Planning a weekend away? Then make sure you really get away.
What can feel like a whole new world can be reached with just a few hours’ worth of travelling, so whether you stay on home soil, hire a rental car to explore more of New Zealand or check out the beautiful coast of Tasmania from the water, make sure you try something new. Here are just five locations to consider for your next weekend away.
Darwin is making a name for itself as a hip and trendy city.
It’s the perfect place to visit to pick up that cool, cosmopolitan vibe, enjoy a culture clash of foods and entertainment or pick up rare and wonderful artefacts at the many markets.
Situated on the Timor Sea, its proximity to Asia gives the city a more polyglottic feel.
But if you still want to get away from the crowds then be sure to check out Katherine Gorge and Edith Falls or – if you’re feeling daring – a crocodile cruise.
2. Caitlins Coast, New Zealand
Situated on the southeast of South Island, Caitlins Coast is the perfect getaway for the hiker.
It’s off the beaten track where you will be most rewarded. The rugged land, scenic coastal views and temperate rainforest attract a wondrous, mixture of seals, sea lions and endangered species of birds.
The ocean swells attract big-wave surfers, while caves, sandy beaches, a petrified forest and the awe-inspiring Purakaunui Falls give the area a feel like nowhere else.
The sparsely-populated region allows you to feel truly away from the hustle and bustle of everyday life, but Owaka, the largest settlement in the Caitlins (population 400), offers a taste of local town life.
For the traveller intent on arriving in style, fly to Queenstown or Christchurch and arrive by car and get a taste of the beautiful scenery you can expect.
3 Byron Bay
Picture-perfect Byron Bay is the go-to place for a family break.
Stroll along the seafront, Kayak with dolphins and turtles, head inland to sample the tantalising restaurants and bars, go whale watching, scuba dive, visit the stunning Minyon Falls or just soak up the sun.
Byron Bay may not be a new name with which to wow your friends, but it’s famous for a very good reason.
4 Tauranga, New Zealand
If you want a relaxing break then head to Tauranga, a city for everyone on New Zealand’s North Island.
Whether it’s the long white beaches, plentiful outdoor activities, city culture, Easter Jazz Festival or the chance for Lord of the Rings fans to tour Hobbiton, there’s no chance you’ll be bored.
While Tauranga is served by its own airport, the more intrepid weekenders may fancy the three-hour drive from Auckland.
5 Bruny Island, Tasmania
Bruny Island is perfect for the intrepid explorer. Captain James Cook famously carved his initials into a tree on the island, which takes its name from the French expedition leader Bruni d’Entrecasteaux.
Now it’s your turn to seek out the beauty of this island, situated on the southeastern coast of the Island, a 40-minute drive from Hobart followed by a 20-minute ferry crossing.
The Neck, the narrow piece of land connected the north and south of the island is a must-see. An important game reserve where the boardwalks and platforms help you catch a glimpse of the island’s penguins.
Bruny Island is making its name as a popular tourist attraction and, although there’s still plenty of opportunity to get away from it all, the iconic Cape Bruny Lighthouse, South Bruny National Park, museums, galleries, and cheese factory offer plenty to keep you occupied.