International travel is off the cards for the next little while, but if you’re aching to explore the great outdoors after a few months of being cooped up indoors, Australia is a great place to be based. Escape the city in favour of a few days adventuring through native bush and quaint quintessential Australian towns, and you’ll be sure to come back feeling refreshed. Check out our blog post for some travel inspo:
Figure 8 Pools
Wanting a day hike that will get your heart pumping, barely 45 minutes from Sydney? Hop in your car and head to the Figure 8 Pools in Royal National Park. The best way to explore this spot is with a guided tour, as the tides can be unpredictable. This isn’t for the faint of heart, as the steep terrain definitely makes this hike more of a cardio workout than a leisurely stroll, but the wildlife and fantastic panoramic views you’ll get of the coastline will be well worth it. The Garawarra State Conservation Area just inland from the Figure 8 Pools is a great spot for horseback riding, cycling, and picnicking in native bush. There’s plenty of accommodation bordering the National Park, from the four star Scarborough Hotel on the waterfront of Wombarra for those of you wanting a luxury stay, as well as plenty of campgrounds within the National Park itself!
Tongue Point Walk
If you’re exploring Victoria, Tongue Point Walk in Wilsons Promontory (three hours drive from Melbourne) is stunning. It’s 10kms through secluded beaches, past giant boulders, rock pools, forested coastline and rocky shoreline with sweeping views that will take your breath away. Pack your swimming costume if the weather’s good - you’re going to find that beautiful water hard to resist.
The Valley of the Winds Walk
For those of you wanting to make the most of Australia’s stunning natural landscape as well as its proud cultural heritage, the Red Centre is a spectacular place to spend some time. Hire a car from Alice Springs and drive five hours to the spiritual centre on the land of the Aṉangu people, Kata Tjuta. The Valley of the Winds walk takes you within the stunning red domes of Kata Tjuta through towering boulders, stopping at breathtaking lookouts and descending into a hidden amphitheatre. The circuit takes about three or four hours, and is best to do with a local guide who has the authority to impart the cultural knowledge of the area.
If the only way you hike is from winery to winery, the Riesling Trail in the Clare Valley in South Australia (1.5 hours by rental car from Adelaide) is for you! While you stroll through eucalypt forest, you’ll also come across cellar doors, art galleries, bed and breakfasts and endless rolling vineyards. The complete trail is about 35 kilometres and can be walked in nine hours, but the lovely Sevenhill Cellars is also a perfect halfway point to stop for the day. Another option is to take on the shorter five-kilometre section between the towns of Sevenhill and Penwortham.
Pinnacles Desert Walk
Western Australia has no shortage of great hikes; point your finger to almost anywhere on the map and you’ll have landed on a National Park abundant with walking trails to explore. The Pinnacles Desert Walk in Nambung National Park is a must - it only takes an hour and a half, but you’ll pack plenty of fun into your time there. Thousands of limestone pillars rise from the sand giving this unique geological site a very otherworldly feel, and is only two and a half hours from Perth.
Images courtesy of Tourism Australia