13 Apr 2022
Need an excuse to make the most of the looong weekend?
Just a few days annual leave gets you a ten day break! Go on, you know you want to - try these underrated locations on for size. It's not too late to book a stay with those extra days off!
The Sapphire Coast, NSW
Halfway between Sydney and Melbourne on the Grand Pacific touring route, New South Wales’ Sapphire Coast is a holiday treasure trove.
Officially stretching from the coastal town of Eden in the south to Bermagui 100 kilometres north, there is an endless array of cute coastal nooks and quaint country towns to entertain any growing family or group of friends.
Explore wild bays, secluded beaches and pristine national parks, then walk among towering forests and vast country paddocks.
Things to see and do on the Sapphire Coast
Ben Boyd National Park
One of Australia’s most stunning national parks, Ben Boyd features rocky coastline and pristine beaches.
It is also rich with Indigenous and colonial history and full of amazing wildlife. Learn about the relationship between the Thaua people and the wild orca, then discover trails, shoreline and whale-watching spots!
Kiah Wilderness Kayak Tours
Glide down the Kiah aka the Towamba River, with experienced guides and locals of the Sapphire Coast.
Brimming with bird and fish life, choose from a half or full day tour and customise every element of your family kayaking quest!
Merimbula Aquarium & Wharf Restaurant
Open from 10am, come and see the great theatre of the deep! This 70,000 litre oceanarium is a stand-out with 28 tanks featuring local and tropical marine life of all kinds.
Feeding time is a great time to visit with loads of action. The Merimbula Aquarium & Wharf Restaurant is also a great place to enjoy lunch or dinner.
Magic Mountain Merimbula
Just down the road in Pambula, this family-friendly theme park is the place to go to feel the thrill of the rollercoaster, rush down a toboggan, bounce on a jumping castle and more.
Nagambie Lakes, VIC
Well-known by Victorians as a place to indulge their favourite watersports and go fishing for days on end, Nagambie is also a favourite spot to explore world-class wineries, get lost in mother nature and gather the family on the banks of the Goulburn River.
With multiple boat ramps accessible all-year-round, it’s easy to transform your life on the water.
And what goes with fresh fish? Wine, of course. Perhaps a Riesling, perhaps something else, the good thing about Nagambie is that there's plenty of choice, so you CAN afford to be fussy.
Things to see and do in Nagambie Lakes
Fish for your supper!
Well established amongst keen anglers as a reliable spot for Golden Perch, Trout and Redfin, we recommend preparing your campfire story early, because you’re going to have some tales!
Speaking of which, Go Fish Nagambie is already Australia's richest fishing competition, so why not get the lowdown from the locals and sign up?
Visit a winery dah-ling!
As part of the Goulburn Valley Wine Region, Nagambie’s soils have been producing some of Australia’s best wine since Tahbilk Winery was founded here in 1860, and any tour should include this slice of history.
Mitchelton Winery is also nearby and frequently plays host to food and wine festivals that are too good to be missed.
Waste time on the water
If you’re feeling fit, why not give rowing a go?
The Nagambie Rowing Club at the Nagambie Regatta Centre might be the perfect place to start, and often plays host to some of Australia’s most prestigious competitions. You could even meet an Olympian!
If that sounds like hard work, relax, The Goulburn Explorer takes you on a picturesque cruise of the one of the most abundant and diverse waterways in Victoria.
Meet craft beer legends
Few venues encapsulate the spirit of Nagambie like this little beauty.
Nagambie Brewery & Distillery gets to the heart of matters by offering spectacular views of the lake, a menu of handmade beers, small-batch gins and heartwarming gastro fare.
Split level decks provide the perfect post-beer vantage point to while away your day on the water.
With over 3 million hectares of protected spaces, Tasmania is a nature lover's paradise.
This makes it a top-class destination for those wanting to escape the stress of modern living, but doesn't mean it's short on sophistication!
Before you explore the Apple Isle’s growing food and wine scene (yes, the beer, wine and cheese is amazing), picture yourself in Tasmania’s off-the-charts national parks!
Walking among forest giants, meditating by waterfalls, or getting close to wombats and Tassie devils, you can see why the heart-shaped holiday spot has surged in popularity in recent years.
And because Tasmania is easy enough to get around, you don’t have to limit yourself to one spot.
From Launceston in the northeast, gateway to the famous Tamar Valley, to Hobart in the south, home to some of Australia’s best breweries - not to mention Cradle Mountain, one of the world’s most visually striking walks - you can’t lose!
Things to see and do in Tasmania
Find a cure for a thirst that can’t be quenched!
From dark, caramel notes to crisp summer ales, you'll find the beer for you in Tassie - or at least die trying!
While there are around 20 breweries across the state, the old capital of Hobart is the best place to start. Home to the likes of Cascade, Shambles and Hobart Brewing Company, all your craft beer dreams can come true in Australia’s oldest capital!
Stare at a picture postcard image and realise it's real!
Look at this picture. Look at it!
It's easy to forget that Tasmania is mostly wild. Mount Field National Park is a magical escape into a world full of fairies and woodland creatures that’s an easy day trip from Hobart.
Be inspired by forest eucalyptus or write your first novel by cascading waterfalls. You won’t regret the time you took to be here, even if your writing stinks!
Discover the best Food & Wine in Australia
If you love your food and picturesque places to enjoy it, you should pack your bags immediately and head to Tasmania!
