The Ultimate Australia Bucket List: 50+ Amazing Things To Do in Aus
Australia is huge, spread over 6 states and 2 territories, it’s home to some of the worlds incredible natural wonders like the Great Barrier Reef and Uluru, iconic landmarks like the Sydney Harbour Bridge, and over 500 National Parks making your adventure to Australia not only scenic but incredibly memorable.
With gorgeous landscapes, exotic wildlife, and awesome food as some of our biggest charms as well as incredible wine vineyard, unique culture and insane beaches there is just so much to do and see in Australia! Here’s our Australia bucket list- with over 40 things to do in this fabulous country.
Related: “Ultimate Travel Guide to Bali”
- 1 The Ultimate Australia Bucket List: 50+ Amazing Things To Do in Aus
- 2 New South Wales
- 3 Queensland
- 4 Victoria
- 5 South Australia
- 6 Western Australia
- 7 Northern Territory
- 8 Tasmania
The Ultimate Australia Bucket List: 50+ Amazing Things To Do in Aus
New South Wales
Visiting Australia’s most famous beach is on most people’s bucket list, but we’d argue the Bondi to Coogee walk is the real highlight. This 5.5 km trail is one of the best in the country and takes you along the cliff edge between many of the city’s most beautiful beaches. The coastline is spectacular and after starting at the beautiful Bondi Beach you can stretch this walk out to a whole afternoon by stopping for a swim at one of the many beaches along the way. If you have your own snorkel, a dip at Gordan’s Bay, Sydney’s top snorkelling spot, is a must. You’ll end the walk at local’s favourite neighbourhood – Coogee, where you can celebrate with a drink at the Pavilion, Coogee’s famous bar.
If you visit between May to October, the cliffs between Bondi and Coogee are the perfect place to spot Humpback Whales which migrate along the coast in their thousands every year. You may also see dolphins if you get lucky!
Getting there is pretty straight forward as buses run regularly from the centre of Sydney from Circular Quay and Central Station. Alternatively, you can take the train to Bondi Junction and then either walk or take a short bus ride to the beach. If you fancy a pick-me-up before the walk, we highly recommend Lox, Stock & Barrell, a coffee shop that serves the best flat-whites in Bondi.
by Cat from Walk My World
Royal National Park
Royal National Park is a must visit place if you ever visit Sydney. And walking along at least on one of the many amazing coastal-walk trails here is highly recommended. On these coastal trails, you experience magical views of deep blue skies, huge sandstone cliffs hugging the coast, and tranquil waters of the Tasmanian sea that lure you to move further along the way. It is simply a soul-refresher and highly recommended to get your nature-fix. Definitely carry your camera.
Take a train from Sydney’s Circular Quay station to Cronulla. From Cronulla, take the ferry to Bundeena, check the ferry schedule before you plan the trip.
Grab a visitor’s map along the way and choose a trail. Keep the map close, because it can get a little lonely along the way and if you get lost, the map would help. Start the hike in the morning so that you can be back before dark and it is easy to find your way.
There are plenty of picnic spots all over the path, carry water and snacks for quick breaks.
by Priyadarshini from Glorious Sunrise
Byron Bay, the most eastern point of Australia’s mainland, is a cozy beach town in New South Wales. It’s known for its laid-back culture, great surf conditions, scenic coast and amazing beaches.
Byron Bay has become more popular over the years, but it is still quite remote. This allows visitors incredible wildlife sighting of feeding kangaroos, jumping dolphins and migrating humpback whales.
There are lots of things to do in Byron Bay, the most popular is the coastal track that takes visitors up to the Byron Bay Lighthouse. It sits perched on Cape Byron with views to either side of the cliffs. One on side is expansive Tallow Beach, on the other is the sleepy town center of Byron Bay.
Being inspired by the beauty and tranquility of Byron Bay, many artists are attracted to set up homes here. Unique finds like pottery, clothing, and art is easily found in locally owned boutiques.
Byron Bay is full of delicious cooking, roasted coffee and fresh seafood. People come here to get away from hectic, urban life, to center themselves through yoga classes, and connect with others through nightly drum circles on the beach!
Whether looking to enjoy nature, shop or eat, Byron Bay should be at the top of your Australian bucket list, it will captivate you with its indescribable magic.
by Vita from My Walk in The World.
