Top 100 Awesome places toHang out in Australia

Looking for somewhere new to escape on your next domestic Australian trip? From coastal retreats, to rural towns, and even alternative capital cities, we’ve scoured the country to bring you the very best destinations to linger longer – and ranked them.

 

Here’s our list of 100 Awesome Places to Hang Out in Australia – for all environments, and covering all seasons.

1 to 10 – Regional Towns

#1 – Daylesford, Victoria

Lake House Daylesford
 
We can’t stop waxing lyrical about the picture-perfect Victorian town of Daylesford, a tree-change capital for Melburnians and the place to visit to de-stress and detach from city life, if only for a weekend.
 
A five-day wellness festival directed by singer Kate Ceberano and artist David Bromley, Live. Love. Life., will further cement this reputation when it debuts in November, joining a roster of year-round events including ChillOut Festival, Australia’s longest-running and biggest rural LGBTQI pride festival.
 
Of a weekend, you might find us browsing the boutiques of Daylesford’s main street, having a tipple at its bars or lounging at the lovely Lake House hotel, restaurant and spa.

#2 – Bellingen, New South Wales

Views from Bellingen, NSW
 
Eat: Indulge in an array of dining options that help set the town of Bellingen apart, with excellent spots like The Fennel Seed (Euro/Aussie mix) and Cedar Bar & Kitchen (Aussie with a healthy bent) tickling even the fussiest of tastebuds.
 
Drink: Housed in an old factory, the funky Bellingen Brewery Co. is a craft brewery and boutique bar that also exhibits art (it shares its space with Big Fig Arts) and hosts live music.
 
Play: Held in July, Bello Winter Music festival brings local, national and international performers, including alt-country troubadour Justin Townes Earle, to the town’s pubs, halls and streets. Stay in a bell tent in its camping village, or opt for a cosy B&B.
 
Explore: Head 30 minutes out of town to Dorrigo National Park and its treetop walk, which culminates in views of ancient rainforest. Twenty minutes in the other direction will take you to great surf beaches.

#3 – Esperance, Western Australia

Esperance, WA
 
How to spend a perfect day in Western Australia’s south-coast gem of Esperance, according to the team behind its coolest caravan coffee van, Coffee Cat. You’ll find it stationed on the Tanker Jetty Headland. AM: Start the day with a Dukes single-origin long black or Bonsoy flat white from Coffee Cat, made more enjoyable by the great view of the Esperance Bay.
 
Wander along the foreshore to town central and pick up a warm croissant with Nutella from Downtown Espresso Bar. It’s now time to get in the Landcruiser and drive along Wylie Bay beach. Maybe the conditions will be good for a body surf? Continue driving the beach and arrive at Cape Le Grand National Park.
 
Climb Frenchman Peak for a spectacular view of the Bay of Isles’ many islands. PM: For Lunch there is no better place for a barbecue than Hellfire Bay, only 10 minutes’drive from the base of Frenchman Peak. If it’s a warm day in the afternoon we need another swim. Wharton Beach is the place: the wind is offshore when the classic Esperance sea breeze is in and that’s most summer afternoons. It’s a great spot to watch the sunset.
 
It’s back to Esperance for dinner and the Taylor St Quarters are pouring the cocktails. Scan the menu for seasonal treats: scallops, chargrilled octopus for us, or maybe the pork belly.

#4 – Huonville, Tasmania

south west tasmania huon valley
 
Your launch pad for venturing into the Huon Valley and Tasmania’s south-west wilderness, Huonville is a mountain-framed pocket of creativity and enterprise.
 
That the area is one of Australia’s biggest apple-growing regions is reflected here, and the rustic Willie Smith’s Apple Shed – a cider house, cafe and museum – encapsulates it all.
 
Minutes from the town’s main drag on the Huon Highway, it hosts events throughout the year including live music, Sunday sessions and an artisan and produce market each Saturday. In July, you’ll find the Huon Valley Mid-Winter Festival here: a three-day pagan-inspired celebration of the region’s apple history.
 
Its central focus is Saturday night’s wassail, an ancient tradition still celebrated in the West Country of England.

#5 – Richmond, Tasmania

Tasmania Richmond Bridge Coal River Three Bridges
 
Thirty minutes’ drive north-east of Hobart, Richmond was one of the first towns on the Tasmanian tourist trail, and still one of its most charming. With many of its Georgian buildings intact, and the oft-photographed historic bridge – Australia’s oldest still in use – a star attraction, it’s the place to come to absorb the feel of an early Australian colonial village.
 
You’ll find plenty of modern-day interventions too, though, from cafes and restaurants to nearby wineries and their cellar doors. Stop in at Pooley Wines’ award-winning Butcher’s Hill Vineyard and Cellar Door to try some local cold-climate varietals (chardonnay, pinot noir, pinot grigio and riesling) and – on Sundays during winter (May to August) or either day of the weekend throughout the rest of the year – wood-fired pizza. Don’t pass up the freshly baked apple crumble dessert pizza.
 
The cellar door is based in the converted stables of stately Belmont House, which overlooks town and was built by convict labour in 1832 with the same sandstone that was used to build Richmond Bridge.

#6 – Warwick, Queensland

Warwick QLD
 
Warwick, set in a picturesque valley on Queensland’s Southern Downs, is replete with historic homesteads (including the first colonial settlement built over the Great Dividing Range) and sandstone buildings.
 
These days, “a lively social ambience has evolved with an abundance of coffee shops, restaurants, quality wine outlets and diverse shopping experiences,” says Bette Bonney of the Jumpers and Jazz in July festival, who advocates Warwick in winter for “those who enjoy crisp, sunny winter days, quirky colourful festivals and quality jazz.”
 
The festival, first staged in 2004, “has become a magnet for patrons seeking that unique travel experience,” she says; “a feast of jazz, art, quirky yarn bombing (every tree in the CBD is ‘dressed’ for the occasion!), intriguing workshops, amazing food and wine and the expansive RACQ Grand Automobile Display.
 
The huge Markets in the Park finale with free jazz on the last Sunday is a must-do closing event.”

#7 – Port Fairy, Victoria

Port Fairy, Vic
 
This jewel of the Great Ocean Road was voted the most liveable town in the world in 2012.
 
Its handsome seaside setting and heritage streetscape is complemented by a dining scene that’s growing in reputation (seek out Conlan’s Wine Store for hearty and sophisticated fare matched with regional wines, or Coffin Sally for pizza and cocktails), and its year-round calendar of festivals of every persuasion.
 
The famous Port Fairy Folk Festival is held each March, while cooler months call for Winter Weekends, a celebration of the town’s food, art, nature, history, culture and community, which takes place every second weekend in June and July.
 
Its can’t-miss event? The famous Dachshund Dash, of course.

#8 – Goolwa, South Australia

Goolwa SA
 
The historic town of Goolwa sits at the mouth of the Murray River and was once one of Australia’s major river ports.
 
Its 1852-built wharf connects visitors to this past; as does a ride on the Cockle Train, a steam train that runs along Australia’s oldest steel-railed railway, dating from 1887.
 
Dip into the Steam Exchange microbrewery – located in an old railway goods shed – for an ale, or enjoy a meal with river views at popular spot Hector’s on the Wharf.
 
Nowadays, visitors can also enjoy its gorgeous mix of picturesque Coorong sunsets, stunning white-beach-meets-azure-ocean environments, and intriguing indigineous history.

#9 – Castlemaine, Victoria

Castlemaine VIC
An old gold-rush town in Central Victoria, in recent years Castlemaine has seen a new wave of activity breathed into its heritage buildings.
 
Here are three to check out:
 
The Public Inn: Castlemaine’s former fire station is now a one-hatted bistro and bar (pictured), where wine is dispensed from wall-mounted barrels and dishes are European-inspired (i.e. whiskey doughnuts or minute steak with mushy peas).
 
The Mill: What began life in 1875 as the Castlemaine Woollen Mill is now a hub for creative businesses: you’ll find everything here from small-batch ice-cream makers and a Viennese-style coffee shop to a vintage bike seller, Pilates classes and more.
 
Theatre Royal: One of Australia’s oldest continually operating theatres, this seasoned cultural hub today serves as a cinema screening independent films, plus a live music venue, bistro, and a bar that deals in espresso by day and wine by night.

#10 – Scone, New South Wales

Scone NSW
 
You’ll find the appealingly-named Scone in the Upper Hunter region of New South Wales, a rural hub known as the Horse Capital of Australia (thanks to its reputation as the second-largest horse breeding area in the world after Kentucky, USA).
 
The Scone Horse Festival, which takes place each May, celebrates all things equine with rodeos, street parades and stock sales.
 
To immerse yourself fully in country life, stay at the working property Belltrees Estate, a 30-minute drive from town towards Barrington Tops National Park and home to the White family since 1831.
 
Accommodation options include cottages and a 4WD-access-only mountain retreat, all centred around the famous grand homestead that dates from 1908.

DEALS

11 to 20 – Coastal Haunts

#11 – Byron Bay, New South Wales

Byron Bay beach
This famous east coast town has long been adored for its incredible beaches and epic surf breaks, but this is no ordinary seaside holiday. With an eclectic culture unlike any other, Byron Bay is the destination where alternative new-agers merge with the uber-stylish, and bronzed backpackers mingle with local hipsters.
 
And while we will always love the iconic lighthouse walk, pandanus palm-lined Wategos and epic surf breaks at The Pass and Tallows, it’s all the happenings in town that excite us. With a recent surge in cool new places to try, our Byron Bay insider, Lara Picone, shares her top five new places to check out.
 
Barrio: Located at Habitat, a live/work/play development in Byron’s industrial estate, is this casual but sophisticated Argentinian-inspired eatery with a vibrant, hearty menu.
 
The solar train: The old defunct railway has been given life with this solar-powered train (the world’s first!) that leaves town and heads to North Beach Station near Elements resort and Barrio.
 
The Bower: This formerly daggy motel has had a cool makeover that is New York-meets-Byron Bay. The property also features a beautifully restored 100-year-old cottage.
 
The Byron Bay General Store: The historic store (built 1947) has been converted into a cool cafe, the new hipster hang-out where you receive a 10 per cent discount if you ride your bike in.

#12 – Apollo Bay, Victoria

Apollo Bay VIC
 
Apollo Bay is a kaleidoscope of beauty, located at the foothills of the Otways, on the Great Ocean Road, where rolling green hills and long stretches of beach can be viewed in one frame.
 
