The Best Sunshine Coast Spots For First Time Visitors

Sunshine Coast’s laid-back lifestyle revolves around its serene beaches, subtropical forests and warm weather.

Self-driving a campervan or motorhome from Brisbane is the most convenient way to go around, but it can be overwhelming to decide which places to go especially if you’re visiting for the first time. So to help you get the most out of your self-drive vacation, we’ve listed some of the best Sunshine Coast spots you can check out with your friends or family.

1. Mooloolaba Beach

Mooloolaba is one of Australia’s top rated beaches. With stunning views of the Pacific Ocean and patrolled waters, the place is perfect for swimming, surfing, snorkeling and marine life watching. All year round it has near perfect weather conditions and the water temperature is ideal for aquatic activities.

Mooloolaba Beach

"Alexandra headland / Mooloolaba" by texaus1 available at flickr.com/photos/texaus1/22995000904 under a Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic. Full License terms at https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/ BY texaus1

The coast is full of restaurants, cafes and shops so you will never go hungry, if you didn’t bring food with you. The beach is also near the Underwater World Sea Life Aquarium where you can see and sometimes even touch their collection of aquatic creatures.

How to get there:

Just like the previous destinations, take Bruce Highway. When you reach Sippy Down, turn right to Sunshine Motorway. Continue driving and turn left to Brisbane Road. The beach front is at the end of this road.

2. Stumers Creek

The dog-friendly estuary of Stumers Creek is just a  kilometre north of Coolum. The creek is shallow, making it ideal for children to swim in the waters. You can take the leash off  your pet here and let them frolic in the sand.

The nearby shaded grassy bank area serves as the picnic area. Stumers also has showers, toilet facilities and dog washing areas. The nearby shore is also ideal for kite flying. In fact, it used to be the venue of the Coolum Kite Festival which attracted kite flyers all over the world.

Make sure that you arrive early because the place is quite popular with locals and it’s difficult to find a parking space, especially during hot days. There are also nearby pet-friendly accommodations that charges $650 to $750 per week.

How to get there:

From Brisbane, drive north via  Bruce Highway. Turn right to Sunshine Motorway and when you reach a roundabout, turn right to Yandina Coolum Road. Continue driving until you reach the coast. Stumers Creek is just a bit up north.

3. Noosa Everglades

The Noosa Everglades is a must-see destination for any nature lover. Its assortment of flora and fauna is unparalleled in all of Sunshine Coast. Nestled in the Great Sandy National Park, this place is also a fave spot among canoers and kayakers. The Everglades also has access to Lake Cootharaba, Queensland’s largest natural lake.

Noosa_Everglades

"Everglades kayak" by eGuide Travel available at https://www.flickr.com/photos/eguidetravel/5778519933 under a Creative Commons Attribution 2.0. Full terms at https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/ BY eGuide Travel

Cruise deep into the dark and tranquil waterways of the Everglades when you go on a wilderness tour. It also includes a meal at “Harry’s Hut”, a logger’s camp where they serve fish, steaks, salad and beverages.

Don’t miss walking on the elevated mangrove walk, and experience the beauty of the Everglades up close. You can camp at Cooloola Recreation Area along the upper Noosa River for $5.45 per person or $21.8 per family. Generators and open fires are prohibited on the site.

How to get there:

From Brisbane, drive northward via Bruce Highway. Take the turn-off at Eumundi and simply follow the Eumundi-Noosa Road. Exit at Gympie and turn off at Cooray. Continue following the signs along the Cooroy-Noosa Road. Average travel time is less than two hours. When you arrive in town, you can rent kayaks for as low as $55 per day.

4. Kondalilla National Park

Hiking enthusiasts will love Kondalilla for all the right reasons: the park has a challenging trail, dense forest, the backdrop of Mount Everglades, a swimming hole and a 90-metre waterfall. The place is a great stopover on a road trip and is perfect for picnics. So whether you want to spend your holiday relaxing and swimming or hiking and playing a game of golf, Kondalilla National Park has everything you need.

The park’s trails are also grouped into different categories. The walking circuit is about 4.7kilometres long and takes 2-3 hours to finish. There are parts that are easy enough for children, making it perfect for family bonding. If you don’t have food, there are plenty of stores at the nearby towns of Maleny and Montville you can go to for supplies.

