4 Epic Australian Road Trips to Ring in the New Year

From a foodie’s road trip across markets, festivals and farms to a self-driving route that will take you swimming with manta rays, there’s no better way to kick-start 2018 than with the road trip of a lifetime in Australia

Get ready to hit the open road with the windows down, music turned up and a cooler filled with refreshments. Here are four road trips across Australia, from Tasmania to the Northern Territory that will give you a serious case of wanderlust.

The Food-first Driver

If food is what drives you, take your taste buds for a spin in Tasmania.

Pick up farm-fresh produce from Salamanca Market and gourmet food and wine at Taste the Harvest, an annual festival held in Devonport in March that celebrates the local produce of Tasmania’s northwest. If seafood tickles your fancy, take a short trip to Freycinet Marine Farm for a feast of fresh oysters, mussels and abalone. Later, satisfy your sweet tooth by popping over to Bruny Island for a day of artisanal cheese, truffles and chocolates.

The Trigger-happy Driver

VIC; Great Ocean Road; Roads; Self Drive, Credit Tourism Australia

Take your travel photos to the next level on the Great Southern Touring Route, an epic four-day trip that features enormous sea cliffs, incredible beaches and the iconic Twelve Apostles in Victoria.

Get snap-happy with more than 100 painted sculptures in Geelong before taking a refreshing dip at Bells Beach in the surfing town of Torquay. Then, wind along the Great Ocean Road to witness the rugged splendour of the Twelve Apostles rising from the Southern Ocean.

For a walk on the wild side, take a cruise out from Port Fairy to Lady Julia Percy Island to see penguins, dolphins and Australia’s largest colony of fur seals year-round. If you are planning a road trip in the middle of the year, stop by the historic whale-watching town of Warrnambool and be treated to sights of southern right and blue whales between June and September.

The Thrill-seeking Driver

Make lifelong memories on the Nature’s Way drive, which will take you across the vast wilderness and thrilling wildlife of the Northern Territory via Darwin — an easy five-hour flight from Singapore. .

Go “swimming” with a saltwater crocodile at Crocosaurus Cove in Darwin. Hunt for waterfalls, in full flow between November and April, and experience a live crocodile-feeding demonstration at Kakadu National Park. Then, take your trip to the next level by soaring over sheer rock walls and magnificent gorges in a helicopter at Nitmiluk National Park. You can also explore these rock formations via a river cruise or by foot.

The ‘Dora the Explorer’ Driver

The Pinnacles, Nambung National Park, Western Australia, Credit Richard Rossiter 2013

Alien landscapes, colourful underwater worlds and ancient cliffs culminate in a road trip like no other across the Coral Coast in Western Australia.

Come face-to-face with thousands of limestone pillars, formed some 30,000 years ago, at the Pinnacles in Nambung National Park, a three-hour drive from Perth. And yes, it really does feel like you’re on the moon!

Snorkel with an array of fish, including manta rays and whale sharks between mid-March and mid-July at the World Heritage-listed Ningaloo Reef further up north. Then, round up your trip at

Kalbarri National Park, which features deep, winding gorges and 400-million-year-old cliffs that adventure seekers can hike or abseil down.

3 Days Road Trip Guide To Kangaroo Island

Located close to Adelaide is the nation’s third largest island, Kangaroo Island popularly known for some of the most unique wildlife experience. As you may have guessed, these marsupial mammals are only found in Australia.

Travel photographer, Jensen Chua made a trip to Kangaroo Island. His experience justified that a longer stay at this underrated attraction was necessary. He captured and documented his 3-days road trip itinerary of this island, which was once inhabited by Australian Aborigines through photography. He also wrote about his cuisine pit-stop along the journey and reasons for his selection.

Read his story

Places Visited by Jensen Chua


Seal Bay Conservation Park


Flinders Chase National Park
Remarkable Rocks
Admirals Arch
Little Sahara
American River
Cape Willoughby Lighthouse
Clifford’s Honey Farm

Update Your 2018 Travel Bucket List With Some Brand New Australian Experiences

You don’t have to travel to the ends of the earth for incredible, once-in-a-lifetime experiences. Update your 2018 travel bucket list with some of the very latest must-not-miss Australian experiences now!

Not many of us have the luxury of travelling the world, or checking items off travel bucket lists one far-flung destination at a time. Luckily, some of the world’s rarest sights and experiences are only a flight away in Australia.


