The Best Summer Getaways In Every Australian State
Get amongst the awe-inspiring spots in Australia's backyard.
Longer days, rising temperatures – you’ve still got plenty of time to get amongst some of the awe-inspiring spots in your Australian backyard.
State by state, we’ve narrowed down a few amazing summer getaways to help make it a spectacular one.
Qld: The Daintree Rainforest
Go here because: It’s ancient and it’s awesome.
Top of the list of amazing things that you forget are there is Queensland’s Daintree Rainforest, the largest continuous cluster of rainforest in the country and the oldest rainforest in the world.
This is 1200 square kilometres of pure, unadulterated tropical goodness, featuring incredible scenery, sweeping mountain ranges, streams, waterfalls, gorges and some of the most complex flora and fauna in the world, including the rather unfairly named “idiot fruit” – Idiospermum australiense – one of the rarest and most ancient surviving flowers on the planet.
SA: Fleurieu Peninsula
Go here because: Beautiful beaches and even better wine.
For a winemaking state, replete with magical coastlines and glorious inland landscapes, South Australia is good at keeping secrets. While the Barossa region and the Clare Valley draw their share of the domestic and international throngs, the southern Fleurieu Peninsula – which is home to the world-class McLaren Vale wine region (and an equally stunning stretch of golden coastline) – flies well and truly under the tourist radar.
An hour’s drive from Adelaide will deliver you to over 120 cellar doors, with plenty of wine ripe for the tasting, with beach towns like Normanville, the eerie inlet Rapid Bay, and Cape Jervis – which is just across the way from Kangaroo Island – all effortlessly accessible.
For an extended jaunt, head to the peninsula’s south-western edge to colonial Victor Harbour – all in all, it’s a killer summertime day out, long weekend, or a relaxing holiday break.
NSW/ACT: Snowy Mountains
Go here because: It’s a year-round outdoor wonderland.
On the face of it, you might think the Snowies make for a dud summer destination, what with the inherent lack of snow and scorching temps. Here’s where you’re mistaken: year-round, the Snowies have it going on.
With world-class fishing, hiking, swimming, kayaking, water skiing, and some of the country’s most epic mountain biking, the Snowies remain a summer outdoor wonderland. Hit up Mt Kosciuszko and tick Australia’s most prominent peak off your bucket list.
Vic: Wilson’s Prom
Go here because: It’s heaven on earth.
Just a two-hour drive from the Melbourne CBD, Wilson’s Promontory National Park has a reputation for being one of the most celebrated coastal nooks in Victoria, and for good reason: the place is the definition of spectacular.
Pristine Squeaky Beach is an unfailing, year-round Insta-gasm, while the region’s choice of day and overnight hikes, notably Lilly Pilly Gully and Mount Oberon, are some of the most inspiring in the country.
The only downer is that the Prom’s swarming with campers in the warmer months. Our advice? Get in as early as you can and stake your claim.
WA: Margaret River
Go here because: Stalagmites, stalactites, surfing and wine.
Margaret River is a fine choice for a Perth-based getaway: it’s just three short hours from the big smoke and is one of the most diverse hotspots in Western Australia. Whether your bag is hiking, surfing, wine swilling, lighthouse or cave swooning, Margaret River has everyone covered.
The 135km Cape-to-Cape track over the Leeuwin-Naturaliste Ridge is as wild as it gets, the waves along Prevelly Beach are nothing short of world-class, and the 150 limestone caves, including the aptly titled Mammoth Cave, will plunge your jaw to the jagged floor.
Oh yeah, and did we mention wine? Sporting over 200 grape growers and producers, the vino is primo and ready for quaffing.
Go here because: It’s remote and it’s spectacular.
The brochure says it’s “where the outback meets the tropics”, and it ain’t lying. Expect a wild mix of adventure, relaxation, and a riveting taste of the great ancient Australian outdoors in Katherine. Situated 320km south of Darwin, stretching from Dunmarra in the south to the Daly River region in the north, to say Katherine is remote is a hefty understatement.
The town itself is replete with top museums and Indigenous art galleries, while the hinterland offers an array of amazing sights unique to this region alone: the incredible Cutta Cutta limestone caves, the relaxing Mataranka Thermal Pools and Bitter Springs, and the awe-inspiring forests, waterfalls and cliffs of Nitmiluk (Katherine Gorge) National Park.
Consider taking The Ghan railway there if you happen to be heading up from South Australia. Mind the crocs, and get amongst the expanse.
Tas: South Coast Track
Go here because: You like to hike.
Tasmania’s South Coast Track is not for the faint of heart (or calf muscle). Six to eight days of turbo-rugged on-foot trekking from Melaleuca to Cockle Creek, it’s one of Australia’s most challenging and isolated rural bush hikes.
The benefits, however, are something else entirely: the inspiring vistas of New Harbour and New River Lagoon, the untainted air, the sense of untouched natural wonder and isolation.
The cold, wet southerly winds can be a doozy, and the track itself – depending on conditions – can be muddy and arduous, but nothing will make you feel more alive than a stint along the wild Tasmania south.
(Lead image: Steve Bittinger)