Score: 8.61 Another surprise so early on in the list – but a well deserved one. The Rowley Shoals Marine Park, found some 300 kilometres north-west from Broome, might be almost totally unknown (except to the lucky sandgropers among us), but the fact that each member of this panel has voted it so highly speaks volumes about its future popularity. The only way to get here is by boat, and there are no islands around – just you, three coral reefs, and all those fish. “Crystalline waters, endless coral gardens and fish confetti sound amazing, but add the fact there’s...
Score: 8.53 “This is a trip,” says Fleur Bainger, “where the journey-destination balance is bang on.” We know what she means – from the quiet beauty of Perth all the way to the Esperance coastline, you’ll motor through tall tree forests; stop in at wave breaks rated by Kelly Slater; gaze out at a smooth-stone archipelago set in a turquoise ocean and be greeted by ’roos, lounging on the icy-white beaches. “Bliss!” More info: Western Australia “An embarrassment of riches, boy these guys are spoilt with all they have to offer tourists.” – Catriona Rowntree Travel this great Aussie road trip, with...
Score: 8.31 “Just getting to this luxury lodge in the Kimberley region – only accessible by the romance of a seaplane, no less – is part of the excitement,” muses Keith Austin. “After that, it’s wilderness, wildlife, adventure, great food and relaxation in equal measure.” Sounds like a dream holiday recipe to us. Better start saving for Berkeley River Lodge, then... From $3990 per person per three-night package, including transfers, meals, alcohol and more. More info: berkeleyriver.com.au Book this adventure with our sponsor Back to the 100 Holidays Subscribe...
Score: 8.125 The Lurujarri Heritage Trail nine-day walk was initiated in 1987 by respected elder Paddy Roe as a means of encouraging members of the Goolarabooloo community to walk their country again; in order to stay connected with their heritage and keep traditional skills alive. Since then the walk has been made available to open-minded travellers so they, too, can experience the living country – long stretches of coast, reef, dunes, rugged bush, mangroves and salt plains. Passing indigenous midden-rich landscapes, the elders share Dreamtime stories, explain traditional tucker and medicines, and demonstrate how to make traditional tools. “I see...
Score: 8.121 The Pinnacles. Kalbarri’s wildflowers. Monkey Mia’s dolphins. This trip is stuffed with highlights, though as Lee Atkinson points out, the road is one in itself: “The desert meets the sea on this drive. The colours are astonishing: red, red dirt and turquoise seas, and every town has a different story.” Of course, an absolute must on this journey is to swim with whale sharks, but we’ve already blabbed all about that (see #12). Be sure to set aside at least 10 days (and then some) to really take it all in. See an itinerary jam packed with memorable...
Score: 8.06 You know you’re onto something when a Wall Street Journal travel journalist (and AT panellist) declares this the most moving trip he’s ever done. Daniel Scott’s exact words: “No journey I’ve done has felt as spiritual as this 2500-kilometre drive (and that’s saying something for an agnostic).” Whatever your religious persuasion, we’re confident you’ll agree: this road trip, which follows the path of the Dreamtime sea serpent as it snakes its way up the coast from Exmouth to Broome, visits some of the continent’s oldest parts. Swim waterholes, visit gorges and marvel at the greatness of it all....
Score: 8.03 The sealed Great Northern Highway between Broome and Wyndham may not be as rugged – or as raved about – as its alternate cross-Kimberley route, the Gibb River Road, but it’s certainly got its advantages (and not because it’s smoother). There are plenty of worthy side trips, especially from Halls Creek, like the unusual limestone formation of the China Wall, Wolfe Creek Crater and the magnificent 350 million-year-old Bungle Bungles. In parts, the highway is among the remotest sealed roads in the world. You can drive for hundreds of kilometres without seeing so much as a roadhouse but...
Whether you consider him a dutifully serving prince or simply an eccentric old man, the HRH of Australia’s original micronation continues to amuse travellers, says Richard Asher. Once upon a time there lived a wheat farmer. His name was Leonard, and he lorded over vast and fertile lands in the state of Western Australia. Leonard was a peaceful man; married with children. But if he felt wronged by you, he wouldn’t let it rest. The Western Australian government, which lorded over Leonard’s property outside Northampton, was one such party. In 1969, it issued a wheat quota limiting his permitted sales to 1647 bushels. For a...
Road tripping your way from Perth to Ningaloo is a bucket-list item all on its own, says Elspeth Velten, and it doesn’t have to cost an arm and a leg. We’ve given you two accommodation options on different budgets. Day 1: Perth to Geraldton 4.5 hours, 433 kilometres Enjoy sneak previews of cerulean blue sea peeking through beautiful countryside vistas as you head north on Indian Ocean Drive, alongside the coastline. The views will turn to green farmland then brush before you arrive at Geraldton. The city has an inviting shopping district by the water with restaurants and beachy shops,...
