Travel Secrets of Australia – Shhhh, Don’t Tell!

Travel Secrets of Australia

Everyone loves a travel secret don’t they? After a misspent youth and decades spent working (ahem) my way round the world I’m privy to some great secret travel spots all over the place but not so many in Australia, even though I’ve been living here four years.

So I’m keeping my beady eye on this bucket list of the 40 best travel secrets in Australia. It’s been complied by the Aussie holiday accommodation booking team at Hooroo but all the secret spots listed were suggested by real Aussies as competition entries.

It’s too late to enter the competition now but it’s not too late to check out the secret spots so you can visit yourself one day.  You can also vote on your favourite secret spot to help Hooroo find the winners.

Just a quick look at the top 40 secret spots makes me think I need to get out of the house more.

But when I do get out and about, usually to my local beach on my early morning walks, I notice a few secrets about Australia that the Australian Tourism Board won’t tell you:

1. Australian life guards aren’t all bronzed, hunky young men.

Although surf life saving is a national institution in Australia and you’re bound to see life guards if you go to the beach you’ll notice that they come in all shapes and sizes but mainly large. Think over-weight and over forty.

If you’re a beach regular like me you’ll spot some great beach bodies too but you’ll need to be a regular beach goer and never stop looking. No matter how old you are yourself.

2. That’s probably because the Australian Life Saving Clubs you’ll find all along the vast coastline of Australia are a bastion for drinking and gambling. True story.

You can go to the surf life saving club to learn how to become a surf life saver, sign your kids up for nippers so they can learn water safety and even work out (my local club has a gym in the basement). But what keeps the surf life saving clubs in business is the cheap booze and slot machines they call pokies. So a lot of people who frequent the surf life saving clubs are sporting the wrong type of six-pack.

3. Despite this you must go to the surf life saving club when you hit the beach in Australia because they are always situated on the most beautiful beach with stunning views and they have cheap food and drinks too.

Order something simple like fish and chips or calamari and chips, something they can’t do wrong. Then grab a beer (XXXX maybe) or a glass of Chardonnay and prop yourself up on the deck for an hour or three.

4. You have to take responsibility for your own safety. Even though many beaches are patrolled with safe swim areas between the flags people and well-trained life guards on hand people still drown every year in Australia. If you’re swimming on an unpatrolled beach or outside lifeguard hours then play it safe and keep well in your depth.

Rips are strong and even grown men and locals who are used to the water drown sometimes. Don’t let it happen to you, your friends or family members.

5. Australian beaches get crowded in the hot summer months, especially if you want to swim between the flags. But there are still a few secret beaches where you’ll find fewer people and more space to spread your towel.

Failing that here’s another summer secret spot for your Australian holidays – the rivers, waterfalls and hinterland are often way cooler, less crowded and just as beautiful as the beaches.

Plus, if there aren’t any hunky lifesavers on the beach you might as well head to the hills and see if you can spot any duck-billed platypus instead.

boolumba creek campsite in the Kennilworth forestSo here’s my secret day trip or camping spot on the Sunshine Coast hinterland. On a hot summer day you may well find me paddling or floating right there in Booloumba Creek in the Kennilworth Forest.

Check out the secret beaches, waterfalls and gorges on the Hooroo Secrets Spots Facebook page and take a moment to vote for your favourites.

These are a few places that caught my eye – click here to find out where they are and keep your fingers crossed that we get to visit one day. Preferably before the secret gets out.

travel secrets of australia

travel secrets of australia

You can see all the entries here and voting runs from 4 December to 5pm Monday 17 December 2012 with the three finalists announced in January 2013.

I might be floating around in that creek by then though. Shhh. Don’t tell anyone.

This is a sponsored blog post for Hooroo. Check them out for travel inspiration and accommodation bookings throughout Australia.

I’ve shown you mine, now you show me yours! What are your secret travel spots in Australia – or anywhere else for that matter?

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  1. se7en December 6, 2012 at 11:08 am - Reply

    Great post – I think we may well have to visit you guys one day!!! We do have a secret travel spot tip when we are on the move with our gang… follow the locals!!! They often go nowhere near where the guide book or the tourist office suggest – because they know better!!! So have a sneak peak at where the locals are hanging out and that is often where you find the best food, the best places to rest and the best places to hang out!!!

    • Annabel Candy December 6, 2012 at 11:13 am - Reply

      Hi Se7en,

      Haha, I think that’s one of my secrets too. I am quit brazen – I don’t just follow them, I grill them for all their secrets :)

      We would so love to see you here one day.

  2. katie December 7, 2012 at 1:58 pm - Reply

    Thanks for sharing your secrets and the 40 best secrets list! Australia is on my travel list so I’ll definitely be remembering these when I visit. Luckily a friend of mine just relocated there, so hopefully she’ll know all the local secrets by the time I get there. :)

    • Annabel Candy December 7, 2012 at 2:06 pm - Reply

      Hi Katie,

      Great to see you here and hopefully Hooroo will keep that list up so we can all come back to it when we need it most. I hope you make it to Australia soon – it’s so good you have a friend here to act as your local guide – that always makes the travel experience heaps better.

  3. Arjun December 7, 2012 at 8:43 pm - Reply

    Hi Annabel,

    Have saved the 40 best secrets list into my Australia folder, and will def make use of it when I am there next year! Been following your blog for a while now, and its great hearing about offbeat things to do in Australia.

    Definitely one of my all time favourite travel blogs! Keep them coming!


    • Annabel Candy December 7, 2012 at 8:47 pm - Reply

      Hi Arjun,

      That’s brilliant – you must be getting excited :) Thank you for the lovely feedback. I will!

  4. Galen Pearl December 8, 2012 at 9:55 am - Reply

    I have great memories of traveling in Australia. I wasn’t there half long enough to see all these beautiful places, but I did have a wonderful time. Here is my funny story from Australia. I was living and working in Bangkok when I took a vacation and went to Australia. I loved Bangkok and learned enough Thai to get around and carry on simple conversations. One of the things I was looking forward to in Australia, though, was being in an English speaking country and taking a breather from having to always be functioning in another language. Imagine my surprise when I got in the cab at the airport and couldn’t understand a word the driver was saying. Ha! Took me a few days, but I caught on. Anyway, I thought it was funny that it was much easier for me to understand a Thai person speaking English than it was an Australian person speaking English. Go figure.

  5. Annabel Candy December 8, 2012 at 11:56 am - Reply

    Hi Galen,

    That is funny – glad you caught up with the Aussie accent fast. I don’t have an accent but I do use a lot of Aussie lingo like arvo instead of afternoon. My Brit friends tease me when I go home but I can’t believe people in Britain can be bothered to say see you this afternoon instead of see you this arvo :)

  6. marsi quinn December 9, 2012 at 7:59 pm - Reply

    There are some amazing islands off shore from Tasmania which are really just stunning in terms of both serenity and scenery – I was very lucky to be given as a birthday gift a trip to Maria Island where due to the lack of any vehicle transport and infrequent visitors the wildlife comes to you – wombats, wallabies, over 40 species of birds; just stunning… Can’t wait to go back… Tas was very under-rated on the final list – love WA but the seasons on Tas will always win for me!

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