Australia’s state borders are finally set to open after months of uncertainty in the face of the coronavirus crisis, prompting millions of Aussies to plan a much-needed domestic break.
And while tourist bodies are predicting an influx of holidaymakers, an enormous contributor to the economy is still locked out in the form of international travellers.
To recoup some of the money that was lost in the pandemic and entice new customers, businesses are slashing prices and throwing in fun incentives.
From dirt cheap flights to free meals for kids and state-of-the-art new facilities, Daily Mail Australia takes a look at some of the most sought after holiday destinations this summer.
Australia’s state borders are finally set to open after months of uncertainty in the face of the coronavirus crisis (pictured, Daydream Island in the Whitsundays, Queensland)
You can’t climb the sacred rock anymore, but that doesn’t make a trip to Uluru (pictured) any less worthwhile
Who can travel to the Northern Territory?
The Northern Territory is open to all Australians.
There are no travel restrictions in place for entering or exiting the NT, which has not ever recorded a single case of Covid transmitted through the community.
Where you planned to be: Grand Canyon
Where you can be: Uluru
You can’t climb the sacred rock anymore, but that doesn’t make a trip to Uluru any less worthwhile.
Northern Territorians have been encouraged to make the trip back out to the Red Centre and reignite the tourism industry devastated by border closures.
Flights to the Red Centre are some of the cheapest in the country at the moment.
Tourists travelling from Brisbane or Sydney between November and January can pick up an economy ticket for as little as $139.
Ayres Rock Resort is celebrating reopening all state borders with up to 50 per cent off accommodation prices.
Until March 31st, 2021, any guests staying four nights are entitled to 50 per cent off the price of their stay, while weekenders can receive 30 per cent off for two nights.
Jetstar is also running several promotional holiday packages in the region, with sales starting from January and running through to August 2021.
The West MacDonnell National Park spans 161 kilometres west of Alice Springs, and is considered a must-see location while exploring the Northern Territory
Northern Territorians have been encouraged to make the trip back out to the Red Centre and reignite the tourism industry devastated by border closures. Pictured: Elyse Knowles and her partner Josh Barker recently announced their pregnancy while holidaying in the Northern Territory
Where you planned to be: Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming
Where you can be: Alice Springs / West MacDonnell Ranges
The West MacDonnell National Park spans 161km west of Alice Springs, and is considered a must-see location while exploring the Northern Territory.
For Territorians who have explored much of their own backyard already, the ever-changing landscape is a great place to reconnect with nature and cultural roots.
The water holes and waterfalls are popular among residents for a quick cool off, while the walking tracks range from beginner to advanced to service every type of tourist.
The national park also has cultural significance for indigenous communities in the region, and is home to several ancient landscapes which were naturally sculpted by the elements over thousands of years.
Between November 2020 and February 2021, holidaymakers can snap up accommodation for as little as $325 per person for three nights in the 4.5 star Crowne Plaza Alice Springs.
The deal includes bonus credits to use toward food and beverage, a full day on the ranges and discounts on any activities while in the region.
For Territorians who have explored much of their own backyard already, the ever-changing landscape is a great place to reconnect with nature and cultural roots
When will Queensland’s borders open?
Queensland’s borders will open to all states except South Australia from December 1.
Victorians and Sydneysiders will be able to re-enter the Sunshine State after months of tough border restrictions just in time for Christmas.
Where you planned to be: Croatia
Where you can be: The Whitsundays
Holiday packages including flights from Sydney to Airlie Beach and three nights’ accommodation start from just $310 per person.
For the more discerning traveller, a four night stay, plus flights, in the luxurious Palm Bungalows on Hamilton Island would set a holidaymaker back by about $930.
Flights to the Whitsundays from Sydney can be snapped up for as little as $99 on select dates in January.
With white sand beaches and crystal blue water and home to famous Whitehaven Beach, Hamilton Island and Great Barrier Reef, The Whitsundays is on most Aussies’ bucket lists.
Tourism Queensland listed the destination as one of the ‘must see’ locations in the Sunshine State – topping a host of other great places.
With crystal blue water and home to famous Whitehaven Beach, Hamilton Island and Great Barrier Reef, The Whitsundays (pictured) is on most Aussies’ bucket lists
Where you planned to be: New York City
Where you can be: South Bank, Brisbane
Brisbane city is often overlooked for its southern and northern counterparts in the Gold Coast and Sunshine Coast as a prime holiday destination.
