Experience some of the country's best sand, sun and surfing hotspots
One of the top tourist destinations in Australia is the beach, and with over 47,000 kilometres of coastline sporting amazing views, soft sand and surf, how could it not be? Australia has around 10,685 beaches around the country, many of them used for weekend fun and relaxation for both locals and travellers.
Where are Australia's best beaches?
New South Wales has a variety of famous beaches, used for sunbaking and surfing. Byron, Bondi, Manly and Coogee are just some of the iconic NSW beaches, usually filled up on every weekend when the sun shines. The sunshine state, Queensland is also home to some of the best Australian beaches, pristine in both location and looks. Beaches such as Surfers Paradise, Noosa and Mooloolaba are scenically spectacular, perfect for spending a day on the sand or by the surrounding shops and cafes.
Further west, the majority of beaches in Western Australia are vast in length, making for a picturesque sunset. Cable Beach, Eighty Mile Beach and Monkey Mia are just a few of the must see destinations. Rest assured, whether you find yourself up north or down south, as long as you’re within distance to a coastline, you are guaranteed to find yourself a beach hotspot.
For more information on Australia's beaches, see;
Beaches in New South Wales: http://www.agfg.com.au/Blog/post/2007/02/01/Best-Beaches-in-New-South-Wales.aspx
Beaches in Queensland: http://www.agfg.com.au/Blog/post/2007/02/14/Queenslands-Best-Beaches.aspx
Beaches in South Australia: http://www.agfg.com.au/Blog/post/2007/06/13/Beaches-Surfing-in-South-Australia.aspx
Beaches in Tasmania: http://www.agfg.com.au/Blog/post/2007/05/26/Beaches-Surfing-in-Tasmania.aspx
Beaches in Western Australia: http://www.agfg.com.au/Blog/post/2007/08/01/Beaches-Surfing-in-Western-Australia.aspx
Beaches in Victoria: http://www.agfg.com.au/Blog/post/2007/05/04/Beaches-Surfing-in-Victoria.aspx
Take your pick of Tasmania's finest arts, crafts and produce
The perfect outdoor activity to mingle amongst the locals, choose fresh produce and indulge in some shopping for all things homemade and hip, the markets in Tasmania are popular and plentiful. A creative outlet for locals to showcase their art, craft and clothing, you can guarantee to obtain a one off purchase, antique collectable or unique handcrafted homeware to take home. Usually held of a Saturday and Sunday, rise with the sun and head out to a Tasmanian marketplace to get first pick of the goods.
Where are some of the best markets in Tasmania?
One of Australia’s best known destinations for hip and homespun is that of the Salamanca Markets, situated in the centre of Hobart in Salamanca Place
. Celebrating the best of Tasmania’s unique culture, creative talent and gifted musicians, the Salamanca Market comes alive every Saturday, with nearly 300 stallholders offering clothing, food and unique household accessories. Surrounded by the galleries, cafes, restaurants and bars of Salamanca Place, this marketplace is best suited to a day’s worth of wandering prior to an evening’s worth of indulgence.
The Penguin Markets in the states North West coast
are one of Tasmania’s smaller markets, offering fresh produce, Tasmanian handicrafts, fashion items and homewares every Sunday. For those looking for choice, The Penguin Markets also have an international food court, complete with espresso bar and ice cream bar – guaranteed not to leave you waddling like a penguin.
The first farmer’s market to be established in Tasmania, Burnie Farmers Market offers some of the state’s famous fresh produce, country arts and crafts and an outdoor cappuccino bar to enjoy the weekend sunshine. For something with a rich piece of Tasmanian history, why not trove for some antique treasures at the Latrobe markets. Crafts, produce, preserves and bric a brac are just some of what these markets have on display every Sunday, alongside a selection of local artwork.
Relax with a secluded surf and sunbake
Completely surrounded by water, Tasmania boasts not only spectacular coastal scenery, but also perfect beaches for soaking up the sun or getting on board and catching a wave or two. Far from the traditional crowd driven beaches on mainland Australia, Tasmanian beaches offer a unique coastal experience, with seclusion, pristine waters and a mild climate the ingredients for a day’s relaxation.
Where are some of the best beaches for surf and sun in Tasmania?
For beauty in its finest form, you can’t go past Wineglass Bay, often renowned as one of the world’s most picturesque beaches. Situated in Freycinet National Park
, Wineglass Bay is best visited in summer, fast becoming a popular getaway destination. Close by, Bicheno
situated on the states east coast is a laid back coastal town, complete with the white sand of Denison Beach.
, Park and Clifton Beach are two of the most popular for surfing, with Seven Mile Beach one of the largest and most popular beaches in the city for sunbathing or shallow water swimming.
