Political news aside, the Australian bushfires have been gripping the world’s headlines with the devastation it has caused down under. This has hit the tourism industry the hardest, with people canceling their travel plans to Australia in a bid to avoid the flames.
However, many fail to realise that Australia is incredibly massive, almost as big as the contiguous United States, so there are plenty of areas that are not actually affected by the fires.
There are many calls to provide aid to Australia right now, and one good way besides donating money to the organisations that are helping to fight the devastation is to visit the country, to help with the financial strain facing them.
Most of the tourist destinations are still safe to visit and are not expected to be in the warpath of the fires.
IT’S BUSINESS AS USUAL IN MOST PARTS
While this bout of annual bushfires has hit every state of the country, most of the major cities and tourist destinations are safe from imminent threats.
The cities of Sydney, Melbourne, Perth, and Brisbane, the major cities of Australia, are all currently not at risk and are still welcoming tourists with open arms. Meanwhile, the iconic destinations of Uluṟu, the Great Barrier Reef, and the Great Ocean Road are also out of harm’s way.
While the media is correct about the intensity of the fires, sensationalising the extent of the reach of the fires has hit local economies hard.
With tons of people canceling their plans to visit Australia, it has resulted in a loss of income to many businesses, especially those that operate in the tourism industry, such as excursion organisers and establishments in tourist hotspots.
TAKE A CONSCIONABLE TRIP
Despite the irrefutable fact that climate change played a role in this, the Australian government has failed to address the issue and encourage a remedy on that front.
However, change starts with ourselves, and choosing sustainable options, as well as adopting more ecologically conscious behaviour and habits, will help to prevent the exacerbation of the effects of global warming. We may not be able to reverse its effects, but we can still mediate its deterioration.
Take a trip to the Northern Territory to visit the sacred grounds of the aboriginal people, the Uluṟu-Kata Tjuṯa National Park. The area is safe from the bushfires, and while parts of the park are closed to visitors to respect the cultural and spiritual significance it has to the aboriginal people, there are still various options available.
The ecologically conscious Ayers Rock Resort also has terrific stay options to suit everyone.
At Uluṟu, consider going on a segway tour or camel ride around its base, where you can marvel at the imposing rock formation. A perfect time to visit this spot would be at dawn and dusk, where the sunlight casts a beautiful glow and dramatic shadow.
At Kata Tjuṯa, you could stroll through the Walpa Gorge Walk and admire the breathtakingly stunning domes.
GO ON A CITY TRIP
While the fires are raging in the hardest in the Southeast part of Australia, where Victoria and New South Wales are, the cities of Melbourne and Sydney are not impacted by the bushfires.
Since there’s no clear and present danger, why not visit these two cities, which have been declared the second and third most livable cities in the world, by the Economist Intelligence Unit’s global liveability index.
Sydney is remarkably cosmopolitan, with soaring skyscrapers, modern architecture, and unmistakable globalised vibes. The CBD and Darling Harbour are great locations to set up base for your jaunts about the city, especially if it’s your first time in Sydney.
You’d be close to some of Sydney’s most famous sights, including the Royal Botanic Garden and the Sydney Opera House. The area is also home to world-class restaurants that count Matt Moran’s Aria and Seiōbo by the critically acclaimed Momofuku brand. The famous Bondi beach is also less than a 20 mins drive away.
Over in Melbourne, the city is just as cosmopolitan and diverse, but with a distinctively trendy vibe. Melbourne is renowned for its coffee culture, and it’s pretty evident as you walk about the city with cafes around just about every corner.
The city also boasts of some incredible architecture, from old to new, like the Royal Exhibition Building and the National Gallery of Victoria.
Just under half an hour away is the celebrated Yarra Valley, one of the premier wine regions of Australia. It’s home to Moët & Chandon’s foray into the New World wine region, Domaine Chandon, as well as one of the most iconic wine producers of Australia, De Bortoli.
The region is famous for the chardonnay, sauvignon blanc, and pinot noir varietals, and the sparkling red is an absolute must-try.
So, know that you can rest easy when travelling to Australia during this period. There are plenty of places unaffected by the bushfires, and by visiting, you’d also be doing your part to boost the local economy.
This article was first published in Wego.
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