Best holidays close to home

Time for a holiday? From Bali to New Zealand to New Caledonia, discover three fantastic holiday destinations just a stone’s throw from Australian shores.

Amazing holiday destinations
Bali beach

Itching to break out of the same old routine? Annual leave stacking up? Take advantage of Australia’s enviable location and holiday in one of our neighbouring countries. From Bali to New Zealand to New Caledonia, we have a wealth of fantastic holiday destinations all around us. Read on for some of the best!

Bali

If you’re dreaming of an island holiday, Bali may just be your answer. This surfing paradise attracts throngs of families, couples and wave-seekers each year, all in search of a carefree escape from reality. From incredible cuisine to five-star accommodation, affordable shopping and friendly, hospitable locals, there’s not much more you could ask for. Bali itself is rather small — you can actually cover most of it by car in a day or two — but its allure certainly is strong. From the breath-taking scenery to interesting culture and buzzing nightlife, this place has something for everyone. Head up to the hills and take a cooking or yoga class in magical Ubud, or head down to mingle with the travellers on the popular streets of Kuta. Devour a seafood dinner right on the beach in Seminyak or get your adventure kick trekking around volcanoes, temples and rice terraces. With regular flights leaving from capital cities across Australia at very reasonable prices, Bali is the perfect getaway for the entire family.

New Zealand

We might get competitive when it comes to sports, but our Kiwi neighbours are a very hospitable lot. They welcome planes full of Aussie tourists each year as we cross the Tasman to get our adventure and nature fix. Comprised of two main islands, New Zealand is very easy to get around, with flights available between most major destinations. Packing up a campervan and cruising around the country at your own pace is a very enjoyable way to see New Zealand and will ensure you cop an eyeful of its dramatic landscapes and wildlife. From black-sand beaches and rugged coastline to alpine lakes and top-notch ski fields, it’s an incrediby diverse destination. Jam-packed with adrenalin-pumping activities, any thrill-seeker is guaranteed to love this place. Go hiking in the great outdoors, sink into hot water pools at Rotorua or get your bungy-jump or rafting gear on and hit up the rapids. Those after a more laidback holiday can explore the famous wine region of Marlborough or head to Kaikoura to spot a whale or two. Throw the country’s fascinating Maori culture and the buzz of Auckland and Wellington into the mix, and you’ve got an incredibly attractive holiday destination just a few hours from Oz!

New Caledonia

Lying to the northeast of Australia, New Caledonia is a gorgeous blend of French and Melanesian culture. With the capital Noumea just a two hour flight from Brisbane, you can feel like you’re a world away from reality in just a matter of hours. This dream Pacific destination is as relaxed and cheerful as you’d imagine, with the added bonus of quality restaurants, great shopping and luxury resorts. Enjoy some shopping in the capital (especially the boutiques on Rue de Sébastopol) then hit the beaches and rainforests for an escape into nature. Grande Terre is the main island of New Caledonia, but you’ll also find bliss on the islands of Île des Pins, Maré, Lifou and Ouvea. Surrounded by the world’s largest enclosed lagoon, kids and ocean-lovers will have a ball spotting whales, dolphins, turtles and tropical fish on this dream island. Head here for a solo recharge, a couples retreat or a family adventure.

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