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As more and more baby boomers are looking to tick off their bucket list in overseas travels, there are 1004 tourists arriving in Australia every hour to explore our vast and diverse landscape. 

What are some of the best places we can visit to create unforgettable adventures as travellers in our own country? 

By
Amy Chien-Yu Wang
Published on
Friday, December 7, 2018 - 10:44
File size
12.66
Duration
6 min 49 sec

Janka Weis from German Australian Travel has been booking tourists to Uluru for many years.

Weis dreams of one day going to the sacred place of the Yankunytjatjara ((pronounced as yan-kun-ja-jarra)) and Pitjantjatjara ((pronounced as pit-jan-jah-jarra)) people visited by over 250,000 people each year.

"The experience and the stars and everything is just breathtaking"

“I would go into the desert resort or I would go to the dinner of silence, okay. I have heard so much about it and definitely the dinner is outside literally in the desert, and you just have got your table prepared for you and for the group in the desert, the experience and the stars and everything is just breathtaking, and, of course, the walk, the cultural walk around Uluru to feel the energy and the pulse of Australia of course that’s what I think what it’s all about.”

Recent Australian Bureau of Statistics data shows that the number of baby boomers travelling overseas has increased by more than 80 per cent in the past five years.

Sara Birtwhistle from the 50 Plus Travel Club finds that most of her clients aged between fifties to seventies tend to have their eyes set on overseas trips while they’re still fit and active.

“I find that people travelling in Australia is what they might do when they are a little bit older when they can’t do that long travel anymore, but I always think what a shame, because it is the continent here of exploration, we shouldn’t be leaving it till we’re too long in the tooth. You wanna get out and be able to walk in canyons, it’s gorgeous, beautiful oasis in the middle of a canyon that you can hike up to the top to see.”

Whilst many of her clients are keen to venture abroad, Birtwhistle notices more travellers are opting to cruise around Australia and connecting it with land-based travel packages.

“Might start from Sydney, go to Perth, or Brisbane up to Darwin and then they might do the Ghan down into Adelaide"

“Might start from Sydney, go to Perth, or Brisbane up to Darwin and then they might do the Ghan down into Adelaide, and we’ve seen people realised that they don’t want to just see Australia by sea and so obviously they get off the ship, and they might do some land-based touring, and, of course, it gives them the best of both worlds. They get to see beautiful coast lines and regional areas that might not be able to be easily accessed so a cruise ship can be quite beautiful and easy to get around and to access different ports.”

If you’re worried about being trapped on a ship, Birtwhistle suggests going on the four-day train ride from Darwin to Adelaide on the infamous Ghan expedition for a more immersive experience.

With its 90th anniversary coming up, she advises booking early to guarantee a spot on the 2,979km train ride.

"If you think about those underground homes that they do stop on that journey, and the train is such a fun experience, you get to share a four night trip on and off train experiences."

“It does go to Coober Pedy so if you think about those underground homes that they do stop on that journey, and the train is such a fun experience, you get to share a four night trip on and off train experiences. So, for a morning, you might go out to Katherine gorge and see that and certainly from a travel point of view, it’s a very easy option to just hop on a train in Darwin, head down for a couple of hours, hop off in Katherine, have a nice couple of hours off, see the beautiful Katherine and then you head on down to Alice Springs, and so the whole way through you’re seeing the red centre, which, of course, most people know but never get to see it.”

Many of Janka Weis’ fifty plus travellers are keen to explore the beauty of Australian islands.

Among the favourite destinations are Hamilton Island, Norfolk Island, and Fraser Island - the largest sand island in the world.

“We just have been recently there. It turns out to be a really well loved spot just for a week to hang out and to explore the island with guided tours that is depends on how active you would like to be and how much you trust yourself to hire a four wheel drive and go over the sand.”

Tracy Rivers from National Seniors Travel recommends Tasmania.

A recent Roy Morgan survey finds that the state’s capital, Hobart, is the country’s fastest growing domestic travel destination.

It’s ranked the third most desired holiday city in Australia after Melbourne and Sydney.

“Tasmania is a wonderful destination. It offers varied things. It has amazing history with Port Arthur and some of the penal colonies that were there at that time. There’s also Richmond Bridge, which is an amazing bridge that’s there, also Tasmania is known for its food and wine. Even though it’s a small place there’s a lot to see and do.”

Bronwyn White from New Young Travel suggests going on a road trip by car for a sense of freedom and excitement.

She’s seeing a lot more solo travellers, especially ladies over the age of 55, taking off on little adventures.

"It gives you time to really reflect on yourself and being at one with nature"

“That’s the sort of trip, a trip around Australia is truly life changing and people quite often talk about the sense of freedom and that kind of hitting the road and it’s you and the road and the red dirt and the Australian bush and nobody else and I guess it gives you time to really reflect on yourself and being at one with nature and you know those sorts of experiences are really quite transformative for a lot of people.”

Tracy Rivers says it’s always worth checking out travel insurance to cover unexpected costs even if you’re travelling in your own country.

“It helps if something was to go wrong even here in Australia, they’re not going to cover your medical cost obviously cos it’s covered by Medicare here in Australia but if something happens and you need to stay a week later or a flight was cancelled or things happen all the time, it’s always a very good idea to have travel insurance.”

Not everyone can afford the time and money to visit exotic places.

Bronwyn White says sometimes simply driving an hour or two into regional Australia can lead to interesting cultural experiences.

"There’s some really fabulous and interesting local museums in regional areas and cultural experiences that you can have."

"In and around Sydney even you can do some Indigenous tours not far from Sydney or you can go anywhere out bush and then a bit out the outback but there’s some really fabulous and interesting local museums in regional areas and cultural experiences that you can have. I mean going to the pub and having a lunch at some of those place is a cultural experience. It’s at those places that you get to meet some really interesting people and you’re near hospitals, you’re safe and you’re at home.”