Explore the great outdoors this Aussie summer
As the weather warms up, now's the perfect time to get outdoors and explore some of Australia's best beaches, tracks, national parks and summer holiday destinations.
Explore the white sandy beaches of Whitsunday Islands
Have you considered spending your next summer holiday in and around the tropical waters of the Coral Sea?
The Whitsunday Islands are an archipelago chain of 74 islands off the coast of Queensland just inland from the Great Barrier Reef. The stunning pure white, silica sands on Whitehaven Beach are regarded as one of the whitest sand beaches in the world. One of the must see attractions of the Whitsundays is on Daydream Island.
Flight over the Whitsunday Islands
The island resort has a spectacular Living Reef. It is one of the largest man-made living coral reef lagoons in the world. It captures a microcosm of the Great Barrier Reef and includes over 140 species of marine fish and 83 species of coral.
Resort guests can explore the lagoon and wade in the waters touching and learning about the stingrays and other creatures.
You can decide to be adventurous and snorkel, SCUBA, paddle board, go fishing, and explore the crystal clear waters of the Coral Sea. Or just sit back and relax, enjoy a cruise, boat charter, or one of the many luxury island resorts of the Whitsundays. Each island in the Whitsundays is a unique experience.
Humpback whale breaching
If you want to tour around Queensland before or after your island getaway, then you can hire a car in nearby Proserpine or rent a vehicle at the Mackay Airport. There's plenty to do and see along the Whitsunday Coast including Arlie Beach, Conway National Park, and beautiful Mackay.
Camping in Kwiambal National Park
Experience nature at its best at Kwiambal National Park
(Photo: NSW National Parks and Wildlife Service)
For some peace and quiet, head to Kwiambal National Park, which is located inland in New South Wales close to the Queensland border.
The secluded park is perfect for hiking, swimming and fishing, all while enjoying the picturesque views and postcard perfect landscapes including MacIntyre Falls.
Head down to the park for breathtaking landscapes
(Photo: NSW National Parks and Wildlife Service)
There are plenty of rivers, plunge pools, and beaches that are great summer attractions. If you plan on hiring a car to travel to Kwiambal National Park, there are plenty of options depending on where you are coming from.
If you are in NSW you can hire a car at Coffs Harbour on the coast, or at the Moree Airport near Kwiambal. If you are coming from Queensland, you can hire a car in Brisbane or choose from one of the many car rental locations on the Gold Coast.
Why not try the Slippery Rock Walk? (Photo: NSW National Parks and Wildlife Service)
Cruise down the Murray River
There are so many things to see and do at The Murray such as golfing, camping and getting on board various river experiences (Photo: The Murray)
The Murray River is the longest river in Australia and is considered one of the most important water systems in the country since it provides fresh water to more than 1.5 million homes. It is over 2,500 km and runs along the border between New South Wales and Victoria; then through South Australia.
It starts at the Snowy Mountains continues through the plains and empties into the Southern Ocean at Lake Alexandria and The Coorong, which is near Adelaide and the Adelaide Hills.
If you want to extend your holiday and see more waterways, check out the Darling River Run, which feeds into the Murray River. Boating on the Murray River has been popular for years. You can rent a houseboat and have a relaxing vacation right there on the river.
Other things to do on the Murray River and in this region include fishing, hiking, exploring scenic lookout on bush trails, and fishing, picnicking and golfing.
The Murray has a rich history and heritage with many places to visit and explore
For an extended holiday, visit some of the national parks located along the Murray River including:
- Mungo National Park
- Mount Lawson State Park
- Murray-Sunset National Park
- Barmah National Park
- Leaghur State Park
- Murray-Kulkyne Regional Park
- Perry Sandhills
- Mount Granya State Park
- Hattah-Kulkyne National Park
Escape to Kangaroo Island
Stunning West Bay on Kangaroo Island
Kangaroo Island is just off the coast of South Australia. Despite being an island, you will be surprised at the variety of holiday adventures and things there are to do on the island. Farm fresh, local eats are at their best on Kangaroo Island.
There are plenty of different animals on the island in addition to kangaroos; you can encounter koalas, wallabies, possums, pelicans, penguins, many birds, seals, sea lions, platypus, and a host of other marine life along the coast.
Relax on the beaches or swim, snorkel, or scuba dive in the waters surrounding the island. You will probably be surprised at the different landscapes and terrains on the island including the Kelly Hill Caves, Flinders Chase National Park, The Cape Willoughby Lighthouse and Seal Bay Conservation Park.
Get up close and personal with adorable joeys!
Just a quick ferry ride away from the South Australia mainland is Kangaroo Island. Adelaide is the closest main city to Kangaroo Island. There is a Kangaroo Island Ferry that operates daily and takes passengers from Cape Jervis on the mainland across the 13.5 km trip to the east end of the island where it docks in a town called Penneshaw. You can also get to KI, as it is known by the locals, via plane.
Once you arrive on Kangaroo Island, you can hire a car to get around, there are car rental locations in Penneshaw, Kingscote, and at the Kangaroo Island Airport. Although tours are available, if you hire your own car, you are free to explore the island at your leisure. A self-drive touring CD is available to help guide you on your way.
Where is your favourite summer holiday location? Let us know in the comments below.