It’s a haven for surfers, divers, swimmers and local seal colonies alike; it’s the start of the spectacular Great Ocean Walk; and an easy drive to Great Otway National Park, an oasis of rainforests, waterfalls, and lush gullies.
 
Indeed, in our humble opinion, this little beauty is worthy of more than a pit stop on that famous road trip. Particularly for walkers, as it serves as an idyllic launch point for some of the best single and multi-day walks – not only Victoria, but Australia – has to offer.

#13 – Mooloolaba, Queensland

Mooloolaba, Sunshine Coast
 
While Marcoola has you covered for the quintessential family holiday on Queensland’s Sunshine Coast, Mooloolaba is the place for those who like their seaside sojourn with a little glitter on the side.
 
Its esplanade lined with stylish alfresco restaurants and designer boutiques is the perfect complement to the ocean, which sits just a stone’s throw away. Our Sunshine Coast expert Celeste Mitchell shares her perfect day in Mooloolaba.
 
Start your day right with truffle scrambled eggs and a golden latte at CK Coffee Bar, then take a stroll along the esplanade stopping to browse the chic stores including Number Nineteen and Ark & Arrow. Hire a retro cruise from the Hire Hut and cycle along the coast from The Spit to Alexandra Headland.
 
Return to The Spit to buy fresh prawns straight from the trawlers at Mooloolaba Fish Markets; eat them upstairs on the deck with a beer and views over the marina. Spend the afternoon lazing on Mooloolaba Beach, then pop into Pier 33 for a cocktail as the sun goes down and finish the day with dinner at Spice Bar for mouth-watering Asian food.

#14 – Cabarita Beach, New South Wales

Cabarita Ocean Health Retreat, NSW north coast.
The Tweed Coast has always been a favourite for holidaymakers in the know, but back in 2015 it became a truly coveted destination when Halcyon House opened at Cabarita Beach.
 
This luxury boutique stay gave new life to the run-down 1960s Hideaway motel, with a complete makeover: breathtaking interiors by Anna Spiro (pictured), a fabulous on-site restaurant Paper Daisy, a light and breezy day spa, old-fashioned service that saw visitors flocking here from across the country.
 
But those who knew Cabarita before the Halcyon, in the halcyon days, know that it’s always been a little pocket of paradise, bordered by a nature reserve, lake and sugar-white beaches.
 
And it’s just a bonus that there’s now a pretty place to lay your head at night.

#15 – Busselton, Western Australia

Busselton Jetty
 
Busselton is more than the gateway to the Margaret River region and its famous 1.8-kilometre-long jetty – which, should be noted, has an excellent underwater observatory accessed by a mini train.
 
Not only is this city blessed with a beautiful waterfront; calm, white-sand beaches; superb whale watching; and a lively foreshore with beachside cycle paths (you can ride all the way to Dunsborough), it’s also a buzzing cultural hub with a great food and wine scene.
 
Some stand-outs include the Artgeo Cultural Complex, a museum and gallery based in the 19th-century courthouse; the 1936-built Fire Station which is now a small bar with organic and natural wines and beers from local producers; and The Shed (Thursday to Sunday), fresh food markets where you’ll find local cheesemongers, fruit and veggie growers, artisan bakers and the like, as well as a host of food trucks as part of ‘Eat Street’.
 
Busselton also has a bursting calendar of events, which has earned it the title of ‘Events Capital of WA’.

#16 – Tumby Bay, South Australia

Tumby Bay
A landscape of seemingly endless white sand (10 kilometres, in fact) with cerulean water, a pine-tree-lined foreshore, and a backdrop of rolling farmland with wildflowers in the spring… we feel relaxed already.
 
Tumby Bay is a renowned fishing destination with endless options to throw in a line at the jetty, on a charter, at the beach, on the rocks, or the nearby Sir Joseph Banks Group of Islands.
 
But if you’re not an angler at heart, there’s plenty more in this peaceful little nook to keep you happy with great diving, bushwalking trails and bird-watching in addition to its lovely beaches.
 
Its local silos are also a unique and distinctive attraction, serving as an enormous mural-slash-artwork that’s not to be missed.

#17 – Marcoola, Queensland

Marcoola QLD
 
Marcool-huh? We’re not surprised if you have never heard of this little Sunshine Coast town located just 10 minutes from Sunshine Coast airport.
 
It has flown under the radar, allowing Noosa and Maroochydore to steal the limelight, and that’s why we love it. Uncrowded beaches, grassy parklands perfect for family barbecues, the Maroochy River at its back door, this little gem is the classic coastal escape where doing very little is the delightful thing to do.
 
There’s a lovely beachside walk that leads to Maroochydore and Mt Coolum National Park is less than 10 minutes’ drive north; walk to its summit for a panoramic view of the coast.
 
When it comes to food, glorious food, we rate Little Boat Espresso for an inventive brunch menu, Marcoola Market (every Friday 4-8pm) where there’s food trucks and relaxing tunes with a great family vibe, and Bulli, a local’s favourite for good pizza.

#18 – Mount Martha, Victoria

Mount Martha Beach Huts
 
Tucked away on Victoria’s Mornington Peninsula, the small village of Mount Martha is a pretty seaside enclave with a rocky headland, just a stone’s throw from wineries and the Peninsula Hot Springs.
 
The town boasts scenic walking tracks, including a clifftop walk that leads to the town of Mornington, and a boardwalk in The Briars, a rural property with a historic homestead, wetlands and woodlands, while its quiet beaches are lined with the iconic candy-coloured bathing boxes found along this strip of coast.
 
Coffee snob? You’re in luck – Mount Martha has a bunch of really cool cafes in town that take their roasts as seriously as those in coffee-obsessed Melbourne. Get your fix at Higher Ground, Mr Curtis, South Beach Project and Milkbar & Co.

#19 – Eden, New South Wales

Twofold Bay, Eden, South Coast, NSW
The history of this small town on the far south coast of New South Wales warrants a visit alone. In the 19th century, Eden was a thriving whaling town, though its success was not owed to the skills of the whalers alone.
 
Legend has it that killer whales would knowingly assist in the hunt by coaxing passing humpbacks into Twofold Bay and into the path of local whalers, who would harvest them for oil and bone. Take a self-guided tour of the Killer Whale Trail to learn the story of the town’s whaling stations and Old Tom, a legendary killer whale.
 
Thankfully this waterway, known as ‘Humpback Highway’, is safe from whalers these days, and between September and November these creatures can be spotted as thousands of them pass by on their way to Antarctica.

#20 – Penguin, Tasmania

Penguin Tasmania
 
What’s in a name? Well, a lot for this small Tasmanian town.
 
Sitting on the shores of Bass Strait on the state’s north-west coast, Penguin is a quaint seaside town with scenic walking trails, Tasmania’s largest undercover markets (held every Sunday), and their very own ‘Big Thing’ – a three-metre-tall penguin.
 
But it’s the real thing that makes this town so special; every year from September to March fairy penguins come ashore to breed at a number of rookeries located along the coast, and they can be spotted each night at nearby viewing platforms easily accessed from Penguin, including Lillico and Burnie.

DEALS

21 to 30 – Outback Odysseys

#21 – The Kimberley, Western Australia

Helispirit tours
 
Ah, the Kimberley. So out of reach is this mythical land, in terms of both distance and financial means, that it may as well be Australia’s Shangri-la.
 
To really appreciate the region’s many treasures – its boab tree-dotted coast of striking red rock, the wondrously impossible Horizontal Falls, the mystical human forms depicted in the rock art at Wary Bay, and such spectacular waterfalls as Kings Cascades – you need to get to it all quickly by boat.
 
Cruises up this way tend to start north of $10,000, but there is hope for those of us who didn’t make it big on cryptocurrencies this year; you can always roll out a swag on the deck of Ahoy Buccaneers’ yacht, or book a cabin, for a more reasonable ticket to this far-flung corner of ours.

#22 – Uluru, Northern Territory

Uluru sunrise helicopter tour
2019 was a big one for the Rock – the wishes, culture and law of the traditional owners, the Anangu people, were finally officially respected and from 26 October 2019, you’re now no longer able to climb up this sacred place, an area of secret men’s business.
 
It’s a decision that reinforces what a significant site Uluru is for its traditional owners, something that makes a journey to this most famous of outback destinations so rewarding.
 
Uluru isn’t just a great photo opportunity, something to be conquered; it’s a journey to the core of Anangu existence and a part of Tjukurpa, the foundation time and place within which ancestral beings created the Universe, laws and cultural ways.
 
Fortunately, there’s still a cavalcade of ways to explore and experience Uluru’s inherent beauty, from walking its base from soaring above aboard a helicopter on a scenic flight – and much more.

#23 – Arnhem Land, Northern Territory

Mary River Floodplains, Arnhem Land.
 
Travelling to the far remote north-east of the NT is not easy; you could fly in but you’ll still have to sit in a 4WD for hours on sandy, ochre dirt roads making your way across rivers to isolated homeland communities, every one of which you’ll need permission to pass through.
 
Heading to Arnhem Land is not merely a holiday; you will sleep alongside its people, often under the stars, and eat traditional bush tucker that may push you beyond your culinary comfort zone, with staples like dugong and turtle eggs.
 
It’s a journey through a wild and barely touched environment, of pristine white beaches and untamed, tropical bush, and the people that live there; you’ll find thriving communities of the Yolngu people, who have in many cases returned to their ancestral homelands from the cities.
 
And what can be a more rewarding journey than that?

#24 – Wilpena Pound, South Australia

Wilpena Pound, Flinders Ranges and Lake Eyre
An enigmatic landform that looks like a massive impact crater, Wilpena Pound is often (annoyingly for those who live here) mistaken for being the crater from Wolf Creek.
 
In fact its mountain-ringed bowl is a result of a sedimentary syncline, something for school teachers to get excited about. Indeed, the Geologist’s Drive here is geologist pornography; or would that be just… geography?
 
Come for challenging sunrise walks up into this natural amphitheatre including a section of the famous Heysen Trail, named for the artist who obsessed over the colourful gums in the region. At the end of the day, retire to luxury accommodation including the eco-villas at Rawnsley Park Station or Wilpena Pound Resort for glamping.
 
And you have to drop into the Prairie at Parachilna, just under two hours north, for the feral food platter and fine wines at a traditional outback pub that looks country from the outside but is surprisingly metropolitan within.
 
