Looking for your next adventure? Australian Traveller magazine have rounded up the trends and experiences that will affect the way you travel in 2015.
Starry skies and fluffy beds, ‘glamping’, AKA glamorous camping, offers the best of both worlds and don’t Australians know it: the number of glampsites that popped up in 2014 alone has been staggering. From here, we’ll see glamping diversify into specific sub-categories: affordable (think Sydney’s Cockatoo Island); wilderness (Ikara Safari Camp in the Flinders Ranges); indigenous (the Kimberley’s Kooljaman in Cape Leveque), and luxury (possibly best summarised by Longitude 131 at Uluru, or the Maria Island Walk, which mixes back-to-basics wilderness with fine wine, chef-cooked meals and tent-style accommodation).
Rooms with personality
Actually, there is one more glamping category: quirky glamping. From sleeping in a tee pee to staying in a pop-up tent city (check out Daylesford’s ‘Cosy Tents’), we’re lapping up anything offbeat these days, and not just in the glamping arena, either. The success story of whimsical-luxe QT Hotels has proven that there’s a genuine market for luxury travel with a difference. Indeed ‘hotels with quirks’ are taking off in all sectors of the market: Brisbane’s Limes Hotel has a hand-painted feature wall in each room; suites at Adelaide’s Majestic Minima contain unique street art; the entire Art Series Hotel Group is a movement unto itself and even traditional chains are in on the act, with crazy-cool restaurants, pop-up bars and temporary art installations. Next up: individually-styled suites with their own cult followings, and exclusive mini hotels within hotels (think the Club Lounge level on steroids).
Take a virtual tour of your hotel room using your Google Glasses. Check in with your Apple Watch, then download the appropriate app and use your watch as your room key. Upload a flattering snap of your stay to social media and nab a discount on the room. Indeed, all things social will continue to drive travel trends – take Airbnb.com, for example, which has spawned dozens of variations including Homestay.com, which allows holiday-makers to rent a room short-term, and Eatwith.com, which allows travellers to have dinner at locals’ homes.
Helicopter safaris, chartered private planes, joy rides and the interstate dash – as air travel becomes cheaper and more ubiquitous, everything from scenic flights to month-long laps of the nation (AKA the ‘air safari’) are set to increase in popularity. We’d say the days when personal helicopters become common aren’t far away, either.
Wildly remote hideaways
Remote wilderness experiences are becoming more popular, and though costs of operation and sheer demand mean prices will remain prohibitively high for the majority of our population, we can expect to see more tourism products pop up in remote locations, like Tasmania’s new Pumphouse Point. On a mainstream level, expect a continued rise in localised wilderness tourism – a camping/caravan renaissance, more wildlife activities including interaction with animals (think swimming with whales, sharks etc) and a return to ‘off-the-grid’ holidays (basic accommodation or reception-free or electricity-free destinations). We won’t go so far as to say that coastal holidays have become passé, but we will suggest that, in the twin rushes to retreat from crowds and seek out new experiences, Australians are more likely to consider travelling inward these days. Hello, regional towns…
Australian cruise routes
Love it or hate it, cruising is full steam ahead in Australia – and we’re getting on board. If you hate the very idea of a big liner (we can’t understand why…), look past them – there’s a surprising array of experiences out there that just can’t be replicated on land, and many are genuinely excellent. Jump on a barge to the tropical Torres Strait Islands, board an expedition ship around the Kimberley, chase minke whales along the northern Great Barrier Reef, or board one of the boutique cruise liners, which have a much higher focus on bespoke experiences (with less people). But more on that in the next issue, maybe – for now, we think you’ve got your hands full.
Looking for more? Find even more travel trends and ideas at www.australiantraveller.com.
Which of these travel trends will you be embracing in 2015?