Head south to the smallest continent in the world
Home to stunning geological marvels, seemingly endless deserts, and diverse flora and fauna, Australia is a land unlike any other.
1. Penguin Watch
Even though Australia is known to have fearsome and deadly critters, there are lovable animals you can spend time with as well. Head to Phillip Island Nature Park, a wildlife conservation reserve two hours away from Melbourne. Every day at sunset, you can watch little penguins waddle from the sea back to their nest in what is dubbed as the “Penguin Parade”.
2. Learn To Surf
Australia is undoubtedly one of the world’s best surfing destinations. With its 37,000 kilometre coastline, be spoilt for choice on where to hang ten. Byron Bay in New South Wales is recommended for beginners as the waves are gentle. Learn how to paddle without fear of being engulfed by monstrous waves.
3. Experience Aboriginal Australia
Let an Aboriginal guide take you through the great Daintree Rainforest. More than 135 million years old, traverse the woodland with its traditional owners, the Wujal Wujal people.
Learn about bush tucker, the food eaten by Aboriginal Australians. Catch a glimpse of fresh-water crocodiles sunning themselves on the riverbanks and rare tropical birds that can’t be found anywhere else on earth.
4. Explore Karijini National Park
Home to three of the highest peaks in Western Australia – Mt Meharry, Mt Bruce and Mt Frederick – Karijini National Park is breathtakingly beautiful. Explore the narrow gorges, hidden sparkling pools and spectacular waterfalls. Don’t forget to keep an eye out for Australian natives like the wild red kangaroos, rock wallabies, dingoes, and the rare pebble mouse.
5. Dip your toes in the Great Barrier Reef
No diving license? No problem. There are many different ways to explore the allure of the Great Barrier Reef. Try snorkelling or rent a glass-bottomed boat to view the activity brimming below. There are also countless cruise ship tours that can take you whale-watching or bring you to spots to swim with dolphins. As one of the Seven Wonders of the World, the Great Barrier Reef is certainly not to be missed on your trip to Australia.
6. Be mesmerized by Uluru
Also known as Ayers Rock, Uluru is a large red sandstone rock formation that has special significance to the Anangu Aborigines. Archaeological evidence shows that the Anangu have lived at Uluru for at least 30,000 years. Explore their amazing heritage at the Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park. Home to rock caves Aboriginal Australians used to stay in, the caves are still covered with ancient paintings today.
7. Drive down Great Ocean Road
Built in remembrance of soldiers who lost their lives in World War I, the Great Ocean Road is the world’s largest war memorial. The 243-kilometre long path stretches along the south-eastern coast of Australia. Rent a car and embark on a scenic adventure with spectacular views of prominent landmarks like the Twelve Apostles limestone formation along the way.
8. Visit the Perth Mint
Find out what it was like during the gold rush period of Australia’s history. The Perth Mint is the only gold refinery in Australia and the largest gold bar exhibition in the world. The mint houses close to $20 million worth of gold within its walls, including intricately crafted gold bars with myriad designs.
9. Go Cafe Hopping
Australia is paradise for Sunday brunch and coffee lovers. With its never ending array of cafés, the Australians have perfected the art of chilling over a cup of coffee and settling in for a lazy day with friends.
St Ali in Melbourne has excellent coffee and a quirky décor, while Three Bags Full has an amazing brunch menu and whimsical interior design.
10. Canoe along the Noosa Everglades
If you’re on the hunt for something a little less touristy, the Noosa Everglades is Sunshine Coast’s best kept paddling secret. Situated within the Noosa Biosphere, Queensland’s first UNESCO Biosphere, paddle through the Everglades’ calm waters alone or with a guide.
Australia’s biodiversity makes it an unparalleled destination for nature-lovers escaping from the stress of city life. With so many natural wonders on display, Australia will leave you mesmerized by its enchanting beauty.