Australian Travel Goals 2017

Sleepy Koalas at Blackbutt Reserve in Newcastle.

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.

Fitzroy in Melbourne. Might have been able to figure that out sans caption.

Melbourne

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.

Related: The definitive and alternative guide to Londoning like a local

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.

Tasmania

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.

Am sadly yet to see Australia’s most isolated major city for myself (source).

Perth

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 as I remember it – hills, paddocks and lots of livestock (source).

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.

Tacking Point Lighthouse in Port Mac (source).

Port Macquarie

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

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.

It’s just a little bit pretty (source).

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?

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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.

Posted by LC
January 19, 2017
LC

LC can often be found nursing a cup of green tea, with her head in a book. She is a writer, video editor and professional cheese eater. Her life's aspiration is to one day live on a farm in Tasmania with 11 dogs, a Shetland pony and several pygmy goats.

Click Here to Leave a Comment Below

nat - January 19, 2017

Lord Howe Island has been on my list for ages! Except for the fact it is so bloody expensive to get there. A $800ish 2hr flight from Sydney seems painful. But would love to go there one day!

nat // dignifiable . travel & lifestyle

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    LC - January 19, 2017

    Haha yes it’s on my “list of impossible dreams” as well. Maybe one day we’ll both get to see it for ourselves!

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Womanhattan - January 20, 2017

I really loved your post, even more because my plan for this year is visiting Australia and maybe even to move there in the following years. Melbourne is no1 priority for me, too. Everyone I know that had been there said it is very “European” city and that is why I believe the transition for us would be easier.
I didn’t even know it is possible to go coast to coast by train, that is something I will definitely have to try.
Thank you, awesome post!

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    LC - January 20, 2017

    Oh wow! Let me know if you do make it here this year… hope you do make the move in years to come. Australia is a special place, I say with total bias! Yes it is the most “European” city we have. Sydney is wonderful too, but different. And yes, that’s a dream trip! Thanks. ?

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Gypsycouple - January 20, 2017

We were just having a very interesting conversation with an Australian Travels company seeking to provide a more immersive experience to tourists and we got to discussing a list of places which not a lot of tourists have on their itineraries. Its funny how the one’s you’ve listed are a few discussed 🙂

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    LC - February 4, 2017

    Sounds like they know their stuff 😉

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Sanne - January 20, 2017

This is so perfect! I’m planning a trip to Australia at the end of this year. Even though, I’m dying to see Sydney and Cairns, it still is a fact that I also want to visit Melbourne!

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    LC - January 22, 2017

    Melbourne is the best!

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Rhiannon - January 20, 2017

Ahh, everything looks so pretty! I’ve never actually heard of any other than Melbourne, Perth and, of course, Tasmania (thanks for that Looney Tunes). Can you actually see Antarctica from Australia?? Are they even close enough for that?!

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    LC - January 22, 2017

    Nah, it’s still heaps faraway! You can head down the bottom and stare out whimsically in its direction, but that’s about it.

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Diana - MVMT Blog - January 20, 2017

The Indian Pacific Train looks like the perfect way to explore the country! I haven’t made it to Australia yet, but this sounds like the perfect bucket list. I’m from the US and also trying to explore more of the US (especially west coast) this year – I totally know what you mean about wanting to explore more of your own country.

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    LC - January 22, 2017

    Yeah, it’s hard sometimes, especially with countries as big as ours.

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Only By Land - January 20, 2017

Melbourne is my travel goal too. But for me it’s for the sporting events, the grand prix, the Austrian open tennis and the golf. After reading your article I think that Broken Hill sounds quite interesting too.

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    LC - January 22, 2017

    Haha, my BF wants to see the Grand Prix too. Melbs is good for sports. Broken Hill is great, by all accounts – my parents loved it when they visited a couple of years ago.

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Courtney Jones - January 20, 2017

Such a great list! Tasmania’s a funny one – for years I never really thought about it, but recently I’ve been dying to go! Thinking about taking a trip there over the next few months!

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    LC - January 22, 2017

    I LOVED it when I visited – I’ve been hanging out to go ever since. It got really, really neat, whilst the mainland was looking the other way!

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Kelly - January 21, 2017

I wish I could go to Australia today!!! I have to say, my favorites on your list were Tasmania, the idea of seeing Antarctica seemed so cool to me. I also love train rides and would love to ride on the India Pacific train from Sydney to Perth. Three days is a long time, but the scenery looks so majestic. Have fun!

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    LC - January 22, 2017

    The Indian Pacific is a dream trip, for sure!