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Swim With Gentle Giants Of The Ocean

Just over three hours from Perth to Exmouth by plane, the tropical Ningaloo Reef is home to one of world’s most elusive creatures — the whale shark. Score a once-in-a-lifetime chance to swim and snorkel with the world’s biggest but gentlest sharks, which congregate at the World Heritage-listed reef every year between April and July.

Whale Sharks, Credit: Western Australia Tourist Commission

Scale The Sydney Harbour Bridge

If you are not easily scared of heights, then this experience should go right to the top of your bucket list. Scale the Sydney Harbour Bridge, which stands at 134 meters above the harbor as the world’s largest steel arch. For an even more unique twist to this experience, lap up the city’s highlights from a whole new perspective at twilight or later in the night!

BridgeClimb Sydney. Credit: BridgeClimb Sydney

Take On A World-Class Rollercoaster

Just when you thought that you had seen everything, Warner Brothers’ Movie World on the Gold Coast unleashes the fastest and highest roller coaster in the southern hemisphere. Release your inner speed demon on Movie World’s DC Rivals Hyper Coaster, which sends you through thrilling twists and turns at more than 61 meters high. Labelled one of the best roller coasters in the world, it is less than an hour’s drive from Brisbane and also offers adrenaline junkies the option of riding it in reverse. Yes, you read correctly.

Credit: Warner Bros. Movie World

Immerse Yourself In An Underwater Playground

Who says you need a wet suit to go underwater at the Great Barrier Reef? The newly opened Cairns Aquarium in Far North Queensland lets you get up close with rare and unusual underwater inhabitants from two World Heritage-listed sites — the Great Barrier Reef and the Wet Tropics — in a single location.

Meet majestic sea creatures, including hammerhead sharks and leopard stingrays, the highly endangered freshwater saw fish and, the whip-tail stingray: the largest freshwater ray in the world. Looking for a fresh dining experience? Tuck into modern Australian-Italian cuisine at the on-site restaurant AquaLuna, complete with a 13.5-meter shark exhibit.

Cairns Aquarium. Credit: www.cairnsaquarium.com.au

Put that wanderlust into action!



 


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Fauna; Whale Sharks, Credit Western Australia Tourist Commission

Postcard-Perfect Beach Paradises of Australia

Shake up your beach holiday with picture-perfect backgrounds, delicious Aussie fare and eclectic shopping — just a stone’s throw away from Australia’s city centres

Home to over 10,000 beaches, it’s unsurprising that Australia has some of the world’s most pristine and picturesque coastal precincts. From beaches lined with multi-coloured bathing boxes to sculptures along spectacular coastlines, we handpick the country’s three finest stretches of paradise that will have you raring for a quick seaside escape pronto.

Bondi, New South Wales

Sculpture by the Sea, Bondi, NSW Credit Tourism Australia

Bondi Beach may be one of Australia’s most famous stretches of sand but come October and November, the iconic beach turns into an outdoor art gallery. Be dazzled by Sculpture By the Sea, a free exhibition featuring sculptures of every shape, colour and size along the coast from Bondi to Tamarama Beach, roughly 30 minutes from Sydney’s city centre by train and bus.

Looking to whet your appetite? Whether you’re hungry for food, drinks or shopping, Bondi’s Campbell Parade has it all. Shop for eclectic pieces at its stylish boutiques or visit the Bondi Beach Markets on Sundays for great bargains on handmade jewellery and vintage clothing.

Cottesloe, Western Australia

Sun, surf, pine trees and a lively boulevard — that’s Cottesloe in a nutshell.

Less than 30 minutes away by car, the precinct boasts a beautiful beach where you can have a dip in the sea, snorkel or sit down to a seafood lunch in a striking art deco building overlooking the Indian Ocean. If you prefer to keep your flip-flops sand-free, head inland towards Cottesloe Esplanade and picnic on a sprawling lawn shaded by giant Norfolk pine trees.

Brighton, Victoria

Brighton Beach Huts, Brighton, Credit Visit Victoria

Get snap-happy at Brighton Beach, renowned for its 82 bathing boxes previously used primarily as private changing facilities for swimmers in the 1800s. Strike a pose in front of the rainbow-coloured bathing boxes plastered with kangaroos, waves and the Australian flag, just a half-hour drive from Melbourne.

