The Tesselaar Tulip Festival is one of the biggest draws of the region. Photo by Chris Phutully / CC BY 2.0

Home to major attractions such as the Sydney Opera House and the Great Barrier Reef, Australia’s reputation as a land of sun, sea and fun is already familiar to most. Add to the mix the destination’s proximity to Singapore and a jaunt there suddenly seems all the more appealing, whether it’s for a short trip or for the longer haul.

Armed with a mental list of your favourite hotspots in the country from cafes to parks, you might think you already know Australia like the back of your hand. Think again — whether it comes to first-timers or frequent visitors, the vast land still holds many worthy discoveries you might not have been privy to until now. Join Quotient as we lay five of the country’s best-kept secrets out in the open!

houseboat

Enjoy a leisurely river cruise aboard your personal houseboat. Photo by .: Kevin Smith :. / CC BY 2.0

Go houseboating in the South
Meander down Australia’s longest river aboard a houseboat, taking in all the colourful sights and sounds lining the 2,520-kilometre-long Murray River along the way. Fully equipped with luxurious facilities such as king-sized beds, jacuzzis and a gas barbeque, your houseboat provides you with the creature comforts close to your heart as you coast on the waters, making pit stops at impressive natural parks, historic ports and open air museums as you please. Seize the freedom to travel at your own pace while enjoying the serene beauty of the visage before you of undulating ripples from the river beneath and the occasional flock of birds flying overhead.

Photo by Heather / CC BY 2.0

Crane your neck in search of unique desert animals on an Outback safari. Photo by Heather / CC BY 2.0

Embark on a safari in the Outback
Fascinating yet largely unexplored, the Outback calls to mind imagery of the great wilderness and a vast landscape of rugged terrain ready to be traversed by willing explorers. While it’s not exactly the first place to jump to mind when you think of a safari, the Outback brims with unusual desert animals. Seek sightings of echidnas and dingoes as you travel to iconic landmarks such as Uluru, a sandstone monolith, and Kings Canyon, an imposing wall of red cliffs that rise approximately 270 metres above ground. Then, embrace the exhilaration of racing to your next destination on a four wheel drive before returning back to the peaceful embrace of Mother Nature at day’s end as you fall asleep under a sky full of stars. Whichever path you choose to take, a journey to the Outback will reward you with some of the best views you will ever lay eyes on. 

Dance among tulips at the Yarra Valley and Dandenong Ranges
From September to October, frolic amongst a rainbow-coloured sea of tulips in the Yarra Valley and Dandenong Ranges. One of the few such flower festivals in the Southern Hemisphere, the Tesselaar Tulip Festival proudly presents more than a million tulips of over 150 varieties, turning the farmlands into a true floral paradise. Bask further in the revelry of the excitable atmosphere with live entertainment including music performances and snag delicious snacks from the market stalls on-site. The festival’s abundance of cheer and beauty coupled with the destination’s easy accessibility tempts us to visit year after year.    

Image credit: The Truffle & Wine Co.

Your trusty canine companion will guide you on a search for elusive truffles. Image credit: The Truffle & Wine Co.

Truffle hunt in Western Australia
Who says you have to travel to Europe for fresh truffles? From early June to late August, join in a rare truffle hunting experience at Western Australia. Allow specially trained dogs to guide you in your search for black winter truffles as you scour the premises of a farm for the promise of uncovering the little nuggets hidden beneath the surface. As you cradle the rare find in your hands, savour the thrill of discovery before adjourning for lunch, where your harvest turns into magic on the plate; the distinct flavours of fresh truffle will leave your taste buds dancing in delight.

Image credit: Antarctica Flights

Soar over Antarctica and appreciate its beauty from up high. Im

Visit Antarctica with a special flight departing from Sydney or Melbourne
Hop aboard a private plane during the summer months for a one-of-a-kind tour of Antarctica, the southernmost continent in the world. The 12-hour round trip flight from either Sydney or Melbourne city will bring the austere region’s beauty to life as you sit comfortably in a Qantas 747, avoiding the freezing temperatures and the constant battering of the elements you would have encountered on land. With Antarctic explorers present to regale you with first-hand stories, gourmet meals and an entertainment system, you will be kept well occupied on this exhilarating journey. As the plane flies over Antarctica, enjoy a birds-eye view of icebergs, ice floes and the precipitous mountain ranges unique to the continent — it’s a view few ever get to appreciate.

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