Australia Is A Vast Island Continent Packed with Incredible Landscapes and Things to Do. To Help You Plan Your Trip, Here Are Some Unique and Must Do Australian Experiences to Add to Your Bucket List.
Did you know that Australia is the 6th largest country in the world? Although the smallest continent by land mass, it is the world’s biggest island. It’s almost as big as the US but most of Australia is not habitable as seen by its population of 25 million compared to 326 million! This vast country is home to some of the most incredible landscapes from deserts to mountains to the Great Barrier Reef. It is culturally diverse, has a massive culinary scene, and vibrant cities. But if you’re deciding what you might like to do when you’re down under, here are some must do Australian experiences to add to your list.
TRAVEL TIPS YOU WILL FIND:
- #01 – SCENIC WORLD, BLUE MOUNTAINS, NSW
- #02 – HANDFEEDING WILD DOLPHINS AT TANGALOOMA, QLD
- #03 – MEET A QUOKKA ON ROTTNEST ISLAND, WA
- #04 – CROCODILES IN KAKADU NATIONAL PARK, NT
- #05 – WORLD’S LARGEST SAND ISLAND, FRASER ISLAND, QLD
- #06 – KITESURFING IN PERTH, WA
- #07 – COFFEE CULTURE IN MELBOURNE, VIC
- #08 – WILDLIFE WATCHING IN SYDNEY, NSW
- #09 – ADVENTURE CRUISE, TASMAN ISLAND, TAS
- #10 – WINE COUNTRY AT BAROSSA VALLEY, SA
- #11 – TULIP TOP GARDENS, CANBERRA, ACT
- #12 – HARBOUR BRIDGE CLIMB, SYDNEY, NSW
- #13 – KOALAS IN THE WILD ON MAGNETIC ISLAND, QLD
- #14 – HIKING IN GRAMPIANS NATIONAL PARK, VIC
- #15 – TAKE THE SKYRAIL TO KURANDA, QLD
- #16 – HIKING IN ROYAL NATIONAL PARK, NSW
- #17 – CLIMBING MOUNT KOSCIUSZKO, NSW
- #18 – DOVE LAKE CIRCUIT, CRADLE MOUNTAINS, TAS
- #19 – KOALA GARDENS, CAIRNS, QLD
- #20 – HOT AIR BALLOONING OVER MELBOURNE, VIC
- #21 – WHALE WATCHING ON THE COAST, QLD
- #22 – ONE THOUSAND STEPS BUSHWALK, DANDENONGS, VIC
- #23 – KAYAKING THROUGH NITMILUK GORGE, NT
- #24 – DOLPHINS IN THE WILD IN ROCKINGHAM, WA
- #25 – VIVID FESTIVAL, SYDNEY, NSW
- BONUS TIP #01 – RELATED ARTICLES
#01 – SCENIC WORLD, BLUE MOUNTAINS, NSW
The Blue Mountains, almost two hours west of Sydney, are world renowned for their beauty, views, native bushland, rock formations, and bushwalking trails. What you might not know, though, is that they host the world’s steepest funicular (railway) on the steepest incline.
Tucked into all that eucalyptus forest, is Scenic World in Katoomba. It hosts four major attractions – the scenic railway, cableway, walkway, and skyway. The 52-degree railway line that runs 310 metres down a mountain side into the valley below, is the main drawcard. It gives an unspoiled view of the sandstone rock formation known as the Three Sisters. But we also loved the three other options just as much. After we collected our stomachs as the train ride was so steep. The carriage roof is made of glass, and you end up looking straight out of the ceiling on the way down.
Once you’re on the valley floor, you can wander around the constructed walkways to experience a Jurassic period rainforest and learn about the area’s coal mining past. Return to the top of the Jamison Valley via the cableway. Climb 545 metres to the rim while viewing Orphan Rock and Katoomba Falls.
Our favourite part was the Skyway, which runs above a ravine and allows you to view the valley below through the glass floor. Glide past waterfalls and get a real idea of the vastness of the bushland that stretches out around the Blue Mountains. – Katherine Fenech @ Bright Lights of America
#02 – HANDFEEDING WILD DOLPHINS AT TANGALOOMA, QLD
Tangalooma is a resort on Moreton Island, a 1.25-hour boat ride across Moreton Bay from Brisbane. The resort, which was a whaling station many years ago, has a variety of things to do including water sports, wreck diving, sand tobogganing and whale-watching. However, the most unique activity is hand-feeding wild dolphins. It is a special pleasure to handfeed fish to these incredible creatures. The dolphins come in of their own accord, and the feeding happens under very controlled conditions. They are fed no more than 20% of the daily dietary needs so that they stay wild and keep their natural hunting abilities. They are fed herring, which is common in Moreton Bay.