South Bank is known as Brisbane’s cultural and lifestyle hub and is within walking distance of the West Village arts precinct, where Metro Arts recently opened a family-friendly outdoor oasis.
Cocktail bars line the streets across from the Brisbane River walkway, where live street performers often take up residence, while luxury boutique accommodation and hotels are scattered throughout the city.
Meanwhile the Sheraton Grand Mirage Resort on the Gold Coast is among dozens of hotels offering a Kids Eat Free special to any guests who stay in the hotel this month.
The deal is available on rooms starting from about $250 per night.
Flights between Sydney and Brisbane start from just $99 in December, while a flight into the Sunshine State from Victoria is as low as $105 in select dates in January.
Flights from Newcastle to Brisbane drop to as little as $59 one way in December.
While Brisbane city is often overlooked for its southern and northern counterparts in the Gold Coast and Sunshine Coast as a prime holiday destination, South Bank is quickly becoming the hottest place to be
With long stretches of dining facilities, expansive parks and even a man made beach, South Bank (pictured) has something for everyone
New South Wales
Does New South Wales have any border restrictions in place?
New South Wales has no border restrictions in place at the moment. Residents in every state of Australia and New Zealand are entitled to travel to the state, and can do so freely.
Premier Gladys Berejiklian has been vocal in disagreeing with state border closures, and has made it clear she is unlikely to close her borders again.
Where you planned to be: California
Where you can be: Byron Bay
Byron Bay has long been considered the destination of choice for Aussies, famed for its idyllic beaches and vibrant community culture.
But the northern NSW town is also home to some of Hollywood’s hunkiest leading men, including Chris Hemsworth and his brood, and more recently, Zac Efron.
For NSW holidaymakers who had their heart set on heading to Hollywood Hills to hunt for celebrities, or those just wanting a quiet, off-the-grid getaway, Byron Bay is the place to be.
Flights from Melbourne to Byron Bay are on sale for as little as $104 for travel between March and April 2021.
Surf retreats valued at $2,450 are on offer for $1,790 for four or eight nights, and boast daily lessons, gourmet dining experiences and hotel stays.
The northern NSW town has become the wellbeing capital of Australia, with keen yogis and health fans often spotted working out on the beach (pictured)
The northern NSW town is also home to some of Hollywood’s hunkiest leading men, including Chris Hemsworth and his brood (pictured)
For NSW holidaymakers who had their heart set on heading to Hollywood Hills to hunt for celebrities, or those just wanting a quiet, off-the-grid getaway, Byron Bay is the place to be
Where you planned to be: London
Where you can be: Sydney
A Sydney staycation, or vacation for out-of-towners, is an ideal way to get your city-fix during COVID-closures.
Destination NSW created several itineraries to suit every type of vacation – from romantic couple’s getaway to family trips.
Destination NSW Chief Executive Officer, Steve Cox said the ‘playcation’ itineraries are ‘a shout out to locals to come and show the city some love.
‘The world-class experiences and venues that are so integral to the fabric of Sydney are still here and these businesses need our support.’
Sydney’s luxury Ovolo in Wooloomooloo is running a special for $599 a room for up to six nights until December 2021.
The special price is reduced from at least $1,398 in peak periods.
A Sydney staycation (or vacation for out-of-towners) is an ideal way to get your city-fix during COVID-closures
Sydney Playcation itineraries
● Luxury: Take a cruise on ‘Tango’, the largest private charter vessel on Sydney Harbour , indulge in a seven-course feast at Aria, book a Sydney Seaplane to Newport for lunch and stay in five-star luxury at Park Hyatt Sydney.
● Family: Take a Twilight climb with BridgeClimb Sydney, cruise Sydney with Bonza Bike Tours, explore Taronga Zoo Sydney and SEA LIFE Sydney Aquarium and book in the Family Fun Package at the Four Seasons Sydney sleeping in a teepee.
● Foodie: Feast on sustainable seafood at Saint Peter, take a rum spicing masterclass at Brix Distillers, and stay at Paramount House Hotel with room service from Poly.
● Culture: View the Streeton Exhibition at the Art Gallery of NSW, Lindy Lee at the Museum of Contemporary Art, the world’s most significant collection of Chinese contemporary art at White Rabbit Gallery, and stay in style at the Old Clare Hotel.