How to get there:

From Brisbane, drive 54 kilometres northward via Bruce Highway then exit through Steve Irwin Way, Exit 163. Travel 22 kilometres north and head to Landsborough, following the signs to Montville. Near the top of the range, simply turn right to Maleny – Montville Road. About 2.6 kilometres of Montville, turn left to Kondalilla Falls Road and drive another 700 metres to the park entrance.

5. King’s Beach Foreshore

The stretch of Kings Beach has lots to offer in terms of water activities, from kayaking to boogie boarding. Children would also love its interactive water fountains and flying fox playground. The coast is also swarmed by cafes, shops and restaurants to satisfy any food craving. There are also barbecue and picnic facilities if you brought your own food.

The highlight of the beach is its salt water tidal swimming pool where people can swim for free. The facility is also equipped with shade sails and wading area with disabled access.

How to get there:

From Brisbane, just head north via Bruce Highway. Turn right when you reach the intersection with Caloundra Road. Follow this route and turn left to Sugar Bag Road which changes its name to Queen st. Continue on this road until the waterfront is on the horizon.

 

6. Mary Cairncross Reserve

Sunshine Coast is not just about its beaches. It is also famous for its lush mountains. The Mary Cairncross Reserve has 55 hectares of subtropical rainforest that any nature lover would feel right at home in. The hinterland’s walking tracks are wheelchair and stroller-friendly. The reserve also overlooks the famous Glass House Mountains, so make sure you take lots of photos.

The reserve is also home to  native Red-legged Pademelons, Regent Bowerbird, Southern Angle-Headed Dragon, Brush Turkey and a forest of giant trees like Blue Quandong which can reach heights of 40 metres.

How to get there:

From Brisbane, take Bruce Highway and turn left onto Steve Irwin Way. When you reached Landsborough, head left to Railway Street and then turn to Maleny Street. Switch to Landsborough- Maleny Road and head straight until you reach Mountain View Road. From here the reserve is just a walk away.

 

This post barely scratched the surface when it comes to naming some of the greatest destinations in Australia’s Sunshine Coast. Whether you’re visiting for the first or tenth time, it’s best to rent a campervan or motorhome when you are travelling in groups to these places, so you can stop any time to enjoy the great views along the way.

To get competitive deals on your next motorhome hire, call Salamanda Travel right away. We look forward to helping you plan your Sunshine Coast holiday!

Your 4-Day Itinerary Through NSW’s Lightning Ridge

Lightning Ridge is famous for being Australia’s “Black Opal Country,” however, there is more to this town than meets the eye because there’s so many things to do and attractions to see, thus making it a top holiday destination.

Getting to Lightning Ridge, however, can be a bit tricky and we highly recommend renting a campervan or a motorhome to get the most out of your stay here. So without further ado, here’s a 4-day itinerary so you can cover all the tourist destinations with friends and family.

Your journey starts with picking up your campervan rental at Sydney. Yep, if you need to rent a camper australia has the best motorhome rental companies to do business with.  While you’re in the city, make sure you stock up on supplies you need for the trip. Also, the trip to Lightning Ridge will take anywhere from eight to 10 hours, so make sure that you are well rested before driving.

From Sydney to Lightning Ridge

The most direct route is via the Great Western Highway towards the Blue Mountains Region. Then head to Bathurst, Dubbo, Gilgandra before taking the Castlereagh highway. Upon arriving in Lightning Ridge, you can park your campervan or motorhome at Opal Caravan Park or Lightning Ridge Tourist Park, and get ready to explore this part of the trip.

During your first day in Lightning Ridge eat at their famous diners like the Woolpack Dining Room and General Store which serves western, home-cooked dish. You can also try Noby’s Bistro, Bar and Grill which offers a variety of dishes.

Up for pizza?  You won;t go wrong with Bruno’s Pizza Italian Restaurant. They also serve coffee, breads and desserts. For bigger portions, go to the Lightning Ridge Bowling Club for their buffet and curry.Apart from serving mouthwatering local cuisines. These establishments are also great for meeting other tourists and getting to know local  residents.

