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Best holiday destinations in Australia

Wanderlust will drive you to explore Australia and get that much-needed escape from everyday stress. Where should you go? We can help with a few suggestions. Here are our favourite holiday destinations in Australia:

1. Byron Bay

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Aerial of the rolling hills in Byron Bay's hinterland.
Source: Destination NSW    Photographer: James Horan

Byron Bay is a beachside town located on the far-north coast of New South Wales, around 750km along the Pacific Highway from Sydney. Known for it’s incredible beaches and national parks, this paradise offers bushwalks in hinterland rainforest, spectacular coastal trails and amazing marine life including dolphins, turtles and whales.

Celebrated for it's beaches, many are unaware of the hidden gems of the Byron Hinterland. With its historic towns, green rolling hills and rainforest, it offers a scenic and cultural contrast to Byron's beach lifestyle. You can easily spend a day just roaming through the villages, or do the bushwalks to natural features such as Minyon Falls and Protestor Falls.

You can also visit the Cape Byron Lighthouse and watch the stunning sunrise and sunsets, see dolphins from The Pass, dance away at the drum circle, walk to Tallows Beach and go scuba diving.

There is a wide variety of places to stay in and around Byron Bay. From budget accommodation, Airbnb homes, luxury apartments – there’s something to suit everybody. Whether you prefer a relaxing getaway or crave adventure, Byron Bay is must-visit destination.

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2. Hamilton Island

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Catseye Beach, Hamilton Island, Queensland
Source:Tourism & Events Queensland           Photographer: Jason Hill

Hamilton Island is one the most desirable holiday destinations, located amongst the Whitsunday Islands. It's a perfect spot for exploring the Great Barrier Reef and Whitehaven Beach. From water sports on gorgeous blue seas to colourful sunsets, Hamilton Island is an excellent place to unwind.

Accommodation is aplenty in Hamilton Island. Designed to appeal to all tastes and budgets you have a wide range of accommodation to choose from - high-end luxury, to couples’ only escapes, and family-friendly hotel rooms, villas, apartment and holiday homes.

With so much to see and do on Hamilton Island it can be hard to know where to start.  If we have to choose, don’t miss water sports fun on Catseye Beach and seeing the stunning sights of the Great Barrier Reef on a helicopter. You must also try bushwalking as it is great way to experience the hidden coves, explore a full day snorkel or dive the Great Barrier Reef. 

Treat yourself to an unforgettable time in Hamilton Island while you’re studying in Australia. You won’t regret it.

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3. Great Ocean Road

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The Twelve Apostles, Great Ocean Road, Victoria.
Photographer: Marcella Miriello

One of the world's most scenic coastal drives, the Great Ocean Road is a glorious three-day self-drive route from Torquay to the amazing 12 Apostles, ending at the famous fishing village Port Fairy in Victoria. The drive is incredible, especially stretches where the ocean meets the rainforest and cliffs.

Plan your stay to make time to discover the region's natural beauty and visit each spot with plenty of time to relax in between. Treat yourself to a little luxury and spend a night or two in one of the motels and hotels spread along the coastline, within short distance of all the major attractions.

Consider exploring Lorne, Melbourne's answer to Byron Bay before heading to enjoy a gourmet escape in Birregurra. If seeing a koala in the wild is high on your wish list, make your way to Kennett River. Loch Ard Gorge, a protected, sandy beach situated amongst cliffs, is another popular place to see on the Great Ocean Road but if you prefer an adventure that really takes you back to nature, take the 3 kilometre return walk to see Beauchamp Falls in Beech Forest.

There is so much to do and the drive covering all these great spots can be tiring if you try to squeeze everything in a day. Our advice is plan ahead and take your time to experience The Great Ocean Road.

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4. Uluru 

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Sunrise at Uluru from the sunset viewing carpark.
Source: Tourism NT    Photographer: Mitchell Cox

The World Heritage-listed and one of Australia's most iconic symbols, Uluru is approximately 460 kilometres or a six hour drive southwest of Alice Springs. It's better known as Ayers Rock (named by William Gosse in 1873 after Sir Henry Ayers). Uluru is the Aboriginal and official name.

There are plenty of memorable experiences that only Uluru can offer. Our favourites are the Field of Light art installation by Bruce Munro, witnessing sunrise or sunset and the changing colours of Uluru from yellowish-brown to orange and intense red, learning Aboriginal culture, going on desert adventures, enjoying the Sounds of Silence dinner experience and meeting the wildlife.

Whether you're after a little bit of comfort or prefer returning to the simple life and camping under a cluster of stars, you'll find the perfect spot to sit back and relax. We believe you shouldn’t rush your tour of Uluru and the Red Centre, so book accommodation and stay a week to see some of Australia’s most beautiful and surprising landscapes.

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5. Blue Mountains 

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Morning light coming over the rocky escarpments of the Grose Valley, Blue Mountains National Park.
Source: Destination NSW

The Blue Mountains – named after the natural blue tint that envelopes the area. Created by eucalypt forests in this World Heritage area, drops of oil released from the trees is mixed with water vapour and sunlight to create the unique colour.

The Blue Mountains are on the edge Sydney’s metropolitan area, its foothills starting about 50 kilometres (31 miles) west of Sydney CBD. The national park is a 90-minute drive from Sydney through the motorway. Finding accommodation in the Blue Mountains can be a tricky thing to do as there are eight connected national parks which make up the Blue Mountains region. However, most of the best places to stay in the Blue Mountains are around Katoomba and the Jamison Valley, in the Blue Mountains National Park.

Boasting stunning natural attractions and impressive views, travellers can enjoy long bushwalks, hike to the Three Sisters if you want to view them up close, swim in one on the many swimming holes and picnic near one of the many waterfalls at the park. No visit to the Blue Mountains would be complete without hearing the roar of falling water at these spectacular waterfalls.

It’s possible to do a day-trip from Sydney but consider staying a night or two so you can visit the towns, do at least one bushwalk and eat at some of the superb restaurants. The hills are cool throughout the year, so bring warm clothes.

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