What’s in our own back yard?

As restrictions begin to lift in Australia and we find ourselves wanting to get ‘out and about’, plus with school holidays this month across the country, we thought we would ask our franchisees a simple question….

“If we were coming to your territory to visit, what is the one must do activity or sight to see or visit?  Plus…. if it is no cost or budget friendly, even better.”

We were amazed with what was shared and we all started to chat and discuss places we had visited and the favourites that other franchisees were suggesting.  The list was so good, we thought we should share the favourite responses with YOU !

So what is in our back yard?

Thomas Kessel, Midland, Joondalup and Wanneroo, WA

“Go to Hillary’s Boat Harbour.  There are lots of great places to eat.  Get there before sunset so that you can watch a beautiful sunset over the water.  On the great things about being on the west coast is a sunset over the water.”

Jeremy Valencour, South-West and Central-West Brisbane, QLD

“A must visit is the famous O’Reilly’s Rainforest Retreat.  There are lots of free activities and the tree top walk is a great way to get a new perspective.  We have young kids who love to roam in nature and it is a great way to spend an afternoon as a family.”

Keith Cowe, Mackay & Whitsundays, QLD

“Have to say, no shortage of places to visit and things to do here with so many beautiful spots that are absolutely free to visit.   Finch Hatton Gorge (just west of Mackay) is a family favourite.  There is even a flying fox.  You can’t go past Airlie Beach.  Head to the harbour and watch the boats set sail out to the Whitsundays.  Get away camping to Cape Hillsborough National Park.  Our kids love to camp and explore.  Another great National Park we love to visit is Eungella National Park.  Our kids love to sight a platypus when we visit!”

Sharon Stone, Gold Coast North, QLD

“We love to take our grandkids out and about whenever we can and a great place to visit is the Tamborine Botanical Gardens.  If it is a sunny day – pack a picnic and a hat.  The kids just love to run around and enjoy this beautiful setting.  Simple family fun.”

Brad McMurray, Hawkesbury and Blue Mountains, NSW

“We are spoilt for choice with the Blue Mountains on our doorstep.  Our boys love to run so getting them out and about is always a great day out.  The Three Sisters is probably the most famous part of the Blue Mountains and if you haven’t see them with your own eyes, it is well worth the visit.  A place that I believe is worth a stop by is the Macquarie Arms Hotel.  It is Australia’s oldest pub and it overlooks the Hawkesbury River.  Nice way to enjoy a bit of lunch and a cold beer.  Good day outing to get out of the city.”

Greg Ivanov, Toowoomba, QLD

“A great event in Toowoomba is The Carnival of Flowers that is held each September.  It is worth the trip and an amazing event.  Hope they can still hold it this year as it is such a great day out.”

Phillip Valencour, Brisbane North, Central, North-West and North East, QLD

“It is a common spot to recommend, but that’s for a very good reason.  Head up to the Mount Coot-Tha Lookout and get a great view of Brisbane.  There is a café if you want a coffee or take your own.  Simple to get to and well worth the effort.  A visit to Brisbane is not complete without heading up to the Lookout.  If you are local and haven’t been in a while, then pack up the kids and jump in the car and if the sky is blue and clear, even better!”

Steve Hambly, Sunshine Coast, QLD

“Take a walk along Point Cartwright.  Keep your eyes open as you may see a whale which is always a thrill to see.  Finish it off with a BBQ on the Mooloolaba River.  Great thing about Queensland, most nights are perfect for a BBQ by the river.”

Nic Anderson, Northern Rivers, NSW

“Well you simply can’t go past a visit to Byron Bay can you?  Lots of places to stop for a coffee or a cold beer, lots of local eateries.  Head up to the light house for an amazing view from the most eastern point in Australia.  Of course the beach is a must.  And don’t forget the many markets of local produce and artists and products.  Visit for a day or stay for a week.  Plenty of family fun in Bryon.”

Steve Bysouth, Yarra Ranges, Victoria

“A great way to spend the day or even just an afternoon with the family is at your local botanical gardens and the Dandenong Ranges Botanical Garden is a beauty.  Great drive, great location, great way to spend an afternoon.  Keep your eyes open – lots of wildlife and birds to see on a walk.”

Brett Hannah, Upper North Shore and Northern Beaches Sydney, NSW

“Make the effort to get up early and head to one of Sydney’s Northern Beaches Ocean Pools.  It may be early, but the sunrise will make it all worthwhile.  How lucky are we to have this spectacular natural show right on our doorstep?”