There are other very strict guidelines, such as thoroughly washing and disinfecting your hands before entering the water, removing all jewellery, not having a cold, and never touching the dolphins – just giving them fish in a manner taught to you. These guidelines don’t diminish the experience – in fact they give you comfort that your interaction is not negatively impacting the dolphins. It is also possible to watch the feeding, though no flash photography is permitted. This is a rare and amazing experience to have when in Australia. – James at Travel Collecting
#03 – MEET A QUOKKA ON ROTTNEST ISLAND, WA
There are around 12,000 quokkas on Rottnest Island, an island located a short ferry trip from Perth or nearby Freemantle, and you’re going to want to photograph roughly 9,999 of them.
Why? Well, imagine the cutest animal you’ve ever see; about the size of a cat, with tiny paws, a button nose and big brown eyes that gaze up at you adoringly – and then give it a smile.
Finding quokkas on Rottnest isn’t hard. They’re literally everywhere. Getting pictures of them – or with them – simply involves sitting nearby and waiting for one to scamper over. Don’t touch them or try and pick them up, they’ll pose without help.
Oh, and do look up from the quokkas now and again. Rottnest is stunning with white sand, the clearest blue sea, cutesy lighthouses, and old trains also demanding your attention. Hire a bike and cycle round (or jump on the bus) then chill out with a pizza in the pub before your boat home. It’s a perfect day trip from a Perth, a fantastic city. – Helen Foster @ Differentville
#04 – CROCODILES IN KAKADU NATIONAL PARK, NT
One of the must do things in Australia is to see wildlife in their natural habitat and one of my favourite wildlife encounters was seeing the crocodiles in Kakadu. Apparently, there are over 100,000 wild crocodiles in Australia’s Norther Territory and around 10,000 of them live in Kakadu National Park.
One of the best places to see crocodiles is from the 2-hour Yellow Water River cruise along the Yellow Water Billabong. During our cruise we saw 17 crocodiles! From 1 metre female crocodiles to giant monsters at over 5 metres. During the cruise the guides educated the passengers about crocodile safety in Kakadu as well as told us stories of crocodile behaviour.
The most impressive crocodile we saw was well over 5 metres and was slowing zig zagging up the billabong alongside the boat. In his mouth he had something large, submersed under the water which appeared to be a log. Our guide was quite intrigued as he said crocodiles don’t usually carry logs. Weren’t we all completely shocked when the crocodile brought his prized possession slightly above the water’s surface to reveal he was carrying a feral pig in his mouth!
During our cruise we also saw wild brumbies, ducks, various bird species and snakes. The Yellow Water River Cruise was one of the highlights of our entire trip in the Northern Territory. – Melissa Delaware @ Thrifty Family Travels
#05 – WORLD’S LARGEST SAND ISLAND, FRASER ISLAND, QLD
Fraser Island is located off the coast of Hervey Bay in Queensland, Australia and is the world’s largest sand island. Stretching a magnificent 123km, these golden sands are a truly epic adventure that every backpacker MUST experience.
There are options to take a self-drive tour or a guided tour around this breath-taking island. Cruise the 120km beach highway in a 4×4 and explore some of the most beautiful scenery you will ever set your eyes on. The crystal-clear waters and white sandy beaches will leave you speechless, amazed, and hungry for more.
The island is full of incredible sights, both natural and man-induced. From the golden sand itself, to the sapphire waters of Lake Mackenzie. There are also tonnes of fun activities around the island, such as swimming down the natural lazy river at Eli Creek, or sand boarding down the dunes at Lake Wabby.
Around the island, you will find more than 23 ship wrecks, each with their own fascinating history. The Maheno shipwreck is one of the most famous of these wrecks, the eroding remains being a top stop-off point for island adventurers. – Gemma and Campbell @ highlands2hammocks
#06 – KITESURFING IN PERTH, WA
Perth in the summertime has two distinguishing features. One is the incredible beaches and amazing turquoise waters. The other is the wind. While the first is easy to love, the second takes slightly longer to get used to. That’s unless you get into kitesurfing – the ultimate summertime activity and must do Australian experience in Perth and for most of West Australia’s coastline.
