It’s been a tough year for so many lovely parts of Australia but in true Aussie spirit, residents and visitors have banded together to support each other and worked to restore the communities hit the hardest by bushfires and Covid-19.
Aussies know this is just what we do! But that spirit was recognised this week in Lonely Planet’s popular annual Best in Travel Awards, which awarded Australia the Community Restoration gong. It was one of a number of new award categories introduced to recognise not just the places, but also the people and communities that are transforming the travel industry.
Tourism Australia MD Phillipa Harrison said it was heartening to see the Aussie spirit shine through during what has been the most challenging year the tourism industry had faced in a long time, particularly after the devastation experienced in last summer’s bushfires.
“People across the country [have] rallied behind those communities both directly and indirectly impacted by the bushfires, with so many extending offers of support,” she said. “That spirit of resilience has really endured as recovery efforts have continued, despite the challenges presented by the Covid-19 pandemic, and it’s heartening that this has been recognised as part of these awards.”
Kangaroo Island was one of the regions worst-hit by the bushfires, with more than 210,000 hectares of land burnt – an area equivalent to nearly half of the island – and beloved native animals killed, injured and impacted by loss of habitat. The people who call Kangaroo Island home also suffered badly, with many losing their homes and businesses. The fires also claimed the lives of acclaimed pilot and tour operator Dick ‘Desert’ Lang and his youngest son Clayton, a surgeon, who were reportedly killed as they attempted to return to the family property on the island after fighting a nearby fire.
But the island is rebuilding and it now needs the help of fellow Australians to bring tourism back to its shores.
Although travel to South Australia is restricted right now due to a recent surge of the coronavirus in Adelaide, there’s hope travel will recommence to the state as soon as possible. And there’s plenty of great trips you could join, including a Lawn Bowls Social Tour organised specifically for over-60s.
Travel at 60 has teamed up with the Kangaroo Island Lawn Bowls Association to offer the Starts at 60 community an amazing tour of the island that combines sightseeing and friendly games of lawn bowls with the locals. The trip isn’t heading off until March next year, so there’s still plenty of time for borders to reopen, holiday planning to be done – and lawn bowls skills to be worked on!
Throughout the four-night holiday, you’ll see all the incredible sights and attractions that the island is famous for, including the Flinders Chase National Park, which is home to the Remarkable Rocks and Admirals Arch. You’ll also visit Seal Bay to see the Australian sea lions frolicking on the beach, view a spectacular Birds of Prey show and enjoy a scrumptious lunch at the Emu Ridge Eucalyptus Oil Distillery.
But, what makes this trip so unique is that you get to mingle with the locals at the Parndana Bowling Club while playing a fun game of bowls. It’s a short trip that’s packed full of adventure!
For a longer break, Travel at 60 also has an 11-night Sydney to Adelaide (and Kangaroo Island) holiday scheduled for March next year, that’s designed with 60-plus travellers in mind. This trip includes a drive down the famous Great Ocean Road, a visit to Canberra and two nights on Kangaroo Island (with a bunch of activities to enjoy while you’re there). Click here for more information.
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