10 Best Things To Do In Australia

Everything You Need To Know About Planning an Australian Vacation.

By Hayley Simpson | Published on July 21, 2023


Australia is a vast island nation, encompassing beautiful beaches, sensational surf breaks, cosmopolitan cities and wacky wildlife. With this in mind, it can be difficult to determine the best things to do in Australia. So, our Aussie expert is here to share the 10 bucket list experiences you simply can't miss on an Australia vacation.

1.  Visit Nemo On The Great Barrier Reef

The Great Barrier Reef is the world's largest reef system and living structure, stretching for over 1,400 miles off the Queensland coastline. No other UNESCO World Heritage Site contains such biodiversity, as it's home to 2,500 individual reefs, over 900 tropical islands, more than 1,500 fish species and 400 coral varieties. The gateway to the Great Barrier Reef is Cairns, and there you can cruise, snorkel, dive or get a view of the reef from above on a scenic flight or skydive experience.

2. Explore The Outback

Uluru — or Ayers Rock — is the Outback icon. Just slightly over 1,000 feet, it is over 500 million years old. If you visit at sunrise or sunset, you can watch the color of the rock change from ochre to a deep red. But there are several other fun things to do in the Australian Outback. Visit the underground town of Coober Pedy, plunge into the refreshing pools of Litchfield National Park, kayak along Katherine Gorge, smile at a crocodile at Kakadu National Park or hike the Kings Canyon Rim Walk during the golden hour.

3. Set Your Sights On Sydney

Some might say there are too many things to do in Sydney, Australia, but you can narrow down the possibilities. Start with a visit to Circular Quay, where you can climb the Sydney Harbour Bridge and enjoy a drink in the shadow of the Sydney Opera House. From there, you can hop on a ferry to Taronga Zoo to see a plains zebra, African lion and king cheetah or keep cruising to Manly, a seaside suburb known for its beaches. It's also not a visit to Sydney without stepping foot on Bondi Beach. Surf, swim or simply take a seat on the sandy shores to soak up the beautiful view.

4. Hit The Waves

Depending on your level of expertise, you might opt to take a surfing lesson in Australia or immediately hit the waves. Take your pick from the world-renowned surf breaks at Bondi Beach, Noosa, the Gold Coast, Byron Bay or Margaret River. Make sure not to miss Bells Beach in Victoria, where Aussie surfing began. The iconic break has hosted the prestigious Rip Curl Pro Bells Beach surfing tournament for over 60 years.

5. Step Foot On The World's Largest Sand Island

If you're looking for an Australian adventure, make a beeline for K'gari (Fraser Island). This is the world's largest sand island, so sink your feet into the white sand or go on an off-road four-wheel drive adventure along its wide shoreline. While you're there, make sure to experience Lake McKenzie. Its turquoise water is infused with tea tree oil and lined with white silica sands. You can sign up for winter whale watching, tour the Fraser Island Great Walk (complete with epic lookouts), float down crystal-clear Eli Creek or visit the historic Maheno Shipwreck.

6. Meander Melbourne

Similar to Sydney, there are endless things to do in Melbourne, Australia. Where Sydney brings the sunshine and surf, Melbourne is Australia's culture and sports capital. Start your morning with a coffee from Dukes Coffee Roasters, then enjoy wandering down art-adorned laneways, eating dim sum in Chinatown, shopping along Chapel Street, watching the sunset from the Eureka Skydeck or attending an AFL (Australian Football League or rugby) match at the MCG (Melbourne Cricket Grounds), Australia's largest sports stadium. To soak in some of the cultures, visit the Melbourne Museum, where the Forest Gallery houses living trees and the Melbourne Gallery tells the story of the city and Phar Lap, a famous racehorse. To wrap up the evening, tour an exhibition at the National Gallery of Victoria (NGV) International or enjoy a live theater performance.

7. Enjoy An Iconic Aussie Animal Experience

Approximately 90% of Australian animals are found nowhere else in the world. While you can see them at places like the Australia Zoo, there are unique animal experiences in the wild. See wombats in Kangaroo Valley (we promise it's not a joke), share a beautiful beach with kangaroos at Lucky Bay or follow in Chris Hemsworth's footsteps to get your quokka (a plant-eating marsupial mammal about the size of a cat) selfie on Rottnest Island. Finally, swim with whale sharks — the world's largest fish and the sea's gentle giants — off Ningaloo Reef.

8. Drive Along The Great Ocean Road

When it comes to Australian road trips, there's none more popular than the Great Ocean Road. Hugging the rugged Victorian coastline for 150 miles, there are plenty of things to do along the way. Take the trek down to Hopetoun Falls, visit Loch Ard Gorge or explore the Redwoods. Synonymous with the Great Ocean Road and Australia as a whole is the 12 Apostles, a collection of limestone sea stacks.

9.  Visit World-Class Wine Regions

Did you know Australia is home to world-class wine regions? South Australia's Barossa Valley is famous for its bold red wines like shiraz, grenache and cabernet sauvignon. There are 150 wineries dotting the rolling hills and valleys, with some stretching back six generations. In New South Wales, the Hunter Valley is home to Australia's first commercial vineyards from the 1860s. Picture stunning scenery, renowned restaurants and cellar doors where award-winning white wines are sold. Victoria's Yarra Valley is known for its cool-climate wines, so you can sip on exceptional pinot noir, chardonnay, cabernet sauvignon or shiraz.

10. Witness The Whitsundays

A collection of 74 islands along the Great Barrier Reef, the Whitsundays are worthy of their own moment in the spotlight. Take a trip to Whitehaven Beach, which is frequently listed as one of the world's most beautiful beaches. When you sink your toes into the 97% pure silicon white sand and swim in the azure water, you may never want to come home. Many of the islands are home to luxurious resorts, including Hamilton Island, Hayman Island and Daydream Island. Which will you choose?

When it comes to bucket list experiences, Australia cruises should be added to your list. They can take you from Sydney to the Great Barrier Reef, around Tasmania and across to New Zealand.

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