Best places to travel in 2019

  • Author Inspiring Journeys
  • Date 1 Apr 2019

Looking for the best place to travel in 2019? Our travel experts have picked out their must-visit destinations in Australia and New Zealand that’ll have you packing your bags in a flash. Read on to discover why you should visit Uluru, Milford Sound, Bay of Fires, Rottnest Island and the Gold Coast hinterland in 2019.

These destinations hold a special place in our hearts and we want to share them with you. If you book one of our journeys by the end of January, you could experience them at unbeatable prices. Explore our travel deals to the best Australian and New Zealand destinations.[insert link]

Uluru, Northern Territory

At the centre of Australia lies one of the world’s most iconic natural wonders, Uluru. The UNESCO World Heritage site is estimated to be around 600 million years old and remains of great spiritual significance to the Pitjantjatjara Anangu, the Aboriginal people of the area.

The sandstone inselberg, or island mountain, is surrounded by an abundance of native flora and fauna, thriving in part to the many springs, waterholes and cooling caves nearby. The beauty of the area is astounding but if you don’t believe us, Lonely Planet just voted the Red Centre in the world’s top 5 regions to visit in 2019. 

Why should you visit Uluru in 2019?

Awe-inspiring sunrises and sunsets. Early morning and evening light catch the rock and surrounding landscape just right, setting the scene ablaze.

Finally recognising its true spiritual status, you can no longer climb Uluru. Learn about the sacred site’s natural and cultural importance, hear Dreamtime stories from local guides, and explore fascinating rock formations for a more ethical experience.

Uluru is bigger than most of the world’s top tourist sites combined: the Eiffel Tower, Statue of Liberty, and Pyramids of Giza have nothing on Ayers Rock. But if its sheer size doesn’t move you to view life through a new lens, a night dining under the stars will. Gaze at infinite galaxies that seem to brighten with each glance – a dazzling experience that will leave you spellbound.

Uluru might be the main attraction but the Red Centre is home to much more. Sensational hikes, Aboriginal culture, culinary experiences, and unique events. Take the Walpa Gorge trail in Kata Tjuta National Park to admire the 36 red domes or trek in Kings Canyon before enjoying a dip in the Garden of Eden.

Explore Uluru and the Red Centre on a luxury small group tour. Inspiring Journeys Northern Territory trips are guaranteed departures in 2019. Book any date with peace of mind. 

Milford Sound, South Island

In a story that began 400 million years ago, Milford Sound’s rugged peaks sprung from the Tasman Sea and endured millions of years of glacial erosion to become one of the most captivating scenes in the world.

Mitre Peak, the tallest pinnacle, pierces the sky at 1692m. A prized emerald in the fiord’s crown, vivid vegetation grips the sheer rock, its glory reflected in indigo waters. This sight alone is one of the top reasons people visit Milford Sound but it’s not the only one.

Why you should visit Milford Sound in 2019

The road to Milford Sound is one of the world’s best drives. Follow the Southern Highway for 300 km from Queenstown until the tar runs out. Winding past glacial lakes and tussock plains, the mountain pass climbs toward a stunning crescendo. At an elevation of 945m, the fascinating Homer Tunnel – hand hewn through solid granite – marks your final descent.

Meet the local wildlife as you cruise the lazulite waters of the fiord. An expert nature guide will help you spot bottlenose dolphins and identify native birdsong. Witness cascading waterfalls as they burst from the rainforest above. Permanent falls, Lady Bowen and Stirling, are joined by hundreds more on rainy days, performing a thunderous cacophony that echoes in the mist.

Downsize your boat to a kayak to see this top NZ destination in greater depth. A more active and enriching experience that will immerse you in unspoilt, serene nature. Get closer to dolphins, seals, penguins and even whales as you explore Harrison Cove. Row to the foot of plunging waterfalls to enjoy rainbows emanating from their spray.                                                                          

“Life as a kayak guide in Milford Sound is like no other. Every single day is different. Whether it’s seals following us around or having thousands of waterfalls appear within hours of rainfall - every group gets their own unique Milford experience.” – Stella, Kayak Guide, Southern Discoveries. 

Want to experience a unique holiday in New Zealand? Browse our luxury small group journeys in NZ.         

Wukalina walk, Bay of Fires

Tasmania’s north-east coast is renowned for its natural beauty. A flash of white sand meets teal waves. Fiery orange lichen sprouts atop the bay’s iconic granite boulders. You may be surprised to learn that this is not how the bay received its distinctive name.

The dramatic stretch of coastline once flickered with an infinite line of campfires. The sign of a thriving Indigenous community that called the bay home. A naval captain observed this glowing life and named the area in 1773.

It’s possible to visit the Bay of Fires and only witness its natural wonders. However, you would miss out on a rich cultural experience. Wukalina walk immerses you in the stories, traditions and culture of Tasmania’s first inhabitants. A wild, enriching experience that doesn’t scrimp on comfort.