Getting to the Blue Mountains is fairly easy, just jump on a train at central with the journey to Katoomba taking around 2 hours. Or self drive the distance giving you the freedom to make scenic stops along the way.
Once you’ve arrived in Katoomba, you have the option of jumping on the The Blue Mountains Explorer Bus which picks up from the Katoomba train station. The hop-on hop-off bus is the most convenient way to explore all the great spots of the Blue Mountains
We had our car so decided to drive to the Echo Point look out, where you can see the iconic Three Sisters’ rock formation against the backdrop of the never-end mountain ranges. From this look-out there is opportunity to take short hikes to other lookouts or you can head north to
- The area includes ten national parks and features pretty waterfalls, sheer sandstone cliffs and vast regions of dense forest.
- Several pretty mountain villages full of cute shops and excellent cafes
- Spending the day in the Blue Mountains makes a nice contrast to the harbour and beaches in Sydney.
Located in Mosman, Taronga Zoo is a conservation society and education hub that aims to ensure the safety and conservation of our wildlife.I do not promote zoo’s, enclosing of animals or animals for entertainment but the work that Taronga Zoo do is an exception due to their conservation and education efforts. They believe that all of us have a responsibility to protect the world precious wildlife, for our lifetime and for the generations of the future.
Other than the normal day time zoo encounters, Taronga Zoo also offers an incredible sleep over safari like experience with private guides and intermit interactions. The unforgettable overnight experience appropriately named Roar and Snore kicks off at dusk just after the close of regular hours. You will be treated with intimate animal encounters, expert keeper talks, full buffet dinner, nibbles and drinks on arrival and luxe safari-style accommodation with stunning views of the Sydney Harbour. This should definitely be at the top of your Australia bucket list.
You can get to the zoo by car, bus or ferry. I think the best way is by a short ferry ride from Circular Quay which takes around 10 minutes and gives epic views of the harbour. Taronga Zoo is open to the public every day of the year during the hours 9:30 am to 4:30 pm.
Sydney Harbour Bridge Climb
One of the top bucket list experiences for Australia has to be our most icon sight, climbing the Sydney Harbour Bridge or the Sydney Coat Hanger as it is affectionally called. The Sydney Harbour Bridge Climb offers climbs from dawn right through until night time when you can take in the views of the beautiful Sydney skyline lit up in all its glory. I recommend doing it at dusk. You start in the daylight and possibly score a cracking sunset and by the end the city will light up like a Christmas tree on your way down.
My husband and I did it for our 9th wedding anniversary, we went up right on sunset by the time we did our safety briefing and secured our harnesses, we caught the last glimpse of the sunset. When we got to the peak of the Sydney Harbour Bridge, we stopped to do our photos and a set of fireworks went off over at the Sydney Opera House right above our heads. I told my husband I had organised that as well for our anniversary!
The experience is not at all a budget option but its definitely worth the splurge. The knowledge of the guides about when the bridge was built and Sydney at the time is second to none. I loved listening to our guide during our climbing up. Its not a hard climb at all, those scared of heights will have an issue. It will definitely be the best view of Sydney you will ever have and yes you do have to wear one of this prison like onesies like in the image below.
by Sally from our3kidsvtheworld.com
Located 1.5 hours north of Sydney is my beautiful home town the Central Coast! The most popular spot with tourists is Terrigal Beach, this is due to its central location, great selection of cafes and restaurants and beautiful beaches and bays. Although this spot is amazing there is so much more to explore!
The Central Coast has lots of national parks and nature reserves. My favourite favourite hikes are the Bouddi coastal walk and Crackneck Coastal Walk. Or head in-land and explore Brisbane Water National park with a picnic at Somersby falls.
There’s something for the adventure as well, Glenworth Valley, offers horse-riding in an enchanting forest. Other adventure activities include kayaking, abseiling, quad biking and laser tag. Or take the kids to the iconic reptile park and make friends with some scaly creatures.
For me though the Central Coast is about all of its wonderful beaches, hit the waves and refuel are one of the many amazing cafes.
In the heart of the Great Barrier Reef and just a short plane ride from most capital cities, you will find the amazing Whitsundays. This Australia bucket list destination is made up of 74 islands with the majority of these designated national parks or resort islands. Stunningly picturesque and one of Australia’s most visited regions with over half a million people visiting each year, theres lots of amazing things to do in the Whitsundays.
