Australia has had a tough year, with the bushfires that burned over 17 million hectares across the country, and the COVID-19 pandemic, both contributing to a huge loss of livelihoods for thousands of Australians. If you want to help the Australian economy, one of the best things you can do is take a trip through the country, once it’s safe to travel again.
Our new ‘Near Not Far’ trips in Australia take you to both cities and rural areas, and you’ll get to meet local Aussies who will show you around their farms, wineries, restaurants, retreats and more. From local conservation efforts to family-run farms, here’s how you can make a difference on your travels and directly help the local economy in Australia.
Support local communities in Tasmania
When you travel around Tasmania with Trafalgar, you’ll help the local economy by supporting local farming, winemaking and artisan communities around the state. Most of the independent small businesses we visit are dependent on tourists visiting their region, so you can be sure you’re giving back to local communities in Tasmania on your trip.
Some of the highlights are Hobart’s famous Salamanca Market, where you’ll be introduced to creative local growers and makers. We’ll also enjoy lunch at the Agrarian Kitchen Eatery in Derwent Valley, a historic site dishing up authentic paddock to plate dishes.
You’ll visit the Moorilla Winery, Tasmania’s second-oldest vineyard and meet the cheesemakers of Pyengana Dairy Farm. Explore Huon Valley, home to artisan vineyards, gourmet farmers and the Apple Isle’s best cideries. See how local craftsmen share their almost forgotten skill of wooden boat building at the only school of its kind in Australia. Sample fresh fruit, local ciders and apple brandy at Willie Smith’s Apple Shed.
Visit the Tasmanian Gourmet Sauce Company near Evandale and the 41° South Salmon Farm. It’s set in the UNESCO approved Tasmanian World Heritage Area, where you’ll taste the best smoked salmon in Tasmania. You’ll also indulge at the Christmas Hills Raspberry Farm, the Ashgrove Cheese Farm, the Bell and Gong Winery, and enjoy freshly shucked oysters on the beach at Anna and Tom’s Bay of Fires Bush Retreat.
GET INSPIRED BY: Majestic Tasmania
Support conservation in Western Australia
Our Australia trips take you into the rugged beauty of Penguin Island in the Shoalwater Islands Marine Park of Western Australia. Your visit will help the economy by supporting conservation and you’ll get up close with playful penguins, dolphins, sea lions and seabirds as you cruise through the wildlife sanctuary.
Back on land, you’ll then visit the historic Busselton Jetty. It’s the longest timber-piled jetty in the southern hemisphere, with a length of 1,841 metres. It’s been standing for more than 150 years and it’s managed by a not-for-profit community organisation that aims to preserve the natural marine environment around Busselton Jetty and Geographe Bay. You’ll find an underwater observatory, a deep seal pool, scuba diving, or you can just take a relaxing stroll along the famous jetty.
GET INSPIRED BY: Ultimate Wonders of the West
Support local communities in Victoria
When you travel around Victoria with Trafalgar, you’ll help the local economy by supporting local businesses, including the family-owned Creswick Woollen Mill. It’s one of the largest privately-owned employers in the region, and it’s the only remaining woollen spinning mill of its kind in Australia. You’ll get an exclusive guided tour and learn about the 70-year history of the mill. You’ll even get to meet some friendly sheep and woolly alpaca along the way!
Other highlights include a tour of boutique, family-owned wineries in the beautiful Bellarine Peninsula. You’ll also enjoy a gourmet lunch at Jack Rabbit Winery, known for their sustainably grown vines. Next up, you’ll visit the family-owned and run Green Olive Farm in the Mornington Peninsula, where you’ll get hands-on experience and a real taste of farm life.
Unwind at the historic Lavandula Swiss Italian Farm in Daylesford, where you can sample homegrown delights from their veggie garden. For more local fun in Daylesford, you can take a dip in the mineral baths at Hepburn Bathhouse and Spa. Or enjoy dinner at The Argus, an award-winning restaurant that uses food grown in their kitchen garden and from the local region.
Back in Melbourne, a local resident will help you explore the maze of hidden laneways, historic arcades and iconic coffee culture. Even better, you’ll get to taste some of the best coffee in Australia at a local coffee shop.
RELATED CONTENT: Victoria’s Natural Wonders
Support conservation in Tasmania
You’ll support local conservation efforts in Tasmania when we visit the Maria Island National Park, a haven for wildlife. It’s home to rare and endangered species like the Tasmanian Devil and the Cape Barren Goose. You’ll also get to see roaming wombats, wallabies and kangaroos in their natural habitat.
The national park is also home to the most intact example of a convict probation station. You can hire a bike or take a walk to explore the convict-built ghost town of Darlington. You can also stretch your legs around the peaceful beaches and rockpools and check out the amazing Fossil Cliffs.
RELATED CONTENT: 5 things to do in Sydney to fix your wanderlust
Support local communities in Western Australia
When you travel around Western Australia with Trafalgar, you’ll help the local economy with visits to local businesses. In Perth, you’ll dine at Post, a restaurant where the cuisine is just as special as its location. Tuck into delicious food in the franking room of Perth’s original General Post Office in the State Buildings.
Heading south of the CBD, you’ll explore the creative powerhouse of Fremantle with a local resident. Discover the legendary ‘Cappuccino Strip’, the well-preserved local architecture, and stock up on local treats at the buzzing Fremantle Markets. You’ll also dine on a seasonal farm-to-table menu at Bread in Common, paired with delicious local wines.
Moving even further south to the famous Margaret Valley wine region, you’ll enjoy an exclusive food and wine tour at Hay Shed Hill, a James Halliday award-winning winery. After, you’ll indulge in a seven-course degustation lunch paired with matching wines.
In Cape Naturaliste, you’ll tuck into a farm-to-table dinner at the Other Side of the Moon restaurant. Here you’ll sample a delicious array of locally-sourced seasonal produce matched with world-famous Margaret River wines.
Help preserve the culture of Indigenous Australians
Help the local Australian economy by showing your support to the original owners of the land. Our trips include indigenous experiences like meeting the traditional people of Gariwerd, the Djab Wurrung and Jardwidjari with a Welcome to Country at the Brambuk Cultural Centre in Victoria’s Grampians National Park. You’ll learn about the intimate link between the local indigenous people and the seasonal cycle of the region. You can even try your hand at Boomerang throwing and taste native bush tucker.
In Western Australia, you’ll experience a Welcome to Country at Cape Naturaliste. Learn about the deep spiritual link between the Wadandi community and the land and discover the centuries-old local indigenous customs. You’ll hear Dreamtime stories and the unique didgeridoo, discover bush medicine, taste native foods and observe a traditional fire lighting.
RELATED CONTENT: 10 experiences you can only have in Australia
Support the bushfire recovery
When you make a booking with Trafalgar, our partner, One Tree Planted, will plant a tree in your honour. One Tree Planted is a global reforestation non-profit organisation. The Foundation for National Parks & Wildlife and One Tree Planted have recently joined forces to help Australia regrow. They’ve announced a five-year project to plant up to one million trees in Bushfire Recovery Nurseries around Australia.
Your tree will go directly towards helping to regenerate the bushfire-stricken land around Australia. It will rebuild lost habitats of our beloved native animals and help future proof the natural biodiversity.
Let us know how you’re helping the Australian economy in the comments below!