Top travel destinations to bring your literary fantasies to life

Aug 27, 2023
Step into the world of fantasy with these holidays. Source: Getty

Books are an incredible way to immerse yourself in the wonders of the world, they hold the unique ability to transport you through time and space, making readers fall in love with places they’ve never been to.

If you love to get lost in your favourite books, exploring the wonders that words fill your imagination with, we’ve compiled a list of the top travel destinations to bring the pages from your favourite novels to life.

From exploring your own backyard or hopping across the ditch, to overseas adventures, these destinations allow you to wander through the worlds of some of your favourite fictional characters. 

Di Morrissey’s Broome Trilogy

Enjoy the stunning sunset on a group camel ride along the beach. Source: Getty

Tears of the Moon — along with its two sequels, Kimberly Sun and The Red Coast — has inspired many avid readers over the years to visit Broome and the Kimberley Coast.

If you’re eager to see this beautiful region in depth, you’ll love this 10-night luxury expedition through some of Australia’s most pristine and untouched wilderness. Tick the unique red sands of the outback off your bucket list and have an adventure to rival beloved character Lily Barton’s life-changing move to the Kimberly.

Uncover the secrets of the Kimberly and recreate your own story of friendship, creating “unbreakable ties” on this luxury small group holiday, where you’ll meet like-minded travellers as you take a roundtrip journey from Broome.

Among the most memorable days: a seaplane flight over the Horizontal Falls (described by David Attenborough as “one of the greatest natural wonders of the world”) followed by a thrilling jetboat ride through these incredible waters. 

Other highlights include immersing yourself in the rich Indigenous history of the sacred land, camel rides along the beach and enjoying the vibrant colours of sunset and sunrise while glamping at the El Questro Wilderness Park.

If you’re looking for something a little more budget-savvy, a coastal cruise from Fremantle is the perfect holiday to give you a taste of the landscapes that inspired Morrissey and her legions of fans.

The Hobbit & The Lord of the Rings

Visit the enchanting town of Hobbiton and live how the hobbits did in Lord of the Rings. Source: Getty

J.R.R. Tolkien may have drawn on European landscapes and mythology when creating Middle Earth, but today his fantasy world is virtually inseparable from New Zealand.

On this gorgeous holiday across both the North and South Islands, you’ll see the most awe-inspiring sights by hire car, train and cruise. It will also bring you within a stone’s throw of the Hobbiton film set — about as close as you can get to the real thing.

This incredible 25-night tour, which starts in Queenstown and ends in Sydney, comes jam-packed with inclusions. Upon arrival, you’ll pick up a hire car for your first five days, allowing you the freedom to explore from Queenstown to Greymouth, stopping for breathtaking experiences in locations like cruising the Milford Sound and seeing the glaciers at Franz Joseph. 

You’ll enjoy a number of rail journeys, including trips on the TransAlpine and Coastal Pacific trains, before travelling to the north island by ferry and hopping aboard the Northern Explorer to Auckland. From here, you’ll end cap your New Zealand holiday with a 13-night cruise aboard the Royal Princess to Sydney.

Prince Edward Island  

Follow in the footsteps of Anne Shirley. Source: Getty

The moment you see the lighthouses and hills and farmlands of Prince Edward Island, you’ll feel like you’ve stepped right into one of  L.M. Montgomery’s beloved novels. A trip to the town of Cavendish — the real life inspiration for Avonlea — is an absolute must.

A cruise is one of the easiest ways to tick it off your list, and many New England & Eastern Canada voyages will drop you straight on the Cuthberts’ doorstep.

This Quebec-New York itinerary also has a wealth of opportunities for history lovers, including the site of the Boston Tea Party and where Paul Revere rode along the Freedom Trail.

The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society

Immerse yourself in the rich history of this gorgeous island. Source: Getty

Mary Ann Shaffer’s 2009 novel has given readers all over the world a whole new appreciation of this fascinating island.

From the early Neolithic settlers of 5000 BCE to the German occupation in WW2, Guernsey this small island is packed with history — and you’ll get to appreciate it in full with an in-depth tour of the Channel Islands, running from London to Paris.

Over the course of 11 days, you’ll be immersed in the natural beauty the channel between the United Kingdom and Europe has to offer, including a 3-night stay in Guernsey where you can dive into the rich history of the area.

You’ll hear all about the island’s wartime occupation, explore some of the best-preserved Neolithic sites in Jersey, and enter a bygone world on Sark before finishing your journey wandering the romantic streets of Paris.

The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel

Visit the iconic Taj Mahal and appreciate its beauty. Source: Getty

Deborah Moggach’s novel These Foolish Things (and its film adaptation, The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel) has inspired so many travellers in the Starts at 60 community to tick India off their bucket list.

Just as Moggach’s rag-tag group of strangers discover a newfound meaning of “life and love” in the eccentric country, this all-inclusive tour will have you appreciating the brilliant diversity, culture and heritage that India has to offer.

Let the inspiration and the majesty of the Taj Mahal wash over you at sunrise and explore other architectural wonders of the ancient history the land has to offer. Perhaps you’ll even see a Bengal tiger as you wander through the Ranthambore National Park. 

With return flights included, it’s a wonderfully convenient option for the dreamers and soul-searchers looking for a truly eye-opening experience.

Has reading inspired you to broaden your travel horizons? Do you have another literary destination in mind? Contact Travel at 60 (our dedicated travel agency for Australian 60-pluses) on 1300 414 198 for a friendly chat about your next adventure.

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