The journey calls. Whether it’s a sunny getaway or a cultural experience, Australians are ready to broaden their horizons after enduring two years of pandemic-induced lockdowns.
For some, that means an interstate jaunt to visit relatives, while for others, that means a check mark overseas. Three in four Australians plan to travel or take a vacation in the next 12 months, with 44% saying they were going interstate and a further 44% saying they would stay within the borders of their state.
Results of a survey of 1,653 Australians by research firm Pureprofile also show that people are more hesitant to travel overseas than within the country.
Among those planning to travel abroad, 23% said they would travel this year, compared to 47% who will postpone it in the next three years.
where to go if you’re looking for sun, snow or just to satisfy your taste buds. International and domestic locations.
“There’s still reluctance to get sick with COVID and if there are lockdowns in the countries people will be going to, then interstate travel is just a lot easier,” said Martin Filz, chief executive of Pureprofile.
Despite the caution, Australians continue to take flight. The latest Australian Bureau of Statistics shows international arrivals jumped by 103,370 trips from February to March and departments also increased over the same period by 158,980 trips.
International travel is expected to increase with the onset of Australia’s colder months. The only question is – where to go?
chasing the sun
For many sun-seekers, Bali is the obvious answer. Since early March, travelers no longer need to quarantine upon arrival, but must have received two doses of the COVID vaccine. The rules for outdoor masks have been removed, with masks now only mandatory indoors and on transport.
COVID cases have declined since peaking in February with a daily average of around 200 infection cases.
Vacationers are expected to revive the tourist towns of Seminyak, Ubud and Canggu.
Fiji is a popular winter getaway for sun-hungry Australians thanks to its beautiful beaches and affordable accommodation. Fully immunized travelers can visit Fiji without needing to self-quarantine, but if you are 12 or older you must show proof of a pre-booked Rapid Antigen Test (RAT) within 72 hours of your arrival. Face masks are optional. The country is reporting an average of just 12 COVID infections per day.
Thailand may be a bit further afield (nine hours to Bangkok from Sydney direct), but flights are attractively priced at under $1,000 return. However, Thailand is grappling with COVID – daily cases average 5,251. Travelers must apply to enter under the Thailand Pass program and wearing masks and practicing social distancing is recommended.
Snow lovers, rejoice: Australia’s most popular snowfields await!
Threadbo is the ideal location for Sydney skiers. The ski mountain six hours south of Sydney plans to wow people with its traditional mix of skiing and snowboarding events, village atmosphere, children’s events and live entertainment.
Also six hours from Sydney are the vast fields of Perisher. With over 1200ha to explore, Perishers is a delight for skiers and snowboarders. Accommodation is available near Perisher Valley, Guthega, Smiggin Holes and Jindabyne.
Falls Creek in Victoria, just four and a half hours from Melbourne, is a popular destination for families. It has a ski-in ski-out village and 450 ha of land.
Not far from Falls Creek is Hotham, popular with skiers and snowboarders of all skill levels. The beginners’ area is separate from the rest of the hill, so it’s a great place to start. There’s also a children’s ski school and a backcountry trail dog sledding tour.
Winter on the Gold Coast is not as cold as anywhere else in Australia. June has an average of only six rainy days and July and August five. A major plus is that it’s less crowded and there’s still plenty to do – visit rainforests, snorkel at beaches, and check out theme parks.
The Barossa Valley, a 50-minute drive northeast of Adelaide, is an idyllic winter trip. Pack your woolens and get ready to sample some of Australia’s finest wine. There are more than 80 wineries and in the surrounding restaurants a selection of mouth-watering menus.
Tasmania becomes something of a winter wonderland in its colder months. Mona (the Museum of Old and New Art) hosts the Dark Mofo Winter Festival every June, which includes the Winter Feast and Winter Solstice Nude Bath. Then there’s all of Tassie’s natural beauty to explore, including the Cradle Mountain-Lake St Clair National Park.
Wildlife lovers will enjoy Western Australia’s Coral Coast, home to the World Heritage-listed Ningaloo Reef. Adventurers can swim with whale sharks until the end of July, while those after a more touristy trip can venture into the Pinnacles Dessert and, from late July, various wildflower areas around the ‘countryside.