Australia and New Zealand have often held a special appeal for holidaymakers of all types, from families with young children to intrepid solo explorers. With this in mind, at Destinology we have rounded up ten of the best must-see places from both countries to help you plan your journey of a lifetime.
Wolgan Valley, New South Wales
Wolgan Valley is almost completely unspoilt, and the perfect destination for anyone looking to escape the hustle and bustle of 21st century life. Historic Aborigine settlements pepper the rugged landscape, anchoring the scenery in a rich, cultural context. For the five-star luxury experience, make sure to visit the Wolgan Valley Resort and Spa.
Kakadu National Park
Australia’s largest national park is located in the tropical North and is listed as a World Heritage Site. As an area of incredibly important natural and cultural significance, the Kakadu National Park is also home to the Bamurra Plains luxury lodge which offers a stunning array of outdoor activities, including airboat and riverboat tours.
Australia is well-known for being home to some of the world’s most beautiful reefs, but none are more impressively pure than the 260km Ningaloo reef, or the adjacent Marine Park which protects it. Stay at Sal Salis for a charming beachside safari experience in one of their luxury wilderness tents.
Mission Beach is the ultimate colonial Australian holiday destination. Here you will find Spicers Hidden Vale, an updated 1920s homestead that’s been lovingly restored to provide boutique accommodation in one of the country’s most breathtaking valleys. Adventurers will love the jostling activities roster and working cattle farm appeal, whilst relaxation enthusiasts can take full advantage of the on-site spa.
As an exclusive island that’s only accessible by guests, Heron Island is the ultimate destination for anyone looking to get off the beaten track. There’s no better way to enjoy the unique beauty of the Great Barrier Reef than by sampling the delights of all this private resort has to offer, which includes the unmissable yearly opportunity to watch turtle hatchlings take their tentative first steps into the sea.
Australia has a solid reputation amongst the sporting community for being one of the most exciting surf destinations in the world – so much so, that there’s even a Queensland suburb named after this exhilarating pastime. The fun doesn’t just stop at the water’s edge; this vibrant city has so much more to offer in the way of food, culture and unforgettable activities.
Families will adore the home away from home experience to be had at the Little Hastings Street Resort and Spa in the beautiful region of Noosa, located on Australia’s famous Sunshine Coast. This is the perfect destination for families, as you can take your pick of private apartments and live like an authentic Noosa resident. Local restaurants, shops and the beachfront are just a stone’s throw away.
Another one for adventure enthusiasts, Rotorua is located on the bank of its namesake lake in New Zealand’s Whakarewarewa valley; a Maori cultural capital. Take full advantage of the luxury accommodation to be had at Solitaire Lodge, whilst spending your days indulging in every activity this area has to offer, including helicopter flights, trout fishing, thermal pool bathing and parasailing.
Bay of Islands
Bay of Islands is an incredible group of islands, home to some of the most unspoilt beaches in the entire southwest Pacific, as well as the award-winning Eagles Nest luxury hotel and retreat. Every modern convenience is at your disposal, which makes this the ideal location for anyone who’s after a bit of R&R. Bird lovers should be on the lookout for the coveted Brown Kiwi.
Auckland may seem like an obvious choice, but this famous NZ city is one of the best places to visit for anyone who wants to get a proper handle on the beating heart of this magical, mysterious nation. For a more varied holiday experience, try the Contrasts of New Zealand Escorted Tour which begins in the city before taking in the scenic delights of the North and South Islands.