Like Cairns? You’ll love Mossman, Qld
Get away from the tourist bustle of Cairns and venture north to a picturesque town nestled among canefields and verdant mountains of far north Queensland. Mossman is the gateway to Mossman Gorge, an imposing natural wonder that’s part of the world heritage-listed Daintree National Park. The local Kuku Yalanji people, the traditional owners of the area, offer guided tours that highlight the cultural and natural significance of the gorge. There’s a range of accommodation available in and around town from the caravan-friendly to the boutique digs and spa treatments of the Silky Oaks Lodge.
Like Bendigo? You’ll love Castlemaine, Vic
This goldfields town boasts bohemian chic and plenty of culture. Castlemaine is a tree change destination that’s fast becoming a tourist hub. Along with nearby Bendigo, the town has a busy art scene. The Castlemaine Art Gallery & Historical Museum boasts a fine range of Australian works, while smaller private galleries such as the Falkner Gallery let you browse and buy contemporary works by local and international artists. Castlemaine’s historic Theatre Royal, which has stood on the main street since 1854, is a great place for a night out, with first run movies as well as performances by popular music and comedy acts. Go to
Like Byron Bay? You’ll love Lennox Head, NSW
Byron Bay and Ballina may get the headlines, but Lennox Head is an ideal location for a NSW north coast vacation. It’s long been the sleepy cousin to its slicker neighbours, but Lennox Head’s location on pristine Seven Mile Beach and the natural beauty surrounding the town make it the perfect base. It’s edged by Lake Ainsworth, where the tea-tree stained waters are said to be therapeutic, and is also an ideal spot for kayaking. A great way to see every bit of Seven Mile Beach is to book a beach horse ride from nearby Pegasus Park Equestrian centre.
Like the Barossa Valley? You’ll love Stirling in the Adelaide Hills, SA
Stirling is the Hills’ cultural and commercial hub and the ideal base to experience all the region has to offer, from the Adelaide Hills wine region to a trek to the summit of Mount Lofty. Every year from September to April, the town hosts Stirling Laneways, an arts festival that turns local back lanes into part-market, part-performance-art. There’s also a great local food scene, including the Latin America-meets-modern Australia fare of Miss Perez.
Like Margaret River? You’ll love Pemberton, WA
Deep in the heart of south-west Australia’s karri country, far from the coastal resorts of Margaret River lies the town of Pemberton. Established in 1925 as a base for sawmill operations, in recent years the town has become a tourist destination with vibrant food and wine scenes. Pemberton is one of Australia’s youngest wine regions, gazetted in 2006, with more than 50 wineries in the region already. Adventure lovers should try a 4WD tour of the Yeagarup dune system, the largest land-locked mobile dune system in the southern hemisphere. And there are natural wonders galore as the area is bounded by national parks with stunning old-growth karri forests.