Australia day-trips by plane: Small group tours to iconic destinations

The crosswinds of COVID-19 have seen travel operators shift to domestic experiences with imaginative twists.

One of those is boutique tour operator Crooked Compass whose small group tours now include day trips by charter plane to iconic destinations in Australia.

The new Lunch Club includes a trip to Whitehaven in the Whitsundays, one of the country's most recognised beaches.

Guests travel by charter plane from Brisbane to Hamilton Island before boarding a super yacht with a chef onboard preparing local bay bugs, oysters and prawns for a long-table lunch on Whitehaven Beach and time to swim and snorkel.

Inland, Crooked Compass is offering a day trip from Sydney to Orange to sample the best of the region's food and cool climate wines. That includes a morning tea of bush tucker with an Indigenous guide, cherry picking and gin sampling, followed by a long-table vineyard lunch at Printhie Wines before the return flight.

For outback lovers,  a flight from Sydney to Callubri Station in central west NSW offers guests a chance to see an 11,500 hectare property with a long history of merino wool and lamb production.

The day includes a tour of  the property  spotting red and grey kangaroos, emu and echidna before a long lunch in the Shearer's Quarters under exposed beams with brass chandeliers and antique church doors.

The Whitehaven trip departs on December 8 and costs $2999 a person; Orange costs $1700 a person and departs November 25 and December 2; and Callubri Station costs $1815 a person and departs April 9.