In July this year, I packed the car and headed north from my home in Northern New South Wales on what I thought would be a three-week trip.
When lockdowns started to spread, I kept on going. For the next four months.
In my trusty Toyota, I made it all the way up to Port Douglas (with slow, lazy stops in places like Sunshine Beach, Agnes Water, Rocky, Airlie Beach, the Whitsundays, Townsville and Magnetic Island, Mission Beach, and Cairns). Then I headed across to the Northern Territory and East Arnhem Land, the Tiwi Islands, and Uluru. I even managed to jump on The Ghan and spent five days journeying from Darwin through the Outback down to Adelaide.
I was acutely aware of what a luxury and privilege it was to be travelling at a time when half the country was locked down. I hoped that by gently sharing my travels it might provide some inspiration for those eager to explore Australia when lockdowns lifted. For me, the places that filled me with the most joy were those that were incredibly remote and well off-the-beaten track. I felt the deepest connection to the land and its people when I was totally disconnected from all else.
Here are some of the best and most remote retreats I have found to escape to next year.