Here in Queensland’s tropical region, you will find a sun-drenched oasis, with fresh local produce, beautiful natural landscapes and coasts that are dotted with secluded beaches and friendly towns. Offering some of the world’s best sailing and home to the white silica sands of the famous Whitehaven beach, there is plenty to do in the Whitsundays. Here is our Whitsundays itinerary for 4 days.
Hot Air Balloon in Cairns
If you are looking to add an awesome activity to your Australian bucket list, riding in a hot air balloon over kangaroos and wallabies should be high up on the top. Riding in a hot air balloon is a great bucket list activity, but riding in one in Australia is hard to beat.
You can book a flight in Cairns, where you will be able to soar high above some of Australia’s best wildlife. Book the early morning flight, and you can watch the sunrise while you head up.
Flying in an air balloon may seem a bit nerve-wracking, but it can actually be quite peaceful. It’s very calm up in the sky during the mornings, and you get to enjoy watching kangaroos and wallabies under you, playing in the fields. Make your Australian Bucket List more exciting and catch a ride on a Hot Air Balloon in Cairns!
by Sara from Our Kind of Crazy
Great Barrier Reef
As one of the seven natural wonders of the world, no Australia bucket list is complete without a trip here. The main entry points to the reef are from Cairns and Port Douglas, with a number of boats heading out daily to the reef so you can certainly get out there even if you’ve only got a couple of days in Northern Queensland.
Generally, you will be able to snorkel or dive on 2-3 spots on the reef which will take a full day. To dive, you will require your PADI license or similar accreditation however, you can snorkel here even at a beginner level. Being the most ecologically diverse place on the planet, you will see an unbelievable amount of wildlife with everything from clownfish (or Nemo for us millennials), all the way to small sharks & turtles!
If you’re a nervous swimmer, you can wear a lifejacket to keep you afloat and follow the guides. Keep in mind, while you’re fairly far from land, the boats are always very close and the reef is very shallow so it’s nothing to worry about. So get yourself on the water and prepare to be amazed by the clear blue waters & colourful fish, especially before it’s too late with the reef now in decline.
by Millie from Millie Goes
Australia is well known for it’s stunning beaches and some of the best are found on the Gold Coast – an area found on the Queensland’s South Coast.
The Gold Coast is a massive stretch of coast line made up of multiple beaches. Some of the more popular Gold Coast beaches include Surfers Paradise, Broadbeach, Burleigh and Currumbin. The beaches are stunning with warm clear water and long sandy beautiful beaches. With both surf and calm waters, whether you want to swim, surf, boogie board or SUP there is the perfect beach for you.
And if you have had enough of the beaches there is plenty to do in the region including theme parks, hiking trails and national parks. Not to mention shopping centres, boutique shops, cafes, restaurants, and sporting events.
If stunning beaches weren’t enough, the good news about visiting the Gold Coast, is given the year round warm weather you can visit at any time of the year. However it’s probably worth mentioning that our summers can get super-hot and are long! Summer is officially between the months of December and February – but more typically is between October and March. The cold weather is really only across June, July and August which are our winter months.
Getting to the Gold Coast is easy as it has its own airport. Alternatively, if you are flying into Brisbane, Queensland’s capital city you can catch a train all the way from the Brisbane Airport to the Gold Coast.
by Melissa from Thrifty Family Travels
If you’re looking for the most amazing things to do in Australia, the Daintree Rainforest has to feature on your Australia bucket list. The Daintree Rainforest is the oldest rainforest and one of the richest natural environments in the world. With its surface area of 1200km squared it is also one of the largest areas of tropical
You can visit the Daintree Rainforest on a day trip from Cairns with one of the many organised tours. The tour we did took us cruising on the Daintree River, crocodile spotting, walking around the rainforest, swimming in freshwater creeks, to see beautiful viewpoints and relax at stunning beaches. If you do an organised tour your guide will teach you about the local flora and fauna, and how we can reduce our environmental impact. The Daintree Rainforest is a must see for any nature lover.
