As a travel enthusiast, I love it when certain sites and their social pages ask fans to reveal their favourite places to go in Australia. While Australia is tremendously vast and holds countless locations worthy of this crown, it’s a wonder how anyone could narrow it down to only one destination. This conundrum inspired me to bring together my Top 3 favourite places to go in Australia, in no particular order of preference. Of course, the list should be much, much longer!
Eighty Mile Beach, Western Australia
Eighty Mile Beach in WA’s north set the scene for that precious moment in travel when you’re hitting the road to arrive at one location, yet you decide to change tack. This is what happened to me when my family decided to take a camping trip to Broome. We rumbled along the Great Northern Highway from Port Hedland with all good intentions, like most campers. Though, we didn’t quite make it to Broome. Instead we chose to set up camp at Eighty Mile Beach. I’m glad we stopped at Eighty Mile Beach as it really is a secret camping paradise.
We spent the week camping out of tents in one of the many caravan parks placed within metres from the beach. Our days revolved around swimming, sun-baking and taking the boat out over the waves. It’s so easy to get to – only 13 kilometres off the highway towards Cape Keraudren Coastal Reserve – which makes me wonder why more people don’t know about this place. It’s where the Great Sandy Desert spreads into the Indian Ocean and the area lets you call the shots. Whether it’s setting up your fold-up chair and a drink to watch the stunning sunsets or spending your mornings over a campfire brekkie then wandering the beach combing it for shells, there is a true sense of feeling lost here. No one knows you’re here except for the crashing waves and soft sand flats.
Byron Bay, New South Wales
Before moving to Byron Bay’s northern pastures, the Splendour In the Grass music festival pitched its tents in Belongil Fields. My husband and I, being huge music and festival fans, were lucky enough to experience this incredible music festival before it moved locations. I have vivid memories of wandering the fields and soaking in the plethora of international music on offer, cups of steaming chai tea and nourishing vegan Indian platter plates. Only Byron Bay could reward a music festival with this type of vibe and there’s no other festival in Australia, in my opinion, which has emulated such an organic experience in one location.
In every visit, we would make more of a stay and spend a few days on either side of the festival to enjoy this artistic and alternative community. There are coastal views and a rambunctious outlook from Cape Byron, Australia’s most easterly point, and travellers like us would head further inland to explore the eclectic town of Nimbin. The raw beauty in this part of Australia is truly invigorating and it’s no wonder it drew me back again and again.
Mornington Peninsula, Victoria
Navigating my way back to my home state, I arrive at the Mornington Peninsula. I must admit, I’m drawn to a great beach wherever I am – like any typical Australian beach bum – and the Mornington Peninsula has hosted countless lazy beach days for me. Don’t get me wrong, there is plenty to do on the Peninsula, though there’s nothing as simple and replenishing as spending a day swimming in the breaks of Gunnamatta, drying off and soaking in the rays on the sand while grazing over a pre-packed picnic into the late afternoon hours.
The Mornington Peninsula is dotted with exclusive beachside villages where travellers can be spoiled by local produce, wineries, fashion and art galleries. Daytrips for us are spent travelling from the holiday house in Rosebud into neighbouring towns such as Portsea for lunch and shopping, Cape Otway for a hike through Bushranger’s Bay, or Fingal for a dip in the natural hot springs and a soothing massage at Peninsula Hot Springs. Even friends of mine have been married along the Peninsula, such as at the stunning, coastal winery Red Hill Estate. There have been so many weekends spent in this region and the drive back on a late Sunday afternoon has always been met with heavy-hearted reluctance. I never want to go home! True relaxation and calm, for me, is realised along the Mornington Peninsula.
Do you have a Top 3 places to go in Australia, or your home country? I'd love to hear about your Top 3 in the comments below. You just may inspire me and my wanderlust to visit!