What To Expect From Your Backyard Breaks In 2015

19 December 2014

As 2014 winds to a close, thoughts turn towards the promise of fresh adventures in the New Year. Come late December, our feet may be firmly planted in the present but our minds are floating off somewhere in the future.

If Tourism Australia is on the money, next year you'll likely be exploring off-road in the Outback, escaping to lesser-known islands or quiet capitals, or heading for the hinterlands.

We've pegged Palm Cove as one of our hot spots for 2015, while Adelaide, Canberra, Brisbane and regional Victoria are among the destinations that rank on Tourism Australia's radar. Oh, the places you'll go!

The nine-to-fivers among us know that annual leave is a precious commodity. Spend your days off wisely and well-planned with this guide to savouring, staying and spectating around your big backyard in 2015.

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What you'll be eating

Key trends: game meats, smoked delicacies, boutique tipples, veggie-rama

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 Sullivans Cove Whisky in its natural habitat (Image: Tourism Tasmania & Ian Jeanneret)

 

In 2014, the year of the "foodie", Australia's gastronomy scene saw an influx of superfoods, Americana-themed restaurants, and a newfound appreciation for paddock-to-plate dining.

We also played host to culinary bigwigs during Restaurant Australia, where 86 world-renowned food wizards sipped our finest wines, slurped our freshly shucked oysters and sung our praises thereafter.

"I've never seen a food explosion happen in any country in the world like what's happened here," said Heston Blumenthal, who will be expanding the palates of Aussies in 2015 at The Fat Duck in Melbourne.

A New Year means a menu of new food trends, which Tourism Australia predicts will include a healthy serving of our national emblem (kangaroo), among more gamier meats. Not game enough to order camel for your main meal? A food festival is the best choice for grazers.

There's also a good chance your protein of choice will come with a deep, fragrant smokiness. Food smokers lay almost unused in the Masterchef kitchen cupboards until 2014, where plenty of dishes "smoked" the competition.

The non-carnivorous will be pleased to hear we're not ditching the kale just yet. It will be easy to get your "2 and 5" in 2015, with veggies tipped to star across all courses – including dessert. Vegestation is the new degustation.

To drink? Tasmanian whisky kicked the scotch out of Glenlivet and Yamazaki at the World Whiskies Awards, while local craft beer brewers have been stealthily taking over the taps across the country. Long live the small batch brew!

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Where you'll be staying

Key trends: luxury camping, natural exclusivity, digs with dining, tech-savvy stays

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 The latest in Tassie luxury at Pumphouse Point (Image: Tourism Tasmania & Stu Gibson)

 

Weary travellers are expected to rest their heads in style in 2015. Art hotels continue to flourish around Australia, from Brisbane's graffiti-clad TRYP to the uber chic Hotel Hotel in Canberra.

The country's capital was also initiated into the QT Hotel family earlier this year, joining Sydney, the Gold Coast, Port Douglas and Falls Creek - all destinations that QT hotels call home.

One&Only Hayman Island leads the charge for high-end accomm with its stylishly appointed suites, villas and penthouses . Fun fact: a three bedroom penthouse will set you back a cool $10,600, plus $1,320 for helicopter transfer.


Want a new stay in the New Year?


For a stay a little closer to nature, glamping is the word on everyone's lips. Uluru's Longitude 131 in the heart of the Outback, with vistas of the red rock itself, arguably started the trend for upscale camping many years ago.

Longitude 131 has recently received a $2million facelift, making connecting with our Great Southern Land even grander. New additions to the glamping scene include the holistic Nightfall Wilderness Camp on the Gold Coast hinterland, and the modish yurts of Talo Retreat at Moama on Murray.

As of January 1, Pumphouse Point in Tasmania will add a touch of class to the already breathtaking Lake St Clair. The boutique accommodation will suit anyone who loves trekking through giant myrtle forests or a paddle out on a glacial lake, followed by a soak in a bathtub and a velvety hot chocolate.

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What you'll be seeing

Key trends: haute couture exhibitions, world-class sport, cult classics reimagined

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 You've got a place to stay and plenty of options to fill your belly, so what will you do with the rest of your holiday time? Australia's events calendar is always chock-a-block, and 2015 is no exception.

 

We'll be stepping out in style to peruse the works of fashion genius Jean Paul Gaultier at the National Gallery of Victoria, and take a peek at delicate undergarments throughout the ages at the Queensland Museum. Both events wrap up early February. There are a stack of current exhibitions around the country if you can't wait for your next art attack.

Small screen classics are set to hit the stage in 2015, including Dirty Dancing (playing in Queensland, Victoria and New South Wales), Strictly Ballroom (Victoria), and childhood classic Matilda (New South Wales).

Sports fans can roar with the crowd during the AFC Asian Cup and the Australian Open tennis tournament (both in January) and the ICC Cricket World Cup in February and March.

Better tone down the carousing for the Australian Masters Golf in November, and PGA Championship in December.

Musically speaking, home-grown songstress Kylie Minogue will be returning to our sunny shores to serenade us in March, while Ipswich outside of Brisbane is set to hoedown when CMC Rocks QLD comes to town that same month. I guess you'll just have to choose.

Ashton Rigg

When I'm not at home in Brisbane, you’ll find me wanderlusting around hipster bars, eclectic boutiques and arty nooks. From bagels in Brooklyn to strudel in Salzburg, I believe the best way to experience a destination is by taking a bite! Tweets & 'grams at @AshtonRigg