Thanks to the consistent sea breeze Perth has become one of the best places in the world for kitesurfing and offers endless options of where to kite. The kitesurfing season in Perth runs roughly from October to February, with plenty of windy days scattered throughout most of the year.
For beginners, there are many kitesurfing schools along the Perth coastline that operate during the summertime. My top pics for lessons are in Safety Bay, at the southern end of Perth or Pinnaroo Point in the north.
Once you get going, there’s loads of variety, including sensational plenty of options for flatwater and waves. Kitesurfing is also the most thrilling way to explore the rest of the WA coastline and the perfect way to experience the Indian Ocean. – Nina Burakowski @ WA Explorer
#07 – COFFEE CULTURE IN MELBOURNE, VIC
One of the most simple, affordable, and enjoyable experiences to have in Australia is drinking coffee in Melbourne. You may think that this is a bit daft as you can drink coffee anywhere in the world, which is true. However, drinking coffee in Melbourne has become quite the art form. It’s near impossible to find bad coffee in the cafes of Melbourne.
There’s two ways to really enjoy a Melbourne coffee and learn more about this city. You can sit down, in the cafe and enjoy a delicious latte and watch the people of the city walk on by. It’s an amazing way to see the life blood of the city as people come in to order their own unique style of coffee. Or you can do what I love doing which is take your coffee for a walk. Order that latte and take yourself for a stroll through the unique lane-ways and arcades that make Melbourne so unique. – Jeanette Cheney @ Traveling Honeybird
#08 – WILDLIFE WATCHING IN SYDNEY, NSW
Australia is one of the most unique countries in the world, in terms of biodiversity. Most of Australian mammals are not only strange, they also do not occur anywhere else. Which is why no trip to Australia would be complete without checking out some of our unique critters.
And you don’t have to go far to see wild animals in Australia. Sydney, despite being a buzzing metropolis, is the world’s third greenest city, and you can see some of Sydney wildlife even in the urban parks. Head to Centennial Park at sunset and you’ll spot Brushtail possums, Ringtail possums and hundreds of Flying foxes.
Australian Botanic Garden at Mt Annan, in western Sydney, is the closest place to the city where you can easily spot an Eastern Grey Kangaroo. In the north, the Basin campground in Kur-ring-gai National park is home to some very tame Swamp Wallabies – the smaller cousins of the kangaroo. And for a truly weird and wonderful creature, head to Royal National Park where you have a good chance of spotting an Echidna – a hedgehog-like mammal that lays eggs like a reptile!
And the best part about looking for wildlife in Sydney is that these journeys take you to some of the most spectacular landscapes: from sandy beaches and dramatic coastline to eucalypt woodlands and forest-covered mountains. – Margarita Steinhardt @ The Wildlife Diaries
#09 – ADVENTURE CRUISE, TASMAN ISLAND, TAS
When visiting Tasmania during our babymoon, the last thing we expected was to be doing an adventure cruise, however it remains our favourite Aussie travel experience still!
The Tasman Island Adventure Cruise is run by Pennicott Wilderness tours and is a family friendly (and pregnant friendly) boat cruise around Tasman Island. The cruise starts from just near Port Arthur Historic Site, so it makes for a fantastic all in one day out if you visit both.
You are pretty much at the most southern point of Australia and get some spectacular views and wildlife encounters along the way. The cruise is around 3 hours long on special boats that can handle the conditions and navigate the terrain well. We were taken through caves, close by cliffs and over some pretty impressive waves. But don’t worry, they offer ginger tablets at the start! Even pregnant, I did not get sick (which is more than I can say for the rest of the trip).
We also got to see a family of the largest fur seal in the world and a pod of dolphins during our cruise, which was incredible to be up close to the animals in their natural environment. – Holly Connors @ Four Around the World
#10 – WINE COUNTRY AT BAROSSA VALLEY, SA
Adelaide, South Australia, is one of the ten Wine Capitals of the World. It has three of the state’s best wine regions within one hour of the city centre, and of them, the Barossa Valley is the pick of the crop. Located north of the city, it’s perfect for a day trip, or even better, a leisurely few days exploring the vineyards.