For those who want to jump on board, it’s a surfer’s delight on Tasmania’s south coast. Cloudy Bay on Bruny Island
is awash with big breaks, with locals carrying their boards 7 kilometers to get to South Cape Bay to catch a wave. Shipstern Bluff in the Tasman National Park is home to Australia’s heaviest wave, known among the surfing community as one of the most dangerous locations in the world, for both surf and sharks.
From thrifty threads to cutting edge couture
Record stores, high designer couture and achingly hip boutiques are just some of what you’ll expect to find when shopping in Victoria. With Melbourne
known as one of the world’s fashion capitals, trends cannot afford to be denied and as a result, retail reigns supreme. Not surprisingly, 5 of the 10 biggest shopping centres in Australia are located in Melbourne, playing host to a variety of different stores, offering a range of goods and services so long you would need a trip to Victoria purely for shopping purposes.
Where are some shopping hotspots in Victoria?
Situated in Melbourne’s Malvern East, Chadstone shopping centre takes the title for being the biggest mall in the Southern Hemisphere, with 530 stores to cater to your shopping needs. Take a rainy day and explore Chadstone
– you may not get to all the stores, but it’s half the fun trying. If, however, you are after some of the city’s staple fashion items or locally designed goods, then it’s better to take to the streets and find the hidden treasures that wait.
in Melbourne lends itself to a diverse mixture of haute couture and accessible fashion bargains. A lengthy shopping strip, Chapel Street embraces both those with expensive taste and those looking for a vintage treat.
For a bohemian bargain trip, head to Brunswick Street
, full of electric jewellery stores, sneaker shops and one off streetwear. Similarly, Gertrude Street is a mecca for those looking for something other than mainstream fashion, where shoppers head to source quirky designs and cutting edge clothes.
Shop your way around Australia. Find out where, here
A multicultural melting pot of art, culture and entertainment
Stores are all well and good for some of that essential retail therapy, but there’s nothing more satisfying than spotting a handcrafted bargain the old fashioned way. Melbourne and Sydney both play host to a multitude of markets, which all reflect upon the cities unique blends of subculture, art and design. The market place has also become a hotspot among youths, particularly those within the subculture of all things weird and wonderful.
From fresh produce to second hand goods and handcrafted treats, you will be certain not to leave empty handed.
Where are some of Australia's best markets?
If you’re off to shop in the sunshine, you can’t go past Queensland’s Eumundi Markets on the Sunshine Coast’s hinterland. Find your treasure amongst someone else’s trash, sample the local treats of old fashioned lemonade, chocolate and cheeses and wander amongst the stalls at your own pace, making sure not to skip any on the way. Weekends bring crowds among crowds to this humble little town so ensure you arrive early to get a park. The Bangalow Markets in northern New South Wales are well worth a visit, offering a mixed bag of arts, entertainment and food amidst a relaxed, magical atmosphere. If you’re in Sydney, you can’t go past the illustrious Paddy’s Markets, a traditional and multicultural flea market close to the likes of Chinatown and Darling Harbour. Similarly, Melbourne’s Queen Victoria Markets are located in the city centre, attracting visitors and locals with an array of fresh food, gourmet treats and the wine market.
For some of Australia’s top marketplaces, see;
Markets in Tasmania: http://www.agfg.com.au/Blog/post/2007/05/26/Markets-in-Tasmania.aspx
Markets in Queensland: http://www.agfg.com.au/Blog/post/2007/02/08/Markets-in-Queensland.aspx
Markets in Victoria: http://www.agfg.com.au/Blog/post/2007/05/01/Markets-in-Victoria.aspx
Get cozy with Mother Nature
Tasmania’s natural scenic surrounds make it an easy location to pitch your tent and immerse yourself amidst an unspoilt setting. Both formal and informal camping locations are scattered throughout the state, formal sites located within Tasmania’s national parks
and forest reserves.
Where can I go camping in Tasmania?
Looking to have a sleepover with Tasmania’s native wildlife? Narawntapu National Park is home to a prolific amount of animals and bird life, spanning along the state’s northern coast
, where camping is permitted. While you’re there, why not make friends with your furry neighbours, go boating, take a horse ride or cast a line and go fishing.
One of Tasmania’s greatest national parks and camping grounds, the Mount Field National Park offers thriving vegetation, high elevations and lush rainforests to explore. While on your camping holiday, make the most of the parks superb surrounds, taking a walk through the verdant rainforest, admiring the famous three tiered Russell Falls and wondering at the world’s tallest flowering plant, the giant swamp gum. For beachfront camping, the Swimcart Beach Campground located in the Bay of Fires
Conservation Area is just one of the many destinations Tasmania has on offer. Sandy sheltered dunes and grassy sites are available for camping on, with the beach renowned for surf fishing.
Collections of crime, crafts and culture
Rich in history, an exceptional collection of museums are housed in Victoria, each displaying an array of past and present memorabilia, photographs, information and interactive activities to suit all ages. Delve into the past and explore all the different periods and discoveries throughout history that shaped a modern day Victoria.
