Great Keppel Island.
Great Keppel Island. Leighton Smith

OPINION: Holidaying in Australia far too overlooked

TRAVELLING overseas has never been easier or more affordable.

But more often than not I find most tend to look outside our borders rather than exploring what our own beautiful country has to offer.

I have been guilty of this myself.

My first real 'holiday' was to Bali shortly after finishing high school.

Then India, Cambodia, America, and most recently Uganda.

And while each of those experiences have moulded and shaped me into who I am today, I've only very recently begun exploring our diverse Australia.

Last week I visited Great Keppel Island for the first time.

When I arrived I was so bewildered at its beauty.

I suddenly couldn't understand why people pay thousands of dollars visiting places like Bora Bora, not to mention the flight and travel time involved, when we have stunning islands just off our own coastline.

Great Keppel has the purest, crystal clear water I had ever seen and, in my opinion, is just as spectacular as the beaches of the Maldives at a fraction of the cost.

Keppel might not have the luxurious above-water huts or personal spas (yet) but it certainly has a lot to offer.

There are incredible coral reefs, a mass of beautiful fish, hidden underwater caves, pristine mangroves, and a very lengthy bushwalk for anyone interested in exploring from above.

The more I speak to other Australian travellers, the more I discover Australia has the features of so many other countries tied into one amazing playground.

I'm not saying don't travel overseas, but I do urge you to take a peek through your own backyard.