See, Wilpena Pound is so much more than a crater – ahem, we mean ‘syncline’.

#25 – Carnarvon Gorge, Queensland

Carnarvon Gorge Aerial
 
Walking through our country’s many wonderful and varied national parks, it can be easy to miss out on the similarly striking and unique animals for which these preserved spaces are sanctuary.
 
Carnarvon National Park, 400 kilometres west of Gladstone, could be the most spectacular place in Australia to spot wildlife, its subtropical rainforest surrounded by dramatic sandstone bluffs and run through with Carnarvon Gorge, a staggering 600 metres deep at its mouth and one of Queensland’s most dramatic natural sites.
 
To gain a rich understanding of the flora and fauna here, employ the likes of Australian Nature Guides. Head guide Simon Ling will accompany you deep into the gorge and can identify animals by their calls so you can home in on their location. “Carnarvon Gorge is one of Australia’s great ecological refuges.
 
Exploring the tracks and trails beneath Carnarvon’s magnificent cliffs is like hiking back in time to an era when this part of Queensland was much wetter and cooler,” says Simon. “There are plants and animals here that appear out of place, considering the semi-arid landscapes outside the gorge.”
 
His extensive knowledge of Carnarvon’s plants and wildlife, as well as its cultural history, means you won’t just bag a shot of a swamp wallaby, you’ll understand its crucial role in the ecology too. If you can, book yourself on a Night Safari Tour, where Simon will point out greater and yellow-bellied gliders with a flashlight as they soar from tree to tree.

#26 – King’s Canyon, Northern Territory

Kings Canyon, Northern Territory
“We’ve landed on a strange, mysterious world,” Captain Kirk might have said if he’d beamed down onto the precipice of this canyon.
 
Possessing a striking, grand beauty of sweeping orange sandstone cliffs 100 metres high, Kings Canyon, six hours south-west of Alice Springs and home to the Luritja people for some 20,000 years, demands to be explored.
 
Walking along its rim you feel like you could be the first to set foot on some alien world, the buttresses of rock affording views of an oasis of natural pools fed by Kings Creek below.
 
Once you’ve done the Rim Walk, head down for the spectacular Base Walk. And if you want to see the impressive scale of this deep wound in the desert, take a helicopter tour over it with Kings Canyon Resort.

#27 – Nitmiluk (Katherine) Gorge, Northern Territory

Katherine Gorge
 
Whether it’s an endless sea of red sand, or the minimalist aesthetic of a desert dotted with hardy shrubs and delicate wildflowers, the outback often comes across as homogenous expanses, spectacular as they are nonetheless.
 
It’s when nature suddenly decides to get creative across these canvases like a frenzied Jackson Pollock that things start to get really interesting. Take Nitmiluk Gorge in its namesake national park, just 30 kilometres from the township of Katherine.
 
In fact, 13 gorges here suddenly sink down into the wilderness of bush, a process that has taken the Katherine River thousands of years, witnessed over the course of many generations by the Jawoyn people.
 
Allow them to show you their home with tours of raging waterfalls, ancient rock-art sites and cruises along the river by kayak or boat through their company Nitmiluk Tours. It also means you can enjoy it all with a stay at the gorgeous Cicada Lodge too.

#28 – The Nullabor, South Australia

The Nullarbor
 
It’s a plain; a whole lot of nothing (Nullarbor means ‘no trees’ in Latin after all), the presence of absence as it were. Or is it?
 
Drive along one of the longest sections of straight road in the world (about 146 kilometres of bitumen without a turn), and you should spot the country’s biggest (feral) land mammal, the camel; desert flowers stretching off for infinity that bloom into colourful life with the seasons; and magnificent sunsets setting it all off with low desert light come evening.
 
A drive here is time enough for endless contemplation, but don’t simply set your cruise control and fall asleep at the wheel. Take one of the tracks that stab off the Eyre Highway to see what the Nullarbor and its namesake national park are all about: staggering views of the Great Australian Bight, where the desert scrub comes to an abrupt end at vertical sea cliffs, the Southern Ocean beyond.
 
From May to October, you’ll spot southern right whales gathering off the coast to calve. It seems the presence of absence can be something very beautiful indeed.

#29 – Longreach and Winton, Queensland

Winton Dinosaur Attraction
Perhaps overlooked for the bucket-list greats of the outback, a visit to the dusty frontier town of Longreach pays rich dividends.
 
While you could spend weeks travelling around the Kimberley, there’s so much to do around Longreach in the space of a weekend. Learn about the origins of our national airline at the Qantas Founders Museum and don’t miss the ode to cowboy life at the Australian Stockman’s Hall of Fame.
 
Just under two hours’ drive north, see the largest collection of Aussie dino fossils in the world at the Australian Age of Dinosaurs, before exploring classic outback town Winton and its new, improved Matilda Centre (reopened on 20 April), the world’s first museum dedicated to a song.

#30 – William Creek, South Australia

The William Creek Hotel
The town of William Creek is little more than a tin shed watering hole, but among the colourful local characters at the William Creek Hotel you’ll meet intrepid travellers who have tackled great outback journeys to get here; perhaps you’ll be inspired to embark on an adventure yourself.
 
Perched on the fringes of Kati Thanda-Lake Eyre National Park (make sure you take a scenic flight over the lake), William Creek feels like it’s a crossroads for the entire outback.
 
Will you head west to the quirky mining opal town of Coober Pedy? North on the epic Oodnadatta Track all the way to the Red Centre or even on to Darwin? Or east to Marree and then north on the Birdsville Track to catch the iconic races just over the border in Queensland? 4WD recommended!
 
Perhaps, years later, you’ll be back to regale others with your experiences at the William Creek Hotel.

DEALS

31 to 40 – Foodie Favourites

#31 – Mudgee, New South Wales

Mudgee NSW
A perennially popular spot for weekends and mini-breaks, Mudgee is a food and wine destination worth allocating a few extra days to explore.
 
Savour the drops at one of its many family-owned cellar doors – the region has 150 years of winemaking under its belt and is renowned for its cabernet sauvignon and shiraz – and enjoy leisurely breakfasts, long lunches and degustation dinners at sophisticated, local-produce focused eateries.
 
Fine diner Pipeclay Pumphouse, based at Robert Stein Vineyard & Winery, affords the chance to indulge in all of the above. Positioned lakeside in an atmospheric space that, in its pumphouse days, serviced the winery, menu options include a degustation of five, eight or 10 courses with matching wines.
 
Or, for small plates and wine in an old converted cheese factory, travel 10 minutes down the road to The Cellar By Gilbert.

#32 – Margaret River, Western Australia

River Mouth, Margaret River, Western Australia
When it comes to food regions they don’t come much more fabled than the Margaret River, three hours from Perth.
 
With delightful towns like Dunsborough, Busselton and Yallingup to recommend it, the area could easily rest on its laurels as a sun-drenched summer holiday Mecca. But the stunning coastal scenery plays second fiddle to the food, wine, and boutique brews.
 
With so much on offer, we ask a WA native, our art director Anita Jokovich, for some help: Do: Check out an exhibition at Yallingup’s The Studio Gallery and then enjoy a rosé in the accompanying bistro.
 
See: Swim in the lagoon at Yallingup Beach, or go for a surf at Smiths Beach; you can’t go wrong along this stunning coastline.
 
Eat: The recently opened Yarri Restaurant is a must, courtesy of renowned chef Aaron Carr.

#33 – King Island, Tasmania

King Island Tasmania
 
King Island, a rugged, windswept beauty in the middle of the Bass Strait, has become foodie shorthand for stunning produce, most famously the rich, creamy cheeses that bear its name.
 
By rights, not much should thrive here, isolated as it is in a constantly churning sea, but King Island’s remoteness has somehow contributed to its collective determination to make a name for itself on a world stage.
 
And it has succeeded spectacularly: its wares are sought after by chefs and gourmands from Hong Kong to Spain.
 
The best way to sample all the island has to offer at one time is by pulling up a chair at the King Island Long Table Festival (held in April each year), a weekend of farm and produce tours, cooking demonstrations and experiences, culminating in the namesake feast of seasonal dishes and accompanying Tasmanian wines.

#34 – Merricks, Victoria

Merricks general wine store
Hiding in plain sight on the ‘other side’ of the Mornington Peninsula is a collection of small towns where a clutch of new openings are redefining the food and drink offering in these parts.
 
One such place is Merricks, just outside of which sits the startlingly modern black form of the Jackalope Hotel.
 
Spreading out across a still-functioning vineyard, the hotel itself is a riot of sleek purpose and modern design, while the restaurants attached – the hatted Doot Doot Doot, with its arresting ceiling of metallic lightbulbs and seasonal five-course tasting menu, and the relaxed communal dining space of Rare Hare, serving up hearty roasts and expansive views of the surrounding countryside – are arguably the stars of the show.
 
Come by car and you will have the means to scoot down the road to Pt. Leo Estate to try the beetroot pancakes conjured up by executive chef Phil Wood at Pt. Leo Restaurant, and take home a few bottles of the wine produced here.

#35 – Fleurieu Peninsula, South Australia

SA's Fleurieu Peninsula
 
Located 45 minutes from Adelaide, the Fleurieu Peninsula has much to recommend it, not only the pleasant climate but also the four distinctive wine regions contained within – including McLaren Vale, which translates to over 100 cellar doors in itself.
 
But man cannot live on wine alone, so it’s just as well that the area is one of the ultimate foodie destinations in the country. The best way to get to the good stuff being produced here is at one of the many weekend markets.
 
Here, some to look out for: Victor Harbor Farmers’ Market, Saturdays 8am–12.30pm; The Vale Market, McLaren Vale, the first and third Sunday of each month 9am–1pm; Willunga Farmers’ Market Saturday 8am–12.30pm; Port Elliot Market, first and third Saturday each month and Easter weekend, 9am–2pm.

#36 – Stanthorpe, Queensland

Stanthorpe QLD
Queensland and wine are not terms you often see together, with the Sunshine State largely overshadowed by the big names down south.
 
But, Stanthorpe is in fact the home to more than 40 cellar doors, producing over 20 ‘Strange Birds’, Granite Belt wines made from alternative grape varieties like Sylvaner, Nero d’Avola and Petit Verdot (to be classed as an alternative variety it must represent no more than one per cent of the total bearing vines in Australia as defined by Wine Australia).
 