Museums in Victoria
The Melbourne Museum
showcases an array of historical, contemporary and interactive displays and exhibits for all ages, large enough to spend a whole day meandering about. Exploring life in Victoria, the Melbourne Museum features exhibits from a complete blue whale skeleton to a living rainforest, with plenty of interactive activities for children.
With over 150 years of stories displaying the darker side of Victorian history, the Victoria Police Museum reflects Victoria Police’s role in almost every major incidence in the state. See artifacts from the notorious Australian bushrangers, the Kelly Gang, find out about Victoria's very own Sherlock Holmes and uncover a range of famous Australian cases and crimes.
For a dose of Australian history, the Immigration Museum
is focused on exploring stories from people all around the world who have immigrated to Victoria, recreating tales with images, voices and memorabilia. Additionally, Beechworth Chinese Cultural Centre is located in an 1850’s building, displaying artifacts of Chinese gold mining camps in Beechworth
. To keep kids entertained, head to Scienceworks, a world renowned, interactive science museum where hands on experiments, displays, demonstrations and tours are available.
Find out more about Australia's history here
A celebration nation
An Australian festival is a celebration of a uniqueness of style, arts, lifestyle and community. Usually held outdoors, these festivals are full of food, dance, events and activities, allowing you to wander and soak up the essence of Australian culture. Wherever you are in Australia, you can be sure to catch a festival, big or small, and see how the Aussies celebrate and showcase their talents in style. Each Australian state and territory capital has their own multicultural arts festival, some of the most notable being that of the Perth International Arts Festival, Adelaide Festival of Arts and the Darwin Festival.
What are some of Australia's cultural celebrations?
Tropical north Queensland celebrates its annual Reef and Rainforest Carnivale in style, featuring everything from masquerade parties, gourmet food and wine and art exhibitions to family fun days. Centred in Port Douglas, this festival celebrates Queensland’s unique landscape and style. The Sydney to Hobart Yacht Race is another annual Australian celebration, with big festivities held in both capitals. Regardless of where you find yourself, festivals big and small are a blossoming leisure activity in Australia.
For more famous festivities around the country, see
Drive amongst the sand dunes
If you have a taste for adventure, a love of the outdoors and are not afraid to get a little bit muddy, sandy or wet, then quad biking is an activity best spent in the fresh, open air of Australia. Take off on your own four wheels to admire and explore your surrounds while you are taken on a tour of the Australian land and shown its hidden hotspots. Tackling the tough terrain or kicking up the sand has never been so adventurous. Each state and territory in Australia offers an array of quad biking activities, each having its own unique landscape and landmarks to admire.
Where can I quad bike in Australia?
When quad biking in New South Wales and Queensland, you will have the chance to explore the splendour of the east coast hinterland, challenge your riding skills on the sand dunes and marvel at the natural wild life. If you’re keen to tackle Australia’s outback on four wheels, quad biking in the Northern Territory is full of majestic river gums, varied terrain and dusty plains.
Explore the island by sea
If you’ve seen and explored this state by air and by foot, why not continue the journey and continue your Tasmanian journey from the water on a river or sea cruise. Here, you can admire the apple isle from a different angle and see the rainforests, ancient Tarkine wilderness and vineyard lined banks from a whole new perspective. Whether you’re on a cruise for snapshots or indulgence, many boat tours come complete with fresh Tasmanian meals and products, along with famous cool climate wines
Where can I take a cruise in Tasmania?
Get on board one of Tasmania’s major waterways, the Gordon River. Rising in the centre of the island and flowing westward, the Gordon River is uninhabited wilderness, flowing through ancient Tasmanian rainforests and into the harbour. Cruises along the Gordon River start at Strahan
on the state’s west coast, with luxury, relaxed trips lasting for around half a day. Along the way, take a short walk and see Hell’s Gate- the harbour entrance to the Southern Ocean, as well as exploring the notorious penal settlement area of Sarah Island.
In northern Tasmania
, the Tamar River is not so much a river as it is a saltwater estuary but is also used for shipping and commercial cruises. Australia’s longest navigable estuary, the Tamar River stretches for more than 70 kilometers and is a sanctuary for many Tasmanian water birds including the white bellied sea eagle, pelicans and black swans. Cruises along the river allow you to see some of Tasmania’s rich diversity with local vineyards, impressive riverfront communities and the famous Batman Bridge.
One of the state’s seven major rivers, the Arthur River is the only one left completely wild, never having been logged, dammed or spoilt. Cruises on this tea coloured water take you through the Tasmanian rainforest where you can see an assortment of wildlife, including the iconically Australian platypus in its own habitat. When your tour is complete, make sure to stop off and explore the township of Arthur River where you can walk along the sandy beaches, watch the sunset and fish for some abalone and crayfish.