Vana Belle, A Luxury Collection Resort, Koh Samui
While Australians still favour sunshine-soaked destinations of the Gold Coast, Fiji, Hawaii, and beyond, a great shift is taking place. More and more Australians are taking holidays in more remote destinations, or at least destinations that feel more remote. We spoke with Shaun White, Sunrise Consumer Correspondent, who has the great fortune of travelling often, to learn what it is about these destinations that is attracting more and more travellers and how to make holidays to these destinations easy and comfortable.
What do you think travellers are gravitating toward holidaying in remote destinations?
What the idea of going remote really taps into is our need to switch off. We have so much technology in our lives that it can be overwhelming and even when we’re on holiday, we’re not actually switching off. I think that’s what holidays were before smartphones and social media - our heads were buried in the moment.
Even if a destination is not remote or difficult to get to, you can still surround yourself with nature. One of my favourite getaways is Coles Bay and Wineglass Bay in Tasmania. When I visit, I’m looking down at calm, crystal-clear waters and up at sheer-pink granite Hazard Mountains. I get to go kayaking and fishing and explore beaches that aren’t busy, all while being really present.
Where are some of your other favourite remote or remote-feeling destinations in Australia?
Whitehaven Beach is such an incredible experience. The white sand, the blue waters… it’s quintessential Australia and lives up to what the rest of the world thinks of our beautiful country. It’s close enough to get there from Airlie Beach or Hamilton Island but whilst you’re there, you feel completely removed from the rest of the world.
The Blue Mountains are always a great experience too. It only takes an hour and a half to get there from Sydney, but you feel far away enough that you can feel relaxed as you hike through beautiful bush and waterfalls and dine or shop in Katoomba or Leura.
What do you get excited about when it comes to taking a holiday?
I chase the best sunrises and sunsets! For me, I want to go wherever I can to see them. When I went to Ningaloo Reef, I saw the best sunset of my life. It was insane!
More than just the sunrises and sunsets, I like to travel anywhere that I can take the best photos. It’s ingrained in me as a TV journo to find the best visuals. From architecture in cities to up in the air over remote destinations and underwater at our country’s amazing reefs, I capture the moment in my head to bank the memories and then take a video or photo.
But other than that, I am always on the hunt for the best coffee! Here in Australia, I really think the best coffee is Singlo O in Surry Hills. Nothing remote, just great coffee.
What are the top 5 items that make travel the easiest for you?
This camera is perfect for travelling: it’s pocket sized, can film underwater, has stabilisation that makes it great for basically any activity your filming.
This digital luggage scale helps you easily change weights as you collect and get rid of stuff along the way and deal with different restrictions for different airlines.
I always pour my skincare into clear bottles that fit size restrictions. They’re easy to pull out of a bag as you go through customs.
This mask has changed my life! I always use it while I’m on long haul flights, like when I travelled to Barcelona, New York and Berlin this year, and had to hit the ground running on each occasion. This mask hydrates your face with pretty amazing instant results - ready for the camera!
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