During Australia’s spring season, Aussie Specialist, Cindy Loo and myself , headed for a 2 weeks self-drive trip around Sydney and Tasmania that totalled some 3000km. Here are 10 amazing locations that have been shortlisted into this travel guide. Get to know which places in Australia I will recommend anyone planning a Sydney or Tasmania road trip. Rev up your engines and get ready for an epic trip Down Under!
1. Tasmania : Lake Pedder (Southern Lights)
The Aurora Australis at Lake Pedder
Most people heard about Northern Lights, or Aurora Borealis, which are visible from places such as Norway, Iceland and Finland. But lucky for us in Asia, we need not go that far as there are the Southern Lights, also known as Aurora Australis. Tasmania is probably the best place to catch sight of the Southern Lights. To increase the probability of spotting this beautiful sight, it is recommended to stay as southerly as possible and Lake Pedder is one of the spots.
It was truly mesmerising to watch those vibrant colorful swirls of red, green, blue and purple dance across the skies. We were even lucky enough to catch sight of the Milky Way as well. Bucket list, checked!
2. Tasmania : Mount Wellington, Hobart
Mount Wellington observation post .
One of the most popular tourist attractions in Hobart, Mount Wellington is a short 20 minutes’ drive away from the CBD. Boasting panoramic views of Hobart and the Derwent River below, it is certainly one of the most scenic spots in Tasmania. It felt as if we were floating among the clouds! During clear night skies, the Southern Lights can be spotted from here too. By the way, it’s much colder at the peak than at sea level, so make sure you bring along thick jackets.
3. Tasmania : Curringa Farm, Hamilton
Sheep at Curringa Farm.
Located one hour away from Hobart in Tasmania, Curringa Farm is an award winning 750 acre farm offering excellent accommodation, beautiful forest trails and river views, as well as farm tour to see sheep shearing and adorable farm dogs working in the field! We had a sumptuous lunch at the farm as well – a delicious and juicy slab of Cape Grim Beef, which literally melted in our mouths with every bite. Also not to miss are the delicious freshly baked scones with home-made jam and cream! This experience was truly priceless – how we wished we never had to leave.
4. Tasmania : Cradle Mountain Lake-St Clair National Park
Dove Lake at Cradle Mountain
We were pleasantly entranced by the rugged mountain, scenic landscapes, wealth of flora and fauna which greeted us when we entered the Cradle Mountain-Lake St. Clair National Park. Cradle Mountain is also the starting point for the renowned Overland Track, a 6-day hike that will take you through captivating mountainous terrain for an epic adventure. Cradle Mountain also have a conservation facility in the national park, where you can get up close and personal with Tasmanian devils, spot wallabies and wombats.
5. Tasmania : Freycinet Marine Farm, Coles Bay
Freshly shucked Pacific Oysters presented in various style.
We drive for approximately 1.5 hours over 105km along the scenic highway overlooking the Tasman Sea to savour freshly shucked Pacific Oysters at Freycinet Marine Farm! Oysters, scallops and abalones are some of the most favoured seafood that Freycinet Marine Farm offers and many visitors make a beeline for them. They are simply so fresh and reasonably priced, it’s a waste not to feast on them while in Tasmania!
6. Sydney, NSW : Bondi Beach
Swimming pool at Iceberg Club
Bondi Beach is one of the most visited tourist sites in Australia and needs no introduction; you probably had scrolled through countless pictures of it on Instagram or Facebook! With soft sand, aquamarine waters and dozens of cafes and restaurants all around, Bondi isn’t called the beach of capital for nothing. We recommend heading for a refreshing dip at the Bondi Iceberg Club swimming pool, which has been an iconic fixture of Bondi Beach for more than 100 years. It’s arguably the most photogenic spot at Bondi as well, so make sure to snap as many photos as you can!
7. Sydney, NSW : Weekend Bondi Farmers Market
Farmers weekend market – Bondi style.
The Bondi Farmers Market is held every Saturday from 9am-1pm at Bondi Beach Public School. At Bondi Farmers Market, you can buy fresh seasonal fruits and vegetables, organically grown meat and poultry, freshly picked flowers, confectionery, homemade jams, farm-make cheeses and honey, seafood, herbs, spices and much more! You can also take your breakfast here as there are a wide range of food (including Asian food) and snacks for purchase. This is the perfect venue where a picnic mat will come in handy, as you can feast on your meals on the field at the venue.
8. Sydney, NSW : Blue Mountains National Park
Cable car ride on the Scenic Skyway.
Next, we headed to the famous Blue Mountains National Park! Boasting a scenic railway, cableway, skyway and walkway, there were just too many ways to explore this beautiful park. We eventually decided on the Scenic Skyway and it was certainly a thrilling experience! With a see-through glass cabin floor and panoramic views of Katoomba Falls, the Three Sisters and Jamison Valley, we were indeed mesmerized by the amazing views.
Remember to get to Echo Point Lookout, which is the best location to take in the best view of The Three Sisters as well as the majestic vistas of the canyons and mountains. It was such an incredible humbling experience to enjoy the beauty of Mother Nature!
9. Sydney, NSW : Lincoln’s Rock
Warning: Visiting the Lincoln’s Rock is definitely not for the faint-hearted. The phrase “butterflies in the stomach” came to mind when looking over the cliff at the Lincoln’s Rock. The highlight of this incredible lookout point is the leg-numbing ‘illusion’ of “Edge of the World” picture you can get as a travel “trophy”! When you look over the edge of the rock, you could see several burned car bodies at the base of the mountains (probably from movie stunts). As there are no safety barriers, visitors with little children are advised to fully supervise at ALL times.
10. Sydney, NSW : Hunter Valley
Home to sprawling vineyards, gourmet restaurants, spa retreats and more, Hunter Valley redefined the meaning of true bliss for us. With only two hours’ drive from Sydney, we reached the family-owned wineries, feast at diners with gorgeous views and even had an opportunity to hop into a hot-air balloon for bird’s eye view of the valley !
It was truly an eye-opening experience helping the pilot and his crew assemble and dissemble the hot-air balloon. We were completely in awe of the sunrise, where glorious sun rays lit the sky aglow with hues of red and orange. Witnessing the birth of a new day from a hot-air balloon followed by a champagne breakfast was definitely one of the best highlights of our road trip!
So there you go, my top 10 destinations perfect for a self drive experience you in Australia. Be sure to look out for special offers to Australia at www.jetabout.com.sg!