WITH international destinations scratched off the itinerary and even some states ruled out, travel expectations have had to change dramatically to work around Covid-19. Grey nomads are hitting the road around Queensland and the Northern Territory, while short getaways and day trips also are helping to scratch the travel itch. Here are some ideas for when the need to make a booking is irresistible.
IT’S Darwin for history buffs, following a diver’s recent discovery that offers a new interpretation of the bombing of the city in 1942. It was the largest-ever foreign attack on Australian soil.
The discovery of the propellers of the USS Peary reveals that the ship was completely disabled after the first bomb hit, leaving it drifting helplessly throughout the battle before sinking.
It was previously thought the ship and its 90 US servicemen sunk immediately after being hit by five Japanese bombs. Despite the Peary being a sitting duck, its sailors continued to fire back with the ship’s guns – a testament of their valour.
From February 1942 to November 1943, Darwin was the target of more than 64 air raids, and as a result, remnants of Darwin’s military history are still visible.
Allow a week for our northernmost capital as there are a number of heritage sites and experiences worth exploring.
LUCKY us. With Queensland being a big state full of variety, we don’t have to travel too far from home to satisfy the travel bug.
Take Chinchilla for example. In the Western Downs, about two hours from Toowoomba, and with a population of 7000, it is known as the melon capital of Australia. A Melon Festival is held each year, and the new botanic gardens have watermelon themed areas.
Agriculture is the area’s mainstay along with gas. Fossicking for petrified “Chinchilla Red” wood is unique to the area. Nearby is the Jimbour historic house and gardens and Rudd’s Pub, where author Steele Rudd created Dad and Dave.
With lots of country hospitality, Chinchilla is a great way to support a small regional area for a few days.
Penny Hegarty, who conducts small group tours, also recommends the Gold Coast hinterland for garden lovers. As well as stunning scenery and an arts and crafts scene, the area has plenty of specialist plant nurseries, especially if looking for something different.
Make new friends by joining a small group tour of like-minded people. All you have to do is pack, as everything else is organised.
Call Penny for upcoming tours 0416 028 787 or firstname.lastname@example.org
NEW Zealand is also within our travel bubble. Treat yourself to a first class small group coach holiday with premium accommodation, fine dining and impeccable service.
Grand Pacific Tours’ innovative ultimate small group coach holiday experiences give unparalleled comfort.
Purpose-built, full size vehicles that usually have 48 seats have been configured to fit 20 luxury leather recliner seats, complete with adjustable headrest and calf support for added comfort – and a window every time.
On-board luxuries include woodgrain timber tray tables with built-in cup holders, personal storage areas, individual USB points at every seat, and WiFi.
The 4.5-star hotel accommodation has been carefully selected to ensure a premium level of comfort with extensive guest facilities in excellent locations.
Small group travel provides an intimate and personalised experience that takes you to places you may not be able to visit on your own, at an all-inclusive price.
Explore Christchurch, Milford Sound and mighty Mt Cook in the South Island, while in the north is Te Papa, New Zealand’s National Museum in historic Wellington, a traditional Maori hangi at the geothermal wonderland of Rotorua, and cosmopolitan Auckland.
Call Tewantin Travel 5447 1011 or Coolum Cruise & Travel 5446 1727.
THE seventh annual Vision Splendid Outback Film Festival, a celebration of Australian cinematic talent, will go ahead in Winton, the Hollywood of the Outback, this month, September 18 to 26.