Australia, it’s time to explore your backyard.

Australian travel startup, Riparide, is like an Airbnb for authentic weekend getaways. It’s a booking platform that encourages city dwellers to unplug from the daily grind and head into nature for a necessary recharge. And the getaways are sold as stories, ones that you too can experience in your own way.

“People have been sharing their travel photos and stories for years; it’s a natural human behaviour,” says Riparide Founder, Marlon Law.

“Our social media feeds are brimming with photos that inspire us to travel and we often rely on our friends for recommendations on where to go, so it’s no surprise that so many people have embraced booking escapes through stories. A Riparide story feels like your best friend’s travel journal – inside are honest reviews, inspirational photos and visual itineraries, all of which are waiting to be lived.”

Riparide ‘escapes’ are brought to life through thoughtfully curated adventure stories. From bathtubs on picturesque decks to tiny off-the-grid houses, floating luxury villas and llama treks – Riparide invites you to insert yourself into the wildly beautiful moments that their community of storytellers capture and share.

Hidden Valley, Jaccob & Sunshine. Image: Jacob McKay

Hidden Valley, Jaccob & Sunshine. Image: Jacob McKay

Take, for instance, the Hidden Valley story that can be experienced in the Blue Mountains. Jaccob and Sunshine say this quaint little cottage is surrounded by “boundless views” in the Blue Mountains National Park.

“We took our time at Willow Cottage as a relaxing retreat of slow bushwalks, splashing in the creek next door, and lazy paddling down the Grose River,” they said.

“Down a winding, forested driveway filled with grass-trees and huge boulders, over a stream on a handmade bridge, you’ll find yourself gazing upon the charmingly rustic Willow Cottage. This cozy settler-style cabin is clad in rough timbers with the interior almost entirely made from wood, complete with a kitchenette, bathroom with spa and an open fireplace in the lounge.”

Now doesn’t that sound like an escape?

And then there is Trent Nattrass’ Lotus Tent Livin’ adventure in Wilson’s Promontory National Park, 180km south-east of Melbourne. He shares the best visual experience in his story:

“It’s always a treat arriving somewhere at night-time and anticipating a beaut surprise in the morning,” he says. “Dozing off to the sound of waves intensified the excitement.

“Wilson’s Prom turned it on from the minute we woke up – from a cooked breakfast a metre away from the beach, to the crystal blue waters of Squeaky Beach just around the corner, to the small accommodating details that made crashing out in the belle tent something to be stoked on after a day of adventure – this quiet escape from Melbourne city life had us feeling fresh.”

Country Charm. Image: Remy Brand

The booking platform and travel writer’s haven began in 2014 with six bookable adventure stories shared by local content creators. Fast forward to 2019, Riparide is pioneering the concept of turning shared travel photos into bookable experiences, with over 300 adventure stories spread across regional Victoria and New South Wales.

Riparide hopes to inspire Melbournians, Sydney-siders and other urbanites to sneak away from the city and head for the hills. Whether it’s a digital detox retreat or a fun-filled kombi road trip, Riparide offers soul-fulfilling escapes for everyone.

For more information and to book an escape visit Riparide.