When it comest to taking a well deserved vacation to the exciting country of Australia, there are a few destinations that are known around the world. Everyone has heard of all of the fabulous things to do in destinations like Sydney, Perth, The Gold Coast, The Great Barrier Reef, Brisbane, Adelaide, and Melbourne. These are all great destinations with a wonderful amount of things to offer visitors heading that way, but there is much more to Australia than these locations though. Here is a look at five communities that are not nearly as popular as the big cities of Australia, but still offer a unique experience that visitors can remember the rest of their lives.
The capital of the Northern Territory, Darwin is an interesting city, especially when compared to the rest of the coastal cities of Australia. Darwin sits on the northern coast and is right on the Timor Sea. The Northern Territory is known as a sparsely populated area, but Darwin is sizable. Being the largest city on the northern coast of Australia, Darwin has many close ties with Asia, especially East Timor and Indonesia. Water recreation is popular in Darwin with a number of great options for fishing trips, boat tours, and sailing adventures.
The beaches are beautiful and sunbathing, snorkeling, and swimming are all popular there. Darwin is located somewhat near to a number of protected natural areas that are worth visiting for anyone interested in the great outdoors including Conservation Reserve, Litchfield National Park, Kakadu National Park, and Garig Gunak Barlu National Park. There are a number of fun and worthwhile attraction in and around the city too including Crocodylus Park, Mindil Beach Markets, Museum & Art Gallery of the Northern Territory, Berry Springs, Darwin Crocodile Farm, Darwin Botanic Gardens, and the Indo Pacific Marine Aquarium.
Located in the upper reaches of Queensland, Cairns is a very popular destination for those vacationing in Australia. The city has had a fascinating history over the years, serving as everything from a stopover on the route that local miners would take to an important railway depot for the sugar cane trade. Cairns can be found a little over 1,000 miles north of Brisbane by road, which is the closest major city of size. Most of the more popular reasons for going to Cairns involve heading out onto the ocean. Cairns is a little more than an hour long boat ride from the Great Barrier Reef, and is also conveniently located near a number of other reefs and islands that are popular with scuba divers and snorkelers.
Some of the popular inland destinations in the Cairns area include the Daintree National Park, Kuranda Forest Reserve and Kuranda State Forest, Formartine State Forest, Hann Tableland National Park, Herberton Range State Forest, Dinden Forest Reserve, Grey Peaks National Park, Danbulla State Forests 1 and 2, and the Wooroonooran National Park. There are a number of fun things to do and see in Cairns including Paronella Park, Skyrail Rainforest Cableway, Yorkeys Knob, Centenary Lakes Botanic Gardens, and the Cairns Wildlife Dome.
Towards the southern end of the western coast of Australia, a little over 170 miles south of Perth, sits the community of Margaret River. Margaret River is not the first city that comes to mind for those touring Australia, but it is a great tourist destination all the same. The area has grown from a rather poor farming community of long ago times to what is now considered the finest wine region in all of Australia.
The Margaret River Wine Region attracts more than a half a million visitors each and every year. There are festivals and celebrations tied to the wine industry, as well as to the production of the vineyards themselves. Wine tours are also a popular attraction for visitors coming to the area to participate in too. A number of very nice golf courses have sprung up in recent decades and the area has gained a reputation as being the kind of place that the well to do go to entertain themselves and relax. Leeuwin-naturaliste National Park is located nearby, and it is popular with those who want to get a glimpse of the undeveloped natural areas in the region.
The coastal area that is just west of Margaret River is extremely popular with surfers. Some of the popular attractions and things to do in the Margaret River area include winery tours, Naturaliste Reptile Park, Prevelly Park, Jewel Cave, the many local beaches, and Mammoth and Lake Caves.
Located in Queensland, Airlie Beach is a popular destination for vacationers from both inside Australia as well as those visiting from other nations. Airlie Beach is located very near to the Whitsunday Islands which were discovered and explored by the world famous explorer James Cook. The small community is a popular starting point for those heading out to the Great Barrier Reef. There is a good sized swimming lagoon that the city has constructed for use by both residents and those visiting the area.
Airlie Beach is located very near a number of popular places to visit or see both on and offshore including Daydream Island, Molle Islands National Park, Shute Harbour, Conway National Park, Palm Grove, Dryander National Park, Proserpine State Forest, Grassy Island, Dingo Beach, Hideaway Bay, and Gloucester Island National Park. Airlie Beach is popular with those heading out to the Great Barrier Reef, but there are also a number of things to do and see in and around the community too like visit the beaches and the Whitsunday Great Walk.
Located in Australia’s Northern Territory and very near to the center of the continent is the community of Alice Springs. Though Australia’s most famous tourist destinations are all on the coasts of the country, Alice Springs is popular too for those wanting to see the far inland areas. To give an idea about how sparsely populated the Northern Territory is, Alice Springs has a population of approximately 27,000 and is the second largest city in the territory. The community sits centrally located in between a number of different deserts and dry river and creek beds. Alice Springs is located geographically in an area known as the Red Centre.
There are a number of very interesting natural areas surrounding the town including Alice Springs Desert Park, Heavitree Gap, Anzac Hill, Billy Goat Hill, West Macdonnell National Park, Finke National Park, and Dulcie Ranges National Park. The Stuart Highway, the main north-south highway running through the entire country of Australia, passes through Alice Springs. Where the community sits now was also an important repeater spot for the Overland Telegraph Line that linked the early cities on the continent together and to the outside world.
There are some very interesting things to do in and around the community of Alice Springs including the Alice Springs Reptile Centre, Royal Flying Doctor Visitors Centre, Larapinta Trail, Aboriginal Australia Culture Centre, Old Ghan Museum, Adelaide House Museum, National Pioneer Women’s Hall of Fame, and the Alice Springs Telegraph Station Historical Reserve.
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While these five locations may not be the first cities that jump off a map into a traveler’s mind, they are indeed great places to visit during a vacation to Australia. Whether a traveler likes to explore the coastal areas, take part in the many forms of water recreation available on the beaches and in the port communities, or experience the desolation of the Outback, there are a number of great vacation destinations that are a little off the beaten path. A vacation to Australia can be incredible without being the exact same vacation that everyone else takes. A visitor heading to Australia needs to know there are a whole lot more options than just the widely known destination cities that are famous around the world. Some of the lesser known destinations are some of the best places to go in Australia.