What’s New in Australia: Hotels, Activities and More in Sydney, the Great Barrier Reef and Beyond

What's New in Australia: Hotels, Activities and More in Sydney, the Great Barrier Reef and Beyond

The 44th annual Australian Tourism Exchange (ATE) took place in Melbourne in late May, connecting sellers from 620 travel organizations with more than 700 global buyers. Beyond networking with potential colleagues and experiencing the best that Australia has to offer, ATE — the Australian tourism industry’s largest event — also offered an opportunity to update travel advisors on what’s new in the land down under. 

Here are some of the most noteworthy updates that travel advisors should know before planning their client’s next trip.


Queensland is consistently one of the most-visited states in Australia, thanks to its proximity to the Great Barrier Reef. Advisors with upscale clients looking for an exclusive way to experience the UNESCO World Heritage-listed reef can book Pelorus Private Island.

Opened in January, Pelorus is the region’s only luxury private island home and is only reachable by boat or helicopter. It features five suites, a private beach and a beachfront pool, plus access to a personal chef and plenty of water-based activities, including snorkeling and diving in the reef.

Meanwhile, in the state’s capital city of Brisbane, the Queen’s Wharf is set to open in August. The riverfront mixed-use development will have several restaurants, rooftop bars and other forms of entertainment, as well as multiple hotels, including The Star Grand,Dorsett Brisbane, and eventually a Rosewood Hotel, the hotel’s first Australian property.

Families with young children will also want to visit Brisbane starting Nov. 7, after Bluey’s World makes its debut. Based on the beloved Brisbane-set children’s television show “Bluey,” this guided immersive experience brings the characters to life with interactive games, sets from the show and more.

RELATED: Bluey’s World Set to Open in Brisbane in November

New South Wales

Home to the iconic city of Sydney, New South Wales is top of mind for both first-time visitors and returnees, with lots of new hotels and experiences to keep them busy. By the beginning of 2025, Accor’s 25hours brand will open a 109-key property with dining venues and a wellness center inside the former West Olympia Theatre in Sydney. Meanwhile in the Surry Hills suburb, The Eve Hotel Sydney is expected to open in September with event spaces, retail, new dining venues and a luxe rooftop pool.

Accor’s 25hours brand is opening a new property with 109 rooms.
Credit: 2024 25hours

For clients who want to explore the natural side of New South Wales, there are several new accommodations, as well. Just outside of Sydney is Sentosa, a five-bedroom luxury vacation home that’s part of Contemporary Hotels’ portfolio, near the popular Echo Point Lookout in the Blue Mountains. 

Or, for an eclectic beach vacation, there’s Sea Sea Hotel, a 25-room artsy and surf-inspired boutique property located in Crescent Head on the Mid-North Coast. Wine-loving clients may be interested in The Lane Retreat By Bimbadgen, Hunter Valley’s newest accommodation, with 60 studio-style suites, a pool and multiple outdoor gathering areas, nestled in one of Bimbadgen’s award-winning vineyards. Elsewhere, Budgalong Spicers Creek, a new safari-style lodge with two tented camps, opened in May, welcoming guests to spend their days bushwalking, birdwatching and more.

Western Australia

Getting to Western Australia will be easier than ever with new flights to Perth. Beginning June 28, Rex Airlines will fly to the capital city of Western Australia five times per week from Melbourne and three times weekly from Adelaide. Once in the “Dream State,” there are plenty of new offerings to explore. 

Warders Hotel is set to open in 2025.
Credit: 2024 Warders Hotel

Tour operator Exmouth Adventure Co. now offers a four-day hiking and kayaking expedition through Cape Range National Park and Ningaloo Marine Park, where travelers can also find the only whale shark swim experience in Australia. 

Several new tours also foster learning about the Aboriginal people of Western Australia. On the Bunda Bunda Nj Tours in the Dampier Peninsula, travelers will spend the day along the western coastline, exploring mangroves, foraging for shellfish, fishing in hidden lagoons and then cooking their catch all while learning about traditional hunter gatherer techniques of the Jabirr Jabirr people.

RELATED: Indigenous Travel: How to Book Respectful, Responsible Experiences

In terms of new hotel openings, advisors can look forward to the early 2025 debut of Warders Hotel, an 83-key boutique property with limestone cottages in the heart of the Prison heritage precinct in Fremantle/Walyalup.

This year, Western Australia will also host its first Pair’d Margaret River Region festival. Taking place Nov. 14-17, 2024, the event will be a celebration of food and wine from Australia’s Southwestern region.


Australia’s capital also has several updates, especially geared toward foodie travelers. Just 10 minutes outside of the capital, Beltana Farms has long invited guests to spend the night in its luxury yurts and explore amongst the hundreds of trees in its truffle farm.

Now, a two-bedroom cottage has been added to the accommodation offerings, as well as a new restaurant so guests can truly appreciate the farm’s harvest. Fans of this delectable ingredient can also go to The Truffle Farm (15 minutes from the city center) for a variety of truffle hunting and tasting experiences, plus an overnight stay in the new one-bedroom cabin. The deluxe accommodations are off-the-grid, offering a private, tranquil environment to enjoy the wood-fired hot tub and panoramic views of the trufferie and nearby vineyards. 

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