Growing up in Sydney, most of my Australian adventures were confined to roaming up and down the east coast of NSW. It wasn’t really until I went overseas for the first time at age 16, when people asked me what my country was like and I found I couldn’t answer them properly, that I realised how much more there was for me to see.
The vast desert interior. The wild west coast. The tropical far north. It all remained a mystery to me.
But once I did start travelling Australia, which really only happened when I became a travel writer four years ago, and started with a train journey across the desert on the Indian Pacific, a whole new world opened up to me.
Exploring Australia’s big brown plains, its crystalline coves and its vast expanses of nothing much at all, can teach you so much about our fascinating history, the Aboriginal’s connection to country and the Dreamtime, and how small we really are in the grand scheme of things.
Australian landscapes have a special way of putting everything into perspective, and of putting you in your place. Which is humbling, and no bad thing for any of us.
So much still remains to be explored. So when I had the opportunity of chatting with ABC 702 radio last night on their Evenings program about off-the-beaten-track destinations around Australia, I jumped at it.
Listen below for a little peek into the hidden gems you might want to start exploring in our backyard this year – from remote Cape Leveque’s startling red cliffs and turquoise waters on the Kimberley Coast in Western Australia, to the underground cave hotels and bars of Coober Pedy in South Australia, to sleeping under the stars in Barrington Tops (which I’ll be doing this weekend, but more on that later) and beyond.
I hope you enjoy listening as much as I enjoyed chatting. And I’d love to hear about your favourite hidden Aussie gems that I can add to my list!