By Ben Janeczko
Australian travel experiences are a favourite topic amongst the team here at Eclipse Travel. Whilst we have all travelled extensively around the world, most of our team is based in Australia and we often share our favourite travel stories and help plan each others’ local holidays. Here is a selection of our favourite Australian travel experiences for your reading pleasure:
The Overland Track, Tasmania – Anton
The Overland Track in Tasmania is one of the premier treks in Australia. It offers the opportunity to explore the rugged wilderness of Tasmania on a well established walking track with huts to stay in each night.
The walk ranges in altitude and landscapes which means that the ecosystems you walk through over the course of the trek are all unique. From huge rocky landscapes, lookouts, waterfalls, rain forest or old ranger huts you are sure to discover a lot along the way. If you are up for a multi-day trek in the Tasmanian wilderness the overland track is sure to impress.
Darwin and Litchfield National Park, NT – Blake
I’ve travelled around the world but one of the most memorable days of travel I can remember is from Darwin. We started the day in Litchfield National Park visiting the fascinating homes the termites build up to two metres high, then continued to explore various waterfalls and water holes to swim in. It was incredible to be surrounded by the red and raw beauty of the Northern Territory while swimming in a natural water park.
In the afternoon, we took a small riverboat to meet the most popular residents of the NT – the Saltwater Crocodiles – we had no idea how incredible they are until they were just inches away! We ended the day at Mindil Beach Market, watching the sunset and sampling the range of local and South-East Asian treats. Where else in the world can you have a day like that?
Freycinet National Park , Tasmania – Hamish
Freycinet National Park is just 2.5 hours from both Hobart and Launceston and home to numerous walks, camping sites, and the world-class Wineglass Bay. It is perfect for either a day visit or a relaxed longer stay. There is plenty of accommodation in and around the national park ranging from camping to luxury eco-retreats.
Freycinet National Park offers a variety of walks taking in beaches, iconic Tasmanian bush, and stunning pink granite peaks. My highlight of the park would be Wineglass Bay (rated one of the world’s best) with its stunning white sand and excellent diving and snorkeling.
Great Ocean Road, Victoria – Matt
As a parochial New South Welshman it pains me to nominate a Victorian destination as one of my favourite places in Australia… however the Great Ocean Road is truly worthy of such a title. Most people only consider the Twelve Apostles when they think of this region and whilst this dramatic part of the coastline is undoubtedly the most spectacular part of the drive, the region offers so much more.
The region is teeming with wildlife, keep your eyes on the trees and you are almost guaranteed to spot koalas, and venture off the main drag and you will find spectacular nature reserves like the Otway Ranges and the Tower Hill Wildlife Reserve where you can easily see emus, kangaroos, koalas and a variety of birdlife. Throw in some lovely coastal towns, remarkably pristine beaches, local cuisine and some enticing breweries & wineries along the way, and you have the makings for a perfect holiday destination.
Flinders Ranges, South Australia – Ben
There is something about Outback South Australia that keeps surprising you at every turn. I didn’t really know what to expect other than wide-open spaces and red dirt… but I certainly didn’t expect my visit to leave the lasting impact upon me that it did. The scenery in the region is truly remarkable – whether it’s watching emu keep up with you on the drive up from Adelaide, flying over Wilpena Pound in a light aircraft or gazing at the stars as you’ve never seen them before.
If you want to dig a little deeper and have the right guide like I did, you’ll see evidence of the Earth’s evolution dating back billions of years, get an education in astronomy and appreciate just how unique this part of the world is. Get out to see iconic Lake Eyre, explore the ancient gorges and listen to ancient wisdom from the local Aboriginal people. Whatever you choose, prepare for the most amazing hikes, bike rides, 4WD adventures and genuine Aussie characters you’re likely to meet anywhere. Make sure you stop off at the iconic Prairie Hotel in Parachilna for a proper taste of Outback lifestyle & hospitality.
Ningaloo Reef, Western Australia – Tiffany
Ningaloo on Western Australia’s Coral Coast is Australia’s largest fringing coral reef and is a World Heritage-listed area with pristine white sand beaches and a reef teeming with the most amazing variety of marine life. The great thing about the Ningaloo reef is that it is accessible within a few steps from the shoreline so you can snorkel whenever you want, as long as you like and as far as you are comfortable with.
