There’s absolutely no denying it; 2020 has not been the year we had in mind when putting together our annual bucket list on New Year’s Day! While we have had to briefly swap our global travels for armchair adventures, we’ve not let this deter our explorers’ spirit. With travel around Australia becoming a possibility in the near future, adventure has never been so close, and we can’t wait to start traversing new landscapes again!
From experiencing the magic of the ancient lands of Kakadu National Park in the NT, to smiley selfies with our cute quokka mates in WA’s Rottnest Island, Australia is filled with endless experiences; all found right on our doorstep.
With so much to do and a lot of land to cover, choosing where you start your great Aussie adventure can be a little overwhelming. We’ve put together a list of top experiences everyone needs to have in Australia and organised it by state, just to make your planning that little bit easier. We’d be lying if we said that our bags weren’t already packed and ready to go…
NEW SOUTH WALES
No trip to Sydney (for international and local travellers alike) would be complete without at least one visit to the country’s most famous beach. While there is fun to be had at the beach (even if it is just watching ‘Bondi Rescue’ in the flesh), there’s plenty of options for exploring the surrounding areas too.
A local favourite that’s definitely worth putting time aside for is the Bondi to Coogee walk. This 5.5km track trails along the coastline and offers some spectacular views along the way. Plus, if you visit between May – October, you can spot migrating humpback whales.
The perfect escape from the hustle and bustle of Sydney, the Blue Mountains is an iconic Australian attraction. Listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2000, the Blue Mountains National Park is home to rugged mountain ranges, cascading waterfalls and numerous hiking and biking trails.
Royal National Park
Just an hour and a half south of Sydney is the Royal National Park; the second-oldest national park in the world after Yellowstone. Known for its coastal cliffs, secluded beaches and dense bushland, there’s plenty of opportunity for fishing, bushwalking, barbecues, bird watching and more!
Great Barrier Reef
As one of the Seven Natural Wonders of the World and the largest living organism on Earth, no Australia bucket list is complete without a visit to the Great Barrier Reef. Measuring 2300km in length, this ecosystem is made of thousands of reefs and hundreds of islands made of over 600 types of coral.
The Reef is home to an abundance of species of fish, molluscs and starfish, as well as turtles, dolphins and sharks. From scenic flights and skydiving to snorkelling, diving and sailing, there are a number of different ways in which you can explore this national park.
Great Keppel Island
Got a craving for a tropical island getaway? Great Keppel Island will satisfy. Located off the coast of central Queensland near the town of Yeppoon, Great Keppel Island is one of the best island getaways on the Southern Great Barrier Reef.
With 17 pristine beaches waiting to be explored, as well as plenty of hiking options and magical sunsets, followed by starry nights, it’s easy to see the appeal.
Stretching over 123km in length and 22kms at its widest point, Fraser Island is known for being the world’s largest sand island. Not only that, but Fraser Island is also the only place on Earth where rainforests grow on sand dunes.
With stunning scenery throughout, numerous swimming spots and thrilling 4WD tracks, this World Heritage Listed wilderness is the perfect place to explore new landscapes and have some fun!
Located in the heart of the Great Barrier Reef you’ll find one of the world’s most beautiful getaway destinations, the Whitsunday Islands. Known for its white-sand beaches, secluded islands and reefs, as well as diverse wildlife and crystal-clear waters, this bucket list destination is not one you want to miss!
Great Ocean Road
Arguably one of the most beautiful drives in the world, and one you don’t want to miss in Australia is the Great Ocean Road, along the south-west Victorian coast.
Packed with adventure, you can expect to see craggy cliffs, empty beaches and plenty of wildlife!
Situated between Melbourne and Adelaide in South Australia, Mt Gambier is the Limestone Coast’s major town and service hub. Sited on an extinct volcano in South Australia, you’re met with geological wonders around every corner.
Explore the underground garden of Eden, glimmering deep blue lakes, underwater worlds and an emerging foodie scene.
Located 13km off the coast of South Australia lies one of the world’s greatest nature-based destinations. With native bushland, unique wildlife and crystal-clear waters, to name but a few, there’s plenty of attractions here to keep your days filled!
Sitting pretty close to the middle of Australia and surrounded by nothing but desert, is the magical Uluru. Thought to have started forming around 550 million years ago, Uluru is a deeply spiritual place and is a sacred site to Indigenous Australians.
Beyond admiring the spectacular sight that is Uluru, there’s also plenty of other ways for you to enjoy the area, including; watching the colour of Uluru transform from ochre to burnished orange to an intense red during sunrise and sunset; visit the Field of Light installation; embark on a guided walk around the base of Uluru and so much more!
Located in Australia’s red centre, between Uluru and Alice Springs is Kings Canyon; a majestic destination with 300m high sandstone walls, palm-filled crevices and desert views that stretch as far as the eye can see.
Kakadu National Park
Located 240km east of Darwin, and roughly the size of Slovenia, Kakadu National Park is the largest national park in Australia, measuring at almost 20, 000 square km’s.
This UNESCO World Heritage Listed wilderness is home to an abundance on wildlife (the park is considered one of the best bird-watching destinations in the country) and some of the finest Aboriginal rock art in the country.
Three hours south of Perth, a visit to the Margaret River region in WA is an absolute must. While the area is best known for its countless surf spots and premium wineries, there’s so much more on offer that you don’t want to miss in this tiny tucked-away region in Australia’s south-west corner.
Located 18km off the coast of Perth, Rottnest Island is a WA favourite when it comes to island getaways. Known for its breathtaking beaches and pristine coastal scenery, the island’s major drawcard is the quokka – the tiny marsupial animal which only exists on Rottnest Island and has been declared the world’s friendliest animal.
Three times the size of England, the Kimberley region, which spreads over the entire north-western corner of Australia is one of the world’s last wilderness frontiers. Despite its vast remoteness, the area doesn’t lack in great food, friendly locals, luxury experiences and romantic beach towns.
Located off the coast of Hobart, Bruny Island is actually two islands joined by a narrow strip of land, nicknamed ‘the Neck’.
Bruny Island is a popular weekend destination for beachgoers and foodies (oysters, cheese and foraged berries…. Need we say more?), however, it is also home to a rugged and relatively untouched landscape that is equally dramatic and beautiful.
Cradle Mountain National Park
Located in the centre of the Tasmanian wilderness, and accessible from both Launceston and Hobart is the majestic Cradle Mountain National Park. Offering views over Crater and Dove Lakes from its jagged spires, the National Park is made up of protected rainforests, alpine heathland and rugged peaks.
Freycinet National Park
Located 125km north of Hobart is Freycinet National Park; home to dramatic granite peaks, secluded bays, white sandy beaches and an abundance of birdlife.
Are you planning on holidaying close to home this year? When there’s so much to discover on our doorstep, there’s no need to cross oceans for an adventure of a lifetime. Check out our new Australia tours range here.