The Barossa Valley is home to many big, internationally known wine brands, such as Jacob’s Creek, Wolf Blass and Penfolds. But even better are the boutique wineries. Some, such as Rockford, still make wines the traditional way, with old style presses and ancient barrels. Others and innovative, trying new methods all the time, such as Arno Wine Co, and the strangely named, Yetti & The Kokonut. You will also find the oldest Shiraz vines in the world still producing wine at Langmeil Winery.
With over 80 cellar doors to visit in the Barossa Valley, there will be no shortage of choice during your visit. – Josie @ Josie Wanders.
#11 – TULIP TOP GARDENS, CANBERRA, ACT
Tulip Top Gardens is located just outside of the nation’s capital, Canberra. Tulip Top is perhaps the most beautiful springtime garden that Australia has to offer. This beautiful private Garden is in a little valley that is open to the public to explore during the spring months. As you enter the Garden, you walk through different flower beds that are a vibrancy of colour, with tulips being my personal favourite. Another favourite of mine at the garden is to bring a picnic and to set up your blanket and nibbles under the branches of a willow tree. It is just so relaxing and chilled in the lovely warm weather.
Walking around the Garden will show you the variety of flowers on often in the region, little waterfalls and even a viewing deck that allows you to view the entire Garden. On the weekend you are able to kick back and listen to live music in the tulips. – Helena Kreis @ Through an Aussie’s Eyes
#12 – HARBOUR BRIDGE CLIMB, SYDNEY, NSW
There are many amazing and exciting things to do in Sydney, however there is one that stands out above the rest and that’s participating in a Sydney Harbour Bridge Climb. I gifted one to my husband for our 9th wedding anniversary and it’s still up there with one of my best memories. There’s nothing like a bird’s eye view across the beautiful Sydney Harbour with the Sydney Opera House sparkling in the setting suns glow. If you’re lucky you might even have a cruise ship docked at the Port of Sydney.
We did a sunset climb, taking off at 5.30pm, after a quick safety briefing and getting all your harnesses fitted and attached you’ll be on your way in a group of 10 people. Groups go every half an hour. It’s not a strenuous walk by any means, the hardest part is not stopping to look every 5 steps. Just as we hit the top, we stopped to take in the amazing views and as we stood there mesmerised, a set of fireworks went off from behind the Sydney Opera House. To this day I still don’t know what they were for, however I have my husband fooled that I organised that just for our anniversary! – Sally Lucas @ Our 3 Kids V the World
#13 – KOALAS IN THE WILD ON MAGNETIC ISLAND, QLD
Did you know the iconic koala is Queensland’s animal emblem? Unfortunately, the species is under great threat on the continent due to habitat destruction. With the entire island being protected as a national park and well isolated from disease, Magnetic Island is a fantastic place to see koalas in the wild. A large colony of hundreds of them live all around the island. The Fort Walk is the best place on the island to spot wild koalas. The eucalyptus trees aren’t too high, so walkers may even get a close encounter. Bonus: the coastal views are fantastic too.
Koalas are not active during the day, especially when it’s hot. It’s crucial to take your time and observe the trees carefully to increase your chances of spotting wild koalas as they often don’t move.
Koalas aren’t the only Australian native animals to see during your visit. Cute rock wallabies and colourful birds are a common sight, and Magnetic Island is also reputed for snorkelling. All the more reason to add it to the list of must do Australian experiences! – Eloise @ My Favourite Escapes
#14 – HIKING IN GRAMPIANS NATIONAL PARK, VIC
The Grampians National Park, also known as “the Grampians” is a region west of Melbourne. This National Park is one of the most popular holiday destinations in Victoria, and a must do Australian experience. The Grampians has some of Victoria’s most dramatic mountain views. With these views come pulse racing hikes!
Regardless of your hiking experience, there’s a beautiful view to be seen at the Grampians. Some of the most stunning scenery can be seen at the Pinnacle (a 2 – 3 hr return hike depending on whether you take the easy or difficult walk). Or, if you’re not up for hiking, check out the Boroka Lookout – you don’t even need to hike here!
It’s hard not to fall in love with the beautiful views at the Grampians, and a visit is a must on any trip to Australia. – Mae-Gene Yew @ The Wandering Suitcase
#15 – TAKE THE SKYRAIL TO KURANDA, QLD
Dangling 100 feet above the rainforest canopy below, be prepared for some of Queensland’s most spectacular views from the Kuranda Skyrail. Boarding from the small town of Smithfield just outside of Cairns, the Skyrail takes you over 7.5 kilometres into the mountain. You ride in Gondolas, suspended from a cableway above and travel to 545m above sea level before arriving in the small mountain town of Kuranda.
