Go wild! Australia’s best wilderness destinations
With thanks to guest blogger Jennifer Adams of Places We Go.
It’s no secret that my family and I love to explore the great outdoors. We relish city escapes, venturing to a contrasting world of wilderness where we can breathe the fresh air, hear the sounds of nature, and sink into relaxation and rejuvenation.
We love a beautiful natural environment and embrace the local scenery and landscapes by spending our days hiking, swimming, fishing, biking, and more.
Let’s enter another world, as we explore my favourite Australian wilderness areas.
Cradle Mountain – Lake St Clair National Park, Tasmania
Tasmania is literally one of the best examples of pristine wilderness on the planet – more than one-third of it is reserved as national parks and World Heritage wilderness.
There are so many areas of unspoiled nature that it is excruciating trying to decide where to spend your time. My conclusion is that you are best off visiting the Apple Isle every chance you get so you can explore them all!
The best way to journey is via the Spirit of Tasmania – departing Melbourne every night (and some days) – as you can bring your car, camper, or caravan and relax the minute you get on board.
Enjoy food, wine, entertainment, and a comfortable bed or recliner for the night and arrive in Devonport the next morning refreshed and ready to explore.
Tasmania is so well-suited to driving, and you can reach a host of great destinations from Devonport within a matter of hours.
One of the most iconic wilderness regions of Tasmania has to be Cradle Mountain. Part of the Tasmanian Wilderness World Heritage area, the national park is home to ancient rainforests, glacial lakes, rugged mountains, and a rich array of wildlife that includes Tasmanian devils, quolls, platypuses, and echidnas.
We treasure our stays at Cradle Mountain, set right on the fringe of the national park and offering incredible access to all the natural treasures. We have been welcomed by wallabies and their joeys that, much to our daughter’s delight, would visit us at our campsite.
We would also enjoy the company of our fellow guests as we all mingled around the stunning, rustic camp kitchen and barbecue at night sharing tales of our adventures and discoveries in the area.
One of our favourite walks in these parts is the circuit around Dove Lake. With views of the iconic peaks of Cradle Mountain, which are also reflected in the still waters of the lake, this is the perfect way to sink into the wilderness around you.
For a bit of adventure, we also recommend the quad bike tour; and for the ultimate exploration, tackle the multi-day Overland Track.
Freycinet National Park, Tasmania
I told you I couldn’t get enough of Tasmania! The best way to explore the magnificent East Coast region is along the Great Eastern Drive, which takes in treasures such as the Bay of Fires, Bicheno, and Maria Island. But one of our favourite destinations is the incredible Freycinet Peninsula.
This area is spectacular – you are treated to signs pointing to seafood farms, berry farms, and wineries, and your stomach starts rumbling for the tastes ahead. And then your eyes are met with the sight of Coles Bay, the small village near the national park; and The Hazards, a range of pink granite cliffs that dominate the peninsula and frame the turquoise waters and white sandy beaches.
This is the home of Wineglass Bay, one of the best beaches in the world. Make sure to arrive at sunrise or sunset and walk up to the scenic lookout.
We base ourselves at BIG4 Iluka on Freycinet Holiday Park in Coles Bay, directly opposite Muirs Beach. The park has its own tavern/bistro, bakery, supermarket, and café on site, so you are spoiled for convenience. And the views simply don’t get any better.
Jindabyne, New South Wales
Southern New South Wales is a beautiful part of Australia, and the Snowy Mountains, home to Australia’s five highest peaks, are an incredible wilderness destination.
Just the name ‘Snowy Mountains’ make me think of rugged and remote outdoor landscapes, barely touched by civilisation. And the area around Jindabyne is a perfect example.
While Jindabyne is a thriving town, it relies on the industry of its location. Situated just 30km from the ski resorts of Thredbo and Perisher, it is a year-round destination suited to winter sports, mountain climbing and biking, and hiking.
But one of the things I could not get out of my head was the Banjo Paterson poem The Man from Snowy River, and we headed out of town to an aptly named property ‘Snowy Wilderness’, to try our luck spotting some of the wild brumbies this region is famous for.
On horseback, we ventured out into just a speck of the magical wilderness here and breathed in the scent of the gums and explored the rolling terrain. Finally, a mob of wild brumbies fled past us, and it was a moment in time I will never forget.
Back in Jindabyne, the best place to base yourself for a holiday spent exploring the great outdoors is Discovery Parks – Jindabyne.
With its location on Lake Jindabyne, famous within the story of the Snowy Mountain Scheme, you are perfectly positioned to explore the water. We hired canoes and found ourselves paddling over waters that now cover the old town of Jindabyne; this is just another of the fascinating stories of this region.
Grampians National Park, Victoria
Finally, I could not name my favourite wilderness regions without mentioning the Grampians. One of Victoria’s most beloved regions and paradise for all adventure and nature lovers, the Grampians always impress with their iconic sandstone peaks, Aboriginal history, food and wine, nature, and wildlife.
One of the best activities here is a bushwalk. There is no better way to immerse yourself in the landscape and soak up the adventure, and countless options are on offer.
Rock climbing and abseiling are also big here thanks to the landscape. You can learn the basics from the comfort of your accommodation if you stay at BIG4 Grampians Parkgate Resort in Halls Gap, where they offer beginners on-site tutorials.
The holiday park also offers two swimming pools and a jumping pillow for kids, a network of strolls and hikes on their doorstep, a playground, and an outdoor fire pit.
Outside of the holiday park, there is so much to discover in the wilderness of the Grampians. For one, the terrain and climate yields a number of farm gates full of gourmet goodies.
What are your favourite Australian wilderness destinations? Please leave a comment below.
For more travel information and inspiration visit the Places We Go website.
Isn’t it time you explored Australia’s wild side? Book your next BIG4 break now.
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