Visit a Koala Sanctuary
What is an Australia bucket list with out seeing a Koala?! The Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary is one of the best places to see native wildlife in Australia. Koalas are endangered, so sanctuaries like this are essential in the efforts to preserve them and conduct important research. It also makes a fun day out for the whole family. The koalas – mostly sleeping – are super cute, but there are more than just koalas at Lone Pine. Dozens of kangaroos hang out on a large lawn and you can buy special food to feed them, which is especially fun for kids. There are also platypus, Tasmanian Devils, dingoes and adorable wombats. It is very difficult to see these animals in the wild, so this is a real treat.
Live shows throughout the day provide additional entertainment with demonstrations of Australian sheepdogs mustering sheep and wild birds of prey swooping for morsels of food. It’s even possible, for an additional fee, to have special experiences such as the koala experience where to get to go inside the koalas’ enclosures, learn much more about them and see them get fed special dietary supplements. A visit here is an absolute bucket list item for a trip to Australia.
Lone Pine is nestled in a bend of the Brisbane River and surrounded by eucalyptus trees. You can drive or take a taxi to Lone Pine, but there is also a boat that goes from central Brisbane up the river, which is a great way to get there.
James Ian of Travel Collecting
Lady Elliot Island
Lady Elliot Island is at the southernmost tip of the Great Barrier Reef. It’s part of the Marine National park green zone and is one of Australia’s World Heritage area’s. The Island is the closest part of the reef to Brisbane and can only be accessed by a small plane. Flights go from Bundaberg, Hervey Bay, Brisbane and the Gold Coast daily and you can either visit for the day or stay longer.
The island is virtually surrounded by coral reef, and the ultra clear visibility of the water makes it one of the best places to snorkel and dive. You can snorkel straight off the beach and with dolphins, whales, turtles and Mantra rays frequently spotted you won’t be disappointed.
They have snorkel trails and adventures for all levels and you can either participate in a group tour or go independently. There’s also a glass bottom boat and paddle boards for you to use. At low tide, you can go on reef walks and see the marine life from a completely different perspective.
If you wish to stay on the island, the eco-resort has a range of accommodation from tents to suites, and all meals are provided in the restaurant. The lodge also has an education centre where you can learn a lot about conserving the reef for future generations.
I’ve travelled much of Australia, and for me, this is one of the best places to visit. From the moment you land on the tiny grass airstrip your surrounded by paradise. Although the island is small, there’s plenty to do for all the family and no matter what experience you’ve had of snorkelling or diving the island has something for everyone. For more ways to explore the Great Barrier Reef click here.
Fiona of Passport and Piano
Great Ocean Road
The Great Ocean Road is one of the most beautiful drives in the world and one you can’t miss in Australia.
Most people start in Melbourne and drive to The Twelve Apostles – it’s around the middle of the road. And that’s a bit more than 4 hours non-stop, but of course, you’ll stop. There’s too much going on to not stop.
by Thais from worldtripdiaries.com
Hang out in Melbourne
Its hard to have an Australia bucket list without a mention one of the world most liveable city! This dynamic cosmopolitan has so much to do and see but also offers a great opportunity for day trips to explore the Great Ocean Road, Philip Island, Yarra Wine Valley and more.
Start your stay by exploring the city! Jump on the free city tram and shop on Flinders Street, check out the street art in Hosier Lane and cafe hop in all the cute alleys. Finish your day with a ride on the Melbourne Star or Eureka tower, before heading out for sunset drinks and dinner at Chin chin.
Escape Melbourne for a day of exploring many stunning parts of Victoria. Your choices are endless, The Grampians national park, Yara Valley, The Great Ocean Road or even Philip Island. \
Finish your time exploring the beachside town of St Kilda. Just a short tram ride from the city centre is a hive of activity and home to Luna Park, an array of beachside cafes and a lively peguin parade
Coastal Drive from Sydney to Melbourne
We spent a month travelling through Australia and visiting different cities, but somehow my most lasting memories are of the coastal drive from Melbourne to Sydney. It wasn’t just the challenge of driving on the left side of the road (every time I wanted to use the indicators I found myself operating the wipers) but rather the stunning natural beauty of this part of Australia.
Melbourne and Sydney are about 1,000 km distant, and you can drive it easily in two days. But we spent five days on the road including meanderings and detours to see as much we could
We stopped in Phillip Island for the Night Penguin Parade. We spent a day exploring Wilsons Promontory National Park with its abundant wildlife, exotic trees and big empty beaches. It is a perfect scene and my most beautiful memory of Australia.
