Fancy feeling like a celebrity? Well jump onboard your own privately charted, high-powered speed boat and zoom away from the shrinking city lights of Kota Kinabalu towards Palau Gaya and you will feel just like that. Standing at the bow, riding the waves in the dark while humid air pummels your face is certainly invigorating. Then arriving at a stylishly lit jetty, flanked with fancy gazebos and a golf buggy to collect us, I was waiting for the paparazzi to mistake me for someone famous.
Imagine a mere spec of an island that takes only 15 minutes to circumnavigate, fringed with azure, coral reef shallows before the deep, blue ocean resumes and where turtles greet you on arrival. I introduce Lankayan Island.
Situated in the heart of Byron Bay, this national park stretches three stunning kilometres south from the town’s iconic lighthouse. Infamous for being the most easterly point on mainland Australia, Tallows Beach is also well loved by its hippie locals for its good surf, fishing, sunbathing and whale watching. For more information on this slice of paradise visit here.
Driving across the baking, endlessly flat volcanic plains, a tinge of orange simmers on the horizon. This sea of orange sand slowly grows in height while passing the odd stunted and lonely acacia tree; they are all that remains from what was once desert woodland. On the fringes where the plains meet the dunes, auberge after auberge begin to appear in a surprising show of civilization surviving in these harsh conditions. And beyond this is the shoreline for a mighty ocean of sand that continues as far as the eye can see; welcome to the Sahara.
Situated between Demark and Albany, West Cape Howe National Park is a sublime section of the stunning southern coastline. With a mix of dramatic cliffs, sheltered lagoons and white sandy beaches, this place has it all!