The only time you need to get on a boat and go further afield is from March to July where Ningaloo is one of the rare places to be able to swim with Whale Sharks. If you miss Whale Shark season then you have the opportunity to go humpback whale watching and even have an underwater interaction with them if you so desire!
Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park, NT – Ben
There are so many reasons why this special part of the Red Centre is a favourite place of mine anywhere in the world. I’ve been lucky enough to visit a few times and can honestly say I’ve never seen anywhere else on Earth quite like it. There is a debate about whether Uluru or Kata Tjuta is the real star here – personally I prefer Kata Tjuta – but the real star is the people. Sitting around a campfire with local elders, hearing stories and witnessing their passion for the land, all animals and people from all over the world is a truly humbling experience.
There are so many options for sunrise & sunset viewing over the spectacular landscape here that you really can’t go wrong. The changing colours you witness will certainly fill your memory card as you keep snapping away in amazement. There are great opportunities for walking – best done with an Aboriginal guide to get the most out of the experience. My favourite is the Valley of the Winds walk where you get to navigate through the ‘many heads’ that give Kata Tjuta its name.
Karijini National Park, Western Australia – Tiffany
Located in the centre of Western Australia, Karijini National Park is not the easiest destination to get to but well worth the effort. Formed over 2 billion years, Karijini is home to breathtaking gorges, rock formations, waterfalls and freshwater swimming holes.
There are numerous hiking trails from easy lookouts to the more adventurous requiring a bit of rock climbing and swimming through walkways to get to the other side. However, even on the most difficult trails, all ages are capable as long as you take your time and have an adventurous spirit to explore the hidden gems that the gorges are hiding away from sight.
Fraser Island, Queensland – Lenka
What a special and unique place Fraser Island is! The largest sand island in the world has crystal clear lakes, rainforest, beaches, impressive cliffs and lookouts, it’s simply nature’s paradise.
My favourite was swimming in all different swimming spots: Lake McKenzie, Champagne Pools and Eli Creek where you can just float down the creek. The scenic flight over the island added another wow factor, as you get a great perspective of the size of the island and the incredible diversity.
Rottnest Island, Western Australia – Camilla
Rottnest Island sits around 20kms off the coast from Perth and is what I consider to be one of the most beautiful places in Australia – it was made famous recently on social media by the Quokka which freely roam the island. It is accessible only by boat or light aircraft and is the perfect day trip from WA’s capital city, however there are a few accommodation options for people who wish to spend longer there.
Transport on the island is limited – the best way to get around is to hire a bike and cycle your way from one pristine beach to the next, although there is a shuttle bus that transports people to various points around the island. Rottnest is one of the most naturally beautiful places in Australia that I have been lucky enough to visit numerous times, with its crystal clear waters perfect for swimming and snorkelling, it’s secluded white sandy beaches and the laidback, island vibe, it is an absolute must-do when visiting South WA.
Blue Mountains, New South Wales – Kannika
My favourite touristic place in Australia is the Blue Mountains. I enjoy going on a nice hike and searching for the waterfalls, and the Blue Mountains is a great place for this. I have seen some of the most amazing waterfalls here and two of my favourite waterfalls would be the Sylvia Falls and the Express Falls.
Apart from hiking, I like to visit the Blue Mountains during Autumn for the stunning burst of autumn colours. Plus, this place has one of the nicest sunrises and sunsets I have come across.
Sydney, New South Wales – Mauricio
Take a walk through the Botanical Gardens, grab an ice cream on the way to the Opera House and take a ferry to Manly while relaxing with a beer admiring the stunning Sydney Harbour Bridge. Sydney is known for its beautiful beaches, clear sunny skies and panoramic views but there is so much more than that!
Multiculturalism is a great feature of Sydney. It is shown on its people from many different backgrounds around the world and its food. Foodies can enjoy delicious Thai, Vietnamese, Italian, Lebanese, Indian and many more food styles. For the sports fans, festival and theatre aficionados and concert-goers, Sydney will never disappoint. From Rugby games to the latest theatre plays and music legend performances, there is something for everyone. So come on and enjoy this beautiful city I like to call home and stay longer to explore the great land down under!We hope this has given you an insight into some of our favourite experiences – please contact us if you would like any more information as we would love to help you plan your Australian Adventure of a Lifetime.