My girls’ favourite was Eden (New South Wales) where wild kangaroos ran around the campsite and where we visited the Whale Museum.
The biggest surprise of the road trip were suicidal magpies, which would swoop down in front of the car. On the bright side, we also saw cuddly koalas sleeping in the eucalyptus trees along the road
If your Australian travel plans include Sydney and Melbourne, then make a few days extra and hire a car for this trip. It will surely be worth it
The start of the Gippsland Lakes at Lake Wellington are located 240 kilometers east of Melbourne near Sale. The Gippsland Lakes are the largest inland lakes system in Australia. The lakes are very popular in the Victorian summer when the sun starts to shine and the waters warm up. The 4 main towns on the Gippsland lakes are Lakes Entrance, Paynesville, Metung and Loch Sport.
Lakes Entrance is well known as the capital of the Gippsland Lakes. It’s your typical tourist town with hotels, caravan parks, mini golf and ice cream parlours. From Lakes Entrance, you can have fun fishing on the 90-mile beach or in the lakes system by boat or just off the jetties around town.
The smaller towns of Metung and Paynesville should not be overlooked either. Paynesville has direct access to Raymond Island and it’s popular Koala walking trail.
Metung is great for yachting and relaxing at its famous pub. There is something for everyone on the Gippsland Lakes.
Mark from Travels in Gippsland
Kangaroo Island lies about 130 miles southwest of Adelaide. It is a dry area measuring 4.4 square km (1.7 square miles). It is easy to get to from Adelaide via a Sealink ferry which takes about 45 minutes sailing time from Adelaide. Sealink also provide bus service via local bus and local pickup and drop-off from your hotel in Adelaide. You can also fly to KI, as the locals call it.
KI has some very nice animal parks, and protected seal habitats. The most interesting sight is a group of rocks with amazing formations called, appropriately enough, The Remarkable Rocks.
Over millennia, the rain and wind have caved these rocks into unusual, unique formations just begging to be photographed. They look like they were painted by Salvador Dali. When the lighting is right, they appear almost surreal and otherworldly; something you would see in a well-executed science fiction movie.
It is worth a trip to Kangaroo Island just to see these “Remarkable Rocks.”
by Talek from Travel with Talek
The Barossa Valley is located 45 mins outside of the “sleepy” city of Adelaide (in South Australia). It is renowned for producing some of Australia’s, no, the world’s BEST red wines. Shiraz grapes are the local specialty and damn the wine makers know how to make them shine!
The Barossa Valley isn’t exactly a particular area or suburb in South Australia, it’s a number of small country towns that fall under the Barossa Valley umbrella such as: Seppeltsfield, Nuriootpa, Tanunda, Rowland Flat, Angaston, Greenock and Lyndoch. The Barossa has over 150 wineries, so you’ll PLENTY of wineries to choose from!
You can either hire a car and stay in the Barossa Valley for a few days, enjoying some of the region’s fine wines and cheeses or you can stay in Adelaide and take a tour or 2 from the city – saving you from drink driving.
Like a lot of wineries in Australia, there’s usually a small charge of $5 per person for a wine tasting, however, this is refunded if you purchase a bottle of wine while at the cellar door. This charge is usually waived if you choose to take a winery tour (either from the valley or from Adelaide).
My top 5 wineries in the Barossa are:
- Bethany Wines
- Chateau Tanunda Estate
- Jacob’s Creek
- Murray Street Vineyards
- Rockford Wines
by Samantha from Travelling King
For anyone travelling to the sunny west coast of Australia, a trip to Rottnest Island should be at the top of the Australia bucket list. This little island paradise is located 18 km off the coast of Perth and is home to breathtaking beaches and coastal scenery. The major drawcard of the island though is the quokka – this cute, little marsupial animal which only exists on Rottnest is declared the world’s friendliest animal thanks to its happy demeanour and the countless quokka selfies made famous by the likes of Roger Federer, Chris Hemsworth and Margot Robbie.