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luxurybackpacking | Emma - January 21, 2017

This is a great list! I love setting goals myself and seen as I’m currently living in Australia too some of these would definitely be in mine too! I visited Lord Howe Island in October last year, and oh.my.god. did it blow me away, it was without a doubt the most amazing jaw dropping place ive ever been too! Secret tip: the flight there is stupidly expensive (cheaper to fly to Europe!) so if you can book it on points! Thats what we did and we paid 1/5 of the price 🙂

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    LC - January 22, 2017

    Great tip, thanks Emma! I do have a stack of points, so might look into that. Crazy how much it costs!

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Bhushavali - January 21, 2017

Broken Hill and Upper Hunter Valley seem to be my ideal destinations. I’m not much interested in cities and country sides and nature getaways are my kinda places!!! Best wishes for you to travel to all these places this year!

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    LC - January 22, 2017

    Thank you! The Hunter Valley has some of the loveliest countryside I’ve ever seen.

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Aryane @ Valises & Gourmandises - January 21, 2017

I shouldn’t read articles like this, it makes me want to pack my bags and hop on the next flight heading there!
The Indian Pacific train sounds like something I would love to do. So far I’ve only crossed Switzerland by train, plus a few travels here and there in Europe, and I’ve always loved it! It’s comfortable and the landscapes are always stunning!
Broken Hill also looks and sound amazing. It looks like a good place to just charge your batteries for a week!

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    LC - January 22, 2017

    Haha, I apologise! Australia has a pretty diverse landscape, so I reckon the train would be super cool.

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Kreete - January 22, 2017

What an awesome list! I haven’t even heard of the train from Sydney to Perth. I will be looking into that for sure! I have been to the koala hospital and it was a great experience. No cuddles there tho as it’s illegal to cuddle koalas in NSW. I always wanted to hold one and I had a chance to do so in Kuranda, QLD but have thought about it a lot ever since and I think it’s best to not stress the animals with human interactions they might not feel comfortable with. I definitely wish, I hadn’t done it. If you ever make it to the hospital, make sure to support them by buying something from their gift shop. I got a DVD of a documentary of the Koala Hospital and it was a great watch! Good luck on ticking these places off your list!

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    LC - January 22, 2017

    Haha yeah, I wasn’t being literal with the cuddles… Just joking. Thanks for the advice with the hospital, it sounds like they’re doing great things and deserve the support. The train is awesome and there’s also the Ghan, which goes from Darwin to Adelaide, stops at Uluru and is named after “the Afghans”, who helped built Australia’s first railroad.

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Agness of Fit Travelling - January 22, 2017

Very informational post! These photos are incredible, LC!

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    LC - January 22, 2017

    Thank you Agness, although admittedly I only took a couple of them!

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Lydia@LifeUntraveled - January 22, 2017

I haven’t traveled to Australia but this isn’t the first time I hear/read that some cities are a lot like Montreal which is my hometown and where I still live. I didn’t know the Tasmanian Devil was an endangered species. You mention it’s due to this contagious disease but does that mean that it’s spread among the species entailing many deaths or is it because people are killing them off due to fear of catching the disease? I think it’s great that you’ve decided to explore your own country. I admit I’m guilty of not having traveled throughout Canada much. :\

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    LC - January 22, 2017

    Hi Lydia! The tassie devil is no longer considered a pest and it is illegal to hunt it now. So, it’s the disease that is spreading and wiping out the species – much the same as what is happening to the koala. Both our countries are so big, I think we can be forgiven for not seeing everything in them! I really liked Montreal when I visited and yeah, there’s a lot of similarities between it and Melbourne. They both have a very European feel, although Montreal slightly more!

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Violeta - January 22, 2017

I’ve never been to Australia yet, but hope to make it there some day. Seeing your photos makes me want to get there sooner rather than later.

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    LC - January 22, 2017

    It’s fab, hope you do make it someday soon!

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Ami - January 23, 2017

Sigh! This would be my wish list too….especially Tasmania. I hope that someday I can do it all and my best wishes to you too. I do hope you manage all of them.

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    LC - January 24, 2017

    Tassie is THE BEST. Thanks for the well-wishes!

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Joanna - January 23, 2017

I would love to visit Australia but I think I would need to move there for a year in order to explore it properly. It is so far away from Europe and I don’t think it’s worth flying there just for a few weeks. For me, I would really love to visit Sydney and its beautiful harbour. I’ve heard there are some really beautiful hikes around it as well.

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    LC - January 24, 2017

    Yeah, I went back for a month when I was living overseas and it definitely didn’t feel like enough time! I’ve lived here for 25 years of my life and there’s still so much more to see – and I consider myself well travelled locally too, haha.

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Brownie on the go - January 26, 2017

These are some great goals! So far i had chance to visit Perth and Melbourne, but i would love to see so much more! Australia is my favourite country! Check out Noosa, Byron bay and Rottnest Island. One of my favourites over there!

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    LC - February 4, 2017

    I have been to the first two (as a child) but I’m super keen to get over to WA. 🙂

    Reply
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