If there was ever a place to completely escape, the Berkeley River Lodge is it, says Keith Austin. Want to confuse Google Maps? Ask it for directions between the small town of Kununurra and Berkeley River Lodge on the north-east Kimberley coast. It can’t be done. This is because the only way in and out of the singular lodge, perched at the mouth of the Berkeley River as it meets the Timor Sea, is by float plane. Beyond this there are no roads; no boat routes. This is way out back of the outback; a tiny, shiny dot in this...
They may not have dirt under their fingernails, but fresh local produce is still on the menu at Foragers, WA’s hottest ‘foraging’ restaurant, says Fleur Bainger Foraging is tres ‘on trend’ in foodie circles, what with chefs scouring coastal flats for samphire, or native bush for quandong. Noma’s Rene Redzepi made it hot, while cool kids like Luke Burgess of Garagistes (Hobart) and Ben Shewry of Attica (Melbourne) keep it sizzling. I’m rather attracted to the notion of hunter-gathering, so I’ve long been intrigued by Foragers, a little restaurant in WA’s Southern Forests region, just south of Margaret River. From the...
Dawdling along the sand, picking up shells from the seashore and carefully examining the hollow casings is a universal beachcombing activity. So where better to do it than the unimaginatively-but-appropriately-named Shell Beach in WA? One of only two beaches of its kind in the world, Shell Beach is a brilliant white stretch of what at first looks like snow, but upon closer inspection is millions and millions of tiny white cockle shells. This particular type of cockle – the Cardiid – is hardy enough to withstand the unusually high salinity of the waters of L’Haridon Bight here in Shark Bay,...
The West Australian coast is home to a number of working stations, vast and isolated and perfect for escaping the rigours of city life. Some of these stations offer basic camping and accommodation sites around their property to allow visitors a glimpse into life on the land. Quobba Station is located northwest of Carnarvon at the southern tip of the Ningaloo Marine Park. The station boasts 80 kilometres of coastline renowned for its excellent fishing, dynamic surf and pristine white beaches. Accommodation on the property ranges from simple chalets to transportable shacks, old shearers quarters and basic camping facilities. Quobba...
Varying in height from centimetres to five metres, the golden limestone pillars rising from the desert at The Pinnacles in WA will have you thinking you’ve landed on another planet. As the sun sets, this spectacular landscape takes on an eerie atmosphere in the changing light, and will leave all, young or old, looking on in awe. Accessible by car from the north via Cervantes or from Perth on the scenic Indian Ocean Drive; on a day trip with a tour operator or for a longer stay at the Pinnacles Campground, this is an experience you won’t forget. You can...
Tucked away amongst the vines in Margaret River is this quiet achiever, loved for its “charming balance between traditional and adorable”. Nudging Glass on Glasshouse in Queensland’s Glasshouse Mountains out of top spot, Margaret River Guest House is set in a 1920s convent, and claims to be the region’s first B&B. There are six guest rooms with private ensuites (plus fluffy towels and aromatic toiletries, no less), modern conveniences and a great breakfast spread. See margaretriverguesthouse.com.au Finalists In the heart of Broome is runner-up Broome Town B&B, voted for its “fabulous rooms, great food and friendly owners”. After taking out the...
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- The ‘ghost towns’ of outback NSW
- East coast country cottage chic
- 100 Greatest Holidays of Australia: #53 road trip the Legendary Pacific Coast, Sydney to Brisbane
- 100 Greatest Holidays of Australia: #63 take a beach break, Sapphire Coast, NSW
- 100 Greatest Holidays of Australia: #86 a beach break on The Shoalhaven Coast, NSW
- 100 Greatest Holidays of Australia: #19 escape to the Rowley Shoals, WA
- 100 Greatest Holidays of Australia: #23 a beachy road trip in WA’s South West
- 100 Greatest Holidays of Australia: #42 stay at Berkeley River Lodge, WA
- 100 Greatest Holidays of Australia: #59 trek with an elder, WA
- 100 Greatest Holidays of Australia: #61 drive the Coral Coast, Perth to Exmouth
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- 100 Greatest Holidays of Australia: #11 stay at Lizard Island, Qld
- 100 Greatest Holidays of Australia: #54 holiday in Queensland’s triple threat
- 100 Greatest Holidays of Australia: #78 walk Thorsborne Trail, Hinchinbrook Island
- 100 Greatest Holidays of Australia: #85 swim with Manta Rays, Lady Elliot Island, Qld
- Thalia Haven – the greatest ocean-view bathtub in sight?
- Ultimate Escapes: Tasmania
- 100 Greatest Holidays of Australia: #2 road trip Tasmania’s east coast
- 100 Greatest Holidays of Australia: #5 book into Saffire Freycinet, Tas
- 100 Greatest Holidays of Australia: #13 (a tie) walk the Freycinet Experience, Tas
- Ultimate Escapes: Timeless North, NT
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- 100 Greatest Holidays of Australia: #18 see the wet season in the Top End
- 100 Greatest Holidays of Australia: #27 make the Red Centre pilgrimage
- 100 Greatest Holidays of Australia: #56 (tie) follow Larapinta Trail (World Expeditions), NT