The easiest way to get to Rottnest Island is to take a ferry from the B-Shed in Fremantle. Ferry trips to Rottnest take approximately 30 minutes. Make sure you pick a sunny day to get the most out of your trip. Once on the island the best way to go explore is by bike. The island is car-free and mostly flat and getting around on two wheels is part of the fun. Bikes can be hired from the ferry company or from Pedal and Flipper hire on the island.
Other top picks of things to do are snorkelling and diving at the picture-perfect Basin or little Salmon Bay, a visit to the playful seal colony located at the west end of the island and a relaxed drink and dinner at the Rottnest Tavern where you’re likely to see a few quokkas enjoying happy hour.
by Nina from WA Explorer
Cygnet Bay Pearl Farm
As its name suggests, Cygnet Bay Pearl Farm is a working pearl farm about 200 km drive north of Broome, on the tip of the Dampier Peninsula in North West Australia. Here they create the huge, perfectly round, and gloriously shiny Australian South Sea Pearls, probably the most beautiful pearls in the world.
The area around Cygnet Bay is famous for pearl farming because the tides are rich in the nutrients the giant pearl oysters need to grow and thrive. But Cygnet Bay was the first farm to open its doors to the public, and has since been described as ‘one of the most unique destinations in Australia’.
They offer a wide range of tours and experiences, from learning how they seed, harvest and grade the pearls, to boat trips where you can explore the area, cruise among the giant whirlpools and standing tidal waves of the world’s largest tides, or set foot on remote beaches almost untouched by another living soul. At night you can dine on oysters and pearl meat in their amazing restaurant, and stay overnight at the campsite, in one of the authentic fishermen’s cottages or in a glamping safari tent.
It’s pretty remote – the only way to get there is by 4×4 along an unsealed orange dirt road for more than 2 hours – but it’s totally worth it for the chance to learn something new, escape the crowds and bask in the peace of one of Australia’s most unspoiled coastlines.
by Bella from Passport & Pixel
Visiting Kununurra in Western Australia’s top end was one of our favourite Aussie holidays. It is situated at the eastern end of the Kimberleys and has a tropical climate with only two seasons: wet and dry. The dry season is over winter yet the weather up the top of Australia is perfect summer temperatures, and not humid like the rest of the year up there. We chose to visit then like most other tourists, to escape the cold southern winter and to take advantage of being able to access all surrounding areas. During the wet season, many roads are closed from flooding, as the rivers swell from torrential rains.
We enjoyed the small town of Kununurra, which had a lovely foreshore and several picturesque swimming holes, and the Ord River is wonderful for fishing, walking and driving across in certain places. I climbed Kelly’s Knob, the highest point in the area and got a wonderful view of the whole town too. Kununurra is also a base for adventures like exploring enormous Lake Argyle and El Questro station, which has many things to do as well as camping options. Our favourite of all was relaxing at Zebedee Springs, an amazing series of naturally-heated rock pools within El Questro. We visited it twice and didn’t want to leave both times!
There are direct flights from Darwin to Kununurra, or it’s quite a drive from Darwin or Western Australia’s capital, Perth. From Darwin the drive is over nine hours, and from Perth it’s 33 hours: over 3,000 kms!
by Emma from Small Footprints, Big Adventures
One place that is an absolute must to visit is the Margaret River region in Western Australia (WA). Located south of WA’s major city Perth, Margaret River is only a three hour drive away. This area may be most known for its countless great surf spots and wineries, but Margaret River has so much more to offer.
While visiting the Margaret River region one must hike part of the Cape to Cape track. This track offers fabulous views of the coastline starting from Cape Naturaliste and going south for 130km and ending at Cape Leeuwin. You are bound to see some wildlife on whichever part of the Cape to Cape track you chose. One of my favourite parts is to start at Injudup Pools and heading south, ending up at Gracetown.
Don’t miss out on seeing some Rays right off the shore down at Hamlin Bay. If you go on a clear day with little wind you will have a better chance at spotting them. Even if you are not lucky to spot a few, Hamelin Bay is one of the nicest beaches in the area and perfect for swimming. It offers a long stretch of clean white sand and not too many waves making it great for a mid-day swim. On your way to or from Hamelin Bay be sure to drive along Caves Road to have a chance to go through the Boranup Forest. The forest opens up with karri trees towering over the road. No signs are needed when entering the Boranup Forest, you will certainly know once you are in it!
