YOUR NEXT LONG WEEKEND GETAWAY IN AUSTRALIA
Make full use of extended weekends to explore Australia – many destinations are just a few hours away by flight making it an easily accessible destination for long weekend adventures.
Swan Valley, Perth, WA
With fantastic beaches and vibrant nightlife, Perth is an ideal destination to spend a long weekend. From breweries and cideries to eclectic festivals, the city’s must-do list is endless. Just a 20-minute drive from Perth you’ll find Swan Valley, Western Australia’s oldest wine region, which regularly serves up more than its top drops. Savour award-winning wines, snack on local gourmet delights and meet native Australian wildlife. If you’d rather sip on cider, Core Cider offers tastings as well as tractor tours of the apple orchards and the opportunity to pick fruit straight from the tree during harvest season. Beyond food and wine, Perth is home to world-famous festivals such as Fringe World, the third largest in the world, and Perth Festival, the oldest arts festival in the Southern Hemisphere.
Rottnest Island, Perth, WA
Just a 20-minute ferry ride from Fremantle in Perth lies an island paradise brimming with picturesque scenery and wildlife including the island’s most famous attraction, the quokkas, often referred to as the world’s happiest animal. Rottnests’ friendly and furry residents roam around freely on the island and are always ready to smile for a perfect selfie. The island is car-free, so after you’ve snapped your #quokkaselfie, explore the island’s secluded beaches, bays and grassy hills by bus, bike, jet boat or segways. With only 300 permanent residents and plenty of beaches to discover, Rottnest Island is the perfect day trip and an idyllic escape from the city.
Mindil beach, Darwin, NT
The Northern Territory's unhurried capital, Darwin, offers balmy nights, colourful characters and outdoor adventures. As well as markets, crocodiles and cruises, you'll find strong Aboriginal cultures here, as evidenced by the array of languages spoken in the streets, and the vibrant Aboriginal art that fills the city's galleries and museums. Take a tour with Outback Floatplane Adventures, which leaves from Darwin, to cruise through pristine wetlands and monsoonal rainforests. Some tours even include the opportunity to fly over the floodplains, land in a lagoon and take a refreshing swim in a crocodile-safe enclosure.
Kakadu National Park
Ubirr, Kakadu National Park, NT
If your image of the outback is limited to vast stretches of flat land and red dirt, you’re missing the best of this unique destination. About a three-hour drive from Darwin, Kakadu National Park is world-renowned for its Aboriginal rock art. In fact, Kakadu is a dual-listed UNESCO World Heritage site for both its natural beauty and its cultural significance. Visit Ubirr, one of the park’s most famous rock art galleries, to marvel at an ancient painting of a Tasmanian tiger, which became extinct on the mainland about 3,000 years ago. You’ll also see early records of European visitors, including men smoking pipes. Delve even deeper into Aboriginal culture with Arnhemlander Cultural and Heritage Tours. On this full-day 4WD tour, you'll meet Aboriginal artists, watch women weave pandanus baskets, witness stunning billabongs and wildlife and explore rock art sites.
Daintree Rainforest, Cairns, QLD
The gateway to Queensland's tropical north, Cairns is a laid-back city best enjoyed outdoors. Visit Cairns for the Great Barrier Reef and Wet Tropics World Heritage Rainforest, but don't miss the great things to do in and around town. You'll find brilliant cafés, bustling markets and plenty of beaches nearby. Relax by a resort pool or spend your days exploring this tropical oasis. Check out the Skyrail Rainforest Cableway or Kuranda Scenic Railway that takes you to the mountain village of Kuranda, known for its vibrant arts community. The World Heritage listed Daintree Rainforest is about a two-hour drive north of Cairns and can be seen on a day trip from the city or over the course of two days, staying overnight in one of its wilderness lodges. The tropical rainforest is home to the most diverse range of plants and animals on earth, including the rare tree-dwelling kangaroo and the endangered cassowary.
Great Barrier Reef
Great Barrier Reef, Cairns, QLD
No trip to Cairns is complete without visiting the Great Barrier Reef, the world's largest coral reef system. It's made up of 3,000 coral reefs, 600 continental islands and 300 coral cays. Book a day cruise to snorkel and dive among vivid coral gardens and colourful fish. You can also combine a full-day Great Barrier Reef cruise with Indigenous cultural storytelling from traditional owners with historical connections to the sea country visited. Think you can only enjoy the Great Barrier Reef in the light of day? Well, think again! One of the most unique experiences on the reef is Reefsleep Experience, and it’s also one of the best ways to get the reef all to yourself. When the daytrippers and other tours head back to shore at 3pm, Reefsleepers get to stay on for more swimming, dinner and a possible night dive. When the stars come out, you’ll snuggle into a swag (a low tent with an in-built mattress, designed for the Australian outback) to sleep in peace.We hope we have given enough ideas to inspire you for your next long weekend holiday! Australia is famous for its diverse landscapes, stunning cities and endless opportunity for adventure. If you need more inspiration and itineraries, visit Australia.com.