Best Of The Secret Trails Of Australia : Part 2

We’ve previously rattled off five well-kept secret Aussie trails in part one of this series, so take a look here to see what we’ve already mentioned.

[Best Of The Secret Trails Of Australia : Part 1]

Too lazy? Here’s a brief summary (in no particular order);

10. Newcastle, NSW

9. Canberra, ACT

8. Northern Rivers, NSW

7. Darwin, NT

6. Flinders Ranges and Outback, SA

#5 – OUTBACK, New South Wales

While it’s true that 18% of Australia is desert, and 40% is semi-arid, the NSW Outback is labeled ‘the accessible outback’ by the technicians at the tourism department. While it’s over a 600 mile drive from Sydney to Broken Hill (the unofficial capital of the Outback), you can always fly ... or take the Outback Explorer train from Sydney, to get you there in just over twelve hours.

There’s so much to explore once you get out west. Broken Hill is a wonderfully quaint mining town that vaunts a dynamic blend of art and stereotypical ‘Aussie-ocker’ culture. It’s also a good staging point for a visit to the iconic Darling River,  Menindee, a real Aussie ghost town, and Silverton. Opal hunters can also get a chance to sleep in a wonderful underground hotel in White Cliffs.

Into the upper Darling region to the north await the outback towns of Walgett and Bourke, the opal mecca of Lightning Ridge, Nyngan and Cobar. Head further north for the haunting ruins of Milparinka, and isolated Tibooburra. In Cameron’s Corner you can stand in Queensland, New South Wales, and South Australia at the same time.

You don't need to be a photographer or artist to enjoy this outback, we recommend the wealth of Australian fauna, beautiful sunsets, and sprawling red dunes ... oh, and the night sky out here.

#4 –MARGARET RIVER REGION, WA

While Western Australia is deservedly on the radar for stunning beaches,  renowned diving on the Coral Coast, or exploring the haunting beauty of the Kimberleys – Western Australia’s south west also has much to offer.

The Margaret River region, perhaps best known for its fabulous wines, has a well deserved draw. When not imbibing in a bit of the local grape, a wealth of other sights and sounds are waiting for you in this region.

The landscape fairly blossoms with wildflowers every spring. WA takes pride in showcasing the world’s largest variety of wildflowers with over 12,000 species on display. There’s windswept clifftops with cape-to-cape walk between Leeuwin Ridge and Naturalist Ridge offering a life changing 5-6-day trek.

Hamelin Bay offers bird watchers, fisherman, scuba divers, snorkelers, and beach enthusiasts an idyllic playground to keep all well occupied.

BTW, Esperance deserves special mention as one of the best beaches in Australia.

#3 – LORD HOWE ISLAND, NSW

Lord Howe Island is one of the few island chains in the world renowned as a UNESCO World Heritage site ... and it doesn’t take long to figure out why. Just two hours’ flight from Sydney or Brisbane, bordered by the southernmost reefs, Lord Howe Island is home to some truly stunning national parkland, unspoiled playgrounds for hikers, animal enthusiasts, divers, nature-lovers, and virtually anybody who wishes to appreciate the world’s few remaining paradises.

Even though the entire place is recognized as national park, you're not completely isolated from civilization. There are many properties on the island that provide great accommodation and dining options, and all of the usual amenities are available. While, you will not have any mobile network coverage, Lord Howe Island really is one of the last frontiers of Aussie tourism worth a look.

#2 – VICTORIA

Without mentioning a single Victorian site, this list would certainly be incomplete. Whether it’s Melbourne for great dining, or a drive along the Great Ocean Road, there doesn’t seem to be much about Victoria that tourists aren’t already in love with.

Soaking in the beauty of seas from cliff-top mansions and villas, wine-tasting, water sports, or simply cafe hopping, the Mornington Peninsula offers a splendid expanse of beaches and cafes all within an hour’s drive from Melbourne.

On the other side of the Bay, take a break in Aireys Inlet, enjoy a burger at 'Bottle of Milk' in Lorne, pamper yourself in luxurious spas and wellness retreats in Hepburn Springs.

There’s no shortage of options in Victoria for time away from the hustle and bustle of Melbourne.

#1 – TASMANIA

This one is going to be argumentative. Not because Tasmania’s immense beauty is in any doubt, but because a lot of tourists are already well aware of Tasmania, and include it on any Australian itinerary as a 'must visit' spot.

Then how come it’s listed here - since ‘Tassie’ isn't often referred to in the same breath as Sydney, the Barrier Reef, Uluru, Perth and Melbourne.

This popular island of Australia’s south eastern coast offers a wealth of options for holidaying. Apart from the stunning World Heritage listed Franklin River in the west, it also has its very own history in the form of the five heritage listed former prison sites, including Port Arthur – since also infamous for Australia’s worst peace time massacre. There are vineyards in the north, stunning scenery on the pristine east coast, and ancient rainforests in the west. The cosmopolitan capital city of Hobart, in the south-east boasts a charming blend of modern convenience and country living. What sets Tasmania apart from any other destinations is raw, natural beauty. The forests and beaches of this Oregon-sized island are among the most beautiful in the world and it’s a paradise for hikers, nature-lovers, and photographers ... oh, and food loving, 'self-drivers'.

Jonathan Campbell

Aussie Trip Advisor, 12H Nob Hill, Roseland NJ 07068

Aussie Trip Advisor hand-craft Australian itineraries on a fee-for-service basis