Travel is proven to be good for your health and wellbeing. Planning a trip can spark creativity and most importantly, bring with it positivity about the future. So, keep dreaming and start planning for when it’s safe to travel again, and get excited about the vast amount of trips and experiences you can have right here in Australia. Book flexible fares for later in the year, or next, and it could change the life of a local Aussie tourism operator that is relying on your business to thrive.
Plan a trip… no seriously, now is the time
Take a virtual trip
Dreaming of a holiday? You can still experience some of the best parts of Australia from the comfort of your home with virtual tours and experiences. And once it’s safe to travel again, make sure you go and check out their work in real life.
- Culture vultures can now feast on some of the National Gallery of Victoria’s art offerings from afar, thanks to its newly launched virtual programming. Over on the new NGV Channel, find a growing haul of virtual content to explore. Right now, you can join a free, curator-led tour of Collecting Comme, the NGV’s Indigenous art collection Marking Time, and KAWS: Companionship In The Age Of Loneliness. From Saturday, March 28, Keith Haring | Jean-Michel Basquiat: Crossing Lines will also be open online.
- Continue through Victoria’s cultural institutions by virtually touring the exhibitions in the Melbourne Museum. Take a tour of the First Peoples exhibition and learn about the diverse languages, histories and cultures of the Victorian Aboriginal people. The team of museum experts will also be regularly hosting Q&A videos where people can submit their own questions.
- Down at the Museum of Old and New Art (Mona) in Tasmania, in true Mona style, you can live stream Tim between 10am–4.30pm AEDT daily. Since 2011, Tim has sat at Mona for over 3,500 hours and with the museum now closed to guests, Tim is clocking up some additional hours while also practicing social distancing. A former tattoo-parlour manager from Zurich, Tim Steiner has an elaborate tattoo on his back that was designed by a famous artist and sold to a German art collector. As part of the deal, Tim spends his days sitting in galleries so people can admire his work of art.
- Transport yourself to the Outback in the Northern Territory and explore the iconic Uluru via Story Spheres, which provides you with 360-degree images and storytelling to serve as excellent research for when you can visit this magical part of the world.
- The Sydney Opera House offers a 360-degree tour where you can explore the iconic site at your own pace – and check out a number of online exhibits and performances by the Sydney Symphony Orchestra, too.
- For music-lovers, the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra is hosting live streams of their scheduled performances so you can enjoy the works of Beethoven, Bach and Mendelsson live from the comfort of your own living room.
See what’s happening in the Zoo
From the comfort of your home, wildlife lovers can live stream some of Australia’s most adorable animals online. Warning: if you’re meant to be working, these videos can be highly distracting.
- Zoos Victoria has set up live streams at some Melbourne Zoo and Werribee Open Range Zoo enclosures, including some adorable snow leopard cubs who nap frequently. Or watch over the Zoo’s friendly penguins, lazy lions and wandering giraffes.
- Tune in for heart-warming live streams of cute and cuddly koalas over at Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary in Queensland. There’s a range of koala cams to tune into, from the koala cuddle train to young joyful joeys, this is the wholesome content you need.
- If you are longing for the seaside The Nature Conservancy has both above and below reef cams. Located at Pope’s Eye, within Port Phillip Heads Marine National Park, Victoria, see some of the life teeming in Port Phillip Bay. On the underwater camera, see habitat, fish, seals and even dolphins, or on the above the water camera, take in views of the birds nest in the area – such as Australasian Gannets and Black-faced Cormorants. The webcam is solar powered and therefore only operates during local daylight hours and when there is enough sun – but a highlights stream is played when it’s offline.
- For something more educational, unlock the mysteries of the Great Barrier Reef and see what some of Australia’s favourite Reef animals are up to with Reef Tracks by Citizens of the Great Barrier Reef. With real-time data, track turtles, sharks and manta rays which show their movements and location since they were first tagged by researchers in the name of science.
- Or, live vicariously through one of Australia’s most beautiful birds via BirdLife Australia Discovery Centre’s EagleCAM, a live stream of a resident pair of Sydney’s white-bellied sea eagles. The live stream is an interactive, interpretive hub that provides opportunities for people to learn about, and engage with, the eagles in their natural habitat.
