Whenever I’m throwing myself a pity party because things aren’t perfect, and I’m thinking ‘gee, I’d love more of this… or I wish I could do that…’ I take a minute to stop and reflect - to remind myself of all the things I do have.
And when I do take the time to think about it - I realise, I’ve already won the lottery. To be born in this country, with my family around me. Doing what I love.
We live in a pretty darn fantastic place. We are so lucky to call Australia home.
So why is it, when the time comes to plan a trip, many people are inclined to jet overseas, before taking a look around their own backyard?
This country has so much to offer - it would be impossible to cover it all in one article.
So I’ve broken it down into the things I love most about travel - and how Australia delivers on them.
Food (yes, of course I started with this one)
I know Italy has their pizza, Greece has their gyro, Spain has their paella… Is anyone else getting hungry?
My apologies - I got distracted. The point is - Australia also has bragging rights to some pretty sensational food.
Due to our agricultural practices and production standards, our produce is just a cut above the rest. People in other countries would kill to have our fresh food.
The demand in the food industry for the paddock to plate meal means there are some amazing options for a real ‘foodie’ experience.
Maggie Beer’s farm in South Australia is a must do if you’re down that way. It’s a working farm, with olive groves, a quince orchard and vineyards. You can do a full tour, followed by, the best part - tasting (and buying!) all the goodies your heart desires.
Now - onto our seafood.
Honestly, what can ever top taking a paper bag filled with grilled fish, some calamari and some fresh prawns - down by the water. If you haven’t tried one of the infamous scallop pies in Tasmania - get down there. That alone is worth the trip.
And I know the Marlborough region in New Zealand gets a great wrap for their wine - and I won’t attempt to take that away from them - but between the Hunter, the Barossa and the cool climate wines around Orange - we’re not doing too badly ourselves.
Not to mention the Brown Brothers Cellar Door in Milawa - which is a one of a kind experience. We always drop in when we’re in the area on our tours.
One thing I’ve noticed on some tours is that people often read books or close their eyes and listen to music while travelling.
Especially in the Outback - where there are vast stretches of uninterrupted red earth. But to me, the landscape changes every minute we drive.
It makes me sad when people miss things. And boy, are there some things to see when you travel around this country.
I don’t believe I really need to list all the natural wonders that reside here in Australia - you all know what they are. But, have you seen them?
Have you snorkelled along the Great Barrier Reef and been completely mesmerised by the amazing ecosystem below the water? Have you experienced the sacred presence in the air at Uluru? The Pinnacles, the Twelve Apostles, the Three Sisters, Mackenzie Falls in the Grampians National Park… ok, I got distracted again, and started to list them.
You get the drift. You’ve heard about them, maybe you’ve seen pictures… But have you experienced the awe?
I know we’re a younger country, and we don’t have the gold palaces of Versailles or the ancient ruins from where democracy was born - but we’ve got our own stories to tell.
It doesn’t matter where you go on one of our tours - there’s always something people don’t know about. There’s always a new discovery.
It’s not always pretty - and we’re not always proud of it. But if we don’t tell these stories, if we don’t learn about our past - we will never learn from it.
I’m not just talking about the historical sites - like the collection of Indigenous rock art sites in Kakadu, Port Arthur, the Eureka Stockade or Captain Cook’s Landing Place.
I’m talking about experiencing the ‘less obvious’ history - like going on an Outback tour and talking to the people whose family have been living there, working the land for four generations. I’m talking about origins of the native food movement and bush tucker. I’m talking about the presence of Chinese restaurants in towns across the country - reminders of the important role of Chinese migrants to Australia since the 1850s.
History is everywhere - that’s the beauty of it.
And our history is worth preserving.
I’ve saved the best for last.
Because we all know - Australians are a special kind of people.
Whether you’re travelling through places like Windoora, Birdsville or Innamincka- you’ll meet the quintessential Aussie battlers, who embody the spirit of our country.
They’ve dealt with a lot of hardship. Sometimes there’s no end in sight and they’re just doing the best they can to keep going.
And yet - they’re laughing, telling you about their day to day, sharing fascinating stories and letting you into their lives. Feeding you from their property, going out of their way to make sure you’re comfortable, always looking to accomodate your needs.
It’s unique, it’s inspiring - and it’s humbling to experience.
Some of the places on our map might not be as inviting as the Maldives, or as fast paced and fancy as Paris - but you’ll come out with a new perspective on life. And make some life long friends.
And isn’t that more powerful?
Come and see for yourself
Don’t just take my word for it.
If you’re looking to do some travel, have a look at some of our tours around Australia.
Our 2020 brochure will be out shortly - so keep an eye out for you’re next big adventure.
We’d love to help you get to know our country, just a little bit better!