Georgia Dixon

International

5 most underrated Aussie destinations

5 most underrated Aussie destinations

Much of Australia lives in the shadow of the big name destinations like Sydney, Uluru or the Great Barrier Reef. Be ahead of the crowd and visit these hidden gems instead.

Canberra

Our nation’s capital has long had a reputation for being, well…boring. It’s full of public servants, dusty museums and endless circular roads that go nowhere. But in the last few years Canberra has reinvented itself as the capital of cool. It is now home to some of the country’s best hotels, including the design-focused Hotel Hotel and the achingly hip QT. Head to New Acton for the city’s best bars and restaurants, visit Braddon to try out trendy food trucks and pop up stores and spend hours wandering through the new National Arboretum, a triumphant beauty that has (literally) risen from the ashes of the 2003 bushfires.

Darwin

Australia’s only tropical capital is a laid back, overgrown beachside village at heart. It’s the kind of place where you can wear shorts all year round and there’s no such thing as black tie. Then there’s an incredible emerging foodie scene that combines native Aboriginal ingredients, incredible seafood and Southeast Asian influences to create world-class menus. You can happily spend the weekend exploring vibrant markets with great pop-up food trucks, local produce and quirky crafts. Don’t miss a sunset drink at the Sailing Club, a local institution.

Broome

Broome is the gateway to the Kimberley, Australia’s last great wilderness area, and so is often overlooked as a destination in its own right. It’s one of the country’s most remote cities and is a small settlement of low slung buildings (and no traffic lights) that clings to a strip of coast between the Indian Ocean and the vast desert beyond. The city is centred around its Chinatown, a fascinating district that harks back to its days as the capital of the pearling industry. High-end resorts are strung along Cable Beach, which is also the place for a picturesque sundowner or a camel ride along the sand.

King Island

Kangaroo Island in South Australia gets all the press, but Tasmania’s own foodie paradise is just as impressive. King Island is best known for its eponymous dairy, but you could happily spend a week eating your way around the island – fresh seafood, grass-fed beef, organic vegetables and natural honey. The island itself is ruggedly beautiful and has some of the cleanest air in the world. Add to that incredible surf, two world-class golf courses and luxury holiday houses, and you’ve got a perfect island escape.

Newcastle

New South Wales’ second city was once known only for its steel and coal production, and a thriving cargo port. Over the last decade much of Newcastle’s heavy industry has been phased out and the city has reinvented itself as a thriving, vibrant waterfront hub chock full of trendy bars and gourmet eateries. It’s a compact city that has a lot to offer, including some of the best beaches in the country. Plus the city is the gateway to the Hunter Valley, so you can spend a day (or more) exploring some of the best vineyards in the country.

Have you been to any of these incredible locations? Do you have any holiday plans on the cards? Let us know in the comments.

Related links:

10 more oddly named Aussie places

10 free things to do in Canberra

5 of the best Australian national parks