Dig Deep Into The Opal Mines

Spend the next day exploring the rich opal mining history of Lightning Ridge. Australia produces 95-per cent of the world’s opal supply and Lightning Ridge has the largest deposit of it in the country. The first shaft built to mine these gemstones were built in 1905, and the town even celebrates Opal Festival, a four-day event held on 30th June to 2nd August every year."110625" by Simon Brown available at https://www.flickr.com/photos/stonemasonry/5977077063 under a Creative Commons Attribution 2.0. Full terms at https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/CC_Attribution by Simon Brown

Head to the Walk in Mine which takes you on an underground trip to experience how it’s like to be a miner. They also have a jewellery showroom and will let you try “mining” for your own opal. Entrance fees are $20 for adults, $8 for children aged six to 16 (under six year olds are free) and $50 for family (two adults plus any number of children).

You can also take part of the Big Opal Underground Mine Tour, which offers the same activities at $15 for adults and $5 for children. Shop for more opal merchandise and souvenirs in the town’s popular stores: Lost Sea Opals, Australian Opal Centre, Opal Bin and & Down to Earth Opals.

Explore Prehistoric Museums And Tunnels Of Statues

For your third day in Lightning Ridge, explore the Australia Open Centre where they showcase life-like dinosaurs and opalised fossils from the prehistoric era. Entrance fee is free.

If you’re into art, visit the Chambers of Black Hand featuring the carvings of Ron Canlin. His artworks, which are carved in the walls of an opal mine, range from a pondering Nostradamus to Adam and Atlas holding the entrance of the mine. It now has more than 500 carvings and paintings. Entrance fee is at $35 for adults and $10 for children.

Also, drop by John Murray Art Gallery which houses the works of one of Australia’s leading outback artists. The gallery has Murray’s small and large paintings which the public can view on a relaxed and friendly setting.

Dive Into The Waters Of Lightning Ridge

Lightning Ridge offers more than just opals and mining. The region has places where you can relax and get fit. Up for a swim on your last day? Go to the 5-star Olympic Pool and Water Theme Park which operates during the summer months. Soak away the aches of travel by visiting the Artesian Bore Baths. Entrance to the baths is absolutely free.

For souvenirs, you can get great deals from shops around Lightning Ridge like Opal Cave, which has the town’s largest showroom and Absolute Opals and Gems, one of the pioneers of gemstones trade in the region.

To head back to Sydney, you can just take the same route. Though there are alternate routes, the one we wrote here is the shortest course you can take.

Check out Apollo Motorhomes when planning your self-drive holiday to Lightning Ridge and experience the most reliable campervan hire sydney has to offer. With our fleet of vehicles, you’ll find a motorhome that perfectly fits your needs and budget.

Do you know of any other interesting place to visit in Lightning Ridge? Tell us by posting a comment below!

 

Off The Beaten Track: 7 Queensland Beaches To Visit This Summer

Queensland has some of the best beaches in the country. With a coastline of almost 7,000 kilometers including The Great Barrier Reef, it is no wonder that this region is one of the favourite summer destinations in Oz.

However, you may have already been to these beaches, especially the popular ones like Palm Cove and Whitehaven Beach in Whitsundays Islands. If you’re searching for new places to spend the summer, here are seven hidden Queensland beaches that you should visit this season:

1. Dingo Beach, Whitsundays

Whitehaven is the star of the Whitsundays, but on the northern side of the island lies the serene stretch of Dingo Beach. The beach has a public boat ramp that allows access to the island’s best spots for snorkeling and big game fishing. Its waters have stinger net for the safety of swimmers, especially during summer.

Its beachfront is also pristine and quiet, which is better appreciated when one is cooking barbecue and just enjoying the view from its picnic tables under shady trees. There are also plenty of beachfront pubs and resorts where you can dine and enjoy a cold beverage.
This part of the Whitsundays can only be accessed by car. If you didn’t bring your own or rented, you can hire one along the outlets in Airlie Beach.

"08_dingo beach boating" by Allan Henderson available at https://www.flickr.com/photos/allanhenderson/4255835073 under a Creative Commons Attribution 2.0. Full terms at https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/

CC_Attribution BY Allan Henderson

2. Orchid Beach, Fraser Island

Accessible only by a high-clearance 4-wheel drive vehicle, the northern-laid Orchid Beach is still worth the long journey. It has a peaceful atmosphere devoid of tour buses and day trippers in Fraser Island. The bay is also one of the best alternatives to  southern resort settlements. Children can safely swim in its low tide gutters and shallow lagoons.

