Noosa National Park ticks all the boxes for a travel experience for Aussies.
Noosa National Park ticks all the boxes for a travel experience for Aussies. John McCutcheon

Australia Day: Why we should holiday at home this year

THINK it's cheaper to holiday overseas? You might want to think again.

Travel site has released new research which shows it can be up to 400% cheaper to holiday at home.

The travel site has also released the top 10 Destinations for this Australia Day, with Queensland taking out the top three places, followed by Victoria's Great Ocean Road:

The 'hottest' Australia Day weekend regional destinations

1.    Gold Coast, QLD 
2.    Sunshine Coast, QLD
3.    Cairns, QLD
4.    Great Ocean Road, VIC
5.    Whitsundays, QLD
6.    Byron Bay, NSW
7.    Central Coast, NSW
8.    Wollongong, NSW
9.    Hunter Valley, NSW
10.  Mornington Peninsula, VIC has used Australia Day to call on Aussies to holiday at home this year by releasing figures showing many of us have barely scratched the surface when it comes to exploring the wonders Down Under.

Only 12% of Australians have visited every state and territory.

While many have visited our major cities and beach towns, many have not gone beyond.

Fraser Island.
Fraser Island. © Michaela O'Neill

One in 20 have never left their own home state.

  • Queenslanders love visiting NSW with 85% having travelled to New South Wales for a holiday. The feeling is mutual with 77% of Aussies from NSW having traveled to QLD.
  • In terms of state based travel, 34% of Queenslanders have not visited the natural beauty of The Great Barrier Reef and 57% have never ventured to Fraser Island.
  • Queenslander's are keen to explore their beautiful beaches, with 45% wanting to visit Cairns, and 44% wanting to visit Port Douglas.
  • Over the last two years, almost half (45%) of Queenslanders have taken 3 or more short domestic holidays, however 35% have only had one holiday or less.
  • Queenslanders are keen to explore our nation, with 74% planning a holiday within Australia this year
  • QLD is home to the destination that tops Australia's travel wish list, with 53% of us wanting to visit Hamilton Island this year
  • Half of Queenslanders prefer to see the sights within Australia, with 49% preferring to visit local attractions and landmarks than go overseas

Wotif predicts demand for domestic travel will continue in 2017, which is great news for many regions dependent on tourism to survive. 


Almost 90% of Australians are planning a decent holiday this year with 75% of us opting for domestic travel.

Short breaks outside of the major capital cities are set to be popular, with 84% wishing to head for the fresh air of a National Park and one in two (53%) saying a local island getaway is calling their name.

NATURAL BEAUTY: Langford Island is a popular tourist destination in the Whitsundays.
NATURAL BEAUTY: Langford Island is a popular tourist destination in the Whitsundays. Tourism and Events Queensland

That's good news for places like the Sunshine Coast, Whitsundays, Byron Bay which offer plenty of the above. travel expert, Amanda Behre said it was positive to see that there was strong interest in local travel in 2017.

"From the red desert, to the reef, to the wildlife and wine regions, there are some incredible experiences to be had locally, often for a fraction of the price and travel time, allowing for the option of a few smaller trips throughout the year rather than one big overseas holiday.

"Traditionally Aussies are renowned as extensive global travellers, with many admitting to feeling the need to travel further to get their cultural, adventure or relaxation fix, with two thirds (67%) of people admitting they'd prefer to travel as far afield as possible."

Wikimedia Commons

"Despite the trend in recent years to go overseas for rich travel experiences, it's promising to see strong interest in off-the-beaten track domestic trips in 2017.

"As we celebrate Australia Day on Thursday, we're calling on Aussies to book a local trip and explore somewhere new in their own backyard this year". debunks the myths on Aussie travel

1. It's cheaper to travel overseas: A third (34%) of Aussies believe it is cheaper to travel overseas than within Australia.

However, Wotif has crunched the numbers and compared world-class attractions against similar Aussie experiences, with local travel up to 400% cheaper in some cases.

For example, airfares to enjoy the rich culture and outback landscapes of Uluru (Ayres Rock Airport) are four times less than flights to see Britain's ancient prehistoric monument, Stonehenge (London Airport).

Stonehedge v Uluru: What would be your pick?
Stonehedge v Uluru: What would be your pick?

Despite this more Australians admit to having visited Stonehenge than Uluru. 

2. I've been everywhere man: Just 12% of Australians have been to every state and territory, and the majority of the time it's the major capital cities and beaches they've ticked off, with Sydney (82%), Melbourne (79%), Brisbane (71%), Gold Coast (71%) and Canberra (59%) the most popular.

With 7,692 million kilometres to discover, there's always somewhere new to check out locally.

According to the research, some of the destinations we are internationally renowned for are the ones Aussies are least likely to have visited to date, including Freycinet National Park (17%), Kakadu National Park (16%), Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park (16%), Kangaroo Island (14%), Norfolk Island (7%).

Norfolk Island golf course with the windmill ruins in the background.
Norfolk Island golf course with the windmill ruins in the background. SHIRLEY SINCLAIR

3. The culture overseas is more interesting: Seven in ten (69%) Aussies who travel overseas or further afield admit they do so to experience a different culture.

Really?! Australia is filled with interesting culture and history. Visit the Daintree Rainforest in far North Queensland and not only will you get a tropical escape, you can also learn the stories of the Kuku Yalanji tribe who lived in small camps along the banks of the creeks and rivers.

Sydney Opera House by night. NSW, generic, New South Wales, tourism.
Sydney Opera House by night. NSW, generic, New South Wales, tourism. Chris Calcino / APN NewsDesk

Or even in Sydney, only 10% of Aussies have jumped on the ferry out to Cockatoo Island, which has a fascinating history dating back to the 1800's and is one of 10 inscribed convict sites in Australia on the UNESCO World Heritage List.

4. There is more adventure to be had overseas: Almost one in two (46%) Australians believe there is more adventure to be had overseas or further afield, even though people from around the world come to Australia for adrenalin raising experiences.

From seeing crocodiles in the wild in Kakadu National Park, or at Australia Zoo with the Irwins, to hiking in the wilderness of Cradle Mountain Tasmania and swimming with the whale sharks in Ningaloo Reef, Australia is filled with action and adventure.

5. Australia is too big and time consuming to get around: Australia may be the world's largest island, however as locals we have the advantage of it being our home base, meaning less travel time and more holiday time.

Wotif compared Australian experiences with their overseas counterparts and found on average it's six times quicker to get to the Daintree Rainforest in Queensland than it is to travel to the Amazon Rainforest.

Or if you are after a mix of good wine and surfing beaches, it's on average four times quicker to travel to Margaret River than to Cape Town for a similar experience