Adventure

5 Aussie Vacay Spots That’ll Make You Forget You Can’t Spend Uni Break Overseas This Year

It’s been an extremely long, difficult year. For those of us wrapping up another year of studies, the lifting of interstate border restrictions has coincided perfectly with the arrival of summer break.

With international borders closed for the foreseeable future, and countries across the world still deep in the throes of COVID, we’ll be forsaking some of our favourite worldwide travel destinations this year.

But, we live in Australia. Almost all of the things we search for overseas can be found in our very own backyard, and then some. There’s an entire continent to explore.

This year has been tough on regional areas, and the tourism and hospitality industry — meaning this summer is the perfect opportunity to redirect your resources. Invest in the wider community, and you will receive unforgettable experiences in return.

Don’t know where to start? Pining for Kuta Beach? Aren’t we all. To make things a little easier, and help you forget all about those international holidays you missed out on, we’ve gone ahead and brought you a selection of all the must-see Aussie alternatives to your typical overseas go-tos.

If You Were Travelling To: The Mediterranean

If you’re like me, and it’s the crystalline waters of the Med which taunt you in your dreams, might I offer the inimitable Sapphire Coast as a homegrown alternative. Nestled on the south coast of New South Wales, the picturesque towns from Eden to Bermagui offer a slice of paradise, complete with white sandy beaches, tranquil lagoons and sheltered bays.

Sparkling, temperate water? Check. Bountiful fresh seafood? Absolutely. Plus, the nearby Bega Valley has all the cheese and wine to match. Southern European fantasy complete? Definitely.

If you seek more than stunning views and hedonistic delights, there’s also plenty of exploring to be had, with kilometres of serene coastline nestled against multiple national parks. What more could you need?

If You Were Travelling To: USA

 

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The vast scope of North America makes it challenging to pin down an Aussie alternative. For the sake of this venture, let’s look at the West Coast, California to be precise. We’re talking great surf, fine dining, wine country, craft breweries and a laid-back energy. Where could we possibly find all that in Australia?

While those descriptors apply to many parts of this southern land, Margaret River literally has it all. Just far enough from Perth to retain its quiet atmosphere, yet close enough to be accessible, summertime is the perfect time to visit this famous wine region.

In between wine tours, make sure to visit the numerous sheltered bays, rock formations and surf hotspots along the coast. Point Piquet and Meelup bay offer you a dose of turquoise lapping waters, the kind which somehow seem to make everything in the world right once more. Margaret river is your answer to the Napa Valley, so don’t let me catch you pining for the Cali experience again.

If You Were Travelling To: Bali

 

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Craving the humidity of an island escape? With its lush, tropical rainforests, awe-inspiring beaches and untouched coastline, Far North Queensland is the getaway you’ve been daydreaming about.

While the summer months from December to March are the wet season, the rain does its part to keep the temperature under 30ºC, the flora at its greenest and the waterfalls at their fullest. Mangoes, papayas and lychees are in peak season, as are the wildlife which come out to feast.

It’s all happening just an hour or so north of Cairns, where the Daintree Rainforest, the Cassowary Coast and Atherton Tablelands await exploration. You’ll find secluded oases amongst the dense green foliage, perfect for a cool-off when things get a bit heated.

With travel and accommodation options ranging from budget to luxury, myriad adventure sport activities and plenty of natural attractions to visit, you won’t be missing Kuta Beach any time soon.

If You Were Travelling To: Northern Europe

 

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Tasmania may be small, but it’s Australia’s answer to the sprawling landscapes, excellent cuisine and rich culture you would find in Northern Europe. There’s an abundance of locales to choose from, depending on what you’re into.

Of course, super-cool Hobart is home to Tassie’s world famous arts and dining scene. MONA and Salamanca Markets are a given on any visit, and then there’s a plethora of cosy produce-focused restaurants to visit, like Templo and Fico.

In pursuit of stunning natural scenery? Check out the Bay of Fires, Freycinet National Park and the tranquil village of St Helens on the island’s north-east coast. Down south, Bruny Island is a beautiful getaway complete with penguins. There you can sample the delights of local produce, including – but never limited to – oysters, honey, whisky, beer and cheese. Spend any time in this part of the country and you’ll soon be asking, “Europe who?”

If You Were Travelling To: East Africa

 

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Australia’s outback is comparable to the national parks of East Africa, with wildlife, varying landscapes and breathtaking sights to match.

Kakadu National Park seems like the kind of trip you enviously hear about from retired relatives, but why shouldn’t the rugged beauty of Australia’s Top End be the highlight of your uni break trip? Weird times call for drastic adventure, and drastic adventure calls for a young pair of legs. Plus, Parks Australia is currently waiving the park entry fee.

Make sure you hire a local guide, take a cultural tour and spend your money at Indigenous businesses. So long as you’re not travelling from a declared COVID-19 hotspot and you’re following health rules and guidelines, why wouldn’t you do Kakadu?

(Lead Image: Tourism and Events Queensland)