● Romance: Book into Pier One Sydney’s Luxe Igloo Suites , dine under whimsical pendant lights at LuMi Dining , enjoy cocktails at Mister Percy , feast on fabulous French cuisine by candlelight at Restaurant Hubert , and picnic in the Royal Botanic Garden Sydney with a hamper from Sydney Picnic Co .
● South West Sydney: Visit Sydney Zoo, dine at The Paper Mill, explore Cabramatta with a Taste of Vietnam Tour, see multi-disciplinary exhibitions at Casula Powerhouse Arts Centre, and stay overnight at the William Inglis Hotel.
● Cronulla: Oceanside dining at ZimZala and Next Door Cafe, sip cocktails in small bar The Blind Bear, rejuvenate with yoga on the beach with Ying Bean, explore local street art, and book the family in for a beach-side stay at Rydges Cronulla.
For more info on Sydney and to view the Sydney Playcay itineraries, visit Sydney.com
When will Western Australia open their borders?
Western Australia’s borders are open to all states, but residents travelling from Victoria, New South Wales or South Australia must quarantine for 14 days on arrival.
Premier Mark McGowan has indicated he has no plans to change his state’s borders in the near future.
Where you planned to be: The Bahamas
Where you can be: Rottnest Island
While Rottnest Island isn’t home to the Bahamas’ Pig Beach, where wild pigs roam the white sand shores, it does have a large habitat of quokkas.
Rottnest Island is a short ferry journey away from Perth but is worlds away from the hustle and bustle of the city.
There are surfing spots and snorkeling hire businesses, walking and hiking trails, seaplane flights and day spas on the island nestled among a variety of restaurants.
The official tourism page for Rottnest Island is offering 20 per cent discounts for seniors wanting to travel and explore the region.
Flights from Brisbane to Perth are on sale now with Jetstar for as little as $301, and holidaymakers wouldn’t even have to quarantine.
People from Tasmania, Queensland, ACT and NT all can enter the state with hotel isolation.
For a weekend getaway in a four-and-a-half star hotel and flights from Brisbane to Perth, packages are available for under $1,000 with Jetstar.
Sophie Monk cuddles up to a quokka on Rottnest Island (pictured), where flights cost just $300 from Brisbane into nearby Perth
Where you planned to be: Bay of Islands, New Zealand
Where you can be: Margaret River
Margaret River is described as ‘the quintessential West Australian holiday destination’, made famous by its pristine coastlines, forests and rugged terrain.
A holiday that can be tailored to suit every traveller, from backpacker to five-star luxury, the region has something for everybody.
With a thriving art scene, wineries, hiking trails and watering holes, the region speaks to all holidaymakers.
South of Perth, Margaret River is like no other destination in Australia, and is on the bucket list for tourists worldwide.
A four-day luxury wine tour from Perth to Margaret River has been advertised for $2,600 per person until November 2021, shaving more than $1,000 off the original price.
The expansive beach town of Broome (pictured) combines the best WA has to offer, with red sand rock formations that meet crystal blue water and white sand beaches that stretch on further than the eye can see
Who can travel to Victoria?
Victoria’s borders are open to any tourists from Australia and New Zealand.
From December 1, Residents from every state other than Western Australia can travel freely within Victoria without having to quarantine when they return home.
Where you planned to be: Fiji
Where you can be: Mornington Peninsula
Now that restrictions in Victoria have finally eased, the Mornington Peninsula is another hard-to-beat local destination.
Ideal for a romantic getaway to wash away the pressures of lockdown, the romantic region south of the CBD is rich in arts and culture, while also offering all the luxuries one could want in a weekend getaway.
Famed for its luxury hot springs and day spas, tourists are encouraged to ‘relax, slow down and restore the senses’ and ‘leave the phone at home’ to let the region truly work its magic.
‘Take a walk in the peaceful hinterland and let the aromas of eucalyptus and the countryside relax and restore your city senses. A place to find yourself, a place for couples to reconnect and a place for friends to play,’ a spokesman for the region explained.
Flight and accommodation packages to the Mornington Peninsula are on offer for as little as $949 for five nights in five star resorts, inclusive of daily breakfast.
The sales are on until December 2021.
Separate romantic couples retreats in the region are advertised for $699 for packages valued at $1,153.
Meanwhile in Melbourne, luxury hotels have slashed the prices of rooms now that tourists are finally allowed to venture to the state.
