World Tourism Day Special: Evolved experiences in Australia for the new-age traveler

As the world begins to unlock, people are now choosing to venture outdoors or take a break and head out for a vacation after being in lockdown for over six months. However, given the new reality and the new awakenings that this pandemic has brought along, when travellers step out today there is a clear shift in preferences regarding the kind of experiences they are looking for. As opposed to fast-paced, popular and mainstream attractions that they previously sought, there is a growing preference for those that are more meaningful, enriching and sustainable. Australia has always been known for its diverse experiences and distinct way of life that sets it apart from the rest of the world. And with its varied offerings that fit the evolving preferences, it is an ideal holiday destination for new-age travellers, once the international borders open between the two countries.

As travellers start dreaming about their plans to take their first vacation post the pandemic, here are a few Aussie experiences that are sure to make their holiday worth the wait!

Dive deep into Australia’s Indigenous Culture: Travellers are increasingly looking to experience locales like a local and with locals rather than viewing it from a distance. Instead of ticking locations off their bucket list, the focus is now on embedding themselves into the culture of the places they visit and really getting to know it. And what better way to do so than to immerse themselves in the oldest living culture on Earth by connecting with Australia’s first people. The Aboriginal culture is renowned for its deep connection to the land, and travellers can explore a variety of experiences such as learning the basket weaving secrets of the Yolngu Traditional Owners in East Arnhem Land or taking a Maruku Arts dot-painting workshop at Ayers Rock Resort. What makes this even more wholesome are the guided excursions to the native lands by Aboriginal tour guides, who are famously known to narrate stories and folklore that are centuries old. Travellers can also embark on guided bush tucker walks to learn more about the food native to Australia, try their hand at traditional hunting and more with the locals.

 

Head out for the road trip of a lifetime: The genius behind a road trip lies in the joy of the journey against nature’s perfect backdrops. Those craving the outdoors can get back to it by opting for spectacular road trips along the Great Ocean Road from Melbourne or the Grand Pacific Drive from Sydney. The Rainforest Way is a series of scenic drives through the World Heritage rainforests and national parks that link northern New South Wales and Queensland. One can follow one of the many routes to explore lush rainforest, cascading waterfalls and idyllic country towns. The best way to experience the Rainforest Way is from the Gold Coast or Byron Bay, which are both about an hour’s drive away. Road tripping is also about letting spontaneity be the tour guide and discovering niche and hidden gems along the way. For instance, one can drive down from Bilinga Beach on the Gold Coast to the turquoise waters of Tallebudgera Creek and follow it up with a warm and homely breakfast of pasteis de nata or Portuguese custard tarts at the local Custard Canteen, a favourite amongst the younger road trippers and a guilty indulgence for the seasoned traveller.

 

Live in the lap of sustainable luxury: Living a sustainable and eco-conscious lifestyle no longer calls for a minimalistic approach to life. The ultra-sleek collection of resorts in the portfolio of Luxury Lodges of Australia are the perfect example of sustainability elevated as they are guided by strong conservation principles. For example, Emirates One&Only Wolgan Valley in the Blue Mountains, is the first resort in the world to achieve internationally accredited carbon neutral status. At Sal Salis, which is situated on the shores of the UNESCO World Heritage listed Ningaloo Reef in Western Australia the 16 luxury safari tents that make up the camp sit as lightly as possible on the landscape: they are set on raised platforms to protect the flora and fauna beneath them. Boardwalks around the camp prevent soil erosion, and the entire camp can be entirely dismantled, leaving barely a trace.

 

Get on board the voluntourism trend: From rehabilitating Australia’s wildlife to supporting local communities, there are plenty of options available to enjoy a place while also giving back to it. Australia is known for its unique wildlife, and there are many volunteer options available to animal lovers who want to get involved in the rescue, care, rehabilitation and release of wildlife. One can expect to be doing anything from bottle-feeding kangaroo joeys and scrubbing sea turtles’ shells, to assisting in animal rescues and rebuilding endangered habitats. Community volunteering is also a great way to get to give back to the locals where one could sign up to help Aussie farmers in rural towns or work with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities from the state of Queensland.

There is no dearth of truly valuable experiences in Australia that can rejuvenate and enrich the new-age traveller and give them a fulfilling and memorable experience of a lifetime. All that’s left is for one to decide when they want to start!