Aussie stars’ secret getaways to add to your bucket list

 

ONE of the big changes to Aussie family life so far this century has been where we take our holidays.

In the year 2000, Australians took just more than 3 million trips overseas. By the year 2010 that number had doubled to 6.1 million. And in 2019 we collectively took 11.3 million international journeys.

Spurred on by cheaper airfares and non-stop inspo from travel programs and supplements, we shot out of the Land Down Under, big-time. Destination weddings became a thing. Social media influencers cooed over the delights of a getaway to the Maldives. We conquered the world.

And then: 2020 happened.

With borders shut, we've been forced to forgo the global in favour of the local. Research carried out by booking.com showed that the average distance Aussies travelled for winter getaways this year was 820 kilometres, down from 3329 kilometres in 2019.

For many of us, that means a nostalgia trip, as well, dipping into the sorts of destinations that we opted for in the twentieth century.

As part of Go And Get It, News Corporation's new campaign to encourage Aussies to take a local break, we asked some well-known Australians to share with us their holiday hot spots, including the destinations they loved when they were kids.

ROB MILLS

Three Sisters meet three brothers. Picture: Courtesy Rob Mills
Three Sisters meet three brothers. Picture: Courtesy Rob Mills

 

Singer Rob Mills today. Picture: Lachie Millard
Singer Rob Mills today. Picture: Lachie Millard

"That's me with my brothers Chris and Matt and the Three Sisters in the background (could be '88 or '89). In a time when one could travel between states as freely as a misinformation does in 2020, my family went on an old fashioned road trip. I suppose it was good training for the now (being in a small confined space for most of the day). Looking back it was an incredible family trip, stopping at all the sights in Albury, Canberra, Parkes, Sydney, even Toowoomba on our way to the Gold Coast and Theme Park Heaven.

"I don't know if I realised it then, but now I totally get it, the importance of forest bathing and going bush. I much prefer a bush walk to a theme park these days. And I can't wait to get back out there when these restrictions lift. I love this beautiful country and I won't ever take it for granted.

"PS: I'm not quite sure about my face here. I think I was always trying to pull focus."

JAYNIE SEAL

Hobart Marina at dusk.
Hobart Marina at dusk.

 

TV presenter Jaynie Seal with sons Hayden and Remy.
TV presenter Jaynie Seal with sons Hayden and Remy.

"Taking my two boys to Hobart is my favourite Aussie travel memory. It was their first time seeing the city and it was magical witnessing their enthusiastic expressions of newness. We had the pleasure of meeting some of my colleagues from the local WIN News crew who kindly invited us to their dinner on the wharf where you can fine dine or simply grab some fish and chips and stroll along the pier. Salamanca markets on Saturdays are filled with colour, performers, freshly picked fruit and veggies from local farms. Battery Point up the road is just so quaint with perfectly manicured gardens framing unique cottages. One of the more famous streets is Arthur's Circus which is a circle of cottages known to be built in the 1840s."

ANDREW SYMONDS

Cricket commentator Andrew Symonds carrying on the family camping tradition. Picture: Instagram
Cricket commentator Andrew Symonds carrying on the family camping tradition. Picture: Instagram

 

Andrew Symonds shows off another classic catch. Picture: Instagram
Andrew Symonds shows off another classic catch. Picture: Instagram


"I loved camping trips with the family when we were kids. We would pack up for holidays and go camping somewhere remote. There was fishing, camp fire cooking, crabbing, swimming, building fortresses and lots of fun."

"I'd recommend the Sweet Days Hot Nights Festival in the Burdekin, one hour south of Townsville. It's a great celebration of the sugar cane industry in North Queensland. They have the first cane fire for the season. If you haven't seen one of these you need to, it's special. They also run the national cane cutting comp where they have to cut the cane by hand with a cane knife like was done before the machines made it easy for these farmers today. Those old blokes worked hard for a crust, the history is fascinating. They have great fishing and diving spots too. Put it in the diary 27-29th May 2021."

DEBORAH HUTTON

Deborah Hutton and her mother. Picture: Instagram
Deborah Hutton and her mother. Picture: Instagram

 

Cape Wickham Golf Course on King Island. Picture: Tourism Tasmania/Andrew Wilson
Cape Wickham Golf Course on King Island. Picture: Tourism Tasmania/Andrew Wilson


"I took my mother on an Expedition ship sailing from Darwin to Broome. It was an extraordinary way to experience the remoteness and beauty of the top end. It was so vast, untouched, the vibrant colours, the wildlife, so much to take in … we both loved it. It was like no other travel experience.

