Great for nature: Kangaroo Island, South Australia
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Kangaroo Island is home to diverse wildlife and flora. A host of friendly locals, who know the island inside out, operate tours that explore the great outdoors. You can hire a four-wheel drive, hop on a diving charter boat or take a helicopter ride. Explore the ocean by kayak or reach for the skies in a biplane.
Great for romance: Adelaide Hills, South Australia
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From the Adelaide Hills, located just a 30-minute drive from Adelaide’s CBD, you can call into any of the plentiful cellar doors; survey the quaint main streets of historic towns like Hahndorf; take a relaxing afternoon drive through Lobethal and Woodside; or settle into your accommodation with a bottle of wine and the company of your special someone.
Great for relaxation: The Byron at Byron Resort & Spa, NSW
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Five minutes south of Byron Bay township, The Byron at Byron Resort & Spa lets you breathe in the peace of the rainforest in which it sits while being close enough to the action back in town.
Great for a daytrip: Bungendore, NSW
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For a daytrip within easy reach of Canberra, this up-and-coming town among wineries is a great option. Bungendore has enjoyed a burst of popularity in recent years, with travellers visiting the area for its beautiful heritage-listed buildings, warm atmosphere and collection of boutique local businesses.
Great for adventure: Litchfield National Park, Northern Territory
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Spanning 1500 square kilometres, Litchfield National Park is easy to get to from Darwin and its attractions are closer together than those of Kakadu National Park, which is more than 10 times as vast. There are magical walks through shady monsoon forests and you can swim in waterfall-fed pools at Florence Falls, Wangi Falls and Surprise Creek. Many sites are accessible with two-wheel drive vehicles but, with a four-wheel drive, it’s also possible to get off the beaten track.
Great for a remote island escape: Lord Howe Island, NSW
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Located nearly 600 kilometres east of Port Macquarie on the Mid North Coast of NSW, this tiny, moon-shaped island is just over 14 square kilometres in area and home to 360 residents. It’s just as good for some rigorous hilltop hiking as it is for lying on the beach or snorkelling in the shallow waters.
Great for a fashionable getaway: Mollymook, NSW
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Once a sleepy refuge for residents, celebrities and people in the know, Mollymook is undergoing a vibrant transformation. What started nearly seven years ago with the establishment of British chef Rick Stein’s restaurant at the landmark Bannisters by the Sea hotel culminated in late 2015 with the launch of a stylish sibling, the 34-room Bannisters Pavilion.
Great for a countryside escape: Sunshine Coast Hinterland, Queensland
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The Sunshine Coast Hinterland is equal parts quaint, gourmet and breathtaking. With its fresh mountain air and European-village-like feel, it ticks all the boxes for a weekend escape in the “country”.
Great for foodies: Margaret River, Western Australia
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It’s no secret that Margaret River is one of Australia’s premier food and wine destinations. Try our mini-food trail that includes some of the best cafés, restaurants and pubs.
Great for a laid-back beach holiday: Pumpkin Island, Queensland
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Pumpkin Island, a 45-minute cruise from Yeppoon’s Keppel Bay Marina, has been recently reimagined as a stylish, eco-conscious island escape. It’s the laid-back and secluded tropical getaway you’ve been dreaming of. Here you can snorkel or paddleboard, go fishing or oyster harvesting, or just loll in the plunge pool on your private deck.
Great for a winter escape: Snowy Mountains, NSW
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Canberrans can make the most of their proximity to NSW’s snowfields. Avoid the crush of the crowds at the large ski resorts and check in at Ecocrackenback, situated between Jindabyne and Kosciuszko National Park. This luxury accommodation features 18 sleek “habitats” that sleep four and come complete with cold-combating amenities, including in-floor heating, ethanol fireplaces and racks to dry ski gear.
Launceston and Tamar, TAS
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Launceston is the gateway to the lovely Tamar Valley, a region famed for its wineries. Check out Moore’s Hill Estate, Bay of Fires Wines, Pipers Brook Vineyard and more. The varieties to try are usually the lean, elegant, cold-climate chardonnay and pinot noir.
Great for rejuvenation: Victoria’s spa country
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Central Victoria is home to 141 mineral springs, with three resorts offering the chance to bathe in their health-giving waters: Hepburn Bathhouse & Spa, The Mineral Spa at the Peppers Mineral Springs Hotel and Lake House.
Great for hot-air ballooning: Yarra Valley, Victoria
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The Yarra Valley is known for its fine wines, especially chardonnay and pinot noir. Surprise someone special with an early-morning flight over the lush countryside. Global Ballooning’s expert pilots can point out all the places of interest from up above, before landing you safely for a Champagne breakfast.
Great for exotic wildlife: Zoofari Lodge, Dubbo, NSW
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Zoofari Lodge is a luxurious resort comprising 15 canvas-walled, iron-roofed lodges – all of which have African-inspired décor, a king-size bed and an enormous double bath. There are also binoculars for viewing animals but given that they meander up to the concealed perimeter fence near the verandah, these are surely for effect.
Great for kids: Rottnest Island, Western Australia
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Rottnest is one of those magical places that you can’t help but fall in love with. While young kids delight in those cute quokkas, teens will be keen to go surfing and the oldies can enjoy a spot of fishing or spoil themselves with a spa treatment.
Up Next: Your Ultimate Guide to Off-Road Drives in Australia
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Leave the bitumen far behind for a four-wheeled odyssey around Australia, traversing bush, beach and outback.