Eight of Australia’s most Instagrammable places
Fairy Pools, Noosa National Park - Queensland
Oh-so-beautiful and oh-so-tricky to find, the Fairy Pools epitomise “good things come to those who wait!” You’re looking at a 45-minute hike there and back, so it’s important to come prepared to avoid disappointment. Pack a backpack, bring plenty of water, get kitted out in sunsmart gear, wear sensible shoes and make sure it’s low tide. Your best access point is to take the coast track from Noosa Main Beach. Once you reach the tip of the headland at Granite Bay, you'll need to hike down the rocks to reach the Fairy Pools. It sounds tough, but trust us, it’s worth it for a crystal clear rockpool all to yourself with sublime ocean views. Bring a snorkel and see the beauty of the coral and sponges. They wouldn’t be called Fairy Pools if they weren’t magical!
Where to stay: Halse Lodge - Noosa YHA
Dove Lake, Cradle Mountain-Lake St Clair National Park - Tasmania
This 6-kilometre walk is one of the best The Apple Isle has to offer. It’s a nice easy stroll on a boardwalk, so don’t worry about rocky terrain. Expect to see breathtaking views of Cradle Mountain, to stumble across hidden beaches and to meet some of Australia’s wildlife up close and personal. We’re talking echidnas, platypuses and maybe even a Tasmanian Devil or two! You’ll be in awe of the enchanting Ballroom Forest, the famous Glacier Rock and the picturesque Boatshed. The Dove Lake walk will take you a breezy 2 hours to complete, but make sure you’re prepared for all kinds of weather, as the climate is as temperamental as the walk is beautiful. Make it an unforgettable day trip from one of our three Tasmania hostels.
Where to stay: Hobart Central YHA
Hunter Valley Wine Region - New South Wales
The beauty of the Hunter Valley must be seen to be believed. Two short hours north of Sydney, you’ll discover the delights of this picture-perfect wine region. With over 150 wineries, copious restaurants, hip festivals, delectable local produce...you’ll never be short of things to do. An absolute must-do is to take a hot air balloon ride and take in the magnificent views from on top of the world. The Hunter Valley is a dazzling spot you'll fantasise about returning to for the rest of your life. Make it a cheeky mid-week break, a weekender, a longer romantic getaway… just make sure you get there. The wine is calling!
Where to stay: Newcastle Beach YHA
Mt Ainslie Lookout, Canberra - Australian Capital Territory
One of the best attractions Canberra has to offer and it’s totally free - not that you can put a price on perfection. Mt Ainslie lookout offers panoramic views of the nation’s capital. You can walk, cycle or drive to this spot, where you’ll see Canberra in all its glory, framed by stunning mountain ranges. See the War Memorial, the Parliament House and fully take in Walter Burley Griffin’s vision for the city. You can hire electric or bushbikes from a huge number of spots in this cycle-friendly city, and from there it’s a leisurely ride up the slope to the lookout. Why not bring a picnic up and spend the day on top the world, amongst native birds and wildlife? Don’t let anyone ever tell you that you can’t find peace and quiet in the big city.
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Brighton Bathing Boxes, Melbourne - Victoria
The vibrant colours of the Brighton Bathing Boxes are not to be missed on your next visit to Melbourne. Nestled on Dendy Street Beach, they are 82 distinctive beach huts lining the foreshore of Brighton, an exclusive neighbourhood yet highly accessible from the CBD. A relic of the Victorian past, they were originally used for privacy while ladies changed into their swimwear. There are extremely strict rules on who is allowed to own a beach hut, but for those lucky enough to, they are used to store fishing gear, deck chairs and shelter from the sun. For the rest of us plebs, they are a one-of-a-kind Instagram opportunity. Don't forget to get your photo outside Box 2 – kitted out with the blue, red and white of the Australian flag!
Where to stay: Melbourne Central YHA
Vivonne Bay, Kangaroo Island - South Australia
Vivonne Bay is well known as one of Australia’s best beaches. Its clear water, cleanliness, privacy and white sand is something out of a fairy tale. Vivonne Bay is just one of Kangaroo Island’s breathtaking hidden beaches and one of the infinite ways you can lose yourself in this secluded paradise. You can spot dolphins, seals, koalas, penguins, kangaroos (duh), go sandboarding...the list is endless. You defs won’t want to leave, but you have to go back home to smugly show people your stunning photos at some point, right?
Where to stay: Adelaide Central YHA
Cable Beach, Broome - Western Australia
22 kilometres of white sand, edged by crystal clear turquoise water. Sand dunes and camel rides. Enchanting sunrises and sunsets. Totally uncrowded, even in peak season. Consistently rated one of the best beaches in the world, Cable Beach is every bit as incredible as it sounds. This picturesque icon of Western Australia is the centrepiece of the stunning resort town of Broome. You’ll always be able to find a gorgeous patch of sand to set up camp at, and just as well because once you’re here, you’re going to want to stay for a long, long time. See if you can spot dolphins and whales and check out the 130 million year old dinosaur footprints in the rocks at low tides. If you’re a thrill-seeker, 4WD vehicles are permitted north of the rocks. You can even seek out the clothing-optional parts of the beach, if that’s your thing! Nude or not, your Cable Beach Insta will be the envy of your followers for sure. Rack up those likes!
Where to stay: Kimberley Travellers Lodge - Broome YHA
MacDonnell Ranges - Northern Territory
If you're looking for a truly unique location for your insta, you can't go past the NT. Red dirt, golden sun, desert ranges and kilometers of wide brown land. You can see what the poets are writing about when they talk about the outback! Make sure to pack suncream, since the sun is harsh out here in the bush. You'll always find a warm welcome, a cold beer, and great company in the town called Alice, with plenty of folks who can send you to all the best spots to explore. You don't have to wander far, there's a walk right along the banks of the river by the YHA! Adventure: sorted.
Where to Stay: Alice Springs YHA