Brighton’s quaint charm doesn’t end at its shores. Hit the Bay Street shopping strip, just a five-minute drive away, for your fill of cool cafes serving affordable brunch classics like smashed avocado on toast and fresh salad bowls. Palace Cinemas, with its selection of art house films and plush interior, is also a must-visit for film buffs.

Now who’s ready for that much-needed seaside getaway?

A Self-Drive Adventure in Tassie

Deciding whether to go on self-drive route in Tasmania could be daunting as you’d want to cover wilderness, food scene and scenic trails. Hobart easily impresses anyone with that calm city vibe subtly hinting the beauty of Mount Wellington in its backdrop. As explained by a travel blogger, Jensen; Bonorong Wildlife Sanctuary would be a great stop to greet the Tasmanian devils, kangaroos, Echidna and other unique wildlife.

There’s a reason why oyster lovers should visit Freycinet Marine Farm. Cradle Mountain–Lake St Clair National Park possess such incredible colors captured by Jensen. He accurately describes the rugged mountains, snowfall encounter, fresh produce and of course, he puts his talent capturing star trails into use in this trip.

Go on and read Jensen’s experience in Tasmania 🙂

Read his blog

Places Visited by Jensen Chua


Curringa Farm


Mount Field National Park
Bonorong Wildlife Sanctuary
Richmond Bridge
TAS Live Abalone
Mount Wellington
Willie Smith’s Apple Shed
Tahune Airwalk

 

Freycinet Marine Farm
Freycinet National Park
Ashgrove Cheese Farm
Table Cape Tulip Farm

 

Cradle Mountain-Lake St.Clair National Park.
Sheffield – Town of Murals
Launceston Cataract Gorge
Stars Trails and Milky Way @ Tasmania Gourmet Sauce Company

The Sky’s the Limit: Adventures Above Australia

Take your next Australian holiday to new heights, as you discover rolling vineyards, technicolour reefs and windswept coasts — all while you are thousands of feet in the air!

Sure, a night exploring Melbourne’s snazzy suburb Fitzroy and its many hidden underground bars or a day spent traipsing Sydney’s sparkling harbour is fun. But why limit your experience of Australia to on-ground activities when you can see some of the country’s most iconic landmarks from thousands of feet in the air. You’ll be guaranteed a bird’s-eye view of some of the most spectacular sights in the country.

Strap in and buckle up; you are about to experience some of Australia’s most popular regions as you never have before — via a thrilling helicopter ride, floating leisurely in a hot air balloon or soaring along on a grand seaplane adventure.  The best part? While they may seem expensive, they really are affordable experiences so you can blow your mind without busting your budget.


GREAT OCEAN ROAD – VICTORIA

Twelve Apostles, Great Ocean Road, Victoria, Credit Tourism Australia

You’ve probably seen the majestic limestone stacks that make up the Twelve Apostles from land, but why not take home bragging rights by gazing at them from breathtaking heights in a helicopter?

This once-in-a-lifetime experience, offered by 12 Apostles Helicopters, begins at the Great Ocean Road, a 90-minute drive from Melbourne’s city centre. Soar over the Twelve Apostles, a smattering of islands, peach-hued cliffs as well as London Bridge, an impressive rock formation that once formed a natural archway above the Southern Ocean. Choose between a brisk 15-minute flight or an hour-long adventure that will take you further along the Shipwreck Coast all the way to the Cape Otway lighthouse at the southernmost point of Western Victoria. Ensconced in a luxurious, air-conditioned cabin that can accommodate up to seven passengers at a time, you’ll be lapping up spectacular views without scrimping on comfort and style!



 


HUNTER VALLEY – NEW SOUTH WALES

Hunter Valley, Sydney, NSW. Credit: Jetabout Holidays

Fancy a champagne holiday at affordable prices? Take to the skies in a luxurious hot air balloon ride over Australia’s oldest wine region.

Sunrise, Hunter Valley Hot Air Ballooning. Credit: Jetabout Holidays

Set your alarm early and admire the sunrise from an unparalleled vantage point floating over Hunter Valley, a convenient two-hour drive from Sydney. Be rewarded with uninterrupted views of sprawling vineyards and olive groves glowing in the early morning’s golden light, and watch as the wine region stirs to life, preparing for a brand new day. Cap off the perfect morning with a gourmet breakfast and some bubbly after the one-hour balloon flight. Just top up a few dollars to enjoy these after-flight perks!



