It's the hidden gems that are worth hunting for! Here are Australia's most stunning and lesser-known getaway destinations of 2017.
Do you ever have those moments when you realise you need a break, but you're bored of your usual go-to places on the well-trodden tourist tracks?
Then it's time to find some new hot spots! And better still, make sure your next holiday location is unknown to most travellers. Here are my top 5 hidden gems to consider.
1. Bellingen, NSW
This isn't so much a destination town as an entire community of like-minded hippies, living within the valleys and riverways surrounding Bellingen itself. After a quick exploration of the town, shops and cafes (preferably visit on the monthly market day which is a hive of art, music, craft, food stalls, eccentric locals, barefoot kids and sunshine), you then need to take a short drive across the bridge to the north side of town and follow the signs to The Promised Land.
I promise you, this is a drive that will touch your soul. Seek out the Never Never Creek and take yourself a little picnic and some lilos to float gently downstream on. There are an abundance of spectacular new bed and breakfast options nearby that have embraced the beauty of the landscape.
2. Lennox Head, NSW
Undecided between a NSW or Queensland seaside holiday? After a cool little surfie town but without the chaos of Byron Bay? Dead keen on catching a few quality waves but without the territorial wave riders of Surfers Paradise? Two words… Lennox Head. Known to the locals simply as Lennox, this is a seaside village in the Northern Rivers region between Byron Bay and Ballina and is secretly known to surfers for having one of the best right-hand point breaks in the world.
The intimate township has maintained the old-school charm of a summer holiday village and with less than 10,000 residents the summer holiday parks are never over crowded. But the best kept secret within this secret spot? It’s the naturally tea-tree scented Lake Ainsworth that is long thought to have recuperative powers due to the therapeutic oils that thrive here. This is a quality step back into how summer holidays used to be! Bring your board, your push bike and your Walkman but don’t even think about wearing any white bathers in that lake!
3. Launceston, TAS
Step one, get yourself to Launceston. Step two, master the art of saying the town correctly – it’ll make or break your trip! Despite the spelling, forget 'Lawn'. From now on, you say 'Lonn'. So, welcome to 'Lonny'. In a world where we crave quiet and we take breaks to escape the noise, it’s hard to find a place better for this than Lonny, the gateway to Tasmania’s north.
But while Lonny is quiet and graceful, she is far from dull. A thriving food and wine district pulses along the wine trail (awarded Australia’s coolest mind you!) and throughout every season of the year the city hosts cultural events that capture the very best the region has to offer. Be it sporting events, harvest markets, fireworks displays or mountain bike trails, this is the secret of Tasmania that is guaranteed to open your eyes while keeping you rested at the same time! Now that’s a great break.
4. Bundeena, NSW
Never heard of it? Good. This place needs to be kept as secret as possible. Hidden within the Royal National Park around 45 minutes drive South of Sydney, Bundeena is like an oasis of cute coastal town, surrounded by lush forest and tiny beach bays.
The accommodation options in Bundeena are straight out of a 1960s fishing village magazine and let's pray they always stay that way! Every house has an incredible view over the harbour waters and you're a hop and a step away from magical bushwalks, private little romantic beaches, waterfalls, and just quietly, some of the best fish and chips you'll find all year!
5. Adelaide, SA
Stop laughing! You read that right, and I'm deadly serious! Adelaide has taken the holiday-maker scene by storm! There are new kids in town in terms of modern hotels, fine dining restaurants and rooftop bars overlooking the city. Sourcing (let's be honest) some of the best wines in the world from the local Barossa and Adelaide Hills wineries, paired with succulent local lamb and fresh seafood, Adelaide is sitting on a very pretty pozzie indeed.
Rundle Mall is fashion forward these days and taking some fun new risks, perhaps sick of being laughed at by the more famous capital cities of the country. And if you want to take in a bit of fresh air while you're in the southern bite, then it's super easy to duck across to Kangaroo Island for a whole other perspective too.
So the next time you're about to select "book it" on your usual holiday, remember that the point of a trip away is to change your perspective, to experience something outside your box and to open your mind to the unknown. The joy you'll feel at discovering something new and then finding out you're the only ones there is worth it's weight in gold.
So go forth and seek out those hidden gems!
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