Before leaving town be sure to hit up one of wineries or breweries for a relaxing day out and to experience the delicious food and drinks the region has to offer. You will certainly not be disappointed!
by Samantha from Miss Samantha Elizabeth
No trip to Australia is complete without a trip to Uluru the spirit heart of Aus! Sitting almost right in the middle of Australia, with nothing but desert for miles around, Uluru rises out of the Earth like nothing you have ever seen before and has a profoundly humbling effect on anyone who visits. It’s an incredibly special place to both the traditional Aboriginal landowners, as well as all Australian’s who visit and is simply captivating to anyone who visits.
Uluru is a short 2-3 hour flight from most major cities around Australia including Melbourne, Sydney, Brisbane and Darwin. It’s a good idea to rent a car when you arrive, as having your own car gives you the freedom and flexibility to explore at your own pace and to get to as many sunrises and sunsets as you can.
Uluru is a can’t miss on any Australia itinerary and is a wonderful place that you need to experience for yourself. It’s one of our favourite places in Australia and we’re itching to get back as soon as possible.
by Emma and Thom from Explore Shaw
Nitmulik Gorge is part of the spectacular Nitmiluk National Park, located 300km south of Darwin near the town of Katherine in Central Australia.
The area is famous for the 13 sandstone gorges carved out over millions of years by the Katherine River. Together the gorges make up Nitmiluk Gorge. In the dry red centre of Australia, the river, waterfalls and billabongs tucked away amongst the sandstone cliffs are a treat to explore.
There are many ways to enjoy the surrounding scenery. Plan a day hike to Butterfly Gorge or for the intrepid traveller, the multi-day 62km Jatbula hiking trail is a once in a lifetime experience. For a quick visit, take a boat tour through Gorges 1 and 2 with the local Jawoyn people as your guide
If you have a full day, why not rent a canoe and paddle up through the smaller gorges. Glide at your own pace, stop to swim at hidden billabongs and admire ancient rock art along the way. For the ultimate experience, take a helicopter ride for a unique perspective over the escarpment.
Plan to spend at least 2 days exploring the area. It is possible to stay at nearby Katherine, or for easy access to the Gorge, camp at the Nitmiluk Gorge Caravan Park just a few minutes walk from the park entry.
Be aware that temperatures in the area can reach the high 40s at certain times of year. Plan to hike early to avoid the worst of the heat and always carry plenty of water.
by Rachel from Adventure and Sunshine
One place not to miss on your trip to Australia is King’s Canyon. It can be found in the red centre of Northern Territory between Uluru-Kata Tjuta national park and Alice Springs. King’s Canyon is a perfect additional stop for your outback adventure and even has it’s own campsite and resort so you can stay nearby. If you don’t want to make the long drive yourself you can also join a tour from Ayers Rock Resort or Alice Springs.
King’s Canyon is a must see landmark in Australia as its the perfect example of the traditional outback landscape but without the crowds of Uluru. It’s more off the beaten path so fewer tourists make their way out there but still has stunning scenery. There are several hikes in the area of varying difficulties but the most popular is the rim walk. It is roughly 6km and takes 3-4 hours passing through deserts, rock monoliths and even a lush secret garden.
If you want to hike here be sure to bring at least 2 litres of water as it can get hot on the canyon with very little shade. After a steep stair climb the walk is relatively flat so with some patience people of all abilities can complete the rim walk but there are also shorter options if you think you might struggle. The walk is a little more strenuous than the Uluru base walk and theres even a longer hike so it’s the perfect place for adventure lovers.
by Amy form The Travel Fairies
Stretching for almost 20,000 square kilometres in Australia’s Top End, Kakadu is the largest National Parks in Australia. Roughly the size of Slovenia, this spectacular UNESCO Heritage wilderness is home to an astonishing abundance of wildlife and some of the finest Aboriginal rock art in Australia.
One of the most interesting features in the park is the Yellow Water Billabong, a seasonal wetland inhabited by the world’s largest reptile species – the Saltwater crocodile.
Kakadu is also home to over 280 species of birds, about a third of all Australian birds! No wonder, the park is considered one of the best bird watching destinations in Australia. Some of the birds you spot in the park have travelled here all the way from Japan and Siberia.