 


GREAT BARRIER REEF – QUEENSLAND

Heart Reef
Heart Reef, Great Barrier Reef, Queensland. Credit Tourism Whitsundays

If you find yourself itching for a bucket-list experience, then a seaplane tour over the World Heritage-listed Great Barrier Reef is an experience not to be missed.

Admire the stunning blue-green hues of Whitehaven Beach and Hill Inlet in a 25-minute flight over the Whitsunday Islands by GSL Aviation. For a more extensive flight experience, join Air Whitsunday’s three-hour tour, which comprises a one-hour flight to and from the Great Barrier Reef, taking you over Whitehaven Beach, Hook Island and the world-famous natural wonder that is Heart Reef, a heart-shaped coral in the Whitsundays. As part of the tour, the pilot will stop over at Hardy Reef. Once there, explore the reef’s diverse marine life in a sheltered lagoon or, if you prefer not to get wet, from a glass-bottom boat!



 


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It’s Makan Time!

It’s Makan Time! 7 Iconic Food and Drink Experiences that Everyone Die, Die Must Try in Australia

Ever heard of avo-on-toast or barbies? If you haven’t, then it’s time you revisit Australia for a taste of some of its extraordinary local delights!

You may have heard about kangaroo steaks and crocodile jerky under the stars. But you don’t have to go to extremes to taste delicious Australian treats. Good food is easy to find in Australia and it’s probably why in a recent ABC news article, chef extraordinaire Heston Blumenthal called Australia’s food scene an example for the rest of the world.

Not sure where to kick-start your culinary adventure? Here is a list of some of Australia’s most delicious national treasures and where to find them.


SMASHED AVOCADO ON TOAST

… is exactly what it sounds like. This quintessential Australian dish that can be found in many cafes across the country consists of a perfectly ripe avocado, mashed and spread over warm, grilled sourdough and covered in salt and pepper. For a refreshing twist, finish the dish with a dash of lime juice; and add some chilli flakes for an extra boost. Combining the best of healthy eating and snacking, this wholesome dish has become a brunch staple and is often served with a poached egg on top.


CROISSANTS

If you are a fan of croissants, then Lune Croissanterie in Fitzroy, Melbourne is right up your alley. Its traditional French croissants have been called the ‘world’s finest croissants on the planet’ by The New York Times in 2016. Crunch into these buttery pastries or treat your taste buds to twice-baked almond croissants, which come with a generous topping of almond flakes.

Credit: Tourism Australia / Time Out Australia

FISH AND CHIPS

Don’t worry about dusting sand off your feet — most of St Kilda’s fish and chip kiosks are located just off the popular Melbourne beach. Pop into one of the many beachside shops for a box of fish, grilled or battered to golden perfection, and a side of crinkle-cut chips. Opt to take your meal down by the sea or enjoy them on the boardwalk as you watch the ever-changing tableau of dogs, skaters and surfers pass you by. In Sydney, a visit to the fish and ship kiosk at Watson’s Bay, complete with harbour views, is a must.

Credit: Tourism Victoria (Katie Quinn Davies)

VEGEMITE

This salty yeast spread can be an acquired taste to visitors, but most Aussies love spreading this on some buttery toast each morning. Cafés and restaurants across the country are also adding Australia’s savoury superstar to recipes in unexpected ways. Visit Anchovy in Melbourne’s Richmond neighbourhood for Vegemite tempura, a dish consisting of deep fried custard and cheese cubes and a side of Vegemite and onion stock. Or drop by Indigo in Sydney’s Double Bay area for Vegemite French toast and a caramel Vegemite milkshake. Trust us, these concoctions taste better than they sound! Or buy them at any supermarket as gifts for family and friends back home!


AUSSIE BARBECUE

Barbecues, also known as barbies or BBQs to the locals, are a popular Australian hobby because of the country’s fantastic weather year-round. A typical Australian barbeque is made up of sausages, burgers, steak, lamb cutlets and fresh seafood like giant prawns or scallops. And of course, all this is washed down with a few stubbies (that’s beer to the rest of us). For a more refined barbecue experience, dine at Firedoor, a grill restaurant in Surry Hills, Sydney, which serves exotic dishes like octopus and duck hearts direct from a wood oven.

