Australia is making it big in travel world right now, with domestic travel on the rise amongst those in-the-know. A truly captivating destination brimming with marvellous experiences, the Northern Territory's outback is the place to be in 2019.
From luxe glamping stays to exclusive concerts and thrilling fundraising adventures, there's so much for couples to enjoy. Now's the time to dig out your Akubra and discover all that the outback has to offer.
Related article: Amazing Australia: Our must-see spots
For... the culture-vultures
There's incredible concerts, then there's this exciting concert. For the first time ever, Opera Australia will be performing in the Red Centre, with the iconic Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park and Bruce Munro's Field of Light Uluru as the backdrop. Now that's an impressive setting!
Gathering some of Opera Australia's finest singers, the once-off event (November 2) will be one culture-lovers won't want to miss. Listen to famous arias from Verdi, Puccini, Rossini and Bizet as the sun sets and Field of Light Uluru's 50,000 glass spheres illuminate and dazzle across the landscape – amazing!
One more reason to add this to your bucket-list? There'll be a special Opera at Uluru Welcome Dinner and Opera at Uluru Starlit Dinner, complete with gourmet bush tucker-inspired cuisine and incredible performances.
For… the luxury-lovers
Always dreamed of going on a glamping adventure and prefer to enjoy the finer things in life? Opening in June, Kings Canyon Resort's new glamping site already has travel insiders excited.
Calling a scenic outback canyon home, six Australian homestead-style air-conditioned tents (yes, air-conditioned) will boast all the mod-cons. Imagine spending the day exploring the magnificent outback before returning to creature comforts like king beds with premium linens, a private ensuite area and decked-out interiors – heaven. Cap it all off by sharing sundowners on your own spacious verandah and admiring your spellbinding surrounds for an unforgettable getaway.
For… the foodies
Sure to be a highlight in gourmands' calendars, A Taste of Kakadu is a cultural food festival 65,000 years in the making. Promising to be Australia's premier traditional food festival, the event (May 10-19) will bring together the nation's most gifted practitioners of Indigenous food and traditional owners to showcase the very best in contemporary bush cuisine.
From pop-up dining experiences and forage walks with traditional owners to cooking masterclasses and dinners created by celebrity chefs, there'll be plenty to savour. Sample canapés while cruising down bird-lined billabongs, enjoy a traditional ground oven feast or just admire the spectacular natural beauty of the dual World Heritage-listed Kakadu National Park – it's all on offer for you here.
For… the adventure-seekers
If it's an epic road trip adventure you're after, hit the outback's red-dust highways and take part in the inaugural 2019 Rural Aid Jalopy Derby (August 24-31). Journeying through dramatic landscapes and stopping at iconic locations along the way, the unique event will see 100 teams drive 2,500 kilometres from Sydney to Airlie Beach. Why? Designed to pass through as many drought-affected areas as possible, the rally will raise funds for rural communities doing it tough.
What really separates the Rural Aid Jalopy Derby from other similar events is the chance to really discover some of the outback's most sensational landmarks. Toast the occasion with an ice-cold beer at Carinda's George Hotel where David Bowie filmed his 'Let's Dance' video, explore Lightning Ridge's famous opal mines and hot springs, and enjoy a special guided tour of Longreach's Qantas Founders Museum.
Thrill-seekers, you don't even need to me a mechanical genius to take part. Provide the jalopy and the event's organisers have an expert 'Jalopy Derby Rescue Squad' on call to make sure you reach the finish line in one (slightly weatherworn) piece.
For… the romantics
Chances are you've seen this phenomenal art installation all over Instagram and Facebook (or even our site), but make sure you don't miss seeing Bruce Munro's brilliant Field of Light Uluru for yourselves before it finishes late next year.
Blanketting the picturesque Tili Wiru Tjuta Nyakatau with tens-of-thousands of technicolour lights, the awe-inspiring installation is like nothing else on the planet. Covering the space of more than seven football fields, it's worth seeing for yourselves before the last-minute rush. Start packing!
Planning a romantic short break or weekend away? Find beautiful accommodation across Australia here...
Images sourced via: www.parksaustralia.gov.au/kakadu/taste/ and www.jalopyderby.com.au/