods, Great Ocean Road
Looking like something straight out of a travel inspiration board, these sky pods have been designed with environmental sustainability at their core. Solar-powered, and blessed by sweeping views of the Southern Ocean, the Sky Pod is a luxurious hideaway that fulfils modern comforts with a minimal carbon footprint. Stay for a couple of days so you can explore the area around the pods, and deepen your appreciation of the beloved Great Ocean Road.
12. Cruise through South Australia, with Coral Expeditions
The Coral Expeditions cruise will bring travellers through the stunning South Australian coastline on a new 10-day round-trip voyage. Get the chance to explore and hike South Australia’s wild islands with forested National Parks, which give way to wave-carved cliffs and sweeping white-sand beaches. If you choose to, embark on guided trekking excursions through coastal nature trails and rugged island outlooks where guests will be rewarded with sweeping ocean vistas.
Australia is such a vast, beautiful place. Here’s hoping for the Singapore-Australia bubble to proceed so we may experience natural wonders and marvellous experiences again. Meanwhile, stay safe! Click here for more ideas to help you plan your next Australian getaway.
This content was produced in partnership with Tourism Australia.