Norman Dodds, Southern Highlands, NSW

“Sunrise on a winter’s morning can’t be beaten in the Southern Highlands.  Get up early, take a drive and watch the sunrise on a nice crisp – perhaps cold – morning.”

Michael Caile, South & West Gippsland, Victoria

“Phillip Island is the place to visit.  You simply can’t go past the Penguin Parade.  If you have kids they will love it.  Must admit, even us adults love to see those penguins waddle on in each night.  There is also the Grand Prix Circuit to visit, plenty of fishing a surf beaches and the Koala Conservation Centre is a must see.  Even on a stormy winter’s day, Phillip Island is a great place to visit… just rug up”

NOTE:  This was our Franchisees top pick.  How can you compete with those cute penguins?

Andrew Luke, Central Victoria

“Take a drive and visit the Trenthem Falls.  Great little spot to visit.  Then I’d also suggest a drive to Woodend and Mount Macedon which is famous for the ‘Picnic at Hanging Rock’ story so pack a picnic if you dare!” 

Rob McCabe, Lower Mid North Coast, NSW

“Seal Rocks Lighthouse without a doubt. What a great sight.  Worth the visit.”

Matthew Flynn, Lower North Shore, Sydney, NSW

“When in Sydney, a great free activity is to do the Harbour Bridge to Spit Bridge Walk.  Get great views of the harbour and all the icons of Sydney and it doesn’t cost a cent.  Just put on your walking shoes and you are set to go.”

Michael Downey, Adelaide, SA

“So many places to visit, to eat and of course drink the country’s best wine, but our family favourite is the Star of Greece.  It is a seafood restaurant that overlooks the St Vincent Gulf.  Great food, great wine and a great location. It is just a short drive to the Mollydooker winery as well.  Must visit for tourist and locals alike!”

Therese Dobson, Tasmania

“We are spoilt for choices in Tasmania with so many great places to visit or to take a scenic drive or walk.  Our favourite is the Trowutta Arch on the Tarkine Drive in North West Tasmania.  Great walk through the rainforest (yes, we have those in Tasmania) and you don’t come across the arch until you get to the very end of the path.  The best view of the arch is when you walk under it to the other side and then look back.  Quite amazing natural formation.”

Mina Moussa, Manningham, Whitehorse and Whittlesea, Victoria

“One of my favourites is Westgate Park in Port Melbourne.  Not only great views of Westgate bridge but also the city skyline of Melbourne.  Great spot for a picnic by the mouth of the famous Yarra River and lots of room to let my son run. And if you are lucky – and the salt levels are high – the Westgate Park may be pink!”

Jurgen Martz, Geelong and Ballarat, Victoria

“I’ve got three must visits.  If in Geelong city, then head down to the Geelong Waterfront.  Often activities and events on throughout the year and it is a great place to take your kids… even the teenagers.  Heading out a little, then a drive on the famous Great Ocean Road is a must for every Australian.  Take your time.  I love to take the motorbike out on this one.  Then if you are in Ballarat, you can’t go past Sovereign Hill.  Let the kids pan for gold and learn about the historic gold rush whilst having a whole lot of fun at the same time.  Don’t forget to buy some hard boiled lollies!”

Con Karras, Dandenong, Victoria

“It isn’t a free place to visit, but it is a really fun day out, especially if it is a sunny day, but I recommend the Melbourne Cable Park.  You can do cable water skiing, there is an aqua park for the kids.  There is lots of fun stuff to do and the kids will have a blast.”

Sam McCoy, Coffs Harbour, NSW

“A Family Favourite is the Dorrigo National Park which is only an hour out of Coffs Harbour.  So close yet it feels like you are in another world so is perfect for a day trip.  Whilst out that way, make sure you go to the Dangar Falls just outside of the Dorrigo Township.  Great for a picnic or for the more adventurous – like our kids – take the walk that takes you all the way to the bottom of the falls.  Get prepared to get wet!”

Fiona Fitzgerald, Central West NSW

“The Orange region has so many things to see and do with lots of festivals and events on. It is like trying to pick just one lolly from the lolly store to choose just one thing to do in our area. But you just can’t go paste taking a drive and visiting one (or maybe a couple) of the many wineries in the area. Pair this up with the Wine Festival or the Food festival or the winter festival or even the frost festival and you could have a great few days in the Orange region.”

Quite the list isn’t it!  Want to know the best places to go when visiting an area?  Ask a local. 

Where could you be visiting in your area?  Support Small Business and get out and visit the local sites.  Be a tourist in your own town.

We look forward to seeing you out and about at some of our favourite local must visit places …. Right in our own back yards! 

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