Canberra and the South Coast both feature in a special edition of Australian Traveller, out on Thursday, listing 100 ways Australians can holiday in their own country this year.
The magazine has teamed up with Tourism Australia for the collector's edition, to provide inspiration and help with planning a holiday. The edition includes a wall map, with allusions to holidays of old, which Australian Traveller founder Quentin Long loves.
"It's a work of art," he said.
Mr Long said the special edition was prompted first by last summer's bushfires and then put on hold due to COVID-19. With overseas travel bans in place, the magazine's editors have come up with holidays in 10 key experience categories: Coast, Cities, Islands, Outback, Icons, Indigenous, Regional, Food and Wine, Family, and Road Trips.
Canberra features in the Cities section as "the perfect short break", with references to Hotel Hotel, Monster Kitchen and Bar, hot air balloon rides, our national institutions, picnics on a GoBoat and the region's wineries. It is also in the Icons section, as one of the places to visit on the new Great Southern luxury train trip between Adelaide and Brisbane.
"Canberra is like that person you meet fleetingly and then you meet them again and go 'They're actually a really cool person, I love hanging out with them'," Mr Long said.
"The first time you met them was unfortunately on school camp, which is the worst place to meet Canberra.
"And then you have this whole conversation as you evolve as a person, Canberra has a role to play in every stage of your life. In your 20s, in your 30s, 40s, 50s, it has a role and it's just a matter of understanding that and loving it.
"We talk a lot in the magazine about New Acton, but that's just one of many things we could talk about. The Glassworks. The food. The Cupping Room, just as one little thing, is my favourite cafe.
"You get Canberra when you realise everything happens behind the greenery and, as city folk, we're not used to that. And once you get comfortable with that, it's great."
The Sapphire Coast is also featured heavily, including Tathra and Merimbula.
"If you've never been to the Tathra Hotel, you haven't lived," Mr Long said.
"I'll never forget on Boxing Day all four of us were in the waves and I was teaching my kids to catch waves at Tathra beach.That's why we travel."
Mr Long and his family also remember watching the devastation of last summer's bushfires on the South Coast, and seeing Tathra empty of visitors.
"We were the last to leave, and my heart was breaking. I went to Bega, I had to pick up some stuff, and I ... bought my year's worth of books at the Bega bookstore to put cash in their register, not in the city. And I think that's what Australians are great at and I hope that's what this achieves," Mr Long said.
"The South Coast and Gippsland are the two regions that need the biggest hug from Australia. And anything I can do to help them do that, is what I'll do."
Mr Long founded Australian Traveller in 2005.
"For 15 years, we've been championing the domestic travel industry and our time has come. The time couldn't be better to show our support for the industry," he said.
"This whole endeavour was born on the idea that, like most Australians, I lived overseas for five years and came back to this country as a 30-year-old and went, 'My God, this is amazing. Why haven't I appreciated it before?'.
"And out of that, I wanted Australians to appreciate this country in a way that is is not jingoistic, Pauline Hanson-like, not 'this is the best country in the world, but I haven't been to another one'. I love Rome, I love Paris, I love Tuscany, I love the Yukon, I love Newfoundland. And in that context, Australia is amazing.
"So that's where the magazine was born, and with everything that's been going on, we wanted to make sure that Australians embraced that in a way that made a lot of sense to them.
"We no longer need the external validation of some celeb coming from overseas and the first thing we ask them is 'What do you think of Australia?'. We know it's good and I've got something for everyone. No matter who you are, what you do, how you travel, I challenge you, you will find it in this 100."
The cover price of the magazine had been cut to the cost price of $3.95 for the special edition.
"I don't want to profit from having Australians engage with their own country in a way that will really mean something," Mr Long said.
"We decided we would reduce the cover price to cost and $3.95, on our standard sort of sales patterns, we don't make any money. That's our contribution and our investment in making sure that Australians get a great experience and the industry gets the right person to turn up to their door."
While the launch date was decided six weeks ago, Mr Long said it was still the right time to promote domestic travel, even with Victoria now dealing with new outbreaks of the coronavirus.
"I've got no greater intelligence than anyone else, but my gut feel is that Victoria will be paused for a while," he said.
"And that's a great shame. That's only localised pausing, it's not the whole state. [Premiers] Andrews and Berejiklian have done a good job of moving the whole country and I don't think they get enough credit in the early stages for what they did putting pressure on the federal government.
"I think they've shown they've got the right credibility and strategies to manage this and they'll do the right thing. Maybe Victoria will be delayed for a little bit, but at the end of the day, the rest of the country is moving forward."
- Australian Traveller: 100 Ways to Holiday Here This Year is on newsstands and at selected Coles supermarkets from Thursday. It is also available at australiantraveller.com/100-ways-to-holiday-here-this-year from Thursday.