New research shows Australians absolutely love to travel domestically, with NSW, Qld and Vic coming out on top. Discover the best places to go here.
It's no secret we Aussies love to travel. You may be surprised, however, at just how much we spend on these jet set getaways over the course of the year.
In the year ending 2013, we spent a whopping $51.5 billion on overnight domestic travel. That means all those little weekend jaunts to the beach and cross-country trips are adding up to pump money back into our economy - plus you get to go somewhere new and take time off!
The majority of this domestic overnight travel took place in New South Wales, Victoria and Queensland, accounting for just over three quarters of all visitor nights. The popularity of these states is unsurprising, given there are so many exquisite holiday destinations in them. Take a look at just three of our favourites.
Port Macquarie, NSW
Nature lovers will find themselves completely at ease in Port Macquarie. Head to the town's historic cemetery at Kooloonbung Creek Nature Park to soak up a bit of the past, then hit the boardwalk and tracks that wind through 52 hectares native bush land. Don't miss Sea Acres National Park, which is one of NSW's largest, most diverse and least disturbed coastal rainforests.
The Hastings River, Pacific Ocean and various canals, creeks and bays surround Port Macquarie, with exquisite beaches stretching the length of the area. Take advantage of these water features and go on a cruise to see dolphins or whales frolicking in the water.
Port Macquarie is also home to NSW's only koala hospital, and a visit here will absolutely warm your heart.
Noosa is a real gem in Queensland's crown, with the rich and famous making it their playground amongst a loyal crowd of locals. It's got lush flora, warm weather and enough culture to charm you into staying a while, making it the perfect addition to your Queensland holiday. Stop in to a spa for a luxury treatment or take a more active approach with a kite surfing or mountain biking excursion. You can even join a horse riding expedition down Noosa beach, or hop aboard a cruise through the stunning waterways.
The accommodation options here are particularly special, with everything from luxurious high-end holiday houses through to caravans and backpacker facilities, there's something to suit every budget and travel group.
Foodies will love exploring the many bars and restaurants serving up fresh produce and tasty treats in Noosa, including the highly acclaimed Noosa Beach House Peter Kuruvita and beachfront dining at Sails Restaurant.
Yarra Valley, Victoria
Located an hour's drive from Melbourne, the Yarra Valley feels like a world of its own. It's home to more than 80 wineries just waiting for you to stop by and have a sip on some Shiraz or Pinot Noir, savouring the flavour as you learn about the history of Victoria's first planted wine region.
It's not just wine that will delight your sense here. The Yarra Valley is also known for its freshwater salmon, trout, caviar, organically grown fruit and vegetables and handmade cheese and preserves. It pays to arrive hungry!
Beer drinkers won't feel left out here, as the area has a long history of making premium craft brews that will leave you thirsty for more. Many micro-breweries welcome visitors to sample their beers and ciders. Alternatively, take in a touch of culture as you explore Australia's oldest artist's colony, visiting the galleries and studios of creative individuals.
Healesville Sanctuary is the best place to go if you want up close and personal encounters with birds of prey, dingoes, koalas, kangaroos and wombats.