Our massive, beautiful and diverse country offers some of the most awe-inspiring experiences in the world, with everything from breathtaking natural UNESCO World Heritage sites, to unique wildlife, and the world’s oldest continuous culture. And all within a short flight time!
So, it’s no wonder many retirees choose to explore their ‘own backyard’, soaking up the rich and diverse landscape on offer without the stress that comes with long-haul travel.
Travel at 60 readers are already spending their well-earned retirements exploring Australia’s most acclaimed areas of beauty, with some having made their most treasured holiday memories here – and plenty expecting to make many more!
“We have done numerous overseas trips … but there is nothing like exploring our own backyard,” reader Wendy Stevens says. “Australia has so much to offer and has so many varied options and landscapes … We are so lucky to live in this wonderful country.”
Fellow reader Leanne Schulz agrees. “We’ve seen a bit of our beautiful land,” she says, “but there is so much of it to explore.”
“Whenever we travel overseas, it makes us appreciate what we DO have in our own backyard.”
But while many Aussies traverse the country under their own steam, others are keen for a more relaxing option. That’s where Guided Holiday experts AAT Kings come in.
The historic company’s ‘Great Australian Sale’ offers the opportunity to experience the spectacular Top End and Red Centre, the wilds of Western Australia and the rich history of Tasmania without having to organise your own travel – allowing you to fully indulge in what Australia has to offer without the worries of maps, directions or long hours of driving.
And once you arrive, you can sit back and relax as your expert Journey Director ensures your comfort, right through from check-in to included meals.
As many who have made the journey can attest, uncovering the hidden gems and stories of ancient landmarks like Uluru can be difficult without the help of an expert guide, whose explanations and insights can really bring the areas to life.
Guided Holidays are also a long-standing favourite among solo travellers, who have the option of being paired with another traveller of the same gender to avoid the single supplement.
Beginning with a trip inland to iconic Kalgoorlie, you’ll stop at Boddington Gold Mine and famous ‘Wave Rock’ before heading down to the jaw-dropping southern coast.
As Travel at 60 reader Lynn Marie Daniel says of her own holiday in WA: “We travel all over the world from Australia, but I discovered the most breathtaking scenery was in my own state”.
The Western Wonderland tour includes trips to the Valley of the Giants and the Cape Leeuwin Lighthouse, as well as stops at Fremantle and Margaret River, where travellers can make the most of the region’s renowned food and wine culture, before ending with a glimpse of the wild dolphins at Monkey Mia.
Prices for two people travelling together start from $5,195* per person.
When it comes to bucket lists, experiencing the Australian outback is a firm fixture for many wannabe explorers. Luckily, AAT Kings’ Outback Adventure tour is also up for grabs at a cut price in the Great Australian Sale.
The trip involves an action-packed 15-day journey from Adelaide to Darwin, during which you’ll explore the rugged Flinders Ranges, before visiting ancient Uluru, Kata Tjuta and Kings Canyon. From there, you can relax in the lush wetlands of Kakadu National Park.
Highlights on the trip include wine tastings and one-off dining experiences, dipping into Mataranka Thermal Springs and pristine waterfalls, cruising on Katherine Gorge and even spotting wildlife on the Yellow Water Billabong – all before finishing with a Darwin Harbour dinner cruise. Prices for this memorable adventure start from $5,825* per person for two people.
Perhaps, though, you fancy getting off the mainland and exploring beautiful Tasmania for the first time? AAT King’s 10-day Tasmanian Wonders tour starts at $2,995* per person if you’re travelling in a pair, starting and ending in Hobart.
Combining spectacular landscapes with exposure to the island state’s rich convict history, you will visit the stunning Russell Falls before being treated to a cruise on the Gordon River, including a delicious lunch. From there, you’ll visit Cradle Mountain National Park, ‘The Nut’ at Stanley, the magnificent Tarkine Wilderness region, as well as Launceston and, of course, Port Arthur.
Highlights include indulging in local cheeses and lavender ice cream, visiting the Beaconsfield Mine and Heritage Centre and soaking up the breathtaking views from Cape Tourville Lookout.