Set off on the self-guided Strange Bird Wine Trail (find the map here) and you can sample the difference yourself, as well as picking up gourmet goodies along the way, from locally grown olives to fresh berries and apples.

#37 – Swan Valley, Western Australia

Perth wineries
Five things you probably didn’t know about Western Australia’s verdant Swan Valley:
 

  1. It’s ridiculously handy to Perth; with gorgeous vistas of rolling hills and endless grape vines stretching on for as far as the eye can see, the Swan Valley is only around 30 minutes’ drive from Perth, making it a perfect getaway.
  2. It is WA’s oldest wine region, having celebrated the 180th anniversary of the planting of the first vines in 2014; the first commercial vintage was released in 1834.
  3. There are more than 40 wineries scattered throughout the valley, including names like Sandalford, Houghtons and Mandoon Estate.
  4. It is Australia’s first and only Humane Food Region, with a commitment to humane farming practices and the welfare of animals.
  5. The 32-kilometre Food & Wine Trail is a self-guided tour that takes in 150 restaurants, wineries, breweries, cafes, art galleries and distilleries.

#38 – Coffin Bay, South Australia

Coffin Bay SA
 
Located some 46 kilometres from Port Lincoln on the Eyre Peninsula in South Australia, Coffin Bay is often described as ‘sleepy’.
 
Its namesake oysters are sold all over the country (and indeed the world), but it’s worth the journey to the source to experience the stunning location and dedication to the craft of oyster rearing.
 
The first Pacific oysters were introduced to the waters here in 1969, and there are now over 40 independent growers tending lease sites here. Tours are available from various operators to get an insight into the process of growing the silky, salty molluscs, but for those who would rather cut to the chase and chow down, head to 1802 Oyster Bar and Bistro on the Esplanade.
 
And when you have had your fill of oysters (if that is even possible), Coffin Bay’s location between the sea and Coffin Bay National Park offers up lots of activity, from fishing and snorkelling to walking trails.

#39 – Bangalow, New South Wales

Bangalow NSW
This town in the Northern Rivers region of New South Wales, Byron Shire, is the perfect place to indulge in the best produce of the region away from the bigger crowds that Byron itself attracts.
 
Bangalow brings together the best of what the regional restaurants and producers are doing on a weekly basis and showcases it in the one place during the Sample Food Festival every September,” says Jacqui Riley, north coast resident and owner of Jacqui Riley Divine Cakes.
 
“And it has a stylish country charm.” It’s also a handy base for discovering the rest of Byron Shire.
 
“Its close proximity to the plethora of markets and dining options in nearby Byron, Federal, Brunswick and Mullumbimby makes it the perfect foodie destination on the far-north coast.”

#40 – Kyneton, Victoria

Kyneton, Vic
Regional towns don’t come any cuter than Kyneton, a little foodie hub on the up and up in Victoria’s breathtaking Macedon Ranges.
 
Piper Street, the beating heart of the town, is lined with the kind of historic shopfronts that you would undertake a road trip to see (it’s just over an hour’s drive from Melbourne along the Calder Freeway), many of them now housing cafes, restaurants (including the hatted Source Dining) and gourmet fare.
 
To really soak up the atmosphere, grab a selection of goodies from Piper Street Food Company picnic shop and head for Kyneton Mineral Springs Reserve for a picnic (spots in the rotunda are much sought after); you can fill up with the health-giving natural mineral waters that proliferate in the area at the old pump for free.

DEALS

41 to 50 – Alternative Capitals

#41 – Bendigo, Victoria

Bendigo Autumn
The Bendigo Art Gallery sits at the heart of this Victorian city, regularly presenting a range of dynamic exhibitions that sum up what makes its alternative and artistic appeal so distinct. We caught up with the gallery’s director, Karen Quinlan.
 
How would you describe Bendigo’s creative scene today? : “Bendigo has developed and grown over the last few decades and is a thriving creative city, with a rich cafe, dining and fashion culture and a full calendar of events and festivals. All of this blends with the rich gold-rush heritage buildings to add much to the overall feel of the city.”
 
And what role does the Bendigo Art Gallery play in that? : “We are one of the largest regional galleries in Australia, and the support we have from the local community and the City of Greater Bendigo means we have been able to raise the bar by bringing in international exhibitions, many exclusive to the city.
 
We have also been able to build on our extensive 19th-century European art and Australian holding with an important and growing contemporary Australian art collection, which we like to show alongside international exhibitions so what we offer audiences is rich and diverse and constantly changing.
 
Over time we have become a destination, a reason to visit Bendigo, and the City recognises this and continues to support our programs. It’s an enviable model and one that continues to evolve and grow.”

#42 – Fremantle, Western Australia

Fremantle WA
 
Eat: Port city Fremantle is known for its precincts of late Victorian and early Edwardian buildings that were spared the wrecking ball when the (wheat and gold) glory days ended and economic activity shifted to Perth. A wander down the lively stretch of South Terrace known as Cappuccino Strip provides a great snapshot of this. Stop for coffee, of course, but also restaurants, pubs and breweries and the nearby Fremantle Markets.
 
Drink: Fremantle’s iconic Little Creatures Brewery is based out of a huge waterfront shed that was once a crocodile farm. If that isn’t enough to pique your interest, perhaps the lure of a pale ale and pizza in the buzzy Great Hall or in the sunny backyard will do the trick.
 
Play: Housed in a former asylum built by convicts, today the Fremantle Arts Centre is a contemporary cultural space. It hosts exhibitions such as Revealed Exhibition: New and Emerging WA Aboriginal Artists, talks and gigs – from local musicians to big-ticket international acts – across its ample grounds.

#43 – Bundaberg, Queensland

Bundaberg rum distillery QLD
 
It might be famous for its rum, turtles and aviation history (the first solo flight between England and Australia was made in 1928 by Bundaberg-born Bert Hinkler, whose house-museum you can visit today), but there’s plenty more brewing in Queensland’s coastal city of Bundaberg.
 
For 10 days in July, Taste Bundaberg Festival takes over the city and its surrounds to showcase the region’s produce through a host of farm-to-gate experiences. And on Friday nights throughout the year, you’ll find an old boat-building shed on the riverbank transformed into a lively food market and craft-beer bar.
 
A labour of love for longtime Bundy residents Greg and Karen Wittkopp, RiverFeast (pictured) was launched two and a half years ago “to give locals and visitors alike a unique eating, drinking and entertainment experience alongside the Burnett River,” says Karen.
 
It brings together everything from Latin American barbecue to dim sum and Hungarian langos (a specialty fried bread with toppings) with local ciders and spirits including, of course, Bundaberg rum.

#44 – Newcastle, New South Wales

Newcastle NSW
“My favourite thing about Newcastle? The beaches are always at the top of my list, as is the case for most people here.
 
In the last few years there have been a lot of changes to the infrastructure and overall vibe of Newcastle. What was once a ‘dead’ town now is buzzing with new bars, weekend markets, a growing music industry and amazing places to eat.
 
Don’t leave town without spending a few hours eating and shopping down Darby Street before heading to the beach, which is only a short drive or a beautiful walk away.”
 
-Morgan Clark, co-founder of Pushing Pansies

#45 – Townsville, Queensland

The Strand Promenade Townsville
 
Dr Madeline Fowler, senior curator of maritime archaeology at the Museum of Tropical Queensland, shares her passion for her work and home in the North Queensland capital.
 
What role does the Museum play in the city of Townsville?: “The Museum of Tropical Queensland, part of the Queensland Museum Network, is embedded in the Townsville community.
 
From behind-the-scenes care of our State heritage objects and coral reef specimens, to celebrating northern Queensland’s unique Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures, to bringing blockbuster international exhibitions to our doorstep, the museum aims to engage the community with our exploration of the past and our local environments.”
 
Apart from a visit to the museum, of course, what should we not leave the city without doing?: “Get outdoors! One of the best things about Townsville is how close we are to many wonderful natural and cultural heritage places.
 
From relaxing on Magnetic Island and scuba diving on the historic shipwreck Yongala, to swimming in waterfalls at Paluma Range National Park and scrambling up Castle Hill, there is an adventure for everyone.”

#46 – Ballarat, Victoria

Ballarat Victoria
Eat: Head to The Forge Pizzeria on Armstrong Street if you’re partial to great pizza and a side of exposed brickwork. The popular and buzzy CBD joint (with a second outpost further west in Alfredton) is named in honour of its founders’ grandfather, a blacksmith, and today a wood-fired oven is central to operations. The menu is creative and inventive.
 
Drink: Spend a fine Ballarat evening in Mitchell Harris Wines, a cool industrial space that in its 140-year history has served as a produce store, tentmakers’ and motor workshop. Today, the bar acts as cellar door and showcase for local winemaker John Harris, as well as other wines of Central and Western Victoria.
 
Stay: Spend a night or a few in a historic townhouse, Lascelles Terrace, that has been luxuriously renovated with utmost style and character. Hire the upstairs or downstairs apartment of one house, or the whole house next door.

#47 – Alice Springs, Northern Territory

Alice Springs NT
It’s your jumping-off point for exploring the outback of the Northern Territory, and a city of art and culture in its own unique capacity.
 
Throughout the year, check out Aboriginal art in Alice Springs’ galleries and enjoy brunch and coffee at a funky cafe.
 
Visit in springtime and you’ll find the city activated by the Alice Desert Festival, an annual event that brings together music and dance collaborations from traditional Aboriginal artists and contemporary acts; in winter, it’s time for the eccentric Beanie Festival.

#48 – Launceston, Tasmania

Launceston Tasmania
 
We’ve seen, via Hobart and the ‘Mona effect’ (see also Bilbao and its Guggenheim museum), the power that creativity has to transform a city in the culture stakes and beyond.
 
With Mona’s summer festival MONA FOMA (or Mofo) planning to relocate its entire operation to Launceston, is Tasmania’s second-largest city next?
 
“With the current Hobart-centric boom of Tasmania nationally and internationally there’s a sense that the north of the state is missing out,” says Brian Ritchie, curator of Mofo (and bass player for the Violent Femmes).
 
“That’s not really true,” he continues. “There are many great events and organisations in the north, such as Junction Arts Festival, Big hART and The Unconformity. We hope to add to that in our own inimitable style.” Events held in Launnie during 2018’s January festival included Bloc Party, “an inclusive mess of onesie-clad partying,” says Brian.
 
