Best Things To Do In Australia
Australia was first settled as a penal colony in the late 1700 hundreds. To its early settlers, Australia would have seemed like another world with its harsh climate and exotic wildlife. In the last 300 years however it has thrived and become one of the most popular holiday destinations on the planet. Its weather is warm, its people are friendly and its cities are consistently rated as some of the world’s most liveable. All of this makes Australia the ideal summer getaway for those looking to escape the northern hemisphere’s cold winters.
1. Dive With The Great White Sharks, Port Lincoln
Being underwater with a great white shark (even if you are in a strengthened aluminium cage) is an adventure to tell your friends about. Calypso Star Charters and Adventure Bay Charters run one-day great white shark tours to Neptune Island, 70 kilometres (43 miles) off Port Lincoln, a 50-minute flight from Adelaide. No scuba experience is necessary (air is fed into the cage via a hose). If you're looking for something equally as memorable but without the cage, you can also swim in open ocean with the gentle but giant whale sharks on Ningaloo Reef in Western Australia between March and August.
2. Hold A Koala, Brisbane
Discover over 70 species of Australian native animals in a beautiful, natural bush setting at the world's first and largest koala sanctuary. Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary is one of the best wildlife parks in Australia, Get a chance to hold koalas and hand-feed kangaroos.
3. Go Caving, Tasmania
Tasmania has some of the best caves in Australia and it would be a pity to miss the glorious Marakoopa and King Solomon’s caves at Mole Creek. You can take a guided tour through the caves to see the wonderful stalactite formations and the largest glow worms in the country. If you aren’t really up for the underground experience, there is always the Trowunna Wildlife Park, which is also in Mole Creek. This is the perfect place to see the iconic Tassie Devil, as well as quolls and wombats. Or, if you’re interested in the convict history of Australia, the Port Arthur ghost tours would be right up your alley.
4. Swim With The Whales, Queensland
The reef is just off the coast of northern Queensland and well worth seeing. You can swim with whales and snorkel with turtles through a unique underwater world. If you don’t feel like getting wet, you can go island hopping or take a cruise for the day. Once you’ve finished with the reef, Cairns is the perfect place to relax in a tropical paradise with plenty of resorts and hotels to choose from. Don’t forget to check out some of the many rainforest walks in Cairns and, if you’re looking for something a bit more fast-paced, try mountain biking through the forests instead!
5. Hot Air Baloon Above The Capital, Canberra
Canberra is renowned among international balloonists as one of the best places to balloon, with calm conditions, green scenery and the view of Lake Burley Griffin mixed with interesting architecture, monuments and sculptures, as well as multiple take-off and landing areas. Afterwards, you can celebrate with a champagne breakfast at the Park Hyatt Hotel.
6. Find A Wild Kangaroo, Kangaroo Island
They are particularly easy to spot on Kangaroo Island (something in the name!), about two hours and a ferry ride from Adelaide. On the north coast of New South Wales, you’ll almost trip over large groups of kangaroos at Look At Me Now Headland in Coffs Harbour.
Touring the Blue Mountains, an hour from Sydney, you’ll see large groups gathered together in the early morning, and for the thrill of seeing them hopping across an outback landscape head to South Australia’s Flinders Ranges. You can even see them laying on the beach at Western Australia’s Lucky Bay.
7. Visit The Opera House, Sydney
No trip to Australia would be complete without a trip to Sydney to see the Opera House and the Harbour. The best way to see Sydney’s iconic harbor is to take a cruise which will take you under the bridge and past the Opera House. If you go at night you’ll get the full glory of the night lights that ring the waterfront. If you’re in Sydney between May and November, you will be in time to go whale watching. There are many different whale tours you can take, but any of them is worth a trip to see the whales in the bay.
8. Meet The Aboriginals, Northern Territory
Visit the Northern Territory and immerse yourself in the stories, artworks and ancient traditions of Aboriginal Australians, one of the world's oldest living groups. The continent’s first inhabitants arrived some 65,000 years ago and over the millennia created a rich tapestry of languages and customs that vary from region to region.
9. Shop At Salamanca Market, Hobart
This outdoor market in the heart of the Tasmanian capital, Hobart, opens up every Saturday and has over 300 stalls, selling everything from jewelry to clothing to food.
10. Learn To Surf, Byron Bay
Surfing is an Aussie institution part of the lifeblood of many a coastal town. You’d be crazy not to give it a try whilst you’re in the country, and the laid back beachy vibes of Byron are the perfect spot to hop on a board for the first time. You can take a half day lesson to dip your toes in (so to speak) and see if you enjoy it – or fully commit to learning with a 5 day surf and stay package. And for those of you that can already surf – why not make it a part of your East coast journey and travel up the coast from Sydney to Bryon on a 7 day surf trip?
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