Why you should visit the wukalina walk in 2019

Tasmania’s Aboriginal society was isolated from mainland Australia for 12,000 years following the last ice age. Evidence of the unique cultural heritage of the palawa people can be found across the region. And what better way to learn about the area’s history and culture than from a palawa guide.

It is the first and only tourism venture in Tasmania to be initiated, owned, and guided by Aboriginal people. The full 33 km walk can be conducted over a 4-night, 3-day journey. It takes you into an untouched wilderness, where wildlife, useful plants and evidence of ancient inhabitation are revealed while you walk.

You can stay in an architecturally designed standing camp, or krakani lumi. The unique accommodation is nestled among coastal wattle and banksia, just a stone’s throw from the beach. It took the architects almost 10 years of historical research and community consultation to build the award-winning encampment. The main pavilion and seed-shaped sleeping huts, constructed from natural materials, are compact but generous. Luxurious touches – like wallaby skins draped across the beds – offer surprising comfort.

Experience wukalina walk in 2019

Inspiring Journeys has created an exclusive 2-night experience for our guests as part of our Tasmania’s Footsteps and Trails 7-day tour. Enjoy a leisurely 8 km of the trail each day with Palawa guides and evenings in sensational accommodation. Hear creation stories over a campfire and participate in cultural practices that have been handed down over the centuries.

Rottnest Island, Western Australia 

Whispers of history are carried on the ocean breeze across Western Australia’s paradisiac island. Inhabited by the Noongar people until rising sea levels separated the island from the mainland around 7000 years ago. Archaeological evidence suggests that Wadjemup, or Rotto as it’s known colloquially, has been inhabited by humans as far back as 70,000 years ago.

History abounds but nature remains the island’s biggest drawcard for couples and families alike. Discover more than 60 beaches and bays where you can swim in turquoise waters and sink your feet into powder-soft white sand. It’s possible to explore a menagerie of life as you snorkel the limestone reef – thought to have grown approximately 100,000 years ago when sea levels were at an all-time high.

Why you should visit Rottnest Island in 2019

Diverse habitats give life to an abundance of flora and fauna, the most famous being the endearing quokka. These tiny relatives of Wallabies have made Rottnest home, and with no fear of humans, they always come to say hello. Visitors to the Island should stay on the lookout for the potoroo – an even smaller roo-like marsupial. These endangered mammals have been introduced to Rottnest as part of a conservation project to revive the species.

Traversing the 19 square kilometres of A-Class reserve – the highest level of land protection – will introduce you to breathtaking scenery. The sparkling coastline is only the beginning. Salt lakes occupy around 10% of the island, together with swamps, woodlands and heath supporting a thriving bird population. No cars are permitted on Rottnest, which adds to the serenity.

Rottnest Island has many stories to tell visitors. From the days of ancient Indigenous communities to early European settlers to maritime exploration to its military role in WWI and WWII. There are many historic sites around the island that can help uncover tales of the past – an integral part of any Rottnest holiday.                                                                             

Experience Rottnest Island in 2019

Journey to the West on a 7-day tour with Inspiring Journeys, to experience Rottnest Island and other Western Australian gems like Margaret River. 

Tambourine Mountain, Gold Coast

Known as ‘the green behind the gold’, Tamborine Mountain can be found within a lush hinterland set back from the Queensland’s gilded coast. Discover waterfalls, art galleries, wineries and heritage towns filled with character.

The result of a volcanic eruption 22 million years ago, the verdant plateau looks down upon the surrounding lowlands all the way to the Pacific Ocean. Before European settlement, the area was home to the Wangerriburra people, veiled by a subtropical rainforest. In the early 1900s, the area became the first national park in Australia – stopping timber companies from complete land clearance.

Thanks to the hard work of early conservationists, it's still possible to explore the ancient forest and breathe in fresh mountain air on bushwalks that embrace the emerald plateau.

Why you should visit Tamborine Mountain in 2019

Enjoy an eco-adventure among the rainforest's canopy. Meander along 1.5km of steel walkways raised 30m above the creek and rainforest floor. The Tamborine Rainforest Skywalk is surrounded by the magic of nature. It’s one of the best escapes a city-dweller can get.

If you prefer your nature fermented and served chilled, then perhaps the cellar doors are more your style. Visit the charming Cedar Creek and Witches Wineries to experience some of Queensland’s best wines.

Thanks to the rich volcanic soil and spring water, the area provides an abundance of fresh produce. Hobby farmers and commercial producers grow a range of fruit and veg from avocados to kiwifruits to macadamia nuts. It’s possible to explore the taste of tambourine on culinary trails. Make sure to stop into Tamborine Mountain Distillery, an award-winning artisanal producer that uses natural local ingredients to create smooth spirits and liquors.

Ready to have the best trip in 2019?

Inspiring Journeys bring you luxury small group journeys across Australia and New Zealand. Book your holiday before the end of January to take advantage of one of these incredible deals!