Whether you simply want to get out of your fancy Melbourne restaurants and tourist-filled streets, or you just realized that you’ve seen more of Asia than your own continent, you’re in for an adventure of a lifetime as soon as you step your foot out the door. But for a taste of true Australia, steer clear of famous, crowded spots that you can visit any other time. Take the road less traveled, as Robert Frost would say, and it will make all the difference.
Here’s a list of some of the most beautiful, yet underrated places you can go to, get away from it all, and connect with the hidden beauty of Australia.
Because where else would you be able to swim with the magnificent whale shark? But seriously, it’s hard to compete with the Great Barrier Reef, which gets all the media attention. There are tourists there, but not nearly as much as you’d see in the Eastern part of the country, and there is unexpectedly more wildlife. Ningaloo is brimming with turtles, humpback whales, colorful tropical fish, and no other spot on the planet boasts such vivid ocean life in a single place.
While you’re there, and if you want to go all out, you can even stop by the Sal Salis, a luxury safari camp in the Cape Range National Park, placed right on the beachside of the Indian Ocean, where you can experience a truly “zen” state of mind.
Probably one of the most underestimated parts of the country, Tasmania will give you a true taste of untamed Australian beauty. It’s the place that gave the meaning to the phrase “off the beaten track”, even though it’s just a ferry ride away from Melbourne. Tasmania allows for amazing hiking experiences, mellow small town atmosphere and gorgeous bays. Take a walk by the Dove Lake, and you’ll be mesmerized by beautiful waterfalls and pristine flora. For an even more secluded adventure, taking a river cruise on Savage River will bring you right alongside the rainforest, the Lover’s Falls, and the remains of the steamship Croydon.
For the final stop of Tasmania, you can visit the Trousers Point Walk on the Flinders Island, and you’ll have a chance to enjoy the serenity of one of the most beautiful beaches Australia can offer.
Once again, Western Australia gives you another diamond in the rough, a true outback experience alongside Pentecost River with intact nature and genuine Aboriginal culture. You will definitely enjoy the wild waterfalls and rough mountains, and if you’re up for it, try Barramundi fishing, which will be a challenge if you’re a first-timer, but it will be worth the fight! If any wild place in the country makes you stay an extra day or so, this will be the one, far away from the city rush.
But in case you are tempted to cut your journey short only because you’re leaving your home unsupervised, consider asking a friend to house-sit for you, or you can even hire professionals to ensure the greatest level of safety. There are many options for low-cost, trusted house sitting in Melbourne apartments or houses, so that you can truly spend your trip relaxed and focused on the places you’re visiting. Places like Home Valley really deserve that kind of dedication.
With so many places in Australia you can visit as a native, pick the ones that are not brimming with people year-round. You’ll find yourself falling in love again with our majestic, untamed continent, and you’ll soon start planning another trip into the outback.