Top Places To Holiday In Australia In 2015

29 January 2015

It’s good news for local tourism operators and anyone wanting to explore our fascinating backyard, with destinations around Australia now more accessible than ever. Australia is a country of ever-changing events and one-of-a-kind locations that provide unforgettable travel moments.

Here are six experiences worth adding to your Australian travel list.

White Night, Melbourne

21 February

White Night Melbourne transforms the city into an all-night party zone, with more than 80 free events that celebrate music, food, film, art and light. The event has become a monumental success, attracting 300,000 people when it launched in 2013. The following year brought 500,000 into the CBD, and organisers are expecting even more this year.

White Night Melbourne runs from 7pm to 7am, but the projections and lighting works are best viewed when darkness falls from 9pm. This is one of Melbourne’s great success stories in the city’s already heaving events calendar.

White Night bridge This year organisers have expanded White Night and expect around 500 artists from Australia and overseas to participate (Photograph: Supplied by Kerry O'Brien Publicity, John Gollings/AAP Image)

Dark Mofo, Hobart

Remember when people used to make jokes about Tasmania? Not any more. The Apple Isle has transformed itself from a sleepy outpost to a top tourism destination. There are a few reasons for this, not least the MONA art gallery founder David Walsh.

Don’t miss Dark Mofo, set on Tasmania’s magnificent waterfront, which celebrates all things dark (and cold) through large-scale public art, food, music, light and noise. There is a winter feast, as well as a nude dawn winter solstice swim for those who are game.

While you are in Hobart, it is well worth taking a 30-minute drive to the nearby village of Richmond, which is home to Australia’s oldest bridge still in use (built by convict labour between 1823 and 1825). It’s the perfect place for a Devonshire tea and a spot of antiquing if the Bacchanalian festivities of Dark Mofo wear you out.

Dark Mofo The entrance to the winter feast at Dark Mofo (Photograph: Remi Chauvan/Mona)

Arnhem Land, Northern Territory

If you live in the city and it’s a change of scene you are after, something utterly removed from day-to-day life, then 2015 is the year to visit Arnhem Land. It is about the size of Victoria and is home to the Yolngu people, who have lived in the region for 60,000 years and maintain close spiritual ties to the area to this day, as seen in the traditional hunting practices, rock art and burial grounds.

This is one of the great wilderness areas of the world, and the hiking, camping, fishing and rock art tours are a stand out. Think rugged coastlines, remote islands, rivers teeming with fish, beautiful rainforests, towering escarpments and savannah woodlands.

It’s recommended travellers use a tour service if they are visiting for any extended period of time, as they will provide all the permits needed to enter Arnhem Land.

Four-year-old Gregory takes a bath in an old insecticide container at the ‘out station’ of Ngangalala, located on the outksirts of the community of Ramingining in East Arnhem Land. The Arnhem Land reserve, closer to Bali than Sydney, covers an area of around 97,000 sq kms (37,000 sq miles), has a population of around 16,000 and access for non-Aborigines is by invitation only. A child in Ramingining, East Arnhem Land. Photograph: David Gray/Reuters

More great Australian events to travel for. Plan Your 2015 Holiday Around These QLD Events

Australian holiday trends for 2015. What To Expect From Your Backyard Breaks In 2015


Faraway Bay, Western Australia

Located in the Kimberley coastal region, on a rocky hilltop overlooking the Timor Sea, Faraway Bay is a stunning resort town that can be reached only by plane (it is 280 kilometres north-west of Kununurra).

This in itself is an experience, allowing you to take in the Ord and Berkeley rivers, mangroves and rugged coastline from the air. You may even spot dugongs, sea turtles, sharks and saltwater crocs.

Once there, take a boat trip to the remarkable King George Falls or check out the ancient rock art known as the Bradshaws (discovered by Joseph Bradshaw in 1891). Virgin Australia recently started four direct, non-stop flights between Perth and Kununurra, giving travellers greater access to this remote part of the country.

Faraway Bay. Faraway Bay

Qualia Resort, Hamilton Island

There are a couple of good reasons so many tourists flock to the Whitsundays: the weather is beautiful and the beaches even more so. If you want to really splash out and indulge in a luxurious beach holiday then you can’t go past Qualia.

The Hamilton Island resort made Condé Nast Traveler’s gold list in 2014 (readers’ choice), and is the place to check in for mind-numbing luxury.

Enjoy fine dining at Long Pavilion and “dreamtime” spa treatments at Spa Qualia. The hotel website boasts of “intuitive service” and refers to a Latin translation of Qualia that means “a collection of deeper sensory experiences”. This kind of pomp, of course, is going to cost you. Put this one on the credit card, and try not to think about it.

Hamilton Island, Food and Wine, at Qualia. The Qualia resort. Photograph: Supplied

Bowral, NSW

Country towns do not get much lovelier than Bowral in the Southern Highlands of NSW. The upmarket town once served as a holiday haven for Sydney’s gentry, and the stately houses and estates still dot the outskirts of the town.

This is a food lover's heaven, a place to spend a day or two trawling through the book and antique stores, or bushwalking in the surrounding countryside. Cricket legend Donald Bradman grew up in the area, and the Bradman Oval and International Cricket Hall of Fame are a must-see.

For garden lovers, the Bowral Tulip Festival runs from the end of September until early October and allows access to some of Australia’s finest formal gardens. The Autumn Garden Festival is also held in May.

Bradman Oval, Bowral The Bradman Oval at Bowral. Photograph: Matthew Cleary

 

This article originally appeared on guardian.co.uk

This article was written by Johanna Leggatt from The Guardian and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network.

Johanna Leggatt

Johanna Leggatt is a Melbourne-based journalist and book reviewer.