Credit: Tourism Australia

SCHOOL PRAWNS

School prawns, the sweeter and smaller cousins of giant prawns, make the perfect beer snack. Also known as schoolies to the locals, school prawns are sold by the dozen at the Sydney Fish Market. Munch on a bag of deep-fried schoolies while you wander the various fish and seafood stalls at the market, or pair these delicious morsels with a swig of beer.


SPIRITS

You have heard of craft beers and cocktails but how about craft spirits? These elusive liquors are produced in small amounts, using old-school methods. Savour award-winning single-barrel whisky made from pure Tasmanian ingredients at Sullivans Cove, a renowned Tasmanian distillery at Cambridge, Tasmania. If other types of spirits tickle your fancy, try artisanal gin at Bad Frankie, a themed, sepia-toned cocktail bar in Fitzroy, Melbourne that is fast making its name for its clever gin combinations. If you are in Sydney, don’t miss dropping by Archie Rose – the first distillery to open in Sydney in 160 years. It has its own bar that showcases the whole Archie Rose spirits range. For an even more unique experience, try your hand at tailored spirits where you design your own gin, vodka or whisky and put your own name on the label.


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Off the Beaten Path: Adelaide

Take off on the road less travelled and be inspired by the native wildlife and regional charm in and around South Australia’s capital city!

Get up close and personal with some of Adelaide’s best-kept secrets. Boasting islands and mountain ranges full of wildlife, wine and fun festivals, this vibrant city — and its surrounds — promises an unrivalled tour of South Australian nature in all its splendour.

Wine Country

Jacobs Creek, Barossa Valley. Credit: Tourism Australia

With more than 200 cellar doors on its doorstep, it’s no wonder that Adelaide is the wine capital of Australia and one of the great wine capitals of the world.

A short drive from Adelaide’s CBD (an easy 70 kilometres) will take you to the Barossa, which consists of two regions: Eden Valley, reputed for its high-quality Riesling, and Barossa Valley, home to some of the world’s best Shiraz.

For a unique spin on wine tasting, indulge in fortified wines or, the aptly nicknamed, “liquid sunshine”. Fortified wine is typically wine made with additional alcohol. Take a couple of hours to learn about these wines at Seppeltsfield Wines, where you can even sample a vintage from your birth year!

Hop, Skip and Jump to Kangaroo Island

Stokes Bay, Kangaroo Island. Credit: South Australian Tourism Commission

If you’re in the mood to enjoy some nature, head to Kangaroo Island, home to the afore-mentioned loveable furry creatures. You can take a 30-minute flight from Adelaide. Alternatively, you can drive for two hours to Cape Jervis, then hop on a 45-minute ferry ride to get to the island.

Take a four-wheel drive or guided tour to bushland sanctuaries and bays along the island for a chance to see kangaroos, sea lions, koalas and echidnas.

The island’s thriving wildlife population is largely due to its isolation from the mainland. There are currently over 24 protected areas and a number of conservation parks, which create a sanctuary for native flora and fauna.

A visit in August might score you a chance at seeing a baby kangaroo or wallaby (also known as joeys), which usually emerge from their mothers’ pouches to explore at this time of year. 

Summer Festivals

Adelaide Hills Crush Festival. Credit: Adelaide Hulls Wine Region and South Australian Tourism Commission

If you are a big fan of outdoor festivals then the Adelaide Hills Crush Festival is right up your alley (or hill)! Just a 30-minute drive from the city, this two-day event held in late January celebrates dance, music, culture, art and fashion with the promise of regional wines and food.

St Jerome’s Laneway Festival is one for the cool cats. The independent music festival showcases contemporary Australian and international acts within the street-art splashed suburb of Port Adelaide. Dress for summer and get ready to rock out and dance to top music acts this February!

From just S$735 (WAS S$985), get closer to nature and wildlife at Kangaroo Island with our 4-Nights Best of Adelaide packages (inclusive of accommodation + 2 Full Day Tours) and RECEIVE FREE ADELAIDE CITY TOUR if you book before 10May’17! Hurry, we don’t know what’s holding you back! Book NOW!

Featured Image – Stokes Bay, Kangaroo Island. Credit: South Australian Tourism Commission