Kuranda is the quintessential Aussie tourist town. There are a variety of attractions to visit here all within walking distance of the station including the Butterfly Sanctuary, Birdworld and Kuranda Koala Gardens. Further afield are the Kuranda River Cruises on the Barron River and Rainforestation Nature Park. Or you can simply stroll the quaint little village, pick up some authentic Aussie hand-crafted souvenirs, leather goods and who can resist the Kuranda Kandy Kitchen followed by lunch at the pub!
If heights aren’t your thing, don’t worry about missing out on the Kuranda experience, you can take the very sedate and historic Kuranda Scenic Railway via the spectacular Barron Falls back to Cairns. – Keri Hedrick @ Our Globetrotters
#16 – HIKING IN ROYAL NATIONAL PARK, NSW
Royal National Park is about 35kms south of Sydney and can be reached by train from the city using the Illawarra line. From Cronulla you can take a ferry to reach Bundeena to access the park. Grab a map at the visitor center and get on this adventure of a lifetime.
Hike along a coastal path that hugs the ocean with majestic sandstone cliffs. All you can see on one side is the deep blue waters of Tasmanian sea and pleasant greenery on the other side. If you are at the right place at the right time, you can spot wildlife in the bushes and even on the path.
Keep in mind that it can get a little lonely along the way if you are traveling solo, but the views are totally worth it. There is nothing better to soothe a soul than the endless blue sky and the majestic ocean for company in a beautiful setting and Royal National Park is the best spot for it. – Priyadarshini Rajendran @ Glorious Sunrise
#17 – CLIMBING MOUNT KOSCIUSZKO, NSW
Australia is the only place in the world where you can walk to the top of a whole continent in one day, with no special equipment, mountaineering skills or even a high level of fitness. There’s even a chairlift up the first part! And it’s a lovely walk – especially when the summer wildflowers are blooming.
Most people climb Mount Kosciuszko from Thredbo, as a 13-km return hike from the top of the Kosciuszko Express Chairlift. If you’d like a longer walk, you can skip the chairlift using Merrits Nature Track (3.7 km), or else take a longer route up (or down) using the Dead Horse Gap and Thredbo River tracks (10 km).
Another option is a 25-km loop hike from Charlotte Pass, which passes several lakes including the stunning Blue Lake.
Both Kosciuszko trails are mostly very wide, paved in parts and virtually impossible to miss in summer. The tracks up from Thredbo are also good and well signposted. You’re in alpine country so you do need to be prepared for bad weather, and you’ll need to take enough food and water. But otherwise there’s no excuse not to make your pilgrimage up Mt Kosciuszko! – Emma Duncan – World Best Hikes
#18 – DOVE LAKE CIRCUIT, CRADLE MOUNTAINS, TAS
World Heritage Listed Cradle Mountain in Australia’s glorious state of Tasmania will take your breath away when you finally catch sight of her. Overlooking Dove Lake, the mountain is a natural marvel, brimming with an assortment of both incredible native flora and fauna as well as awe-inspiring views.
It took us four attempts to spy Cradle Mountain over three separate trips to the state. She’s a temperamental Mountain, often hiding amongst the clouds and fog. On occasion, the roads up to see her are closed due to heavy snow or weather conditions. Yes, Cradle Mountain can be elusive which adds, at least for us, to her wonder.
Dove Lake is at the very start of the world-famous Overland Track which passes the iconic Cradle Mountain and takes at least 6 days to walk, stopping overnight at a series of huts. However, for many visitors pressed for time and perhaps travelling with a family, the Dove Lake circuit is one to check off the bucket list.
The Dove Lake circuit is just under 6 kilometres in length and takes the average walker around 2 hours to trek. It is board walked most of the way making it a good walk to boast that you have completed. Look out for the boat shed, built in 1940 and one of the most photographed spots in the area, and also Glacier Rock which has come about thanks to the last Ice Age and the Glacier that once moved across its path.
