Kangaroo Island's Flinders Chase National Park was wiped out by bushfire at the start of 2020 but reopened in July to a steady stream of visitors.

Kangaroo Island's Flinders Chase National Park was wiped out by bushfire at the start of 2020 but reopened in July to a steady stream of visitors.

Face it, an Aussie holiday is really a win-win scenario

Face it, an Aussie holiday is really a win-win scenario

Tourism
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You get a break but you also get to feel good about "doing your bit".

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I think we could call this the ultimate win-win - you get a break but you also get to feel good about "doing your bit".

I'm talking about holidaying in Australia.

Since bushfires ripped through major tourism hotspots at the end of 2019, the call has gone out to put our tourism spending dollars to good use, with campaigns like Empty Esky or #bookthemout.

This need only got worse once the COVID lockdown started.

As South Australia began reopening back in July, I spoke with Kangaroo Island Tourism, Food, Wine and Beverages Association chair Pierre Gregor, who was worried about the missing international dollars.

"There are lots of areas devastated by bushfires and COVID and we're all vying for the same domestic market," he said.

Figures from the Regional Australia Institute suggest each year, Australians spend more than $30 billion on trips abroad.

If we add that to the usual domestic tourism spend, it will go at least some way to covering the international tourism gap.

The news in recent months has been positive, with a recent voucher scheme for holiday accommodation in SA sold out in less than an hour, showing people are making travel plans.

A few weeks ago, it was my turn to do my bit - and I have to say it was tough.

Well, the tough parts were a) deciding where to go and b) overcoming the inertia of largely staying in my house for the past eight months.

The Woolshed Brewery, outside Renmark, gives a view of the Murray, where houseboats can pull up. The beer is pretty drinkable too.

The Woolshed Brewery, outside Renmark, gives a view of the Murray, where houseboats can pull up. The beer is pretty drinkable too.

The actuality was gorgeous views, adorable wildlife, learning more about the local history and tasting the cuisine.

While my mother may have tutted slightly at all my pictures in wineries, distilleries and boutique breweries, I prefer to think of it as "supporting local business".

I also came home with honey, eucalyptus, almonds, olive oils and so much more.

As the country starts to open up even more (welcome Victoria), instead of heading overseas, head across the ocean to Kangaroo Island, Rottnest Island, Fraser Island... actually there are a lot of islands.

And instead of floating down the Seine River, maybe hire a houseboat on the Murray, where you can pull directly up to a brewery.

Of course, this is reliant on having the money to spend, at a time when people are tightening their belts. But for those in a position to see Australia, where the bloody hell are you?

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