While Australians are currently still being encouraged to stay at home unless it's for certain essential reasons, there are glimmering signs of hope on the horizon. On Monday April 13, Australia's minister for trade, tourism and investment, Simon Birmingham, stated that while we may not be able to travel internationally until December 2020, now is the time to start planning domestic holidays for the future.
However much we've been enjoying livestreams of ballet and baby goats from our couches, that's all the encouragement we needed to expand our minds beyond the confines of our iso-apartments. Australia has so much to offer in terms of natural beauty: from the wild, rugged cliffs along the Great Ocean Road, to the gleaming waters of the Sapphire coast. Get happily day-drunk in one of our world-famous wine regions or bunker down in a sleepy village in NSW's Southern Highlands. We've got more where that came from – check out our pick of the absolute best Australian spots to travel to.
Don't get too ahead of yourself though: "Look, it’s impossible to tell at present precisely when travel restrictions will be removed, because that will be a matter dependent upon the health advice at the time," Birmingham told the ABC.
However, Birmingham also said Australians are now in a position to "undertake a little bit of dreaming, a bit of little planning, so those who can afford to, who will be in a position to, can get out and help an Australian tourism business when we get to the other side of this." It's welcome news for the domestic travel industry, which was hit with a double whammy starting with January's devastating bushfires.
For now, all this dreaming is still an exercise in armchair tourism – but isn't planning the best bit? Just make sure to continue to abide by local travel restrictions, because at this stage, police are still empowered to slap you with an $11,000 fine for breaking physical distancing rules – like, for example, eating a kebab on a bench. #stayathome.