Punthill Apartments are offering a flash 30 per cent off Black Friday sale on room prices, while the Golden Reef Motor Inn is offering three nights’ accommodation for the price of two.
Famed for its luxury hot springs and day spas, tourists are encouraged to ‘relax, slow down and restore the senses’ and ‘leave the phone at home’ to let the region truly work its magic (pictured, Mornington Peninsula)
When travel restrictions are finally eased, the Mornington Peninsula (pictured) is another hard-to-beat local destination
AUSTRALIA’S CHEAPEST DOMESTIC FLIGHTS
Newcastle to Brisbane: $63
Sydney to Melbourne: $79
Brisbane to Uluru: $139
Melbourne to Byron: $104
Hobart to Gold Coast: $139
Gold Coast to Hobart: $149
Who can travel to South Australia?
South Australia is in the midst of a second outbreak of Covid.
While residents in any other Australian state are free to travel to South Australia, they may be subject to quarantine regulations when returning home.
Where you planned to be: Pensacola, Florida
Where you can be: Kangaroo Island
Kangaroo Island was devastated during Australia’s 2019/2020 black summer bushfires, but the one-of-a-kind landscape is well and truly bouncing back.
An ideal destination for South Australians looking for a getaway in the current COVID-climate, the location has all the elements of an international holiday just a stones throw away from the heart of the state.
The natural wonders and unique wildlife make the region feel worlds away from the bustling city centre just a ferry-trip away and offer an unparalleled holiday.
‘It’s impossible not to relax,’ South Australia’s tourism body claims.
Holidaymakers can choose from five-star luxury living to glamping and relaxing beachfront huts, allowing for a truly tailored experience.
Prices to Adelaide from Sydney start for as little as $94 in early 2021.
Holiday packages from Melbourne to Adelaide with three nights’ accommodation are advertised from just $900.
A five night accommodation package on Kangaroo Island in February is available for just $600, but prices vary depending on availability.
The natural wonders and unique wildlife on Kangaroo Island (pictured) make the region feel worlds away from the bustling city centre just a ferry-trip away
Where you planned to be: Tuscany, Italy
Where you can be: Barossa Valley
The Barossa Valley is just 50 minutes outside of Adelaide and is an internationally acclaimed destination famous for its wine.
South Australians have the opportunity to take first pick on all wine tours and vineyards in the region as COVID-19 keeps international travellers at bay.
At present, interstate tourists are welcomed in the region, but uncertainty due to COVID-19 border closures has put a dampener on usually peak travel periods.
Barossa Valley is home to over 80 cellar doors and offers food and wine tasting throughout the region, perfect for a romantic trip away or long-overdue girls’ trip.
Three nights in the Novotel in Barossa Valley will set you back about $319 per person, including daily breakfast and a free $500 hotel credit to be used during the stay to entice new guests.
The Barossa Valley (pictured, grapes being harvested at a vineyard) is a perfect getaway and has some excellent deals available at top hotels
Situated smack bang in the middle of Melbourne and Adelaide, Mount Gambier (pictured) has done well to keep its charming, small town feel while also adapting and modernising
Who can travel to Tasmania?
Tasmania has restrictions in place for South Australians.
Holidaymakers from any other state or territory in Australia are free to travel without any restrictions.
Where you planned to be: Hawaii
Where you can be: Port Arthur
For history nuts who were hoping to spend their Christmas vacation learning about the tragic history of Pearl Harbour, Port Arthur might just be the next best thing.
With ghost tours, lessons on Australia’s first female convicts and the devastating massacre, Port Arthur is a destination with a deep ingrained history – and locals are more than willing to share.
The ‘Escape from Port Arthur tour’ is a walking true crime adventure novel which tours the region in a fun and engaging way to teach the entire family.
Rydges Hotels in Hobart have rooms starting from just $199 until December 2021, while the nearby Hotel Grand Chancellor have holiday packages including flights and three nights accommodation from $333.
Prices for the ghost tours in Port Arthur also start from as little as just $27, to entice travellers.
Prices for the ghost tours in Port Arthur also start from as little as just $27, to entice travellers
For history nuts who were hoping to spend their Christmas vacation learning about the tragic history of Pearl Harbour, Port Arthur might just be the next best thing
Source: | This article originally belongs to Dailymail.co.uk
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