Richard Branson’s top Australian autumn destinations

Virgin Founder, Richard Branson is no stranger to Australia, having visited the country from east to west, across every season.

He’s also no stranger to writing down his thoughts, chronicling them daily on his insightful blog. Combining his passion for journaling and love for Australia, we asked Richard to share some of his favourite Aussie adventures.


Flushed with extraordinary terrains and home to dramatic weather, Australia is a wonderful sight for jet-lagged eyes. I love summer for its storms, winter for its sun-drenched days and spring for its flora, but my favourite season Down Under is autumn.

Around the world, spring is known to be the season that inspires – lifting people out of winter’s gloom. However, in a country where the sun shines almost year-round, autumn wins my pick for the most rousing season.

Even if I’m visiting for business – which normally I am – I always take some time out to get out and enjoy myself. I am very fortunate to spend time at Makepeace Island, our heart-shaped hideaway in Noosa, which I simply fell in love with the first time I saw it.

I love autumn in Australia for many reasons, but here are three of my favourite seasonal destinations.

Autumn in Australia is Byron Bay.

The crowds are thinner, and the town truly shines. It’s ducking under a wave at Wategos Beach, as a handful of surfers paddle past you, spotting dolphins beyond the breakers. It’s grabbing a drink in town, and watching all four corners of the globe glide by with smiles from ear to ear. It’s the vibrant street scene, which attracts all walks of life in search of happiness, creativity and inspiration. 

Autumn in Australia is Brisbane.

The city heaves with energy and life, as the artistic and entrepreneurial fill up cultural hubs. It’s the smell of freshly-roasted coffee wafting from artisan hang-outs. It’s the buzz and the chatter that floods the South Bank precinct, as people move from museum to gallery to theatre. It’s dinner, followed by a long walk along the river, marvelling as the lights from the buildings dance on the water. 

Brisbane skyline

Autumn in Australia is the West Coast.

The scorched landscape cools, and the wilderness puts on a brilliant display of colour. It’s whales hugging the coastline, migrating to breeding grounds in warmer waters. It’s the burnt rust-orange earth, pockmarked with marvellously green vineyards. It’s watching the calm waves roll in at Cottesloe beach, basking in Perth’s warm and drawn-out dusk-lit evenings.

West Coast

I love autumn in Australia, but all year round the spirit, the energy, the wildlife, and, above all, the people make Australia such a special place. I can’t wait to get back later this year to explore more.


Richard Branson loves to blog, and does so every weekday on Virgin.com. Read more, follow him on Facebook or Twitter, or find out what’s in store for the future of travel.

Plan your Autumn Adventure now

  • Flights to Byron Bay: Virgin Australia operates flights to Byron Bay/Ballina daily, direct from Sydney.
  • Flights to Brisbane: Virgin Australia operates flights to Brisbane daily, direct from all Australian capital cities and major Queensland ports.
  • Flights to Perth: Virgin Australia operates flights to Perth daily, direct from all mainland Australian capital cities, and major Western Australian ports.

Photo courtesy of Owen Buggy.

Words by Richard Branson - Published March 2015
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