The Cradle Mountain car park (you’ll need to walk the rest of the way) takes just over two hours to reach by car from Launceston or just over 4 hours from Hobart. Summer is the best time to visit, but regardless make sure to follow all signs and adhere to the speed limit to ensure your own safety – the road is full of hairpin turns! – Leah Smileski @ Kid Bucket List
#19 – KOALA GARDENS, CAIRNS, QLD
Australia is such a great place to explore. There’s always so much to do and see there. If you’re lucky, you’ll spot some wildlife along the way. But we recommend you check out the Kuranda Koala Gardens in Cairns to be sure we got some wildlife experiences up close. This was one of our favourite things we did while we were in Australia. It’s not just your average zoo either. You get to go in and feed and pet kangaroos and wallaby’s! We even took selfies with them. It was such a cool experience to hang out with some of Australia’s famous wildlife.
There’s a spot in the zoo where you can hold a koala bear as well (for a few). It’s actually one of the only spot in Australia where they allow you to do so. They switch out their koalas very frequently as well, so they don’t get worn out. If you’re looking to get up close and personal with some famous animals of Australia, we recommend heading to Cairns and checking out Kuranda Koala Gardens. – Sara @ Our Kind of CrazyAustralia may be young in history but it makes up for it in unique cultures and pristine landscapes. From hand feeding dolphins to kayaking in untouched gorges, these are the top must do Australian experience #australiabucketlist Click To Tweet
#20 – HOT AIR BALLOONING OVER MELBOURNE, VIC
There’s nothing quite like receiving an “experience” gift for Christmas especially one that includes a Hot Air Balloon Ride over the city of Melbourne. Like all Hot Air Balloon rides they are very weather dependent so how lucky were we that we could take ours on Christmas Eve morning. The 4.15am alarm blaring was well worth the experience. We were to meet at a major Hotel in the CBD where a small bus would take us all out to a surrounding suburb.
It was a spectacular sight watching all the balloons being prepared for take-off. The sensations of first feeling the heat and hearing the loud hissing of the flames then feeling this basket leave the ground was exhilarating to say the least. Then to feel this sense of utter peacefulness as you glide gently across the city sighting all the major landmarks of our beautiful city Melbourne was an experience of a lifetime. So much gasping in awe and lots of photo taking followed by an easy landing of the basket onto parklands. A quick bus trip back to the Hotel for breakfast together with a glass of champagne. I’ll drink to that! – Cathy Beesey @ Cathy Travelling
#21 – WHALE WATCHING ON THE COAST, QLD
My favourite experience in Australia is whale watching. I’ve been whale watching in other countries but have never seen anything like as many humpback whales as I’ve seen on a whale watching cruise in Queensland during whale watching season (May – November). I try to go every year and the tours I’ve taken from Redcliffe, Moreton Island and Fraser Island have all been outstanding experiences with multiple sightings.
You don’t even have to go on a cruise to see the whales – there are many spots along the coast where you can see whales from land, including Rainbow Beach, Noosa, and North Stradbroke Island, so even my husband who gets terribly seasick doesn’t have to miss out!
Before you book a whale watching cruise, it’s worth finding out how long it takes to get out to the whales, what facilities are on board the boat, is lunch included and is there an option to get in the water with the whales (if you want to). When it comes to packing for your trip, bring warm clothes as the weather can be much cooler out in the open ocean, and don’t forget your sunscreen as the sun is fierce when it reflects off the water! – Karen Bleakley @ Smart Steps to Australia
#22 – ONE THOUSAND STEPS BUSHWALK, DANDENONGS, VIC
The 1000 Steps in the Dandenong Ranges National Park, just an hour from Melbourne, is one of the most used walking tracks in Victoria. Many people use it as a fitness circuit, others to train for walking the Kokoda trail in Papua New Guinea.
It is a beautiful walk that can take your breath away due to the beauty of the forest and the steepness of the (not quite) 1000 Steps that wind through the cool temperate rainforest, beneath old tree ferns and eucalyptus trees. Lyrebirds can often be seen, scratching in the dirt beside the track or maybe doing their famous mimicking of other birds and sounds such as chainsaws, cameras clicking or the noise of the local steam train.
Take your time on this stunning bushwalk and enjoy the surroundings and history, it is one of the best hikes close to Melbourne that you can do. – Jane Barnes @ Explore the Dandenongs
#23 – KAYAKING THROUGH NITMILUK GORGE, NT
The town of Katherine is an essential stop on a Northern Territory road trip in order to visit Nitmiluk Gorge, one of the highlights of Central Australia.
Nitmiluk Gorge is actually 13 separate gorges over 12 kilometres carved out by the Katherine River over thousands of years. The gorge walls are imposing, rising to 70 metres high and are a gorgeous blend of pink, orange, and red stone.