“We hope that vibe will become infectious and Mona Foma in Launceston becomes a destination for locals, people in other parts of Tassie and interlopers from the so-called mainland and further afield.”

#49 – Mt Gambier, South Australia

Mount Gambier SA
You’ll find Mount Gambier halfway between Adelaide and Melbourne in the flatlands below an extinct volcano on the Limestone Coast.
 
It’s known for its unique natural assets: crater lakes (including the famous Blue Lake, at its most luminous in summer), underground caves and the Umpherston Sinkhole – once a cave before the top of the chamber collapsed, and now a gorgeously verdant sunken garden.
 
This compact, laid-back city’s volcanic landscape is complemented by good restaurants, stores and cafes – try small-batch specialty coffee roasters Mikro – and an interesting institution in the shape of a 152-year-old prison.
 
These days, James Stephenson and his wife Melissa run the Old Mount Gambier Gaol (above) as a boutique accommodation and event space that can host anything from birthday parties to art events and the largest concerts – think Jimmy Barnes, Xavier Rudd and Suzi Quatro – the region has seen.
 
“It is an empty canvas to be able to do anything we want to try,” says James. Well-travelled but born and bred in the city, chef and hospitality gun James loves the ease of life he finds in Mount Gambier, with its relaxing town-like pace of life supplemented by a city buzz when the likes of Jimmy rock up.

#50 – Armidale, New South Wales

Armidale NSW
Armidale is one of those rural communities that punches far above its weight,” says Deborah Pulkkinen, managing director of Wayward Trails.
 
“This is the kind of place you come for a holiday and end up living happily ever after. I believe they call it a tree change. If you want culture and art, you really can’t go any further than Armidale. We have such a variety, from the famous Hinton collection at NERAM, our regional art museum, to endeavours such as Go Create! in Kentucky, which provides a textiles and art retreat.
 
“Obviously my bias is towards food and beverage and you cannot get more paddock-to-plate than here. Throw in some craft beer, world-class gin and cool-climate wines and I don’t think you could find a better region for local produce.
 
Armidale is also a very picturesque town, fully experiencing all four seasons: a bit of a rarity in Australia. Armidale is very ‘Southern Highlands’, but the beauty of it is that it is relatively undiscovered.”

DEALS

51 to 60 – Neighbourhoods

#51 – Chippendale, New South Wales

Chippendale Sydney
 
The inner-city hub of Chippendale in Sydney has come a long way since its days as an overcrowded slum in the 19th century, jammed with tightly packed houses and the stench of nearby abattoirs.
 
Hell, it’s come a long way since it was a semi-industrial hub for the likes of the rag trade, when the giant Carlton and United Brewery (originally Tooths) was still producing beer here in the late 20th century, a place of bustling activity during the day and a no-go zone at night.
 
Now it is a much sought-after address, its old warehouses filled with art galleries (check out the renowned White Rabbit Gallery on Balfour Street for contemporary Chinese art), creative agencies and eateries (try the myriad offerings along Kensington Street), and its skyline dominated by the masterful Jean Nouvel-designed One Central Park, a 33-storey vertical garden of some 30,000 shrubs and 70,000 plants.
 
In fact, the only thing jam-packed into Chippendale these days are diners enjoying the Asian hawker fare on Spice Alley and bright young things sipping drinks at the revitalised Old Clare Hotel.

#52 – Carlton, Victoria

Royal Exhibition Building Carlton VIC
 
The backstory of Carlton is writ large on its main, and most famous, thoroughfare of Lygon Street, where a profusion of cafes, eateries and delis trumpet its origins as a Melbourne neighbourhood settled by Italians and other migrants from post-war Europe in the middle of last century, who set up the kind of communal cafes they left behind.
 
And hey presto, Australian cafe culture was born. But robust, flavoursome caffeine brews are not the only thing Carlton has going for it.
 
For nature lovers, culture vultures and architecture wonks, the expansive Carlton Gardens are the ultimate drawcard, home to the compelling Melbourne Museum, the glorious World Heritage-listed Royal Exhibition Building, completed in 1880 to house the Melbourne International Exhibition, as well as 26-hectares of lush Victorian landscape gardens complete with fountains, lakes and, come spring, achingly beautiful swathes of blooms.
 
Bellisimo!

#53 – Neighbourhood – Prahran, Victoria

Prahran Victoria
 
Ground zero for all that is good about Melbourne, from a thriving social scene to card-melting shopping to charming inner-city parks, the best way to experience Prahran is to immerse yourself and live like a local.
 
Step one: Even the most cursory glance at Airbnb presents a roster of accommodation for rent that defines the vibe of this part of the city (including neighbouring St Kilda), from pretty Art Deco apartments to sleek new high rises with sexy rooftoop swimming pools.
 
Step two: Find a cafe that you like the look of and cultivate a ‘I come here all the time’ air of confidence: try Fourth Chapter for light and airy, Piccolo Espresso with its resident DJ, or Hobba for quality beans.
 
Step three: Head to Prahran Markets to buy up big from the passionate traders plying their trade here, from wild mushroom specialist Damian Pike to the family-run Cleo’s Deli to cheesemaker Anthony Femia, and head ‘home’ to cook up a storm.
 
Step four: Put your glad rags on and head out after dark to sample the night life: White Oaks Saloon, The Flying Duck Hotel and Pawn & Co. all rate with locals.

#54 – Braddon, Canberra

Braddon Canberra
 
“While still keeping elements of its industrial roots, the Canberra suburb of Braddon has grown into an art and design hub almost by accident rather than by plan.
 
There is a beautiful organic growth here that you don’t get through traditional planning, a creative undercurrent that has resulted in the area becoming an incubator for design and epicure.
 
For me it’s all about the laid-back sensibility and the wonderful sense of community.”
 
– Designer and proud Canberran, Brian Tunks

#55 – Surry Hills, New South Wales


 
“Sydney’s Surry Hills presents a constant temptation to eat, drink and spend far too much,” says Australian Traveller editorial director Leigh-Ann Pow.
 
“When it comes to coffee, my favourite places are Three Williams on Elizabeth Street (you can often spot members of the South Sydney Rabbitohs there after training at nearby Redfern Oval), Bills on Crown Street, and the original Bourke Street Bakery.
 
I love to shop at the regular sales at Extinct, Dinosaur Designs’ samples and seconds shop (Elizabeth Street), and browse the lovely stationery at Paper2 (Crown Street).
 
And when I don’t want to spend a cent, I stroll the maze of streets off Albion Street admiring the eclectic mix of architecture that characterises the area.”

#56 – Leederville, Western Australia

Leederville WA
This Perth suburb is small but it packs a serious punch when it comes to eating, drinking and making merry.
 
The main drag of Oxford Street, and the offshoot of Newcastle Street, present cafe after restaurant after bar after concept store as you walk their length, offering up everything from South American-influenced drinks (The Blue Flamingo) to serious coffee (Pixel Coffee Brewers) to tapas (The Meatball Bar, Pinchos and Duende) to vinyl (Black Records and Urban Records).
 
In fact, the precinct’s eclectic mix of food and drink, its close proximity to the CBD (it’s less than four kilometres or an easy 10-minute drive), and its friendly disposition might just make this the ultimate hood in which to hang out in.

#57 – Fortitude Valley, Queensland

travel journalist sarah harris relax tips guide food
“There is so much to love about the Valley. Here you will find people from all walks of life, a burgeoning cafe scene, premier retail precincts like James Street and Emporium, late night feeds and fascinating street art, all within a stone’s throw of the CBD, river and major transport hubs.”
 
So says the team at Tryp, the funky street-art hotel in the thick of the action of this Brisbane neighbourhood.
 
“Fortitude Valley also has some of the best nightlife, with everything from dive bars (RG’s, Ric’s) to whiskey joints (Savile Row), jazz clubs (Press Club), live rock (Zoo, Greaser), premier nightclubs (Family, The Met), quirky bars (Viscosity, Heya), beer gardens (Pig ‘N’ Whistle, The Elephant), rooftop bars (UP on Constance, Eleven) and everything in between.”

#58 – Hindmarsh, South Australia

Hindmarsh Adelaide
 
When it comes to ahead-of-the-curve indicators that a neighbourhood is about to be huge, craft brewers and food trucks are definitely worth paying attention to.
 
Which is why there is a big buzz around the Adelaide suburb of Hindmarsh.
 
It has its own brewery, Pirate Life Brewing, run by a collection of bearded and baseball-capped boys who have made it their mission to produce quality, full-flavoured beer that they are now supplying to a long list of Adelaide drinking institutions; and Hindmarsh Square is a regular gathering place for food trucks (and hungry customers), selling everything from burgers to hotdogs to churros out of caravans and through hatches.
 
Also here is Holden Street Theatres: a funky hidden gem of a spot that showcases world-class independent theatre productions within converted church buildings.
 
“Hindmarsh (and neighbouring Thebarton) are still pretty rough around the edges, but they are emerging areas for sure,” one Adelaide local told us. Early adopters might need to get in there fast.

#59 – Battery Point, Tasmania

Battery Point Hobart
With a fascinating history and picturesque streetscape, this inner-city Hobart neighbourhood is best discovered by foot.
 
Start at Salamanca Place, heading up Kelly’s Steps and along to Hampden Road to the Narryna Heritage Museum, which is well worth a look.
 
On the corner of De Witt Street, Invercoe is a sandstone home built in 1883, and around the corner on Cromwell Street, St George’s Anglican Church, built in 1838, marks the highest spot in Battery Point.
 
Along nearby Waterloo Street historic houses like Harriet House and Fusilier’s Cottage are easy to find, before heading back to Hampden Road and onto Arthur Circus, the circle of pretty cottages that is a hallmark of the neighbourhood.

#60 – Barangaroo, New South Wales


“What I love about Barangaroo is that it has a real urban village feel to it,” says Somer Sivrioglu, executive chef of Anason, one of the first restaurants to take up residence in the newly minted Sydney CBD precinct: a considered collection of restaurants, bars and shopping that is proving a huge drawcard to weekday workers in the surrounding office blocks and weekend revellers.
 
“My barber is there, I can shop in good quality little shops, no big names. The food is amazing, there’s good coffee and, I think, the best ice-cream shop in Sydney (RivaReno Gelato Barangaroo),” he continues.
 
“I think Sydney lacks waterfront venues that are for the locals and for local tourists; this is the best choice in town to take friends and visitors.”
 
