We’re spending our time in isolation dreaming of our next travel destinations. Here is our Hightide Holidays list of Australia’s Best Kept Secrets – uncovered just for our members!
1. Winton & Longreach, QLD - 8 hours west of Gladstone
These two historical destinations are just a hop, skip and jump away from each other, it’d be rude not to visit both while you’re in the area!
Australia’s heartland will not disappoint with spectacular outback landscapes, historical sightseeing, and an inspiring, quirky, and adventurous story waiting to be told.
Australian Age of Dinosaurs Museum
Waltzing Matilda Centre
Qantas Founder Museum
Stockman’s Hall of Fame
2. Lord Howe Island, NSW - 750Km north east of Sydney, or a 2 hour flight
Lorde Howe Island is a pristine paradise located off the coast of New South Wales. With over two thirds of the island preserved as permanent park preserve, you can experience some of the world’s best day hikes, including mountain hikes, cave and beach walks. There’s also snorkelling and scuba diving over coral reef, hand feeding fish on Ned’s beach, bird watching, fishing, a museum, bowling club, tours, golf club, day spas, art galleries and more.
The island is located just over 750k’s off Sydney’s coastline, which is a 2 hour flight on a Qantas link plane. Our top pick for accommodation is Arajilla Resort.
Mount Eliza Summit Hike (only 600 meters for amazing views!)
Bird watching – there are 14 species of sea birds breeding on the island
Stand up paddle boarding on the powder blue water
Hand feeding fish on Neds Beach
3. Jenolan Caves, NSW - 3 hours west of Sydney
The Jenolan Caves are Australia’s largest cave system and also one of the oldest in the world. The astonishing limestone formations keep the 9 caves and their underground river systems at a constant 15 degrees Celsius year-round.
As well as award-winning tours (including children’s tours, night tours and self-guided tours), you can also enjoy scenic bush walks, adventure caving, and learn about Aboriginal Culture.
4. Tower Hill Wildlife Reserve, VIC - 3 hour drive from Melbourne
This secret reserve is hidden inside the crater of a dormant volcano making it a haven for wildlife and a fascinating ecological hub!
The Port Campbell Holiday Park is another hours drive along the coastline and is well worth it for a spectacular beachfront location.
This is the perfect way to end your Great Ocean Road road trip. Some of our favourite places to stop along the way are Lorne (a quaint seaside town), Triplet Falls in Great Otway National Park, Cheese World and of course, a drive down the Great Ocean Road isn't complete without stopping to marvel at The Twelve Apostles.
Get up close and personal with wildlife including emus, koalas, and kangaroos
Enjoy the amazing scenery on a walk
Visit nearby Twelve Apostles
5. Lake Eyre, SA - 647 km north of Adelaide
Australia’s largest lake stretches itself gloriously over 144 kilometres in length and 77 kilometres in width. The seemingly endless salt pan owes its glistening façade to the salt crystals that intensify in beauty when the lake is flooded by desert rain every few years. This rain also brings an abundance of wildlife, making the destination even more appealing!
Best Time to Travel: We recommend to visit in the cooler months, between April and October. Temperatures reach extreme hights between November and March.
Fun Fact: it’s the lowest point in Australia at approximately 15 metres below sea level.
You can reach Lake Eyre either by driving directly to the lake or flying into Coober Pedy and taking a scenic tour or driving the rest of the way.
Enjoy the stunning lake from the air with scenic flight
Visit the nearby town of Coober Pedy
Bird watching the incredible wildlife
6. Waratah, TAS - 40 minutes west of Cradle Mountain
This tiny Tasmanian town is popular for its heaping of local charm, rich mining history, central location surrounded by natural attractions, and the incredibly large waterfall smack bang in the centre of town.
Wander along Lake Waratah in town searching for Platypus
Take a walk through Hellyer Gorge
Be sure to get a photo of the waterfall in town centre
Visit Philosopher Falls
Hike to Whyte Hills lookout to ensure panoramic views
Take a step into Jurassic world at Tarkine Forest Reserve
For a slice of the local charm, be sure to drop by Bischoff Hotel for a drink or meal
There are a few options in town, but our top choice of accommodation nearby is Peppers Cradle Mountain. This incredible resort boasts a location at the base of Cradle Mountain with 5 star facilities, incredible views and spectacular dining.
7. Kings Canyon, NT - 3.5 hours west of Alice Springs
Take a walk on the wildside at Kings Canyon in the Northern Territory. This dramatic landscape includes mighty sandstone walls rising over 300 meters, palm-filled crevices, and panoramic views that stretch as far as the eye can see.
With so much to see and do here, you’ll want to ensure you don’t miss this spot on your top end adventure. You’ll reach Kings Canyon by driving three hours from Uluru to Watarrka National Park.
Kings Canyon Rim Walk
Fly high over the canyon with a scenic helicopter tour
Take a picture at Priscilla’s Crack (from the classic Australian movie Priscilla Queen of the Desert)
First time visitors can enjoy a day tour – talk to our team at Hightide Holidays about our options on 1300 769 765.
8. Lancelin, WA - 1.5 hours north of Perth
Lancelin is a sleepy seaside village in Western Australia, unsuspectedly harbouring Australia’s largest inland sand dunes, kilometres of breathtaking coastline, and a famous lobster restaurant.
Fun Fact: The world’s oldest message in a bottle was found in Lancelin.
Sandboarding down the dunes is an absolute must do
Visit the Rock Lobster for a bite of their famous lobster
Enjoy a drink with arguably the best view in WA at the Endeavour Tavern
Take a dip at the pristine beaches
Road trip to the nearby Nambung National Park to visit the renowned Pinnacles