15 Ultimate Things to do in Australia

Australia, officially the Commonwealth of Australia, is a country and continent flanked by two of the world’s greatest oceans. With its history dating back to 65,000 to 70,000 years, this country has evolved to become one of the greatest nations on the face of the earth. 

The land Down Under is perhaps best known for its family-friendly destinations. It brings nature to your door-steps, takes you through bustling iconic cities, offers you jaw-dropping scenery and some of the best wildlife experiences. There are a ton of places to see in Australia, and you can be as choosy as you want. There are lush rainforests, white beaches, epic road trips, enormous national parks. golden deserts, mighty rivers, well laid-out gardens, and cities that never sleep. 

Some of the best Australia attractions include the Great Ocean Road, Bondi Beach, and of course, the Great Barrier Reef. Let’s talk more about them as we take a look at some of the best things to do in Australia.

1. Dive deep in the Great Barrier Reef 

Dive deep in the Great Barrier Reef - ImageImage Source: flickr.com

Located off the coast of Queensland in north-eastern Australia, the Great Barrier Reef is the largest living coral reef on earth. This 2,300 km-long ecosystem is home to thousands of reefs and marine species and is easily one of Australia’s most prised possession. The best way to experience this dazzling rainbow world of coral and sea-life is to dive in. Most tours to the Great Barrier Reef start from Cairns and Port Douglas. Alternatively, you can also ride a glass-bottom boat, jet ski, take a semi-submersible boat, or sky-dive at the Great Barrier Reef. 

2. Drive along the Great Ocean Road 

Drive along the Great Ocean Road- ImageImage Source: flickr.com

The Great Ocean Road of Australia is undoubtedly one of the most scenic coastal routes to drive on. This 243-kilometre starts from Torquay in Victoria and ends at Allansford near Warrnambool. Along this route there are many exciting things to do:

  1. Natural attractions like the well-known 12 Apostles, The Great Otway National Park, the Southern Ocean, The Port Campbell National Park, and the Bells Beach.  
  2. Whale sighting opportunities at Wongarra, Onion Bay and Shelly Beach Lorne
  3. Both land and water wildlife like Koalas in the Otways, Kangaroos at the Anglesea Golf Course, Cockatoos in the Otways, Platypus at Lake Elizabeth and Mount Emu Creek in Skipton, Glow Worms in the Melba Gully near Lavers Hill and Maits Rest near Apollo Bay, and the Maremma Dogs at the Flagstaff Hill Maritime Village.
  4. Waterfalls like the rectangular shaped Beauchamp Falls, the rainforest-y Erskine Falls, the mesmerizing Hopetoun Falls, and the gushing Hopkins Falls.
  5. Nature walks along the Great Ocean Walk, Surf Coast Walk, Otway Fly Walk, and Great South West Walk among many other.
  6. Adventure activities like surfing, stand up paddle boarding, canoeing, biking, and golfing. 

A drive along the Great Ocean Road is highly recommended and one of the best things to do in Australia. 

3. Visit the iconic Blue Mountains 

Visit the iconic Blue Mountains - ImageImage Source: flickr.com

Located not very far from Sydney, the Blue Mountains are a part of a mountain range in Australia’s New South Wales. Best known for its dramatic setting, these mountains are any Instagrammer’s dream. A world of its own, you can lose yourselves here in its tall forests, sandstone cliffs, canyons, caves, walking tracks and waterfalls that are sprawled over one million hectares. Home to the much-loved Three Sisters which constantly keep changing colours as the sun moves across the sky, the Blue Mountains have been here for more than 50 million years. 

4. Hike through the national parks of Australia 

Hike through the national parks of Australia - ImageImage Source: flickr.com

There are more than 500 national parks in Australia that collectively span over 28 million hectares! Each with its own distinct character, you could dedicate days to explore each one of them. Here are some of our top picks:

  1. Kakadu National Park – This is Australia's biggest national park that is flanked by rugged escarpment, lush rainforest, Aboriginal rock art galleries, thundering waterfalls, migratory birds, and acres of wetlands.  
  2. Great Otway National Park – Located in Southern Victoria, Australia, this park covers a range of attractions like rugged coastline, beaches, waterfalls, and the mountains. Additionally, you can view some of the country’s best wildlife here. 
  3. Great Sandy National Park – This coastal national park in the Fraser Coast Region is best known for its beaches. Massive dunes, towering cliffs of coloured sands and wide ocean beaches dominate the landscape of this park. 
  4. Daintree National Park – This park in the Far North Queensland, Australia is home to a tropical rainforest wilderness. Also one of the oldest rainforests in the world, the magnificent Daintree River flows through this park. 

5. Take a trip to Tasmania 

Take a trip to Tasmania - ImageImage Source: pixabay.com

Tasmania, off Australia’s south coast, is an isolated island state known for its eye-catching beauty. Bass Strait separates Tasmania from Australia, and this island along with its many surrounding island is one of the most popular tourist destinations of Australia. Tasmania or "Tassie," has many touristy places and things to do. You can explore its capital Hobart to know more about the Tasmanian Aboriginal history, lie of its squeaky-clean beaches, hike in its alpine parks, go island-hopping, visit the wind-lashed Tasman Peninsula, stroll along the romantic Cataract Gorge, ferry across the D'Entrecasteaux Channel to visit the Bruny Island, and so much more! 