No wonder Somer’s been referred to as the unofficial Mayor of Barangaroo; it’s definitely got our vote now.

DEALS

61 to 70 – The Burbs

#61 – Fitzroy, Victoria

Fitzroy Victoria
 
With its eclectic, bohemian personality, the inner-city Melbourne suburb of Fitzroy is a riot of street art, cafes and shopping.
 
The best place to start any exploration of these parts is on Gertrude Street, off the main drag of Brunswick Street.
 
Breakfast: Find a table at South American diner Sonido ( No. 69) and order an arepa, a round patty made from maize, and topped with everything from cheese, eggs, beef or chorizo.
 
Time to shop Cottage Industry (No. 67) is a small boutique filled with fashion and homeware pieces that have been designed and made in Fitzroy or sourced from around the world; Pickings & Parry (No. 166) has menswear and accessories imbibed with quality and craftsmanship.
 
Lunch: As the name implies, Archie’s All Day (No. 189) serves from early to late, with the lunch menu of burgers and comfort food kicking into action at 10am so there is no pause in proceedings.
 
Time to shop some more Obus (No. 226) is the work of fashion designer Kylie Zebst, whose wearable designs are influenced by her travels; Little Salon (No. 71) has girly frocks, accessories, homewares and Lovehate jewellery.
 
Dinner: Chef Andrew McConnell’s Cutler & Co (No. 55-57) is a local institution housed in an old metal works

#62 – Burleigh Heads, Queensland

Burleigh Heads QLD
 
“I escape to Burleigh at any opportunity I can get. To me, it is the capital of the new-era Gold Coast.
 
It has such a positive pull, a real sense of community and a very relaxed atmosphere.
 
Burleigh has been revitalised into a dynamic and contemporary destination, whilst effortlessly paying tribute to its glittering 1960s surf town history.”
 
-Kara Rosenlund, travel, documentary and lifestyle photographer
 
With one of the country’s best foreshore walks and a cavalcade of dining nearby to match, it’s easy to see why Burleigh is the new Surfers Paradise – without the tack.

#63 – North Hobart, Tasmania

North Hobart Tasmania
 
You don’t really know North Hobart unless you know to (cheekily) call it NoHo.
Alliterations aside, this suburb has seen a mini boom over the last few years as rental returns in our southernmost state climbed and climbed, and ‘mainlanders’ started discovering the allure of a more Tasmanian pace of life.
 
Suddenly its slightly-pedestrian main street, Elizabeth Street, located up the hill from the more sparkly waterfront of Salamanca Place, was transformed into a funky collection of cafes, eateries, shops and galleries retro-fitted into the area’s charming historic buildings, many of which date back over 100 years.
 
So now NoHo is des-res in the extreme.

#64 – Manly, New South Wales

Manly NSW
 
Learning to surf is almost a rite of passage for Australians given our land is girt by sea, and a favourite place to learn some board basics is on the sands of the celebrated northern Sydney beachside suburb of Manly.
 
Lessons at Manly Surf School are stacks of fun, with adult and kids’ lessons throughout the year.
 
Then dry off and head to one of the many cafes serving up serious coffee and beachside cool: the lovely Boathouse at Shelly Beach with its Instagram-worthy interiors; the Nordic cool of Fika Swedish Kitchen; or Barefoot Coffee Traders and Showbox Coffee Brewers, always packed with locals.

#65 – Parramatta, New South Wales

8 Phillip Street parramatta food hotels new design
 
Eat: Parramatta, and neighbouring Harris Park, have a lock on some of the best Indian food in Sydney, from dosa to biryani; try Ginger Indian Restaurant for delicious North Indian curries.
 
Drink: There is no signage at Uncle Kurt’s; it’s hidden below a car park (Horwood Place). If you do manage to locate it, you will find a graffiti-daubed space serving up serious cocktails and NY deli fare.
 
Play: What with a revamped Tropfest film festival that took place in Parramatta Park this year; the Sydney Festival program getting bigger and better here each year (including the ever popular Spiegeltent); the Riverside Theatre attracting artists and performers from all over the world; and the colourful Parramasala festival, a three-day celebration of the diverse cultures that thrive in the greater Sydney area.
 
There’s never a dull moment in Parramatta, literally!

#66 – Cottesloe, Western Australia

Cottesloe-Beach
A Indian Ocean alternative to its Bondi big sister, Sculpture by the Sea, Cottesloe is staged on the beach here each March. Founding director David Handley explains why you should visit this Perth suburb for longer:
 
Cottesloe is one of Australia’s most stunning beaches with views to the horizon that seem to stretch forever – and Perth has arguably the best sunsets of any major city in the world. The amphitheatre looking onto the beach from under the shade of the pine trees gives you a different perspective of the walk to compare with when you walk along the sand.
 
Over 200,000 people come from all across Perth and south-west Western Australia to see the exhibition. Each Friday to Sunday evening Cottesloe Beach becomes Perth’s giant passeggiata with thousands of people wandering among the sculptures on the beach as the sun sets over the Indian Ocean. It is the most extraordinary relaxed community vibe.
 
Most people say you should visit two or three times as the sculptures and the atmosphere change at different times of day. My favourite times are to beat the crowds with an early morning wander around the sculptures followed by a swim and then breakfast at John Street Café. Or arrive around 5pm to soak up the atmosphere of the sunset crowds on the sand before heading to Il Lido for drinks and dinner.
 
Make sure you drop into ‘Sculpture Inside’, our exhibition of small indoor works in a large walk-in marquee on the Sea View Golf course across the road from the beach.
 
I am jealous of everyone eating fish and chips under the trees watching the sunset before or after a beer at the Cottesloe Beach Hotel.

#67 – Cabramatta, New South Wales

Cabramatta NSW
The south-western Sydney suburb of Cabramatta, located roughly 30 kilometres from the city, serves up a cultural melting pot of ethnicities, cuisine and culture. Here, five spots to sample on your next visit:

  1. While the rest of Sydney prides itself on its coffee culture, tea is hero here. Teabags T-shop serves sweet, refreshing fruit teas served in easy to carry zip-lock bags.
  2. Get hands on with the local cuisine by ordering the DIY rice paper rolls option at various eateries in and around John Street; Phu Quoc is a favourite with locals.
  3. If the size of the crowd waiting for tables is your metric of how good a restaurant is, Pho Ann might be the best around, with locals milling patiently at the entrance watching those inside slurp up bowls of the delicate broth.
  4. Eastland Supermarket Sieu Thi Dong Khanh has aisle after aisle of Asian staples, from fresh noodles to spices to gleaming woks.
  5. Fabric shops are another specialty, festooned with colourful bolts of fabric outside, with everything from zippers to thread spools inside.

#68 – Balaclava, Victoria

Balaclava VIC
 
Never heard of the south-east Melbourne suburb of Balaclava? Well, here are a few facts to enlighten you on the subject:
 
It is considered by many to be St Kilda’s slightly cooler cousin given it is bordered by the eternally hip bay-side suburb, but remains largely undiscovered by the weekend hordes.
 
There is a huge Jewish Orthodox community here, reflected in the presence of stores like Glick’s, a local institution, opened in 1969 by Mendel Glick, and still producing chewy bagels and all manner of breads and bakes.
 
The local coffee scene is concentrated along Carlisle Street and nearby Inkerman and William Streets, while a cold beer on a hot day can be had at The Local Taphouse.

#69 – Semaphore, South Australia

Semaphore Beach Cottage Bed and Breakfast - Affordable Beach Breaks
This charming beachside suburb 14 kilometres from the centre of Adelaide has something going on all year round.
 
Semaphore Summer Carnival: This event takes place from mid-December to the last Sunday in January, with fireworks on New Year’s Eve and Australia Day.
 
Semaphore Greek Cultural Festival: Held in mid-January, this iconic celebration commemorated its 40th anniversary in 2019.
 
Adelaide International Kite Festival: Look forward to a riot of colour on the beach – and in the skies – over the Easter long weekend.
 
Semaphore Music Festival: Held on the Labour Day long weekend in October, it features performers, food trucks, rides and craft beers.
 
Semaphore Street Fair: Prepare for a day of family fun taking place along Semaphore Street on the last Sunday in November.

#70 – Kalamunda, Western Australia

Kalamunda WA
If the worth of a suburb is measured by the talent and passion of the people who choose to be there, then Kalamunda’s cachet is on the up and up.
 
Located in the eastern suburbs of Perth, at the very edge of the metropolitan area, the location saw significant development in the post-war era, especially during the ’60s and ’70s, and now boasts a population of over 62,000 people, including a few significant transplants from the CBD: two of the headlining eateries here, Mason & Bird and Chatford & Co Cafe, are helmed by ex-Rockpool Bar & Grill Perth alumni.
 
At Chatford & Co Cafe it’s ex-head pastry chef, Gavin Chater, while over at Mason & Bird, former Rockpool managers Matt Nguyen and Jaclyn Noel have teamed up with Brad Johnston.

DEALS

71 to 80 – Top Secret Spots

#71 – Groote Eylandt, Northern Territory

Groote Eylandt NT
 
Largely overlooked by anyone but fishing tragics (according to AT writer Craig Tansley, who visited recently, all but 30 tourists a year who make it to Groote Eylandt do so to fish, it being a game fishing destination of world renown) the landscape on the largest island in the Gulf of Carpentaria is scattered with unique offerings.
 
Remote Aboriginal communities, millennia-old cave paintings (some only being seen for the first time by anyone but the Indigenous residents), waterfalls and pristine pools perfect for cooling off in the far north heat can all be encountered here.
 
While it might seem like the final frontier, there are a few mod cons, including the Groote Eylandt Lodge, sitting at the water’s edge.
 
But that’s about it really: according to Craig, they keep crocodiles as pets up there. Now that’s something you’ve just got to see to believe.

#72 – Cocos Keeling Islands

Cocos Keeling Islands
 
This highly remote – and utterly gorgeous – Australian territory sits in the Indian Ocean, the nearest patch of Australia being the Christmas Islands to the east.
 
Made up of two coral atolls, comprised of 27 small islands and populated by around 600 Cocos Malay people, the Cocos Keelings are a tropical paradise that many seem completely oblivious to.
 
Indeed, there are few places on the planet today where you can feel truly removed, but these tiny islands of palm trees, white beaches and lagoons are blissfully remote, giving you an excuse to move at a different pace and try different things, from surfing to bird-watching (there are 39 breeding or resident bird species on the islands).

