Your next holiday is coming up. Where should you go? There’s so many amazing places around the world that you can’t possibly decide! Our advice? Pick a holiday based on the awesome experiences you can have there. Fancy wining and dining, heart-pumping thrill rides or an outdoor adventure – there’s so much to choose from, and there’s nowhere with a more diverse line-up of activities than Australia. You might not be riding kangaroos through Sydney or cooking shrimps on the barbie, but we’re pretty sure you’re going to love Australia’s 34 best experiences. Ready for them?
Australia’s Best Experiences
1. Snorkel in the Great Barrier Reef
As one of Australia’s most iconic attractions, the Great Barrier Reef is a must, must, must. We can’t emphasise enough how awesome this stunning underwater paradise is! Book a day trip, slide on a snorkel, and dive feet-first into the crystalline waters. Keep an eye out for the Reef’s natural life – with 1,500 species of fish, 30 types of marine animals and over one-third of the world’s soft corals, there’s a lot on offer.
2. Climb the Sydney Harbour Bridge
Yes, this is a thing. Don’t just walk – climb! BridgeClimb Sydney will outfit you in sexy jumpsuits and matching caps (as well as safety harnesses) and guide you across the spine of this Aussie icon. For extra awesomeness, try a Twilight or a Night climb.
3. Sunbathe at Bondi Beach
Fact: every Australian has seen at least one episode of Bondi Rescue. If you’re new to the world of sun-bronzed lifesavers, it’s time to roll down to Bondi Beach and start working on that tan. When you’re sufficiently toasty, cool off with a dip in Bondi’s beautiful waters.
4. Shuck oysters while drinking champagne
Tassie is famous for its delish seafood, but shucking freshly-harvested oysters takes it to a whole new level. Eat them natural, poached and Kilpatrick-style while sipping a glass of the finest bubbly – romantics, rejoice, because you’ll also have absolutely stunning ocean views. Yes, we’re jealous.
5. Skydiving on Rottnest Island
Rottnest Island is famous for being home to hordes of adorable quokka, but it’s equally spectacular from 15,000 feet in the air. We hope you’re not scared of heights, because this tandem skydive is not for the faint-hearted! After you’ve successfully landed, head over to Hotel Rottnest for a comp beverage.
6. Surfing in Western Australia
In Australia, surfing is kinda the national sport (along with riding kangaroos and AFL), and WA has some of the best waves in the country. If you’re wining and dining in the Margaret River, take a break from the epicurean lifestyle to hit up Prevelly Beach. With awesome breakers and a beautiful location, it’s definitely one of the best places to ride the surf.
7. Walk down Hosier Lane
Australia’s cultural capital wouldn’t be complete without a lane full of street art. This ad hoc gallery in Melbourne’s CBD is a shock of colours and crazy murals, and goes perfectly with a craft beer or creative cocktail.
8. Dine in the Eureka SkyDeck
285 metres above ground? 360 degree views? The fastest elevator in the Southern Hemisphere? Tick, tick and tick. Melbourne looks a whole lot different from the Eureka SkyDeck, and Eureka 89 definitely takes the cake for Most Awesome Restaurant Views. Fill up on delicious cuisine as your eyes feast on Melbourne’s magnificent skyline.
9. Sample wine at the National Wine Centre
Life is stressful. Self-medicate with a visit to the tranquil National Wine Centre, which pairs beautiful architecture and (you guessed it) a boatload of amazing wine. If you’re a wine connoisseur, a gourmand, or just someone who likes nice things, the NWC is a must-see on your Adelaide vacation.
10. Feed a crocodile
Thought crocodiles were slow? Think again. The Crocodylus Park and Zoo offers guided croc feeding tours (included in the park’s entry fee) which lets you watch these massive animals snap up their prey. Afterwards, get up close and personal with a baby croc for maximum holiday cuteness.
11. Go on a Jumping Crocodile Cruise
Nope, there’s nothing misleading about the name. Jumping Crocodile Cruises feature giant reptiles leaping out of the water to snag bits of meat! Viewing these awesome predators in the wild is definitely a unique Northern Territory experience, so make sure you bring your camera.
12. Swim with sharks
Do you fantasise about staring into blank, black eyes and gaping, jagged-toothed jaws? Then a swim with Australia’s sharks might just be for you! Whether you’re looking for sinister grey nurses or titanic great whites, shark-diving is a unique and deeply thrilling experience.
13. Walk through the Daintree Rainforest
The Daintree Rainforest is around 110 million years old. Yes, it amazes us too. This ancient ecosystem is incredibly complex, and is pretty much a requisite if you’re visiting Queensland’s north. Take a guided walking tour underneath the dripping canopy to learn about the forest’s long history.
14. Experience Kakadu National Park
Is there anywhere that captures the spirit of the Northern Territory better than Kakadu? This sprawling eco-reserve has so much to offer that you can’t possibly fit it all in! Check out its isolated waterfalls, Indigenous rock art, pristine swimming holes and scenic walking trails.
15. Visit Uluru
The world’s largest monolith, Uluru is a crimson sandstone goliath that’s emblematic of Australia. If there’s one place in the Red Centre you need to visit, this is it. Learn about its spiritual significance within Indigenous culture, and explore the nearby Kata Tjuta rock formations.
16. Go clubbing in Surfers Paradise
The Gold Coast’s glitter strip is all about the par-tay! Get your groove on and hit up Surfers Paradise’s suite of nightclubs. It doesn’t matter whether you’re visiting in summer or winter, because when the sun sets on a Friday or a Saturday, Surfers starts bumping.
