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Survey shows 1 in 2 Aussies are sick of the ‘same old’ summer holidays

New research also reveals Aussies want to gift themselves an early summer holiday to combat late-year burn out

As millions of Aussies begin the countdown to Christmas, a new nationally representative survey has found that three-quarters of adult Australians – the equivalent of just over 15 million want to treat themselves to a pre-summer holiday as an early Christmas gift

Three in four cite late-year burnout as a key reason for wanting an early break.

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Conducted by Lonergan Research on behalf of Tourism NT in September 2023, the independent survey of more than 1,000 Australians found that three in five (60 percent) of Aussies feel like they’re crawling towards the Christmas break and that more than half (54 percent) are tired of doing the “same old” things every summer holiday.

Outback Ballooning has been operating in Alice Springs since 1986 and is one of Australia’s longest-established ballooning companies. Credit: Renay Hung

Tourism NT commissioned the survey to dig deeper into Australians’ attitudes and behaviors towards summer holidays, ahead of the official start to summer in December. The study uncovered consumer preferences for off-peak travel with lower crowds and prices (95 percent), as well as domestic holidays that hero unique destinations (91 percent), off-the-beaten-track (74 percent), and cultural (77 percent) experiences.

Furthermore, the survey uncovered new data about Aussies’ holiday budgets amidst the rising cost of living, showing the average Australian typically spends just over three thousand dollars ($3182) on a domestic holiday.

While temperatures are starting to rise around the nation, the Northern Territory offers consistently balmy weather before summer officially begins, and the opportunity to soak up unique holiday experiences like nowhere else in the world – from exploring ancient natural wonders like Uluru, Kakadu, Nitmiluk Gorge, Kings Canyon and the Tjorita/West MacDonnell Ranges, to awe-inspiring outdoor adventure, wildlife and Aboriginal cultural experiences.

Pre-summer, off-peak holidays are on Aussie’s wish lists

The survey revealed that nine in ten (95 percent) of Australians would like to go on a holiday during ‘off-peak’ times to avoid crowds and higher costs, suggesting a preference for pre-summer getaways at this time of year. Similarly, seven out of eight (86 percent) agreed that starting summer early with an October holiday would be great.

Mindil Beach is home to Bass in the Grass, a two-stage day festival kicking off Darwin’s dry season in May each year, Credit: Rob Verschuer

The survey showed that Aussies’ motivations for off-peak holidays are linked to convenience, cost, crowds, and climate, with the top reasons being:

  • Beating travel crowds (57 percent);
  • Finding it easier to secure accommodation and good travel deals (54 percent);
  • Craving a warm location after a cold winter (39 percent);
  • Thinking that nature shows off its best during spring (36 percent).

We want nice, different and unusual in our own backyard

The survey suggested that many Aussies are craving a different type of holiday this year, with over half (53 percent) indicating they are bored of “drop and flop at the beach” style holidays.

West MacDonnell is a national park in the Northern Territory, Credit:
Rob Verschuer

The data also showed that Australians are tired of the “sea of sameness” when it comes to summer holidays (49 percent) and that over three-quarters (77 percent) believe cultural experiences are an important part of a fulfilling holiday.

In this same vein, nearly eight in ten (79 percent) Aussies reported wanting to do more unique activities on their holidays – or something unexpected and exciting, while seven in eight (85 percent) said they’d prefer to visit unique destinations in Australia, indicating a clear preference for exploring closer to home this year.

A Northern Territory holiday rated highly among many Australians, the survey found, with more than half of respondents – the equivalent to almost 10 million – stating they have a favourite travel destination within the NT, including places such as Kakadu, Alice Springs, Darwin, Litchfield National Park, and Uluru.

Do summer differently in the Northern Territory

Speaking about the survey results, Executive Director, Tourism NT, Tony Quarmby said: “This recent data suggests that many Australians are seeking a different kind of holiday this summer – and there’s no better place to do summer differently than the Northern Territory.

Uluru, Credit Tourism NT, Rhett Hammerton

“Summer starts early in the Territory from September, offering a massive range of unique experiences to excite, enliven and refresh before the hustle and bustle of the festive season kicks in, and beyond.

“In the Red Centre – Australia’s Spiritual Heart, travellers can immerse themselves in sacred wonders, breathtaking desert landscapes, stunning outback waterholes, and a diverse array of Aboriginal arts and cultural experiences.

“Meanwhile, in the tropical Top End, epic summer adventures await along roads and trails less travelled. Holidaymakers can experience everything from World Heritage sites, unique native wildlife, and mouth-watering multicultural cuisines, to dazzling sunsets, crystal-clear waterfalls, and world-class fishing – with someone guaranteed to win a $1 million in this year’s Million Dollar Fish competition!

Darwin, Credit: Charlie Bliss

“With affordability being key for many Aussies at this time of year, summer also presents a great time to travel to the Territory. Summer in the NT is ‘off-peak’, which means lower prices, fewer crowds and more chances to explore, play and breathe.

“We love that summer is different in the Northern Territory and invite all Aussies craving a different type of summer holiday to join us up in the NT,” he concluded.

Find more information on how to ‘do summer differently’ in the NT HERE

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