Fishing and trekking are permitted on the island. There are also picnic tables, toilets, water and washing-up sinks. Fires are prohibited in Fraser Island’s Recreation Area with the exception of QPWS-provided fire rings in Waddy Point and Dundubara. Visitors are required to bring their own untreated timber mill-off cuts as firewood.

The Government of Queensland requires camping fees, camping permits and vehicle access permit fees to be paid before entering the island. Here is a guide on Fraser Island fees. You also need to check with your motorhome rental company, for regulations and safety information on driving 4WD vehicles on these remote beaches. 

3. Monkey Beach, Great Keppel Island

The Great Keppel Island is surrounded by 17 picture-perfect beaches and one of them is Monkey Beach. So, what makes this one different from the rest? In one spot you can find Aboriginal shell middens.

Monkey beach is also the island’s best reef snorkeling spots where you can enjoy its spectacular marine life. If you avail the Shotover cruise ($99 per person) you’ll be taken to the best spots to see manta rays, giant turtles, dugongs and hammerhead sharks.
To get to this stunning destination, ride a $55 boat trip from Rosslyn Bay, Pier 1. From the drop-off point, it only takes a short walk to reach Monkey Beach.

4. Cylinder Beach, North Stradbroke Island

“Straddie”, as the island is fondly called,  is known for its powder white sand and azure waters. Its main beach is also a haven for many surfers. However, if you want a tranquil ambiance simply head to the north facing part of the island and immerse  beauty of Cylinder Beach.

Its quiet waters are perfect as a paddling pool for families. Fishing and snorkeling are also allowed on the island. Lifeguards patrol the beach making it safe even for children to swim.

Carparks are also situated near the beach. It also has a shady camping ground where you can spend the night in tents. For cheap eats, make your way to Point Lookout Bowls which is less than 2-kilometers from Cylinder. Their barefoot-bowls are only $10 for adults and $3 for children.

.

"Sraddie160102_ 011" by Brian Hurst available at https://www.flickr.com/photos/hurstb56/24115065616 under a Creative Commons Attribution 2.0. Full terms at https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0.

"Sraddie160102_ 011" by Brian Hurst available at https://www.flickr.com/photos/hurstb56/24115065616 under a Creative Commons Attribution 2.0. Full terms at https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0. BY Brian Hurst

5. Cape Hillsborough Beach, Mackay

The rock-strewn Cape Hillsborough Beach is about 20-kilometers north of Mackay. It is sandwiched between two rocky headlands which make it unknown to many, but in truth, it is still part of the Cape Hillsborough National Park. The nearby national park has numerous facilities like BBQ, car park, tour desk and conference rooms.

At low tide, the beachfront can get up to 200 metres wide. Walk on its 1.2-kilometre Yuibera trail to see Ulysses butterflies and a wide range of colourful birds and insects. During sunrise and sunset, you can interact with wallabies and kangaroos as they find food at the water’s edge.

6. Rainbow Beach, Fraser Coast

The shoreline of Rainbow Beach is like nature putting up a mosaic of its own.  Leached vegetable dyes and deposits of iron oxide from 400,000 years ago give the beach its multi-hued sand. You can also appreciate it’s nearby rainforest, freshwater lakes, and heathlands. Fraser Island is also known for dolphin watching, paragliding and skydiving activities.

Go to Carlo Sand Blow to take great photos and a chance to slide down using your boogie board. The sunset on this side is also majestic. Several tours also offer a wide range of activities including beach horse rides for $120 and 4WD expedition for $135 and up.

7. Radical Bay, Magnetic Island

For the adventurous beach hunter, Magnetic Island is a hidden gem worth visiting. The best spot, Radical Bay, is accessible only by foot or  4-wheel drive vehicle. The place is old-fashioned and does not have your usual bright lights and buildings. If you want to come here be prepared to bring an esky and some grub. In return, you will be rewarded with a memorable snorkeling and fishing experience.

Magnetic Island is also great for sunbathing. On average, it has 320 days of sunshine in a year. The nearby national park is also home to rock wallabies, koalas, possums and a variety of wildlife.

To reach Magnetic Island, you need to ride a 20-minute ferry from Townsville. The ferry service has 14-return trips daily. For cheap accommodations book at Foresthaven Tropical Resort which charges $80 per night for 1 bedroom.

