Hidden holiday gems
Australia is recognised worldwide for its white squeaky sand, rugged natural bushland and blistering red earth. From iconic sandhills to turquoise lagoons and coastal towns teaming with wildlife, there’s plenty to do and discover down under. Even if you think you’ve seen and done it all!
As we dive headfirst into the silly season, we’re taking a look at a trove of unspoiled Aussie treasures to inspire your next getaway.
Moreton Island, Queensland
Just a hop, skip and 75-minute ferry ride from Brisbane sits the third-largest sand island in the world – aka Moreton Island, which is known to the Ngugi people as Mulgumpin or Moorgumpin (the Place of Sandhills).
Between glistening beaches, sunken ships and the iconic red and white banded lighthouse, fun-fuelled adventures abound on this seaside playground or 4WD fantastic and marine life lovers alike.
Tangalooma Island Resort is the crown jewel offering an assortment of hotel rooms, villas, beachfront resorts and kitted-out apartments.
If you’re up for something a bit more one with nature, Castaways delivers glamping-style sleepouts (there are self-contained holiday units too!)
Thrill seeker? Hire an ATV quad bike and feel your hair whip against your neck as you cruise along the sand dunes.
Keen to try snorkelling? Experience the world-famous Tangalooma Ship Wrecks up close and come face to face with a kaleidoscope of reef fish, coral formations and marine life
Prefer a slower pace? Discover the highlights by bus on the Northern Safari 4WD tour where you’ll journey along the western beaches before making a pitstop at Queensland’s oldest lighthouse.
There’s only a handful of places to eat on the island (fun fact: Moreton Island is actually 98% National Park) but if you’re staying at Tangalooma Island Resort, you’ll find a bevy of options including family-friendly cafes and bistro-style restaurants.
The Gutter Bar, a restaurant, bar and general store located on the southern tip of Moreton Island is also a crowd-pleaser.
For more information and to plan your Moreton Island visit, head here
Nestled on Tasmania’s breathtaking east coast sits Bicheno, a relaxed coastal town brimming with watering holes and wildlife.
A stunning hideaway for anyone who wants to holiday without too much fanfare (but still still snap some killer shots for the gram).
Embark on an eco-luxury retreat at Aplite House, a captivating architectural marvel nestled on a 200-acre haven between Bicheno and Coles Bay along Tasmania's east coast. This sanctuary, surrounded by pristine forest and close to Friendly Beaches, provides stunning views of Moulting Lagoon and a serene environment teeming with diverse flora and fauna.
Designed by Stephen Geason, Aplite House is a solar-passive escape meticulously crafted for self-catering luxury eco-accommodation. Over five years, this sustainable haven, adorned with Tasmanian materials and handcrafted furniture from a single tree, embodies the essence of Tasmania in every detail.
Secluded yet easily accessible, Aplite House offers proximity to Coles Bay, Wineglass Bay, Honeymoon Bay, and more. With its minimal global footprint, it seamlessly combines comfort and environmental consciousness, inviting you to immerse yourself in Tasmania's natural beauty. The ever-changing Tasmanian art collection, featuring paintings, photography, ceramics, glasswork, printmaking, origami, and sculpture, adds an artistic touch to your retreat.
For those seeking luxury amidst tranquil coastal views and the company of furry visitors, Diamond Island Resort and Penguin Parade beckons. With self-contained apartments boasting balconies and a private beach, the resort hosts a nightly parade of Little Penguins, creating a unique and enchanting experience.
See the penguins! These heavenly little creatures call this beautiful island home. Diamond Island Resort runs night tours to catch a glimpse close up, but you can also snag a sighting at sunset between Redbill Beach and the Bicheno Blowhole.
Fancy a day trip? The spectacular Freycinet National Park, home to Tasmania’s famous Wineglass Bay, is just 30 minutes from Bicheno.
If you’re a lobster roll fan, you can’t go past Lobster Shack which boasts the best one in Tsssie.
For a more fine dining experience, try Food & Brew Bistro, which serves fresh, clean Tasmanian produce.
For more information and to plan your Bicheno visit, head here
Hervey Bay, Queensland
Hervey Bay is the perfect spot if you’re keen to unwind by azure-toned water and a cotton candy-coloured sky. .
Want to frolic in the freshwater streams? Walk in the wilderness? Look a humpback whale in the eye? Do it all and so much more in this coastal town three hours north of Brisbane on the Fraser Cost.
Discover contemporary comfort at The Oaks Hervey Bay Resort and Spa, conveniently situated just across from Hervey Bay. Located a mere 10 minutes from Urangan Beach and a short 3-minute drive from the iconic 868 m-long Urangan Pier, our modern resort offers a prime location for exploration and relaxation.
Meanwhile, elevate your experience at the Mantra Hervey Bay – the region's exclusive absolute marina front accommodation. If panoramic views of the ocean are your preference, this becomes your ultimate choice for a stay with unrivaled vistas and a truly immersive coastal experience.
Snorkel, kayak, walk, swim, fish – there’s so much to dive into! But the top attraction is whale watching (Hervey Bay is affectionately known as the whale watching capital of Australia). There are various departure points and tour lengths, and you could even glimpse a dolphin or two!
After some romance? You might enjoy a relaxing sunset sail with your love and bottle of bubbly.
The Dock Bar & Restaurant brings industrial chic to paradise (there’s also a killer wine list, cocktail menu and delicious tapas style food).
Or for an impressive culinary experience that will tantalise your tastebuds and your curiosity (their menus are hand-sealed!) check out Odyssey Bistro .
For more information and to plan your Hervey Bay visit: visitfrasercoast.com
Ningaloo Reef, Western Australia
If you’re a beaches and bathing kinda holidaymaker, the Ningaloo Reef (a World Heritage site no less) will set your heart on fire.
Sparkling waters, swathes of pristine sand, bountiful marine life – it’s a natural wonderland, nestled in the northwest coastal region of Western Australia. A must-visit for every wandering nomad.
Escape reality at Sal Salis eco-luxe wilderness tents tucked behind the Ningaloo Reef sand dunes. Don’t be fooled by the word “tent’ either – each comes equipped with a hot water shower, plush bed and loo (eco-friendly, of course).
If you’re after a more quintessential experience, roll out your swag at Warroora Station, an eco-friendly wilderness bush campsite cradling the coastline.
For dry land activities, take a hike through the Cape Range National Park, an unforgettable landscape abundant with wildlife, rugged limestone ranges and extraordinary deep canyons.
There are plenty of local haunts to keep you satisfied, but the number one destination (according to the locals at least) is the Coral Resort Bakery. Expect perfectly cooked meat pies, crisp salad rolls and fresh salads.
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The Casper Magazine Team ❤️