The whole island offers a smorgasboard of gastronomic delights at a wide range of eateries, gastropubs and restaurants everywhere. Check out this guide we wrote last year - it was pretty popular!
Get active lazy bones!
The hype is real. Tasmania’s exploding reputation as one of Australia’s peak MTB destinations is well earned, and one park sums it up nicely: Blue Derby Mountain Bike Trails.
Whatever the secret sauce is, Blue Derby is a gift from the MTB gods!
Situated in the north-eastern corner of Tasmania, there are 24 trails to ride from 'green' to 'double black' (and no, that's not a type of coffee). The Atlas and Blue Tier trails are crowd favourites, charming riders with views to the coast, trickling streams and boulder roller coasters.
For newcomers to the sport especially, this park might just change your life. As will this piece about the 12 Gnarliest MTB Parks in Australia!
It doesn’t get much more unique than Australia’s Pilbara region.
Got a few extra days up your sleeve? Get out and explore this amazing part of Western Australia. Not only is it at the gateway to the Kimberley, it puts you close to some of Australia’s most incredible and diverse coastline, national parks and Indigenous culture.
Any review of the Pilbara is sure to include the word “unforgettable.” Port Hedland is one of the region's population centres and a great base for outdoor adventures, from off-road driving to coastal walks and endless fishing hot spots.
Perfect for getting the boat out, crabbing and whale watching during the season, you can even take a BHP Billiton Iron Ore Tour or sign up for a Reef Walk to discover Port Hedland’s rich ecosystem. The unique ‘Staircase to the Moon’ phenomenon is another must-see.
As an important stop on the famous Warlu Way, a 3,000 km serpentine network of sealed and unsealed roads, the Pilbara is strongly influenced by the Dreamtime stories of our Aboriginal elders.
Things to see and do in the Pilbara
Be surprised by Pilbara Street Art
Beginning in 2011 with the first collaboration by local Western Australian collective Last Chance Studios, the Pilbara has often played host to world-class artists making their mark on the visual landscape.
Explore the historic West End of Port Hedland and discover contemporary street art in the laneways and on buildings. Completed by artists such as Yok & Sheryo, Tim Rollins, Saner, Hayley Welsh and Beastman and Vans the Omega, the whole thing is an unexpected vibe.
Recall the history of Port Hedland
Tracing the local cultural heritage of this most unusual town, this rather excellent bus tour follows the footsteps of the first European settlers in the town’s colonial heritage sites.
Led by local historian and life-long resident Julie Arif, the tour offers the opportunity to discover the human face of a town far-more diverse than it may first appear. From the commemorative lookout honouring the sinking of the SS Koombana more than one hundred years ago to the multi-cultural heritage and Indigenous ancestry, there's plenty to see and do.
Tour the largest iron ore port in the world
No trip to the Pilbara would be complete without hopping on a guided tour of BHP Billiton Iron Ore’s Nelson Point facility.
Watch the bucket wheel reclaimers and ship loaders that dominate Port Hedland’s horizon and gain an understanding of how the mining industry works.
Covering a complex and integrated system of seven inland mining operations, more than 1,000km of rail, stockyards and two separate port facilities, this tour is highly informative and extremely popular.
Engage with Indigenous Culture on the Warlu Way
Taking travellers on a serpentine journey from Exmouth to Broome via Onslow, Tom Price, Port Hedland and Karratha, the Warlu Way is said to follow the path of a giant Dreamtime snake called Warlu.
Consisting of several of Western Australia's most breathtaking national parks, Karijini National Park is considered the jewel in the Pilbara crown.
Whyalla Foreshore, SA
An underated destination on South Austalia's pristine Eyre Peninsula, Whyalla punches well above its weight in terms of holiday spots that don't get the recognition they deserve!
With an average of 300 days of sunshine per year, South Australia’s third largest city features abundant green space and uninterrupted views of beautiful Spencer Gulf.
Close to family-friendly swimming beaches and excellent fishing spots, Whyalla is known as Australia’s snapper capital!
Things to see and do in Whyalla
Dominate the Spencer Gulf on a Fishing Charter
A number of different charter boats are available from Whyalla. While its highly recommended that you book as soon as possible, that doesn't mean you won't find something to suit your ocean-fishing ambitions!
Whyalla Fishing Charters offer the city's most experienced crew, top quality boats and the best equipment for a full or half day experience on the crystal clear water of the Spencer Gulf. They'll even provide the bait!
Meet the Dolphins!
Whyalla has its very own population of friendly dolphins you can swim with! They even have a facebook page.
Following fishing boats into the marina for food scraps, there are several stries of some of these beautiful mammals forming personal bonds with Whyalla locals.
You can normally find them at the boat ramp and they aren't afraid to come up for a chat. Amazing!
Harden up on the Whyalla Steelworks Tour
Learn the stories and see behind the scenes of more than 100 years of Australian iron and steelmaking. The Whyalla Steelworks are a fully-integrated operation, starting with the mining of raw materials and ending with the distribution of finished steel products.
Approximately 1.2 million tonnes of raw steel is produced in the steelworks each year, with about 65% of that product then transferred by rail to the steelworks Market Mills in billet form for further processing.
Hunt Birdies at Whyalla Golf Club
Offering a challenging 18-hole layout for all levels of golfers, this public course welcome casual players and visitors to its bar and restaurant.
The pro shop has clubs, golf carts, electric buggies and equipment for sale, as well as refreshments you can take on course! A great day out just four kilometeres from Whyalla City Plaza with outstanding views of the area.