Whilst it is possible to take a cruise through the first two gorges, one of the best ways to appreciate the Gorge is to rent a kayak and paddle upstream at your own pace.
Every gorge is unique. The light dances on the water and there are small sand beaches to enjoy. Discover hidden waterholes for swimming and enormous smooth rocks to climb and explore. You may even catch sight of a fresh water crocodile or two.
For the true adventurer it is even possible to kayak further along the gorge and camp overnight in small basic campgrounds far from the crowds. Kayaking the gorge is possible for people of many ages, including those with school aged kids and it is a rewarding and memorable Australian experience. – Rachel @ Adventure and Sunshine
#24 – DOLPHINS IN THE WILD IN ROCKINGHAM, WA
For many people the interactions between dolphins and humans are something many people have on their bucket list. In Western Australia, you can have many experiences along the coast where dolphins will hunt and play close by in the crystal-clear waters.
In Rockingham, which is 40 minutes by train from Perth. you will often see dolphins often with their babies almost daily close to the local beaches, if you are lucky they will swim with you while you are there as well. However, you want up-close experience Rockingham Wild Encounters, is the place to contact they offer daily swimming with dolphin cruises, where they take you out and give you the chance to actually get into the water with them.
They provide a pick up and drop off service from your hotel in Perth and the guarantee contact with dolphins or you get another day out. Everyone I know who has experienced it has returned with positive reports. – Ron and Michele Legge @ Legging It
#25 – VIVID FESTIVAL, SYDNEY, NSW
When most people think about Sydney they imagine the Opera House, Harbour Bridge and the stunning harbour itself glistening in the summer sun. Most people are shocked when we tell them that one of the best times to visit Sydney isn’t in the middle of summer, but in winter for the epic Vivid Festival.
Created in 2009, Vivid has become one of Australia’s biggest festivals and our favourite time of year. For three weeks, the whole city is lit up with projections and light installations that bring Sydney to life at the darkest time of year. It became so popular that many cities across the world have now set up their own it in an attempt to emulate Sydney’s success.
Sydney’s icons are the focal point, with the Opera House being the star of the show. The sails of this world-famous building light up in bright colours often depicting beautiful indigenous art. The bridge, botanic gardens, and harbour all have interactive installations making it a playground for kids and adults alike.
It is also a photographer’s dream as you can take all kinds of really unique shots of some of the most famous places in the world. The best part is that it is completely free! – Cat Smith @ Walk My world
The land down under is vast and this list depicts some of the must do Australian experiences in all its unique states. Its natural wonders are pristine whilst its coastline offers experiences you wouldn’t find anywhere else. Come on down to Australia and make sure you add these experience onto your Australian bucket list!
BONUS TIP #01 – RELATED ARTICLES
Top 50 Things to Do in Melbourne With Kids
5 Fun Attractions for Kids to Visit in Sydney If You’re Short on Time
12 Outdoor Activities in Mornington Peninsula That Kids Will Love
Disclaimer: The Family Globetrotter’s website contains affiliate links which help us to maintain this blog and assists us with our travels, at no extra cost to you. Family Globetrotters have also posted articles based on sponsored products and/or services, but all opinions are our own, truthful and unbiased.
I love that these bucket lists are scattered all over Australia. I’d love to scout out the quirkier areas as well. I love to kayak so kayaking at Nitmiluk is definitely on my list of things to do. I’d also love to learn more about Melbourne’s coffee culture. I’ll admit, I’m a caffeine addict!
Martha if you’re a caffiene addict, Melbourne seriously has the best coffee in the world. Everytime I travel, this is the one thing I struggle with. The lack of good coffee outside of Melbourne is so hard to find. Last year when we were in Budapest, we found a Melbourne cafe. Thank goodness cause I was getting withdrawals!
I have been to Australia only once and my trip was limited to just Canberra, Melbourne and Sydney. After reading your blog, I realize there is so much more to Australia. Of all the activities you mentioned, whale watching and quokkas sounds the most exciting to me. Wildlife always appeals to me.
Well you have already done more than most people! Hope you enjoyed your tim ein my beautiful country!
I like Australia, especially its nature. After reading this post, I know there are so much I haven’t seen in the country. Grampians NP looks amazing. But my son said we need to be careful when we go to Australia. They have the most venomous snake in the world! (Don’t ask me the name. I don’t remember. Haha…)
Yeah, we do have some scary creepy crawlies in Australia but unless you’re in the outback or somewhere remote, its unlikely you’ll get one crawling past you anytime soon!
