A weekend daytrip is the perfect way to reward yourself for a hard week’s work, not to mention being easy on the finances. Australia really is the ‘lucky country,’ in that incredible scenery awaits only a short drive away from all capital cities.
Here’s a look at some of the best.
Moreton Island, Brisbane
If you’ve ever wanted to get up-close and personal with dolphins, Moreton Island is the place to do it. Tangalooma teems with the friendly mammals, along with a shipwreck for snorkelling, miles of pristine coastline and inland walking trails. It’s just a 75 to 90 minute ferry ride from Brisbane.
Kakadu National Park Croc Sighting
A two hour drive is all it takes to explore a land of crocodiles, roaring waterfalls, aboriginal rock art, rare bird species and fishing.
Kakadu National Park, Darwin
A two hour drive is all it takes to explore a land of crocodiles, roaring waterfalls, aboriginal rock art, rare bird species and fishing. As Australia’s largest terrestrial national park, this is one outback daytrip that will get the adrenalin pumping.
Swan Valley, Perth
Go on a gourmet adventure, in Western Australia’s Swan Valley. Just a 25 minute drive from the Perth CBD, you’ll find wineries, breweries, restaurants, arts, crafts and delectable fresh produce.
Phillip Island, Melbourne
Phillip Island is only 90 minutes out of Melbourne, which makes it an easy road trip for the whole family. Here, on a backdrop of pristine coast, the kids will love the world-famous Penguin Parade and spotting koalas in their natural habitat.
Though its grisly modern history now often overshadows its appeal, Port Arthur is actually among the most important convict era sites in the world. The World Heritage listed site is the best preserved in the country, with 30 buildings, ruins and restored period homes located in 40 hectares of beautiful grounds.
Bateman’s Bay, Canberra
Did someone say oysters? A two hour drive from Canberra finds you in Clyde River oyster central, at Batemans Bay. Beautiful beaches offer snorkelling, surfing and picnicking in the sea breeze. Visit the Old Courthouse Museum and stroll around the quaint town.
Kangaroo Island’s Seal Bay
Kangaroo Island, Adelaide
Take a short flight or ferry ride to Kangaroo Island, to immerse in the heart of true wilderness. With much of the island dedicated to nature, wildlife such as sea lions, koalas and birds are abundant. Mix that with majestic cliffs, soaring sand dunes, wetlands and beaches – and you’ll feel like you’re in another world.
Hunter Valley, Sydney
Is Australia’s oldest wine region beckoning? Sit back and enjoy the two hour drive from Sydney, to arrive in the picturesque Hunter Valley. Wineries nestle among the mighty Broken Back Range, with festivals, farmers markets and crafts galore. Take a hot-air balloon ride to truly grasp the spectacular country scenery.
What are you waiting for? Plan a daytrip from your capital city today and experience the best Australia has to offer.
Nicole Leigh West
Nicole Leigh West is the author of fiction novel, 'The Gypsy Trail' and an internationally recognised travel and lifestyle writer.