Stunning Australia hidden gem in 2020 – it will surely surprise you
Aug 20, 2020
Thinking about travel in the middle of a global pandemic is a bit of a minefield to say the least.
With borders opening, then closing … flights cancelling and different hotspots emerging, knowing where to book your next holiday is sitting in the planning stage for most.
This week alone, Tasmania’s Premier Peter Gutwein squashed plans to visit his state before Christmas, announcing he won’t consider reopening borders until at least December 1.
To visit the Northern Territory you may be waiting even longer, with Chief Minister Michael Gunner telling Territorians to cancel their travel plans abroad – because border measures could be in place until 2022.
But according to travel inspiration website Vacaay, Aussies are keeping the travel dream alive – with 100,000 of the platform’s users revealing where they’re dreaming a visit to first.
And what’s surprising, is that the destinations that make up the top 10 most popular destinations searched aren’t typically mainstream “bucket-list” places.
Coming in at number 1, according to the survey, is the Instagram-worthy spot known as the Injidup Natural Spa in Western Australia, followed by the Cape Le Grand National Park which is in the same state.
The Great Barrier Reef came in at number three, while the Northern Territory’s East Arnhem Land came in at number four.
To round out the top five, Uluru remains a popular spot for domestic tourists who are keen to visit when restrictions allow.
Psychologist, Patrea O’Donoghue, who specialises in maintaining a positive mind, said the results show that Australians are using travel to unknown places as a way of maintaining their mental health.
“One way that planning travel is good for mental health is that it gives people a goal; something to look forward to at some point in the future,” she said.
“We get a feel-good boost to our mood via the chemical dopamine when we seek or strive towards our goals. So if travel is a goal, looking at images of travel destinations and planning to visit them can help make people feel more positive.”
Vacaay allows users to browse photographs of idyllic locations around the world to get #TravelInspo before booking. Users can add photographs that inspire them to a virtual passport, which can then assist with their itinerary.
CEO of the platform, Pete McKeon, said the top 10 destinations selected by users (and feature in our quiz above) were driven by Australia’s desire to explore unknown regions in their own backyard while international borders remain closed.
“While many Australians are looking to make regional travel plans at this time, others are looking for inspiration while in lockdown or waiting for borders to open,” Mr McKeon told news.com.au.
“Looking at our top 10, we can see that nature and wide, open spaces are appealing to our users who might be looking to avoid crowds for the foreseeable future. Interestingly, we can also see a preference for destinations in states with lower or nil COVID-19 cases.”