This is timely. We’re spending the next 3 weeks in Australia. My mom is so excited to visit the Tulip Top Gardens.
We haven’t finalized our itinerary yet so, this is really helpful. Thank you for sharing.
How exciting! So much to see and do and very cool that you’re travelling with yur mum! Have a wonderful trip:)
Looks like I need to visit Australia real soon. Theres so much to do, and your first image literally brought a smile on my face, as I love the outdoors. Would love to go hiking in Grampians National Park for sure apart from admiring the beauty of the cities at night.
This is such an amazing list! The last time I was in Australia was YEARS ago. I use to travel there often because I was born and raised in Singapore, then I moved to the USA. But this is giving me serious reason to go back! I think I was too young to even remember what I did when I visited Australia. But QUOKKAS! How cute are they?! Definitely a must do! And coffee is always a yes in my book, never daft! There’s so much beautiful scenery in Australia that it really reminds me of the USA in ways! Lots of different types of scenery and adventurous activities! Thank you so much for sharing!
You welcome Clare! Yes, you definitely need to come back! Those quokkas are calling you…. LOL!
This is a beautiful and exhaustive list. I have not been to Australia yet but I thought I was quite aware of its diversity and beauty. This post made me think again. I learned quite a lot. It was good to know about the Koala garden, Quokkas, Dove lake circuit and Vivid festival.
Yes we are a beautiful country with so much to offer! Hope you make it here one day!
What a great list. I’ve only done less than 10% of it! I think top of my list to do next would be climbing Mount Kosciuszko! I do love whale watching too though, not as much as you it seems!
So much to do and see right?? Where shall we start?
Last time we visited Australia 7 years ago we managed to tick a few of these off our list!! Hoping to visit again next year, would love to handled the dolphins and see the quokkas on Rottnest Island, they are too cute!! The Grampians looks amazing too, never even heard of it before but now I’ve gotta go!
That’s great you ticked off some of these must do experiences when you were here. Yeah, we are a big country. Time to come back again!
It’s amazing that you managed to provide all these highlights overview for seeing Australia! Thanks a lot. When the country is big , its pretty hard to decide what to see and so your list is definitely useful.
And that is the thing, sooo much to see and do in this vast country of ours.
Planing on visiting Australia next week and must say there are so many things to do and see in this beautiful country and your post has only added more to my list. Didn’t know that Australia is the 6th largest country in the world so thanks for some general knowledge. The coffee culture is right up my way so super tip for visiting Melbourne. I would also love to experience the hot air ballon ride. need a few weeks must say to do even a few things that you have mentioned in this lovely post.
How was your visit to Australia Amar? What did you get up to?
Australia is always a traveler’s dream as it has a lot of fascinating places. I went to Australia two times and had been to Sydney and Melbourne only as this country is really big and many things to see. I loved the coffee culture of Melbourne and it is truly a world’s most livable city. Sydney is also having nice cosmopolitan vibes with many nature parks. In my next trip, I would wish to go to Queensland.
Queensland is gorgeous Yukti! You should definitely come back. It is so different to Sydney and Melbourne and even the people are more laid back.
Never been to Australia but it is very much on my list. And this is one of the most interesting posts I have read on what I should see in the country. I would love to see some quokkas (hope I got it right). I had not heard of them until now. And Fraser Island and Melbourne’s Coffee Culture are such important parts of my ever-growing Australian itinerary.
Love that Australia is on everyone’s bucket list! Yup, they are called quokkas and they are super cute! As for Melbourne coffee culture, it has spoilt me now and trying to get coffee just as good when I travel overseas is near impossible.
I am spellbound to see so many magnificent places in Australia – Tasman Island, Melbourne, Cairn, Sydney – all of these are epic! Thanks for listing out the best of the best in Australia. I would need at least 2-3 weeks to cover all of this. I would be surely doing that one day.
Australia is a magnificent country with so much to do. Hope you get to visit it one day!
So many amazing experiences to have in Australia. Great list!
This is an excellent article and round up of Australian Must Do experiences. Australia is such a vast country with so much to do and see this is a perfect list for all travellers. Thanks for sharing.
Wow.. that’s some list. All pics and ensemble is good but loved “The Stunning Grampians”picture specially. By looking only got goosebumps. ☺️
Right?? The Grampians is a STUNNING place and a definite must visit for any Australian adventure.