Going  to these Queensland beaches will take some effort, especially if you plan on commuting to get there. Instead, you can rent a campervan or motorhome for a worry-free travel with your family. To get the best deals on these vehicles, visit Salamanda Travel’s price comparison tool today.


Before renting any 4wd vehicles, we recommend you carefully read the terms and conditions to check if you are allowed to drive the vehicle on your intended travel route, especially on rugged terrains.

Off The Beaten Track: 7 Queensland Beaches To Visit This Summer

Queensland has some of the best beaches in the country. With a coastline of almost 7,000 kilometers including The Great Barrier Reef, it is no wonder that this region is one of the favourite summer destinations in Oz.

However, you may have already been to these beaches, especially the popular ones like Palm Cove and Whitehaven Beach in Whitsundays Islands. If you’re searching for new places to spend the summer, here are seven hidden Queensland beaches that you should visit this season:

1. Dingo Beach, Whitsundays

Whitehaven is the star of the Whitsundays, but on the northern side of the island lies the serene stretch of Dingo Beach. The beach has a public boat ramp that allows access to the island’s best spots for snorkeling and big game fishing. Its waters have stinger net for the safety of swimmers, especially during summer.

Its beachfront is also pristine and quiet, which is better appreciated when one is cooking barbecue and just enjoying the view from its picnic tables under shady trees. There are also plenty of beachfront pubs and resorts where you can dine and enjoy a cold beverage.
This part of the Whitsundays can only be accessed by car. If you didn’t bring your own or rented, you can hire one along the outlets in Airlie Beach.

"08_dingo beach boating" by Allan Henderson available at https://www.flickr.com/photos/allanhenderson/4255835073 under a Creative Commons Attribution 2.0. Full terms at https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/

CC_Attribution BY Allan Henderson

2. Orchid Beach, Fraser Island

Accessible only by a high-clearance 4-wheel drive vehicle, the northern-laid Orchid Beach is still worth the long journey. It has a peaceful atmosphere devoid of tour buses and day trippers in Fraser Island. The bay is also one of the best alternatives to  southern resort settlements. Children can safely swim in its low tide gutters and shallow lagoons.

Fishing and trekking are permitted on the island. There are also picnic tables, toilets, water and washing-up sinks. Fires are prohibited in Fraser Island’s Recreation Area with the exception of QPWS-provided fire rings in Waddy Point and Dundubara. Visitors are required to bring their own untreated timber mill-off cuts as firewood.

The Government of Queensland requires camping fees, camping permits and vehicle access permit fees to be paid before entering the island. Here is a guide on Fraser Island fees. You also need to check with your motorhome rental company, for regulations and safety information on driving 4WD vehicles on these remote beaches. 

3. Monkey Beach, Great Keppel Island

The Great Keppel Island is surrounded by 17 picture-perfect beaches and one of them is Monkey Beach. So, what makes this one different from the rest? In one spot you can find Aboriginal shell middens.

Monkey beach is also the island’s best reef snorkeling spots where you can enjoy its spectacular marine life. If you avail the Shotover cruise ($99 per person) you’ll be taken to the best spots to see manta rays, giant turtles, dugongs and hammerhead sharks.
To get to this stunning destination, ride a $55 boat trip from Rosslyn Bay, Pier 1. From the drop-off point, it only takes a short walk to reach Monkey Beach.

4. Cylinder Beach, North Stradbroke Island

“Straddie”, as the island is fondly called,  is known for its powder white sand and azure waters. Its main beach is also a haven for many surfers. However, if you want a tranquil ambiance simply head to the north facing part of the island and immerse  beauty of Cylinder Beach.

Its quiet waters are perfect as a paddling pool for families. Fishing and snorkeling are also allowed on the island. Lifeguards patrol the beach making it safe even for children to swim.

Carparks are also situated near the beach. It also has a shady camping ground where you can spend the night in tents. For cheap eats, make your way to Point Lookout Bowls which is less than 2-kilometers from Cylinder. Their barefoot-bowls are only $10 for adults and $3 for children.

.

"Sraddie160102_ 011" by Brian Hurst available at https://www.flickr.com/photos/hurstb56/24115065616 under a Creative Commons Attribution 2.0. Full terms at https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0.