17. Canyoning in the Blue Mountains
There’s few better ways to explore the ancient scenery of the Blue Mountains than by canyoning. Take a guided tour and do cool things like water-jumping, abseiling and rock-hopping, or (if you’re super adventurous) strike out on your own and discover the Mountains’ labyrinth of canyons.
18. Visit Australia Zoo
Crikey, mate! Steve Irwin is an Aussie icon, and his legacy endures through Australia Zoo. The Crocodile Hunter was famous for his croc-wrestling stunts, so checking out the Zoo’s fearsome reptiles is a definite must. If you’re not a croc fan, don’t stress – there’s a huge variety of other animals to visit too!
19. Drive the Great Ocean Road
What do you get when you take 243 kilometres of oceanside driving and put it along Victoria’s south-west coastline? Answer: the Great Ocean Road. This iconic stretch of highway encompasses the Twelve Apostles, world-class surf breaks and beautiful scenery; renting a car and hitting the tarmac is an Aussie bucket-list item.
20. Walk the Walls of Jerusalem
No, this doesn’t involve a plane-ticket to Israel. The Walls of Jerusalem National Park is the mecca of Tasmanian bushwalking, and features some of Australia’s most beautiful scenery. If you like tough, challenging and hugely-rewarding hikes, this alpine region is the place for you.
21. Visit the Bay of Fires
Pristine waves and postcard beaches are two of the Bay’s biggest selling points, but it’s also famous for its lichen-shrouded granite rocks. The bright orange boulders form a striking counterpoint to the azure ocean and white beaches – photographers, get those cameras ready.
22. Speed down sand dunes on Fraser Island
Fraser Island is renowned for its natural habitats and purebred dingoes, but you probably didn’t know that it’s home to ‘sandblows’ – massive sand dunes that are constantly changing position, occasionally burying nearby forests. There’s no better way to experience them than on the back of a makeshift toboggan; just hold on tight and scream your lungs out as you speed down their sandy flanks!
23. Ride horses in Victoria
Australia’s history is marked by rugged drovers and adventurous horsemen, so exploring Victoria’s high country on the back of a horse is an excellent idea. Don’t worry, we don’t know how to ride either – luckily, there’s plenty of tours that make it super easy. Learn a new skill while taking in some of Australia’s most beautiful landscapes.
24. Whitewater raft on the Franklin River
Exploring Tassie’s iconic river is great. Exploring it while clinging to an inflatable boat being bounced over rocky rapids? Awesome! Get your heart pumping with a white-water rafting expedition in one of the world’s most pristine wild rivers.
25. Go shopping in Melbourne’s CBD
You could spend your Melbourne holiday soaking up the city’s sophisticated, arthouse culture, or you could just grab your credit card, head down to Melbourne Central, and embark on a truly lavish shopping spree. Melbourne’s titanic malls are perfect for an extended bout of retail therapy, so don’t think about things like budgets or card limits – just go for it!
26. Laugh at the Melbourne International Comedy Festival
Do you like laughing at things? Of course you do! If you’re in Melbourne from March to April, you’ll be able to get your yearly dose of humour at the Melbourne International Comedy Festival. Expect R-rated jokes and lots of good Aussie banter.
27. Dine at Quay, Sydney
Like every restaurant with a deceptively basic name, Quay offers incredible food. Arguably, it’s Sydney’s best. Its set menus are designed to guide diners through nature-inspired courses of artisanal quality. Do your stomach a favour. Eat here.
28. Walk the Border Track
Famed for its ancient Gondwana Rainforests, Lamington National Park is best traversed via the Border Track. Stretching from Binna Burra to O’Reilly’s, it’s a fairly easy walk, so just relax, enjoy the scenery, and keep an eye out for lyre birds.
29. Ski at Dinner Plain
Contrary to popular belief, Australia isn’t just beaches and desert – it also has some of the world’s nicest powder. Thredbo is always a popular skiing destination, but why not try something different and check out Dinner Plain? This secluded resort has incredible views and amazing cross-country skiing.
30. Snowboard at Perisher Ski Resort
No, we’re not young and trendy, but we still think snowboarding is awesome! Strap on googles, a helmet and a board at one of Australia’s most famous ski resorts. If you’re travelling with family or friends, make sure you bring a camera to capture those embarrassing moments when they go flying head over heels.
31. Yacht through the Whitsundays
Back in the day, only multimillionaires relaxed on yachts in the sun-soaked tropics. Now, with yachts for hire throughout the stunning Whitsundays, you can too. Cruise aquamarine waters on a rented catamaran while kicking back with a piña colada.
32. Swim with whale sharks at Ningaloo Reef
Fun fact: whale sharks (despite the name) aren’t actually sharks. They’re just very big fish, so you don’t have to worry about getting eaten while swimming with these gentle giants. They congregate at Ningaloo Reef from March to August, so, if you’re in WA over winter, this is definitely a must.
33. Visit Nimbin
Nimbin is one of those places that eludes easy classification. Just picture a lot of very, very relaxed bohemians with long hair, brightly-coloured clothing and an affinity for growing certain types of plants. Go visit. It’s an experience.
34. Visit Kangaroo Island
No, its name isn’t a cruel joke – there are actually kangaroos on Kangaroo Island. It’s also home to little penguins, sea lions, bandicoots, echidnas and possums, so if you’re after an authentic Australian fauna experience, this is it.