#73 – Second Valley, South Australia

Second Valley Beach SA
 
Where? An hour’s drive from Adelaide on the Fleurieu Peninsula.
 
What? Calling Second Valley sleepy is actually a compliment: it is so unaffected and basic in its accommodation offering – the caravan park is your best bet – that it leaves you with nothing better to do than simply take in the breathtaking beauty of the surroundings.
 
Why? Contrasted against the blue water and sky the unusual rock formations are the stuff that Instagram likes are made of.

#74 – Ningaloo, Western Australia

Swim with Ningaloo Reef's whale sharks Western Australia
 
We bet you didn’t know…

#75 – Milton, New South Wales

Milton Mollymook Country town Australia
 
Where?</strong? Around three hours’ drive from Sydney in the Shoalhaven region.
 
What? Established in 1860, the entire town, filled with picture-postcard historic buildings, has been classified by the National Trust of Australia as a historic village.
 
Why? With its pretty main street and the frisson of creativity running through it,
Milton (known as Milly; neighbouring Mollymook is Molly) is the kind of place that once you discover, you keep coming back time and time again.
 
Check out the boutiques and cafes on the main street, pop into the monthly arts and craft market, stop by Merry Maidens Veggies for bio-dynamic produce, and then head to the nearby hinterland town of Woodstock for lunch at Milk Haus, housed in an old cheese factory.

#76 – Agnes Waters / 1770, Queensland

1770 qld
Where? The town, also known as Seventeen Seventy, is 120 kilometres north of Bundaberg near the Gladstone region’s Agnes Waters.
 
What? Its irresistible name comes thanks to the fact that it is the site of the second landing of Captain Cook and his ship, The Endeavour, in May 1770; the area is known as the birthplace of Queensland.
 
Why? There are coastal rainforests and national parks to explore, uncrowded surf breaks, fishing, diving and abundant wildlife, and the sunsets are the stuff of legend; it is one of the few places on the east coast where you can watch the sun sink over the water.

#77 – Rylstone, New South Wales

Rylstone NSW
Where? Just over three hours from Sydney on the western edge of the Blue Mountains in the Mudgee wine region.
 
What? It’s one of the oldest villages west of the Great Dividing Range and it’s just so damn cute: the stone buildings on the main thoroughfare of Louee Street were constructed between 1865 and 1895.
 
Why? Given its location within the Mudgee region, a foodie haven, it makes sense that Rylstone has its own food festival: plan a visit to coincide with StreetFeast in spring where market stalls sell local wines and gourmet produce, and you can enjoy a long-table long lunch with locals and visitors.

#78 – Wye River, Victoria

Wye River Great Ocean Road
 
Where? On Victoria’s Great Ocean Road.
 
What? You’re not visiting for attractions, you are coming to Wye River for exactly the opposite. There’s a general store, a beach and a pub that serves craft beers and has one of the best views to be had. That’s it, and it’s glorious!
 
Why? Because while the tourist hordes driving the Great Ocean Road gravitate towards hot spots like Lorne and Apollo Bay, Wye River remains largely overlooked, meaning it has a lovely off-the-beaten-track appeal, despite being on one of the most scenically pleasing tracks in the country.

#79 – Corinna, Tasmania

Corinna Tasmania
Located a 90-minute drive north from Strahan, the former gold mining town of Corinna is the launch pad for any exploration of the sublime natural beauty of the Southern Tarkine.
 
But rather than just presenting a spot from which to get somewhere else, Corinna should be indulged in before you set off on your way, given it is a generously blessed confluence of wide, still rivers, pristine rainforest wilderness, and the roiling waters of the Southern Ocean.
 
There’s great food on offer – this is Tasmania, after all – and the accommodation matches the unaffected ambience of the area, from eco-retreats to converted miners’ cottages to the local pub.

#80 – Toodyay, Western Australia

Jacaranda Homestead, Toodyay, WA
Where? Located on the Avon River, about 85 kilometres north-east of Perth.
 
What? Having been first settled by Europeans back in 1836, there are lots of lovely remnants of the colourful history of the town which are now a drawcard for in-the-know day-trippers from Perth, and out-of-towners lucky enough to stumble across it.
 
Why? It turns out that Toodyay is home to the oldest emu farm in the world, Free Range Emu Farm, where you can see emus, nests and chicks in their enclosed but natural setting, and watch the incubation and hatching process in season.

DEALS

81 to 90 – Idyllic Islands

#81 – Norfolk Island

Emily Bay, Norfolk Island

“We have the cleanest, most beautiful waters, bountiful fresh fish, pristine forests, our food tastes better and you’re never more than five minutes from home.

You can’t beat our lifestyle,” says Norfolk Island resident Emily Ryves, who along with her husband Zach Sanders established an artisan goat’s cheese farm, The Hilli Goat, overlooking Anson Bay on Norfolk Island.

“It’s not just convict ruins here or old people on buses. There’s a raw energy to Norfolk; it’s not static or boring.”

This creative buzz is evident at the regular farmers’ market, where locals sell their island-reared produce, and in the development of new industries: the island now has its own winery, as well as local charcuterie (Robyn Tavener taught herself the skill), cheesemakers, coffee beans and a whole lot more.

And the best way to see it all? Hire a cute Mini Moke, grab a map and get going!

#82 – Rottnest Island, Western Australia

Rottnest Island Basin WA

Sitting just off the coast from Perth, Rottnest Island is a protected nature reserve that offers up pristine waters and natural beauty by the bucket-load.

Activities range from snorkelling to walking to surfing (try Strickland Bay), and a few more besides, but the things everyone visiting the island wants to know about, and see up close, are the quokkas.

So, here are a few fast facts to wow your fellow ferry passengers with when you’re next there:

  1. The island got its name when Dutch explorer Willem de Vlamingh dubbed it ‘Rotte Nest’ or ‘rat’s nest’ thinking quokkas were rodents.
  2. They are in fact small macropods, belonging to the kangaroo and wallaby family.
  3. There are between 10,000 to 12,000 quokkas on Rottnest Island; they breed in late summer, have a gestation period of just 27 days and produce one joey per pregnancy.
  4. They are crazy cute!

#83 – Kangaroo Island, South Australia

Pennington Bay, Kangaroo Island

Kangaroo Island is nature’s paradise, a zoo without fences, and the best place in Australia to see nature in its natural habitat!

We have stunning scenery, rugged coastlines and a surprise around every corner. And we’re also fast becoming known as a hot spot for foodies, with wineries, a gin distillery, breweries, sheep dairies, amazing oysters and seafood, and great places to eat it all.”

So says Kangaroo Island Odyssey guide, Nikki Redman; Kangaroo Island Odysseys.

This important South Australian island may have been ravaged by bushfires, yet it is already starting to bounce back – such is the resiliency of its inherent nature.

#84 – Bruny Island, Tasmania

The Neck Bruny Island Tasmania

If it’s good food you are after, you’re heading in the right direction taking the 20-minute car ferry across the D’Entrecasteaux Channel from Kettering to Bruny Island (a near neighbour of Satellite Island).

#85 – Tiwi Islands, Northern Territory

Tiwi Islands Aerial View

The islands are nicknamed the Island of Smiles, reason enough to spend time there.

The Tiwi Islands are made up of two islands, Bathurst and Melville Islands, which are located 80 kilometres north of Darwin.

The Tiwi people are rightly famous for their art; visit Bathurst Island for the annual art sale in March to meet the artists and buy works, and then watch the footy Grand Final. The sale takes place at the Tiwi Design Art Centre, with additional arts and crafts from Jilamara Arts and Crafts and Munupi Arts and Crafts from Melville Island, beginning at 9am and concluding when the footy starts at 1pm.

Tours led by an Indigenous guide are the best way to explore the diverse landscape of tropical rainforest cliffs, white sand beaches, dense jungle and idyllic rock pools.

#86 – Lizard Island, Queensland

Lizard Island QLD
The northernmost resort on the Great Barrier Reef, Lizard Island was named by Captain James Cook when he was navigating the waters here and came ashore to find an island crawling with goannas.

The reptiles now share the island, which is over 240 kilometres from Cairns, with an indulgently luxurious resort of 40 suites and villas.

From there, guests have the run of 24 private sandy beaches, as well as the aquatic wonderland of the reef.

Apart from that, it’s all hanging out on sun lounges soaking up the rays and looking out to an infinite horizon.

#87 – Satellite Island, Tasmania

Satellite Island Tasmania
Happened upon accidentally by French explorer Bruni D’Entrecasteaux back in 1792, Satellite Island became a private island, bought to farm salmon and sheep (and as a creative outlet for the new owner to paint and write poetry).

When the owner’s nephew Will acquired the island, and the house he’d built on a hill, he and his wife set about opening it to visitors as a private escape.

The humble house is now a stylish three-bedroom affair named The Summer House, and guests can indulge in the remote beauty of the island by hunkering down and doing nothing at all, or pulling on a pair of gumboots and exploring exquisitely named spots like Dreamy Bay, Last Glimpse Point and Morning Light Bay.

#88 – Houtman Abrolhos, Western Australia

abrolhos islands

Consisting of 122 islands stretching across 100 kilometres of Indian Ocean off the coast of WA, the Houtman Abrolhos Islands are clustered into three main groups: the Wallabi Group, Easter Group and Pelsaert Group.

The reefs that proliferate here are rich with sealife, while the islands harbour large breeding colonies of seabirds and sea lions. But while their remote location encourages life, it also takes it away: many ships have been wrecked on the reefs here over the centuries, the most notable being the Batavia in 1629.

The ship came to a tragic end on Morning Reef in the Wallabi group, and the story of the survivors making it to land only to turn on each other is famous. It is possible to dive the wreck site but it’s only for experienced divers.

Charter cruises running from three to nine days are available out of Geraldton if you really want to immerse yourself in the rugged beauty of these largely undiscovered gems.

#89 – Haggerstone Island, Queensland

Haggerstone Island QLD
Situated on the Great Barrier Reef, Haggerstone Island is a private haven that indulges your fantasies of being stranded on a tropical island in the middle of nowhere.

A labour of love of Roy and Anna Turner, the couple have spent the last 30 years creating a luxury resort constructed from raw, earthy materials, many scavenged from the island itself.

The result is a uniquely individual offering of lodges that melt seamlessly into the lush tropical surrounds.