"Sraddie160102_ 011" by Brian Hurst available at https://www.flickr.com/photos/hurstb56/24115065616 under a Creative Commons Attribution 2.0. Full terms at https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0. BY Brian Hurst

5. Cape Hillsborough Beach, Mackay

The rock-strewn Cape Hillsborough Beach is about 20-kilometers north of Mackay. It is sandwiched between two rocky headlands which make it unknown to many, but in truth, it is still part of the Cape Hillsborough National Park. The nearby national park has numerous facilities like BBQ, car park, tour desk and conference rooms.

At low tide, the beachfront can get up to 200 metres wide. Walk on its 1.2-kilometre Yuibera trail to see Ulysses butterflies and a wide range of colourful birds and insects. During sunrise and sunset, you can interact with wallabies and kangaroos as they find food at the water’s edge.

6. Rainbow Beach, Fraser Coast

The shoreline of Rainbow Beach is like nature putting up a mosaic of its own.  Leached vegetable dyes and deposits of iron oxide from 400,000 years ago give the beach its multi-hued sand. You can also appreciate it’s nearby rainforest, freshwater lakes, and heathlands. Fraser Island is also known for dolphin watching, paragliding and skydiving activities.

Go to Carlo Sand Blow to take great photos and a chance to slide down using your boogie board. The sunset on this side is also majestic. Several tours also offer a wide range of activities including beach horse rides for $120 and 4WD expedition for $135 and up.

7. Radical Bay, Magnetic Island

For the adventurous beach hunter, Magnetic Island is a hidden gem worth visiting. The best spot, Radical Bay, is accessible only by foot or  4-wheel drive vehicle. The place is old-fashioned and does not have your usual bright lights and buildings. If you want to come here be prepared to bring an esky and some grub. In return, you will be rewarded with a memorable snorkeling and fishing experience.

Magnetic Island is also great for sunbathing. On average, it has 320 days of sunshine in a year. The nearby national park is also home to rock wallabies, koalas, possums and a variety of wildlife.

To reach Magnetic Island, you need to ride a 20-minute ferry from Townsville. The ferry service has 14-return trips daily. For cheap accommodations book at Foresthaven Tropical Resort which charges $80 per night for 1 bedroom.

Going  to these Queensland beaches will take some effort, especially if you plan on commuting to get there. Instead, you can rent a campervan or motorhome for a worry-free travel with your family. To get the best deals on these vehicles, visit Salamanda Travel’s price comparison tool today.


Before renting any 4wd vehicles, we recommend you carefully read the terms and conditions to check if you are allowed to drive the vehicle on your intended travel route, especially on rugged terrains.

10 Trips You Can Take In Christmas

 

 Christmas is one of the busiest times of the year for the tourism industry. After all, a lot of people get days off during the holidays and spend their free time travelling with family or friends.

If you are planning a Christmas vacation this year, there is no need to spend a ton of money booking flights and hotels out of the country. Simply rent a campervan and drive to Australia’s greatest holiday destinations.

Do you need help planning your itinerary? No worries! We have listed down the top 10 trips you can take this Christmas.

 

1. Go Christmas Camping

Image courtesy of  nationalparks.nsw.gov.au via Google Images
Image courtesy of nationalparks.nsw.gov.au 

Believe it or not, many Australians go camping on Christmas Day. What better way to enjoy the holiday than being one with nature?

Drive your campervan rental to Lemon Tree Flat camp grounds at Kwiambal National Park in NSW. The park boasts of breathtaking river gorges and great swimming holes, making it a perfect destination for the summer. In addition, Kwiambal is the one of the least visited national parks in the state, so you can truly get away from the holiday crowds and enjoy a relaxing Christmas with your loved ones.

2. Have A Whitesunday Christmas

Image courtesy of IG inK via Flickr/CC BY-SA 2.0
Image courtesy of IG inK via Flickr/CC BY-SA 2.0

If  you want to retain the “White Christmas” spirit but do not like the cold, the white sands of Whitehaven Beach does the trick.

Located in Whitesunday Island, the area is known the world over for its pure white sands and sparkling clear waters. Take your family snorkelling, and snap some underwater photos of the famous Whitesunday coral reefs.

