As we come to grips with the unfathomable heartbreak that our nation has suffered in the past months, another devastating blow the bushfires have dealt is to our tourism industry, during what should be their peak period.
There are countless accommodation providers who are featured on the Stay With Them instagram profile (all listed with links below!), or who have been recognised with the hashtag #StayWithThem. So, if you are beginning your 2020 holiday planning please considering staying with, and in turn supporting, our local accommodation businesses who are also doing it pretty damn tough.
Note: the list below is just the tip of the iceberg, made up of regions that were directly impacted by the fires as well regions that have inadvertently suffered due to road closures and tourist exclusion zones. Please head over to @staywiththemau for a comprehensive list and updates as our communities rebuild, or to recommend an accommodation provider to be featured.
Bawley Point, NSW
A stunning getaway in the Shoalhaven region – perfect for surfing, hiking, fishing…anything outdoorsy really!
This tiny town is just a short drive from the Sussex Inlet. A great spot if you’re keen for a local vibe.
Quaint Berry packs on the old world charm with heritage buildings, fantastic restaurants and plenty of wineries for a spot of tipple tasting.
The jaw-dropping scenery makes Bright a mecca for anyone who loves the outdoors. It’s especially great for families who want to reconnect and unwind.
This pretty spot in the Southern Highlands attracts plenty of cyclists and hikers thanks to its cool climate and natural highlights such as waterfalls.
Callala Beach, NSW
An easy 2.5 hour drive from Sydney, Callala Beach features the stunning beaches that Jervis Bay is renowned for.
Surrounded by the spectacular Snowy Mountains, Crackenback offers a broad range of activities and experiences – from day spas to kayaking.
Culburra Beach, NSW
If you’re big on water sports, Culburra should be at the top of your list. From surfing to kayaking and stand-up paddle boarding, this coastal getaway is ideal for water lovers.
Located on the Sapphire Coast, Eden is a wonderful spot for wildlife aficionados. There are opportunities for whale watching, snorkelling and scuba diving plus Ben Boyd National Park is on your doorstep.
In Huskisson you’ll be greeted by squeaky white sand – among the world’s whitest! If you’re big on marine life you’ll be happy as a clam with opportunities to spot seals, dolphins and little penguins.
Dolphin Sands Bed and Breakfast (@dolphinsandsbnb)
Jervis Bay, NSW
Jervis Bay Village is the gateway to the Booderee National Park, and boasts a huge array of things to do on, and off the land. There are plenty of nearby bays and beaches to explore as well as a huge abundance of accommodation options to suit all travellers and budgets.
Kangaroo Valley, NSW
This picturesque part of Aus was hit hard by the fires but that shouldn’t stop travellers from visiting. There are wines to be tasted, canoes to be paddled and the charming main street and cafes to be discovered.
The place you go to ‘get away from it all’…yup, that’s Kiah. Be prepared to go off-the-grid and explore during the day, and scrabble, monopoly or Uno by night.
Slow down and take your time while visiting Leura. It’s known for beautiful gardens, lookouts and walk trails, and is a great spot to relax.
Water and wildlife go hand in hand here. Kids will love fossicking through the rock pools and checking out the local aquarium.
Central Merimbula Apartment (pet friendly!)
Who wouldn’t want to chill out in a luxury tent while surrounded by rolling hills and farmland? Foodies will love this part of NSW, with plenty on offer from wine to artisan bread and cheeses.
Bonnie Belle Tents (@bonniebelletents)
Beaches. And stunning ones at that. Most accommodation here is within cooee of the ocean and epic surf. There are also a smattering of top-notch restaurants and cafes, so spend your days on the beach and your evenings sampling the local wares.
This tiny town upstream from Bateman’s Bay is the perfect choice if you prefer a holiday with no crowds.
The historic mining town of Oberon has wide-ranging appeal with horse-riding trails, the manicured Mayfield Garden and a labyrinth of stalactite-lined limestone caves.
Part of the famous the famous Milawa Gourmet Region, Oxley is big on blueberries and wineries. There are great trails for cycling and/or horse riding.
Pebbly Beach, NSW
The beach dwelling kangaroos are a tourist favourite here, as are dolphins and eagles. It’s located in the impressive Murramarang National Park, which is well worth exploring.
Shoalhaven Heads, NSW
The perfect base camp for exploring the rest of Shoalhaven. The beach is huuuuge so there’s more than enough room for all activities including fishing, surfing and relaxing!
Sunshine Bay, NSW
There are a number of beaches to choose from and a range of accommodation options (great for caravaners and campers!), just two hours from Canberra.
Surf Beach, NSW
Just a ten minute drive south of NSW’s Bateman’s Bay. It’s a great spot for kids with plenty of grass overlooking the beach.
The perfect place to enjoy the small things – from eating fish and chips by the beach to having a beer at the heritage listed hotel. There is plenty to do in Tathra, from water sports to checking out the hiking trails.
One of the best places in the region to sample the local seafood and it’s just a three hour drive from Sydney. Scuba divers are blessed with a number of reef dive sites but if diving isn’t your thing you can hit the wineries or the art galleries.