As it now the official advice of the government to cancel all inessential domestic travel with the closing of state borders, Australians are turning to daydreaming and planning around what their next holidays may look like — once the curve has been successfully flattened, of course.
“Many travellers around the world have had to put their Australian holiday plans on hold until it is safe to travel again,” says Phillipa Harrison, managing director for Tourism Australia.
Before we all able to leave our homes once more, the tourism board wants to give Aussies the chance to virtually peek in on some of the country’s most beautiful places and memorable experiences, whether that’s a look-in on baby koalas cuddling, or a live-stream of the sunset in Uluru.
“Let the mind travel and take a virtual tour of Australia. Immerse yourself in some of the most iconic and incredible destinations and experiences our country has to offer — all from the comfort and safety of your home, wherever in the world that is.”
Below, we’ve rounded up some of the best virtual experiences on offer.
Catch 360° views of Australia’s most beautiful sites
Tourism Australia is bringing you a collection of 360-degree videos that allow you to immerse yourself in some of the land’s most beautiful aquatic and coastal sites. The clips are all paired with sounds of nature and/or ambient music, and are shot beautifully to show off the landscapes in all their glory. Here are some of our favourites below:
Take in the sunset over the iconic Sydney Harbour Bridge and Sydney Opera House.
Kayak and trek through the Katherine Gorge, part of the Nitmiluk National Park in the Northern Territory, and see Aboriginal art dated back millions of years old.
Snorkel the Great Barrier Reef and wade through crystal clear water before going underwater with marine wildlife.
Fly overheard the 12 Apostles along Victoria’s iconic Great Ocean Road to the sound of crashing waves.
Get up close and personal with the cute-as-a-button quokkas on Rottnest Island off the coast of Perth in Western Australia.
Peek in on furry friends at Australian zoos
We’ve discovered the best background visuals to our working-from-home set-ups is a live -stream of cute animals. It’s distracting, yes, but so cute and worth the endorphin rush. Some of Australia’s biggest zoos are now hosting live-streams of their furry friends. Here are some to tune into:
Zookeepers are still working to keep the animals happy and well looked after at The Australian Reptile Park. So while they feed and care for the animals, they’re inviting onlookers online to join them. They’ll answer viewer questions while cuddling dingoes, feeding koalas and taking us on virtual walks through the zoo.
Bring your kids along for the ride as you visit the SEA LIFE Melbourne aquarium. Facebook live streams will feature special live Q&A sessions while showcasing the beauty of tropical underwater marine life.
Zoos Victoria is bringing the zoo to you with live streams at both the Melbourne Zoo and Werribee Open Range Zoo enclosures. Check in on the snow leopard cubs (good luck seeing them do anything other than nap) or visit the waddling penguins, and wandering giraffes.
Wander a cultural hotspot
The COVID-19 pandemic has seen the temporary closure of many beloved galleries, but we’ve been thrilled to see a rise in virtual tours of museums and cultural centres that allow us a good dose of art without having the leave the house. Australian galleries and museums have established their own online experiences, and here are some we’ll be taking part in.
Stick around in Melbourne for a minute and pass through the Melbourne Museum’s First Peoples exhibition, which outlines the histories, cultures and many languages of of the Victorian Aboriginal people.
Take a trip down to Tassie and stop by the Museum of Old and New Art (Mona). A live stream of Tim Steiner is running between 10.00am and 4.30pm every day as he sits with his back to the camera, shirtless and showing off his elaborate back tattoo.
The tattoo was designed by artist Wim Delvoye and sold to a German art collector in 2008 for over $250,000.