 

3. Drive Down Waterfall Way

Image courtesy of donsmaps.com via Google Images
Image courtesy of donsmaps.com 

Spend your Christmas by getting away from the beach crowd – it’s summer so everyone’s flocking to coastal areas. So drive along the mid-north coast of New South Wales to Coffs Harbour; up to the Great Divide and ending the drive in Armidale. Simply put, make sure you drive down Australia’s famous Waterfall Way.

Do not miss out spending time at Ebor, Apsley, Dorringo’s Danggar and the highest waterfall of the bunch – Wollomombi.

 

4. Relax At Coffs Harbour

Image courtesy of liveideas.org.au via Google Images
Image courtesy of liveideas.org.au 

Take a step further away from the noisy, sandy beach and take a relaxing drive to Coffs Harbour.  Christmas day is actually the perfect time to visit the city because the weather is perfect. Not too hot, just pleasantly warm and sunny. The Solitary Islands Marine Park  is another ideal Christmas getaway. The coastline is never crowded, and there are plenty of spaces you can park your campervan while you are enjoying the day at the beach.

 

5. Escape The Bustling City At Botanic Gardens

Image courtesy of Tatters via Flickr/ CC BY-SA 2.0
Image courtesy of Tatters via Flickr/ CC BY-SA 2.0

The Botanic Gardens is open every day, so you can enjoy your much-needed respite from the bustling city, regardless of the season. These hidden gardens are a great place to escape the holiday crowds, and still have your family enjoy nature.

Spot koalas up in the trees; trek through mangroves and explore glass houses that showcase  plants and flowers from various countries. At the end of the day, celebrate the Christmas holiday with a picnic lunch laid out on the lush green grass.

 

6. Culture Walk At The Capitol

Image courtesy of Mark Pegrum via Flickr/CC BY-SA 2.0
Image courtesy of Mark Pegrum via Flickr/CC BY-SA 2.0

Canberra, being Australia’s capital city, is not all about politics and power. The city is also home to the country’s proudest museums and art galleries.

So drive the cultural path and visit the National Museum of Australia, Old Parliament House, National Portrait Gallery and more. If you are travelling with young children, they will have a grand time at the National Dinosaur Museum so make sure you have that on top of your list.

 

7. Christmas Off The Beaten Track

18489377
Image courtesy of wolpy.com 

For an extraordinary, adventure-filled Christmas, drive your campervan to Bellingen. The town is a favourite among holiday travellers for its mild weather all year round. Spend the day kayaking in its warm beaches or go bush walking in the town’s popular nature spots.  Bellingen is also home to some of the country’s biggest regional markets, so have fun shopping for fresh produce when you visit.

 

8. Horseback Riding at Main Ridge and Red Hill

Image courtesy of Lauri Väin via Flickr/ CC BY-2.0
Image courtesy of Lauri Väin via Flickr/ CC BY-2.0

If beaches, waterfalls and bush walking aren’t your cup of tea try taking your family or friends horseback riding in Red Hill and Main Ridge, and spend a very memorable Christmas day. You can also take a guided tour in Mornington Peninsula, there are tour guides that can take your group down to the beach. There you can spend the day watching horses running free along the coastline.

 

9. Exploring The NSW Outback

Image courtesy of geomags.com.au via Google Images
Image courtesy of geomags.com.au 

One of the best things you can do with your family or friends during Christmas in Australia is exploring the New South Wales outback. Escape the searing summer heat by going underground – literally.

The opal mining town of White Cliffs is a great way to keep cool and experience the town’s unique mining culture. Do not miss the underground art galleries and opal fields. Trust us, it is a Christmas road trip you will never forget.

 

10. Wildlife Tour At Kangaroo Island

Image courtesy of Caccamo via Flickr/CC BY 2.0
Image courtesy of Caccamo via Flickr/CC BY 2.0

For exciting, up-close wildlife encounters, you need to spend your Christmas at Kangaroo Island, which is home to Australia’s most popular national parks. The island also has the highest concentration of wildlife in the country, so it is not surprising to come across sea lions when you stroll down the beach.

 

 

Unlike the rest of the world, Christmas in the Land of Oz is all about enjoying the summer season to the fullest. Whether it is spending the day at the beach, jumping down a waterfall or setting camp in national parks you are set to have the time of your life. It is after all, the season to be jolly!

So what are you waiting for? Tell Salamanda Travel about your holiday plans via Facebook and Twitter today!