The Swiss Family Robinson aesthetic reaches its zenith in the main lodge, with heavy beams, a high thatched roof, and flickering candle light illuminating the pitch-dark nights. Being cast away never looked so good.

#90 – Thursday Islands

ferry terminal on Thursday Island, QLD
The Torres Strait Islands are the stuff of mythology for most Australians, largely because many will only dream of visiting them in their lifetime.

Scattered like confetti in the waters of the Torres Strait between Cape York and Papua New Guinea (there are some 274 islands in total), for those who do make the journey, the reward is experiencing an area that is rich in culture and beauty.

The sense of time moving at a different speed is something to embrace here; Thursday Island represents the thriving heart of the Torres Strait, but don’t expect this to come with hustle and bustle.

Tour the historic sites on the island – Green Hill Fort and its tunnels that now house the Torres Strait Historical Museum, and don’t even think of leaving without seeing the Gab Titui Cultural Centre. And take a boat ride to neighbouring Friday Island.

DEALS

91 to 100 – Camping Spots

#91 – Ormiston Gorge, West MacDonnell Ranges, Northern Territory

Ormiston Gorge MacDonnell Ranges
 
One of the Northern Territory’s most spectacular swimming spots has to be at Ormiston Gorge, 135 kilometres west of Alice Springs on the way to Kings Canyon.
 
The gorge forms part of the Larapinta Trail, which runs the length of the West MacDonnell National Park. Camping here means you can take a few days to enjoy swimming in the waterhole, surrounded by cliffs of striking red rock lined with white sand beaches.
 
Brace yourself though, even on a hot day the water is very cold. From Ormiston Gorge campsite you can also take off into the bush on the 2.4-kilometre Ghost Gum Walk; keep an eye out for the metre-long Mertens’ water monitor and dingoes, which will be after a sandwich or two from your pack.
 
Secret tip: the kiosk here serves great coffee seven days a week – the camper’s medicine.

#92 – Lucky Bay, Cape Le Grand National Park, Western Australia

Lucky Bay, Esperance WA
 
Camp at Lucky Bay in Cape Le Grand National Park to take a photo that makes Australia look like a surreal dream: a pristine white sand beach and turquoise water beyond that appears near luminous, a colour typical of the beaches on the south coast of Western Australia.
 
Oh, and kangaroos lounge on the sand surveying it all sunbathing.
 
An hour’s drive from Esperance, the campsite overlooks the perfect crescent of the bay and when you’re not soaking up the sun with the roos there are some great coastal bush walks; keep an eye out for migrating whales, moving between the many islands just off the coast here.
 
Really though, once you’ve managed to stop taking photos of them, it’s all about doing what the kangaroos do: nothing much at all.

#93 – Mitchell Falls, Mitchell River National Park, Western Australia

Mitchell Falls WA
 
Some campsites are positioned within walking distance of this country’s most remarkable natural wonders, making these places accessible to all.
 
Mitchell Falls Campground is just a five-hour loop walk to its namesake, deep within Mitchell River National Park in the Kimberley.
 
You’ll find a spectacular gorge of red sandstone and a series of pools connected by waterfalls for some of the best wild swimming you can do in Australia. Don’t swim below the falls however as the largest reptile in the world – prehistoric-looking saltwater crocs – can pass through here.
 
And since you’ve saved loads by sleeping under canvas, it may mean you have the budget to take a scenic flight over it all with Aviair, which can arrange a transfer from the campground to Mitchell Plateau Airstrip, under an hour’s drive away.
 
Here you’ll board a helicopter to be whisked up to the falls before landing nearby to do the walk in style.

#94 – Iga Warta, Northern Flinders Ranges, South Australia

Iga Warta
 
Drive a couple of hours north of Wilpena Pound and you’ll find a place where you can gain an understanding of this region’s traditional people, the Adnyamathanha.
 
Set among the mountains of South Australia’s Northern Flinders Ranges, Adnyamathanha guides from Iga Warta camp run tours to rock art sites, give lessons in local flora and regale old stories around the campfire come evening.
 
“Iga Warta means the place of the native orange. You’ll have a unique opportunity to experience Adnyamathanha culture firsthand whilst staying at an Aboriginal community,” says Terrence Coulthard, whose family, traditional owners here, run the camp.
 
He’s working on a language project that is preserving Yura Ngawarla, his people’s language.
 
“The passing on of our culture and knowledge is at the heart of what we do in the community at Iga Warta. We must keep our culture and language strong; without them we have nothing.”
 
So, head here and appreciate what’s depicted in the 35,000-year-old rock art, or go to Nguthunanga Mai Ambatanha, a women’s site, where you’ll learn about traditional issues and perspectives.
 
You’ll understand the people and their place in the land better, but also help to preserve it for generations to come.

#95 – Bamurru Plains, Northern Territory

Bamurru Plains NT
 
The Northern Territory’s cattle stations can be bigger than some European nations. Take the 300-square-kilometre Swim Creek on the cusp of Kakadu National Park and the floodplains of the Mary River.
 
It’s a vast, wild place where cranes, jacanas and kingfishers share the wetlands with brumbies, wallabies and crocs. In the middle of all this, just three hours’ drive from Darwin, is quite possibly the ultimate glampsite: Bamurru Plains.
 
Taking in the view from the lodge you could be in the Okavango Delta, with buffalo grazing the surrounding floodplain. It’s fitting then that the accommodation channels a luxury African camp; the Safari Bungalows feature king-size beds on raised platforms open to views of the wildlife beyond with floor-to-ceiling mesh walls.
 
Plus there are en suite bathrooms and an infinity pool at the central lodge to cool off in after you’ve been out on the water. Indeed, the best way to see this area is by airboat, the fan-powered water craft synonymous with high-speed chases in the Florida Keys.
 
The guided tour skims you across the wetlands to get a close look at the birds, crocs and families of buffalo that call this place home, with a glass of Champagne and bush-tucker canapés to boot.

#96 – Boreang Campground, Grampians National Park, Victoria

Grampians National Park VIC Sunset
It’s Melbourne’s big weekend playground: 1672 square kilometres of stringybark forests, red gum woodland and heather-covered plateaus run through with vast ribbons of sandstone, with all the bizarre, camera-worthy rocky outcrops and mountain peaks that brings.
 
One of these is known as the Fortress, an imposing buttress rising abruptly out of the surrounding bush. If you’re an experienced walker not afraid to get really remote, and want to do some real camping, you can take three days to hike here; a journey that affords sweeping views of the ranges.
 
Take a path off the Harrop Track and on the first night pitch your tent, or just a swag, under a sweeping overhang on the way up to the massif, and light a fire like ancient peoples did for aeons.
 
It’s walks like this, as well as the famous Wonderland Traverse or the Gulgurn Manja Aboriginal art site that make the Grampians (Gariwerd in the local Indigenous tongue) a must-camp spot to spend a weekend tackling the many trails that riddle the national park.
 
Boreang Campground is a good place to base yourself with easy access to some of the best walks; stay in October when the plateaus are ablaze with colour during the annual display of wildflowers.
 
And if the thought of a swag in a cave is a little much, then stretch the glamping ideal to its limit and stay in the gorgeous contemporary architect-designed cabins at DULC, with wood burners, polished concrete floor and floor-to-ceiling glass.

#97 – Noah Beach, Cape Tribulation, Queensland

Cape Tribulation Beach QLD
To really experience where the rainforest meets the sea, the best thing to do is to actually stay within this renowned boundary along the spectacular coastline of Cape Tribulation.
 
The campsite at Noah Beach is just 50 metres from the white sands bordering the Coral Sea, set within the fringes of the Daintree Rainforest eight kilometres south of Cape Tribulation village.
 
From here you can simply walk the stretch of beach with palms and rainforest creepers hanging over the sand; if you’re lucky you may see a cassowary taking a stroll too.
 
Swimming in the sea is probably not the best idea owing to stingers and ravenous crocs; you’re far better off exploring the flora and fauna of the oldest rainforest on the planet at the Daintree Discovery Centre.

#98 – Crayfish Beach, Hook Island, Queensland

Hook Island QLD
 
The Whitsundays isn’t all about luxury resorts and expensive yacht charters, don’t you know?
 
The humble camper can make their way into the Whitsunday Islands National Park and enjoy its reefs, beaches and lush forests just as well as the next traveller and, dare we say it, have an even more fulfilling experience for it.
 
Head to the campsite at Crayfish Beach, found on the eastern side of Hook Island at Mackerel Bay, around 35 kilometres north-east of Airlie Beach, where the beach sits nestled between two mountains, coral rubble becoming tropical forest beyond.
 
But the real treasure lies out at sea – bring your snorkel and you’ll have the Great Barrier Reef to explore at your leisure right off the beach, with coral gardens and all the colourful fish species that come with it a quick swim away in the bay.
 
And at the end of it all there won’t be a bar tab to settle or yacht-hand to tip.

#99 – Memory Cove, Lincoln National Park, South Australia

Memory Cove SA
Within Lincoln National Park, a peninsula hanging off a peninsula on the rugged coast of South Australia, you’ll find a park within a park: the Memory Cove Wilderness Protection Area.
 
If you’re really wanting to feel isolated for a few days then this has to be one of the best campsites in the country for some much needed solitude owing to its restricted access – just 15 vehicles a day are allowed in.
 
Keeping people to a minimum means the sense of wilderness here is preserved; the flora and fauna can continue as it has done, uninterrupted for millions of years. Booking approved, you’ll find the campsite at secluded Memory Cove in mallee woodland.
 
Walk along the white sand beach and take in the glassy surface of the water in this sheltered, calm cove, which for a day or two, can be protection from the rigours of modern life.

#100 – Dawson Spring Campground, Mt Kaputar National Park, New South Wales

Kaputar National Park
It’s hard to tear yourself away from some of the country’s more popular national parks and their associated camping spots, the Blue Mountains, Kakadu and the like, but think outside the box, turn your gaze a little further inland and you’ll find some places you shouldn’t overlook.
 
Take Mount Kaputar National Park, an hour’s drive from Narrabri in northern New South Wales.
 
The Dawsons Spring campground is a good central base from which to explore, replete with hot showers (yay!), set among a copse of towering snow gums.
 
From here you can set out to the Mount Kaputar summit walk from where it’s said you can see 10 per cent of the state.
 
While in the park don’t miss the Sawn Rocks, a short drive away to the north. These hexagonal pillars rise out of the bush like the pipes of a cathedral organ, the result of cooling lava from an ancient volcano.

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