Easter isn’t that far away, it’s just a mere eight weeks in fact, with Good Friday falling on March 30.
Play your annual leave cards right – booking four days off each side of Easter – then adding on the book-ending weekends, and you could find yourself with a 16-day break.
Here are some of the hottest spots to head this Easter.
WHERE TO GO
“Aussies are exploring more of what is on their doorstep and the rise of holiday rental properties has made it easier and more convenient for them to enjoy a weekend staycation or short road trips away,” says Booking.com area manager for Australia, Luke Wilson.
Recent research released by the site showed Queenslanders prefer the comfort of their own back yard on domestic trips while South Australians are happy to cross the border more frequently, with only two South Australian locations in the top 10 most booked domestic destinations by the state’s travellers.
EKE OUT SUMMER ON QUEENSLAND’S BEACHES
“The Gold Coast and Sunshine Coast are once again the top destinations for Aussies choosing to stay local this Easter,” Wotif’s Kirsty La Bruniy says.
“With the 2018 Commonwealth Games taking place just a few days later, no doubt Aussies will be staying in town a few extra nights to be part of the initial action.
MEET THE NEIGHBOURS
Known for its sunny days and fewer crowds, Easter is the perfect chance to explore what New Zealand is known for – its incredible scenery and warm locals.
With availability on tours such as AAT Kings’ Best of New Zealand, which departs March 24, 2018 (ex Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane and Adelaide), you’ll travel past glaciers, mountains and rainforest en route to Milford Sound and be welcomed with a haka at Rotorua.
REGIONAL AND COUNTRY GETAWAYS
While many zig to the beaches, why not zag to the country for a quieter Easter escape?
“Just outside of our top 10 most popular destinations, we’re seeing growing interest in regional Victoria including Daylesford and the Mornington Peninsula,” says Wotif’s Kirsty La Bruniy.
In addition, Gippsland topped the list of most-visited tourism regions in Victoria, as averaged over the past three Easters among domestic overnight visitors, according to the Tourism Research Australia National Visitor Survey, September 2017.
In NSW, the Snowy Mountains has seen a 30 per cent rise in Easter traffic over the past two years with people heading west with mountain bikes and hiking boots.
“It is Australia’s High Country so Mt Kosciuszko – the highest peak in Australia – is a real attraction,” says Wayne Kirkpatrick, chair for Snowy Mountains Tourism.
“But there’s also fishing in the lakes and rivers. You can swim in Lake Jindabyne, there’s boating, and a number of horse riding activities that are nice to do in Man from Snowy River country.”
GO WEST SIDE
With non-stop Perth-to-London flights with Qantas taking off in March, there’s plenty of buzz surrounding Perth this Easter.
More than 20 new or redeveloped hotels opening in the CBD and surrounding areas in the past few years has helped to see the cost of an average night’s stay drop by 16.5 per cent, while the opening of the 60,000 seat Optus Stadium in January has set the stage for AFL teams Fremantle and Essendon to clash on Easter Saturday, March 31.
SLOW DOWN IN THE NT
The Top End has been ranked at number 12 in The New York Times’ annual 52 Places to Go list in 2018 and its icons, Kakadu and Uluru, are most popular during Easter when everything is lush and green and the weather is great in the lead-up to the dry season.
With Bruce Munro’s LED masterpiece, Field of Light, recently extended until 2020 and the SBS’s slow TV special beaming The Ghan’s legendary journey to Darwin into lounge rooms last month, the Northern Territory will likely be top of mind for Aussie travellers.
“We often see Wotif travellers making the most of the time off by opting for a short-haul overseas holiday to destinations such as Bali, Fiji and Phuket,” says Kirsty La Bruniy.
If flight prices are prohibitive, a cruise might be an option. P&O still has some spots to the picturesque islands of the South Pacific including New Caledonia, Vanuatu and Fiji – perfect for those looking to experience a tropical Easter.
A SNEAKY EUROPEAN RENDEZVOUS
“We see a rise in guest bookings around the Easter break, as it’s the perfect chance to make annual leave go further,” Trafalgar Australia managing director Matthew Cameron- Smith says. With many trips around 8-10 days long, Easter is perfect for a European stint.
For many, Easter equals lavish feasts, so why not feast in Italy? Over 10 days, Trafalgar’s Southern Italy and Sicily tour, departing March 29, will see you wandering through tiny villages, eating, eating and eating some more, and joining in local religious festivities.
Alternatively, swap the Easter bunny for Peter Rabbit on their Castles & Kilts Family Experience, where you’ll explore Beatrix Potter’s birthplace, visit the Lake District, which inspired the classic tale, and cruise Lake Windermere, where scenes for the upcoming Peter Rabbit movie were filmed.
Insight Vacations’ itineraries in Europe start at just five days for those wanting a quick break.
Departures on their seven-day Jordan Experience are available on March 29 and April 5 while the 10-day Easy Pace Italy has availability on a March 31 departure – and you’ll only need to convince your boss of six days annual leave!
Speak to TDG today about any Easter travel plans you would like to start organising. Don’t delay, as the bunny will be hopping here sooner than you think!
As first seen in Escape