For decades now, Australia has been kind of a dream destination for many Indian travellers. Sunny beaches, wide-open spaces, exotic animals found nowhere else in the world, and delicious, fresh cuisine. And the country has been seeing the number of Indian visitors rise in the past years. Just last year, Indian visitors rose in numbers by around 15 percent. And Tourism Australia says that it’s not just the usual destinations like Sydney and the Great Barrier Reef that’s gaining traction, it is the off-beat locations as well.
Here, then, are some offbeat destinations in Australia that are either gaining popularity or are being promoted prominently to Indian travelers, according to Australia’s tourism boards.
Cityscape of Canberra at twilight
VisitCanberra says that India now makes up one of the top five tourist markets for the capital city, up from the top 10. With plenty of attractions right within the city and most of Australia’s best festivals happening here, Canberra is slowly gaining recognition among Indian travelers. The city is best explored over a span of 2-3 days, and a lot of families and repeat visitors are coming here.
View from Tomaree Head, Port Stephens
Port Stephens is considered a ‘blue water paradise’ thanks to its nearly 20 miles of clean, white-sand beaches. With delicious fresh seafood and a vibrant tourism industry, Port Stephens seems to be the port of call for repeat visitors who’ve already been to Sydney, around two and a half hours away. Destination New South Wales calls this one of the more popular destinations after Sydney, and we can see why.
Hyams Beach in Jervis Bay National Park, New South Wales
Another destination in the state that is popular among Indians is Jarvis Bay, according to Paramjit Bawa of Destination New South Wales. Also spelled as Jervis Bay, this seaside destination offers clear blue waters, beautiful beaches, water sport adventures and lots of dolphins. Then there is Booderee National Park, where you can find Bristol Point and Greenpatch as well as Murray’s Beach.
The Three Sisters From Echo Point, Blue Mountains National Park
Located within a World Heritage site, the Blue Mountains rise above Sydney and offer a very different experience from the busy streets of the city. Here, you have day spas, golf courses, dining and shopping areas, galleries, bushwalking trails and attractions like the Three Sisters at Echo Point. Part of the much larger Great Dividing Range, the Blue Mountains gets its name from the characteristic blue tinge that shows when seen from a distance.
View of Hunter Valley vineyards
Next up is Hunter Valley, a paradise for wine lovers. Here, you’ll find iconic vineyards and wine cellars of McGuigan, De luliis, Briar Ridge and Tyrell’s. The Hunter Valley Wine School can teach you all you need to know about the drink, and the restaurants here couple the wines with some delicious food made with local produce. The vineyards here produce some of the best wines in the world, and this is the oldest wine-producing region in the country.
Gold Coast, Queensland
More Indians have been traveling to Queensland, and with the upcoming Commonwealth Games 2018, the host city of Gold Coast is being heavily promoted by Tourism Queensland. Plenty of itineraries are being planned out for this too. The city certainly has a lot to offer its visitors, from the ancient rain forest to theme parks and everything in between. Its beaches are a big attraction, including the world-renowned Surfers Paradise.
Kangaroos at sunset in Kangaroo Island
South Australia Tourism has been promoting itself to Indian tourists pretty aggressively these past two years, and it’s working. Tourism Trade Ambassador Vinod Advani says that more travelers are coming in, and they’re not just restricting themselves to Adelaide. They are also visiting Kangaroo Island to experience Australia’s wildlife, undisturbed and in their real environment.
Uluru at sunset under colorful clouds, Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park, Northern Territory, Australia
Australia’s Northern Territory, home of the vast outback, is the latest one to start wooing Indian travelers. Promotions aimed at Indian travelers started early in 2017, and Ayers Rock has been a popular destination for Indians. The famed Ayers Rock, now called Uluru, is a sacred site for the indigenous folk and is at the heart of the Red Center in Northern Territory. It is also one of the most recognizable symbols of Australia, like the Sydney Opera House and the Great Barrier Reef.
View of Alice Spring in Australia at sunset
Alice Springs, the closest major town to Uluru Rock around 450 km away, is another destination prominently promoted by Tourism Northern Territory. Like Ayers Rock, this is a pretty popular destination already and hardly an off-beat spot for most travelers. But for Indians, Alice Springs is a nice destination to learn more about the Northern Territory. Over time, Tourism Northern Territory will promote more remote destinations from the mining towns and the outback.