"Now I'm desperate to head off to King Island and play golf at Cape Wickham and Ocean Dunes. I have always wanted to go to King Island for the sheer beauty, the famous produce and now they have two of the best golf courses in Australia. I reckon that ticks all boxes."

CRAIG LOWNDES

How’s the serenity. The view from the Mount Panoram,a home of Australia's most famous motor car race.
How’s the serenity. The view from the Mount Panoram,a home of Australia's most famous motor car race.

 

Craig Lowndes and his wife Lara McDonald. Picture: Instagram
Craig Lowndes and his wife Lara McDonald. Picture: Instagram


"The drive from Sydney to Bathurst is a hidden gem. Take the Great Western Highway through the Blue Mountains and stop in towns like Leura, Katoomba and Blackheath. A drive around the Mount Panorama Circuit is a must-do; it's a public road and it gives you a whole new appreciation of the sheer elevation of the track. The view from Skyline is amazing and a great photo opportunity. Then return via Bells Line of Road, through orchard towns such as Bilpin. It's a stunning drive on a sunny weekend."

"My wife and I get off the grid for 10 days on our annual road trip to the Supercars Bathurst 1000. We pack our bikes, fishing rods and Scrabble board in the caravan and head down the northern New South Wales coast. We train outside or ride in the morning, which is a great way to explore, then attempt to catch dinner in the evening."

CATE CAMPBELL

Moffat Beach near Caloundra on the Sunshine Coast, Queensland.
Moffat Beach near Caloundra on the Sunshine Coast, Queensland.

 

Swimmer Cate Campbell in holiday mode. Picture: Instagram
Swimmer Cate Campbell in holiday mode. Picture: Instagram

 

"Coming from a family with five children, most of our holidays had to be within driving distance of Brisbane. Fortunately, there are plenty of places to choose from. Our favourite family holiday spot was Moffat Beach on the Sunshine Coast. All of us kids could get sandy and salty at the beach and you're within easy driving distance of the Glasshouse Mountains if hiking is your thing. My favourite Glass House Mountain walk is Mount Ngungun, it's short and steep but it makes it easier when you're coming back down! My tip would be to take a picnic dinner and watch the sun go down (although maybe remember to bring a torch for the way down in the dark)."

WALLY LEWIS

Palm Beach and Tallebudgera Creek on the Gold Coast.
Palm Beach and Tallebudgera Creek on the Gold Coast.

 

NRL Legend Wally Lewis sorts another barbie.
NRL Legend Wally Lewis sorts another barbie.

 

"My favourite place to go as a child would have to be Palm Beach on the Gold Coast. As a family we went there almost every Christmas. Such wonderful memories of us all together. "When it comes to holidays, you can't beat Coolum on the Sunshine Coast. In under two hours from Brisbane, you've arrived and greeted by incredible surf. It's such a beautiful place to be. Even better, 100 metres up the road is Mount Coolum where you can venture up and have a panoramic view of the coast. There's something about being by the beach with loved ones that just makes me happy."

BONNIE ANDERSON

Neighbours and Masked Singer star Bonnie Anderson in a snap from a Queensland holiday from her childhood.
Neighbours and Masked Singer star Bonnie Anderson in a snap from a Queensland holiday from her childhood.

 

Bonnie Anderson today. Picture: Channel 10
Bonnie Anderson today. Picture: Channel 10


"Travelling to Queensland with my Mum and Dad is cemented in my mind as my most memorable and favourite holiday. I grew up outside of Melbourne in the country, so as a young girl being away in Queensland really felt like the other side of the world.

"I have always loved movies, so the craziness of Movie World on the Gold Coast and its characters and rides were such a colourful and wonderful world to explore.

"Queensland is such a magical part of Australia and the ultimate destination for family holidays."

AARON FINCH

Bells Beach near Torquay, Victoria.
Bells Beach near Torquay, Victoria.

 

Cricketer Aaron Finch.
Cricketer Aaron Finch.

 

"We used to have family holidays every summer to Torquay. Playing beach cricket and swimming for hours every day was amazing. The house is still in our family and to still be able to go down there now brings back some great memories. It's such a beautiful drive from Torquay right around to Port Campbell."

As part of the Go And Get It campaign showcasing the best of Australia, we're asking readers to share your favourite getaway spots, past and present. Post them on Instagram using the tag @escape.com.au and #escapesnaps

Originally published as Aussie stars' secret getaways that should be on your bucket list


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