You don’t need to invest in a long-haul trip to see the rich colours of autumn at their best - though Europe and Canada certainly deliver. Right here at home, regions turn red, gold and yellow, creating a canopy worthy of an artist’s brush. Best of all, it’s an excuse to stay in cosy cabins, visit vineyards and enjoy fresh, seasonal produce.
Victorian High Country
With a 10-day festival celebrating the season, you know you’re going to eat your fair share of chestnuts. The town of Bright holds the annual Autumn Festival, in the midst of wildly colourful gardens. There’s art, entertainment and a delicious focus on local produce, including nuts, cheese and wine. Don’t miss the Gala Parade, as the event highlight.
Just three hours’ drive from Perth, you’ll find scenic routes to towns including Nannup, Balingup and picturesque Bridgetown. Golden Valley Tree Park in Balingup is the ‘must see’ spot in autumn. Sixty hectares of trees, including the Canadian Red Maple and the Silver Maple display a kaleidoscope of colours. Spend a day walking the trails, picnicking and taking plenty of spectacular selfies.
Hunter Valley, New South Wales
If you love vineyards, a trip to the Hunter Valley in autumn is a must. Inspirational vistas include rows of multi-coloured vines under crisp, sunny skies. Australia’s oldest wine region might be acclaimed for Semillon and fresh produce, however, if you feel adventurous, try hot air ballooning or skydiving over the region. If you travel in May, your trip will coincide with the Hunter Valley Food and Wine Festival.
Mount Field National Park is one of Tasmania’s oldest and the season blankets the region in rust reds and brilliant golds.
Mount Field National Park, Tasmania
Tasmania’s only native deciduous tree, the fagus, has a whole weekend dedicated to its turning, during autumn. Mount Field National Park is one of Tasmania’s oldest and the season blankets the region in rust reds and brilliant golds. It’s an easy drive from Hobart and you’ll find the enchanting, tiered Russell Falls, some of the world’s tallest trees and abundant wildlife.
Dandenong Ranges, Victoria
Charming villages reside atop towering forests in the Dandenong Ranges, making the area perfect for a break from the city. In just an hour from Melbourne, you’ll find the countryside awash with the golden glow of autumn. This is the place to stay in an elegant guesthouse or cosy cabin, tuck into Devonshire teas and go hiking through national park trails. The Alfred Nicolas Memorial Gardens, on the Burnham Beeches estate, offers the quintessential autumn happy snap via golden gingko trees surrounding the lake.
Nicole Leigh West
Nicole Leigh West is the author of fiction novel, 'The Gypsy Trail' and an internationally recognised travel and lifestyle writer.