Road to recovery: Five Aussie destinations that need your tourist dollars
26 February 2021
They’ve endured bushfires and COVID-19 restrictions – now, these five getaway spots are ready to welcome visitors again.
As a result of last summer’s devastating bushfires and the subsequent coronavirus pandemic, many of Australia’s most picturesque destinations are contending with historically low visitor numbers. But, in 2021, there is cause for optimism; the current bushfire season is relatively mild so far, and most travel restrictions have now been lifted. With domestic trips once again on the agenda, Aussies are in a great position to help these affected communities.
Here are five recovering destinations to consider.
Several fires threatened this perennially popular High Country town last summer, blanketing the district in smoke and prompting a mass evacuation. This year, with tourist numbers significantly down, savvy travellers have an opportunity to experience Bright without the usual crowds. Use the town as a base from which to explore the nearby Mount Buffalo and Alpine national parks; visit the region’s wineries, including Billy Button; try top-notch cafes such as Ginger Baker; or simply admire the seasonal foliage as you stroll along Ovens River.
Fingal Valley, TAS
In January 2020, a fast-moving fire tore through 8,000 hectares of the Fingal Valley in north-east Tasmania before being brought under control. Help locals get back on their feet by planning a day-trip to the area — it’s a short, scenic drive from Launceston and still boasts some of the most enchanting tracts of forest in Tassie. Spend an hour strolling the town of Fingal’s quaint main street before heading to Evercreech Forest Reserve, home to awesome 90-metre-high white gums and the majestic Evercreech Falls.
Ulladulla and surrounds, NSW
During a normal year, the wild beaches and rolling hills of the Shoalhaven coastal region south of Sydney draw thousands of visitors. But the area was hit particularly hard by bushfires in 2019 and 2020, and its tourism sector continues to suffer. Help turn it around by planning a trip to pretty Ulladulla and the surrounding villages of Milton and Woodstock, where you’ll find excellent antique shopping and artisanal gelato at Woodstock Chocolate Co. The beach at nearby Mollymook is a gem, and Bannisters at Mollymook offers luxe lodgings, along with Rick Stein’s acclaimed restaurant.
Lakes Entrance, VIC
It’s been a particularly challenging time for the residents of East Gippsland. Not only did the district lose hundreds of homes in the recent bushfires, but main town Lakes Entrance endured a coronavirus transmission scare in January 2021, scaring off holidaymakers. Lakes Entrance has since been declared COVID-free and is ripe for a visit! The town spent much of 2020 upgrading its esplanade, and its shops and restaurants are open for business. Nearby, the majestic Gippsland Lakes and epic Ninety Mile Beach are as stunning as ever.
Kangaroo Island, SA
If you’ve never visited South Australia’s most famous eco/foodie destination, now is the time. The 2020 fires affected almost half the island, but thankfully few buildings or businesses were lost. There’s still plenty of bushland to explore, too — expert tour operators such as Exceptional Kangaroo Island can take you deep into untouched wilderness to spot marsupials and marvel at the serenity. Once you’ve worked up an appetite, visit the ‘cellar doors’ of some of the island’s most acclaimed food and wine producers, such as Dudley Wines and Island Beehive.
Cover your stuff on the go
If you’re going trekking, you’ll likely have a few valuable items with you — like cameras, smartphones, tablets or drones. It might be useful to know that, if you have Suncorp Contents Only or Home & Contents Insurance, coverage for those items in case of accidental loss or damage can extend beyond your home. In, fact they can be covered anywhere in Australia, with Personal Valuables Cover.
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Insurance is issued by AAI Limited ABN 48 005 297 807 trading as Suncorp Insurance. Consider the Product Disclosure Statement before making a decision about this insurance. This advice has been prepared without taking into account your particular objectives, financial situations or needs, so you should consider whether it is appropriate for you before acting on it.