Australian Travel Goals 2017
I started the year with a few silly resolutions – joining a choir and touching my toes, to name a couple. The goal that I’m most proud of and eager to kick into oblivion is exploring my own backyard – that is, seeing as much of Australia as is humanly possible over the next few months, before goodness knows where life takes me.
Related: Why I’m proud to be an Australian
Here are my Australian travel goals for 2017 and also for the rest of my life.
Victoria’s capital is the one place I know I’ll be exploring for sure, particularly as I’m currently in the process of moving there. Pretty sure if twenty year old me knew I’d be moving from London to Melbourne, she’d be peeing her pants in excitement at the thought of what the future held.
I’ve visited Melbourne more times than I can count, but it’s only been for short spurts – a weekend here, a handful of days there. This is a chance to finally explore the city thoroughly – and opening up the possibility of more road trips between Melbs and Newcastle.
Melbourne is pretty much the cultural capital of Australia and the closest thing we have to a European city. I actually thought Montreal in Canada was a lot like Melbourne, coming to that conclusion when I visited in 2013. There’s going to be so much amazing food. I really can’t wait.
When I published a list of my dream destinations, Tasmania figured pretty high up on the list.
I did visit our island state a few years ago, but it wasn’t for long enough and it was a long time ago.
I’d love to catch the Spirit of Tasmania from Melbourne to Devonport and drive around the island for a couple of weeks, stopping wherever I fancy and definitely venturing right down to the bottom of the island, to gaze out towards Antarctica from one of the most southern points of the world.
Similarly, Perth is a destination in Oz that I have a beady eye on. I’ve not ever stepped foot in Western Australia, which is pretty bad when you consider that it takes up one third of Australia. Yet, you feel less bad when you remember that the vast majority of that land is uninhabitable desert.
Perth looks gorgeous, but I do have to say that I’m most interested in nearby Fremantle. It comes across as being a very funky, liberal sort of city, which is encouraging when you consider how bloody conservative the rest of our country is becoming.
The Indian Pacific Train
The Indian Pacific train, as the name might suggests, travels straight across Australia – from Sydney to Perth, over a period of three days.
I love train travel and the Indian Pacific is high up on my list of trips to take when I have a disposable income once more. While it’s not cheap (let’s be honest, no travel in Australia is), by all accounts it’s worth every penny.
The Upper Hunter Valley
I spent four years living in the Upper Hunter and think it’s one of the loveliest regions in the world.
It’s been four years since I’ve stepped foot there and I’m keen to return. Particularly to Scone, where I lived from the age of 11-15. It’s the horse capital of Australia and is nestled right within the heart of the Hunter Valley, so it’s just a little bit pretty.
I hope to do a road trip that starts off in Newcastle and ends in Tamworth, the country musical capital of Australia. So many claims to national fame in this region of the country.
The Barrington Tops
The Barrington Tops is a national park, which is a short drive away from the Upper Hunter Valley.
My interest in this area is three fold. Number one – it’s really, really pretty. Number two – it often snows there and snow is obviously awesome.
It’s also the location of the Devil’s Ark – a conservation group that are looking to establish the endangered Tasmanian Devil on mainland Australia. This furry little critter is at risk of extinction, due to the highly contagious devil facial tumour disease (DFTD).
Conditions in the Barringtons are much like those in Tasmania, making it the perfect breeding spot for Australia’s crankiest marsupials.
Similar, the coastal town of Port Macquarie is home to the Koala Hospital, an organisation focused on the conservation of this iconic Australian animal (because guess what, they’re endangered too, thanks to the loss of their natural habitat and Chlamydia. No, that’s not funny). Yes, I want to see it for myself, yes, I want to get involved and yes, I’m secretly hoping I get to cuddle a Koala in the process.
Port Macquarie also has a lot of beautiful beaches, so self-explanatory, really.
Broken Hill is about as outback as you can get, without leaving my home state of New South Wales. The town is one of Oz’s oldest mining cities and has become a mecca for artists looking to be inspired by the raw beauty of the Australian desert.
The Indian Pacific stops here. I’d love to kill two birds with one stone… but I’m not entirely hopeful, haha.
Lord Howe Island
Lord Howe is a tiny island off the coast of New South Wales. I’m not entirely sure why I want to go there. I only know one other person who’s been and it sounded very, very interesting. Either way, it looks lovely and there’s lots of coral rich waters, which is great for people like me who are unable to scuba dive.
So, that’s it! Well, not really. There are a tonne of other places I’d love to visit in Oz, but then we’d be here all week.
Have you been to any of these places? Where in your own backyard do you have a burning desire to travel to?
I’m not the only one who’s interested in doing more backyard travel. Rhiannon of Wales to Wherever has the same goal as me. Her backyard happens to be the entire continent of Europe. Yes, I am a bit jealous.