Australia's top 7 secret summer destinations

Relax off the beaten track for your next summer holiday

Spring has officially sprung, bringing with it warm breezes that blow the wintry cobwebs out of our brains. As the weather warms up and we fill our wardrobes with hot new swimwear and the latest summer trends, our thoughts turn to holidays. Who doesn’t love a break? But this year, don’t settle for the same holiday spots on everyone’s Instagram. There are some amazing, sun-soaked secret destinations right here in Australia. Whether you’re budgeting or ready to splurge, there is a ‘gram-worthy summer vacay for everyone!

Fitzroy Island, FNQ


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About a 45-minute boat trip from the coast of Cairns is Fitzroy Island, a lush tropical hideaway. It’s popular with locals for a weekend getaway, and an absolute must for visitors to the Cairns region! There are accommodation options for every budget, with a campsite and a boutique resort with studios, one-and two-bedroom apartments and beachfront cabins. During the day, you can snorkel, dive, kayak and paddleboard in the crystalline ocean, or – our personal fave – enjoy cocktails at the swim-up bar in the resort’s pool! The only thing more luxurious than cocktails by the pool is cocktails IN the pool. Fitzroy Island makes a Mango Weiss Bar-themed cocktail, which tastes JUST like the ice cream. We’re dying for one!

Lord Howe Island, NSW

Lord Howe Island is seriously paradise. Not only are there several pristine white beaches with clear blue water, but at Ned’s Beach you can actually hand-feed the fish! This is an awesome idea for people travelling with kids, or people who really want to get close to nature. Lord Howe Island also boasts rocky cliffs, unbelievable views and proximity to the Admiralty Islands, a group of volcanic formations surrounded by some seriously unmissable diving sites. You’ll never want to leave this hidden gem.

Couran Cove, QLD

If you’re looking to really step back from the world and log out for a few blissful days, Couran Cove is for you! This resort cove not far from the Gold Coast is said to make guests feel like they’re the only ones in the world. Picture yourself on the balcony of your villa, on stilts in the water like a luxe beach cabin. Couran Cove is a true escape from daily life. Relax on the beach and swim in the peaceful, secluded waters. You’ll definitely recharge your batteries here!

Clare Valley, SA

Okay, maybe sand and sunburn isn’t your thing – we totally get it. Don’t worry; there are options for you too! South Australia is famous for its wineries, and we recommend the Clare Valley. Think sun-drenched hills, wine tastings at over 30 wineries, amazing food and bike trails perfect for secluded picnics. You can even soak up some history as you stay in dreamy heritage manors-turned-B&Bs. This is a top romantic destination, so grab your other half and sneak off for a week or two of wine, walks and starry nights.

The Daintree, FNQ


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Yep, we’re back to beachy destinations – sort of. The Daintree in Far North Queensland is a pretty special and unique holiday spot. You get the best of what the area has to offer – deserted beaches and dense rainforests. It’s a gorgeous place to hide away for some re-energising time, especially if you stay in a cabin amongst the treetops that overlooks the ocean. You’ll really be in touch with nature here, with tropical wildlife on your doorstep. You’ll feel like Snow White with all the beautiful creatures around! Definitely visit Mossman Gorge if you go to the Daintree – it’s an icy cold rock pool tucked away near Port Douglas, perfect for a refreshing swim on a scorching summer’s day.

Kings Canyon, NT

The Northern Territory is a seriously underrated holiday destination. We urge you to explore some of the most beautiful scenery in Australia! Kings Canyon is 450 kilometres west of Alice Springs, and is a great alternative to the typical summer holiday destinations. For the adventurous among us, there is a six-kilometre walk near the rim of Kings Canyon, which is 100 metres above the dense local forests. If you’re feeling fancy or don’t want to walk – this isn’t really a place for stilettos – try a helicopter ride to take in the breathtaking surroundings from above. Stay in luxury resorts in the area and discover that there’s more to the Northern Territory than Uluru!

Margaret River, WA

Combine all the best parts of an Australian holiday at Margaret River! To get the true local experience, stay in a river cottage. From here you can visit wineries, a coastline like no other, eucalyptus forests and mysterious caves. This is the perfect holiday destination for those who don’t want to get bored – you will always have something to do. Try great food, heritage tours, hiking and camping, horseback riding and more. Margaret River is definitely top of our list for a summer adventure!

Words: Hanna Sloan