Support your local restaurant, cafe or bar with take home options
Travel and hospitality industry go hand-in-hand, and together they employ millions of people across Australia. To help them out during this difficult time, why not purchase a no-expiration-date gift card to use at a later time, or choose to get your favorite meals home delivered with delivery services now offering ‘contactless’ options for diners. Also make sure you check in on your favourite local restaurant, cafe or bar, as they might just be offering take home packs, live streaming sessions or cook at home recipes.
- In Sydney, The Prince of York have partnered with locals Shorty’s Liquor and Moonshine Music to create ‘Party At Home’ packages, which brings you the same food, drinks and music you’d experience in the restaurant to your home. Either enjoy with those you live with, or set up a virtual video date with your friends and loved ones. A range of other Sydney restaurants are offering their menus for takeaway include Matteo Double Bay and A1 Canteen. Or take the flavours of Elva Bondi home with you, with a new take home and cook menu which allows diners to choose from a range of their secret recipes and ingredients to create themselves.
- In Melbourne, feel like you’re dining al fresco on a corner street in Paris without leaving home with Bar Margaux‘s ‘A la Maison’ menu, which includes Boeuf Bourguignon and Soupe à l’Oignon and is delivered to your door. Alternatively, get your late-night feed of classic New York style pizza from Connie’s Pizza at Melbourne’s Heartbreaker bar, who are delivering until the early hours.
- For those in Perth, you can get some of the city’s best gelato delivered to your door from Chicho in Northbridge, including one litre of ice-cream or five choc-tops for $30.
Australia has long been famous for its wine, but with more boutique bars, distilleries and breweries opening throughout the country over the last few years, you don’t have to look far for an award-winning beer, wine or spirit! So if you are in need of a nice drop to take you back to a recent Australian holiday, there are a number of places offering cocktails and party packs right to your doorstep.
- In Sydney, The Everleigh Bottling Co has introduced a range of hampers to liven up your ‘Happy Hour at Home’, featuring its signature single-serve bottled classic cocktails and more drops to pair perfectly with your other dishes.
- South Australia’s Unico Zelo has also introduced a digital happy hour where you can jump on Facebook to enjoy a drink with other Australians across the country, as well as a Coronavino Care Pack that includes a mixed dozen of their best wines delivered to your door to help give you a taste of Australia.
- Perth’s favourite southern Italian wine bar, No Mafia, has also recently launched a pick-up menu featuring highlights from its broadly Mediterranean offerings: think gnocchi with sugo, mixed salumi, Sicilian meatballs and other joys of European-style long-lunching.
Change up your self-isolation space
Australians love to travel, it’s part of our DNA. And while it’s not advised to travel right now, you can still go outside and soak up Australia’s iconic sunshine from the comfort and safety of your local park or backyard.
- Put the camping gear to good use by setting up a camping trip in your own backyard with the kids or your partner. Relax and recharge to the soothing sound of Australia’s unique wildlife or if you are located in a city, why not try Calm app and listen to the sounds of waterfalls, calm islands or distant ocean waves.
- Or, make it educational by downloading the Museum of Applied Arts and Sciences’ Australian Monthly Sky Guide podcast to learn about the southern night sky narrated by experts from Sydney Observatory.
Soak up Australian culture from the couch
Have some extra free time on your hands? Now is the time to sit back and watch classic Australian films and television to satisfy your travel wanderlust.
- Wildlife fanatics can check out National Geographic’s Wild Australia, a four-part series that tells the stories of Australia’s most iconic – and mysterious – animals including the cassowary, tree-kangaroo, dingo, echidna and platypus.
- For a wild journey to Australia’s outback, The Adventures of Priscilla Queen of the Desert is a 1994 classic that will make you want to get up and groove.
- Transport yourself into Australia’s wilderness by reading some of Australia’s key classics and best-selling books. For storytime with the kids, flick through the pages of Possum Magic by Mem Fox and learn about Australia’s environment and wildlife through unique storytelling. Or to satisfy those classic cravings, pick up Cloudstreet – an award-winning 1991 novel written by Tim Winton that will transport you to Perth in the 1940s.
Source: Tourism Australia