The best way to see wildlife in Kakadu is to take a morning or afternoon cruise along the Yellow Water Billabong. You can stay at Cooinda Lodge and spend some time on the wetland watching crocodiles gorge on fish and Crested jacanas (aka Jesus birds) walk on water by carefully placing their giant feet onto the floating lily pads.
To see Aboriginal rock art, head to Ubirr Rock. You will need a high clearance 4×4 to access Ubirr from Cooinda if you are visiting during or just after the wet season (November to March).
by Margarita from The Wildlife Diaries
Hidden away in the depth of the Tasmania wilderness, only a short drive from Launceston you’ll find one of the most luxurious and hidden eco retreats. A place to truly escape from the world and not talk to any one else during your stay. From the moment you check in until you sadly have to check out and come back to reality.
The Trig studio is such a place to recharge your soul. The serenity and solitude is made only the more magical by the outdoor cast iron bath hidden amongst the ferns. Where you can take a glass of Tasmania wine to help you soak away the weariness of your muscles, as you indulge in a hot bath under the southern stars. A million stars shine down upon you as you relax and rejuvenate. The stars invite you to indulge in more fine Tasmania wine, cheese and chocolate.
by Jean from Traveling Honeybird
Bruny Island is an “island off an island”… Off Tasmania, to be precise. And when you go that far south, why not even further? Bruny Island is only an hour’s drive from Hobart and a quick ferry crossing. Made of two islands connected by an isthmus, Bruny Island is a destination that leaves many speechless…
The island has a low population and is a well-preserved haven for nature and wildlife lovers. When visiting Bruny Island, you will get the opportunity to see a wide range of Australian wildlife: kangaroos, sea birds, fur seals, penguins and the rare white wallaby.
From hiking through the South Bruny National Park to wildlife cruises and visiting the Cape Bruny Lighthouse, you can easily pack a whole week with adventure and the making of fantastic memories. Bruny Island is also a great destination for food lovers, with a selection of wine, cheese, restaurants, cafes and breweries to help you indulge in the fresh local produce.
Oysters are especially tasty! Bruny Island also has its place in the history of Australia with many explorers and seafarers visiting the island. Unless you do a tour, the best way to discover Bruny Island is by driving, as the distances are quite significant, and I would recommend a minimum of four days to enjoy it.
by Delphine from Lester Lost
Hobart is the capital city of the Australian island of Tasmania. A harbour city, located at the foot of stunning Mount Wellington, Hobart is full of historic buildings, has a vibrant market and the internationally celebrated MONA (Museum of Old and New Art).
A weekend in Hobart is enough to see the main sights (although if you have more time there is plenty to see and do). Tasmania produces an extraordinary selection of food and drink, from wine and cheese to honey and salmon. Make sure you sample these at the many restaurants or at the weekly Salamanca Market. Take a drive up to the top of Mount Wellington views for spectacular views of the town and ocean, or bushwalk and mountain bike up and down the mountain.
Hobart is reached by direct flights from Melbourne, Sydney and Brisbane. From the airport, it’s a 20-minute drive into the city centre.
by Hayley from A Lovely Planet
A bucket-list style experience in Australia is a stay at Pumphouse Point nestled in the pristine and world-heritage listed Cradle Mountain, Lake St Clair National Park in Tasmania.
The hotel has been stylishly crafted from an unused pumphouse, once intended to be part of the Tasmanian hydro-electric scheme. The well-appointed rooms hover out over the lake at the end of a 250m pier. Enjoy the 270-degree views of the lake and distant snow-capped mountains while curled up on the lounge with a tea, coffee, wine or whiskey from the well-stocked honesty bar.
Breakfast and dinner are served in the Shore house and are a communal affair. Large platters of hearty food are laid out on long tables encouraging you to converse with fellow guests who come from all over the world. The staff make the whole experience relaxing while catering to your every need.
Hiking, mountain biking or just a picnic by the lake spotting local platypus consumes the daylight hours. This is a truly luxurious wilderness experience which you’ll never forget. Particularly if you take the 45-minute helicopter ride in from Hobart, otherwise a 2.5 hour drive through rural Tasmania still makes a pleasant trip.
by Warren from Sling Adventures
That is our Australia Bucket List- I hope myself and fellow travel blogger gave you some great ideas on things you can do on your next visit to Australia!
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