6. Hit the beaches of Australia 

Hit the beaches of Australia - ImageImage Source: wikimedia commons

The island of Australia is tucked between the Indian and Pacific oceans and is hence blessed with an abundance of beautiful beaches. Of course, it’s nearly impossible to visit all of them, and so here are some of the top beaches of Australia to tailor your trip:

  1. Whitehaven Beach, Whitsundays – Featuring a 98 percent pure silica sand, the Whitehaven Beach on Whitsunday Island is considered by many the most beautiful beach in Australia. 
  2. Wineglass Bay, Tasmania – It’s perfect wineglass-shaped curve, chalky white sands, and sapphire-coloured waters makes this one of the best beaches in Tasmania, Australia. 
  3. Bondi Beach, Sydney – Easily one of the most photographed beaches of Australia, the Bondi Beach is located in Sydney and is known for swimming and surfing activities. 
  4. Cable Beach, Western Australia – This 21-kilometres long beach has the dark blue waters of the Indian Ocean and the red ochre cliffs on the other making this one of the most dramatic beaches in Australia. 
  5. Bells Beach, Victoria – Known as one of the best surfing spots in Australia, Bells Beach is located along the Great Ocean Road. The Rip Curl Easter Pro happens here which sees world’s top-ranked surfers tacking the waves. 
  6. Four Mile Beach, Port Douglas – This four-kilometre stretch of beach is wide and flat. Tucked between the Island Point and Mowbray River's reefs and rocks, this is one of the best swimming spots in Australia

7. Get aboard the Kuranda Scenic Railway 

Get aboard the Kuranda Scenic Railway - ImageImage Source: flickr.com

This 34-kilometre ride from Cairns to Kuranda will take you through an organic rainforest and is considered as one of the most scenic train journeys in the world. Bring your senses alive as you pass through the untamed natural setting through 15 handmade tunnels and a​cross 37 towering bridges, breathe in the fragrance of the forest around you, unwind through the rugged mountains, and witness the numerous tumbling waterfalls. Rising from sea level to 328-metre, a ride aboard the Kuranda Scenic Railway is one of the top things to do in Australia. Visitors must note that this train is operational only from Monday to Friday. 

8. Tour the cities of Australia 

Tour the cities of Australia - ImageImage Source: pixabay.com

Apart from Australia’s senses-reeling natural attractions, its buzz-worthy metropolis is loaded with touristy attractions. Below, in no particular order, are some of Australia’s top cities to visit and its sights & attractions: 

  1. Sydney, New South Wales - Australia's oldest, largest and most urbane city, Sydney has the Bondi Beach, Sydney Opera House, Darling Harbour, Royal Botanic Gardens, and The Rocks
  2. Brisbane, Queensland – Situated on the Brisbane River, Brisbane offers Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary, The Cultural Precinct, Brisbane Botanic Gardens, and Queensland Art Gallery & Gallery of Modern Art.
  3. Perth, Western Australia – Entertaining the young and old alike, some of the top Perth attractions include Kings Park and Botanic Garden, Swan River, Cottesloe Beach, The Perth Mint, Perth Zoo, and Hillarys Boat Harbour. 
  4. Melbourne, Victoria - Some of the essential Melbourne tourist attractions include Federation Square, Royal Botanic Gardens, Melbourne Cricket Ground, National Gallery of Victoria, and Eureka Tower. 
  5. Gold Coast, Queensland - Famed for its long sandy beaches and surfing spots, some of the top Gold Coast attractions include Surfers Paradise Beach, SkyPoint, Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary, Sea World Gold Coast, Warner Brothers Movie World, and Dreamworld. 

9. Tour the Australian Outback 

Tour the Australian Outback - ImageImage Source: wikimedia commons

Nothing means Australia like the Outback! While most cities sit on its coasts, the vast and remote interiors of Australia is home to some of the most spectacular natural settings. Every state of Australia has a little bit of Outback. Get your 4WDs loaded and head out to explore the 6.5 million square kilometres of open spaces that seem to stretch on forever. The Outback has no precise location since the Australian refer to the Outback as ‘The Bush’, meaning the area outside of the cities. The Red Centre, Ayers Rock, Alice Springs, the Great Victoria Desert, Gibson Desert, Great Sandy Desert, and Uluru are some of the top Australian Outback attractions. 

10. Visit the botanic gardens of Australia 

Visit the botanic gardens of Australia - ImageImage Source: flickr.com

The sheer diversity of the native Australian plants is enormous. There are more than 140 botanical gardens across Australia featuring a collection of native and endemic species for you to discover: Here are some of the best:

  1. The Royal Botanic Gardens, Sydney – The country’s oldest, this park features many themed gardens including the gorgeous Oriental and rose gardens.
  2. The Blue Mountains Botanic Garden, Mount Tomah - Packed with cool-climate plants from around the globe, these gardens are set in the most amazing natural surroundings of the Blue Mountains. 
  3. Adelaide Botanic Garden, Adelaide – With many gardens like The Palm House, Victorian glasshouse, the Bicentennial Conservatory, and a mini-rainforest, these gardens are one of the best in the country.
  4. Olive Pink Botanic Garden, Alice Springs – Showcasing the country’s arid zone, these gardens feature species that are endemic to the Red Centre.

11. Take a day trip to the Kangaroo Island 

Take a day trip to the Kangaroo Island - ImageImage Source: wikimedia commons

Just minutes from the mainland, the Kangaroo Island serves as a protected region to native wildlife of Australia like kangaroos, sea lions, koalas, and many diverse bird species. Often called the ‘nature’s playground’, this island has many things to do. Apart from the wildlife and bird viewing, you can check out its beaches, mouth-watering food and wine, and relax to soak in the laid-back lifestyle. You can reach this island by taking a ferry from Adelaide or can fly from any other Australian city.

12. Take your kids to the zoos of Australia 

Take your kids to the zoos of Australia - ImageImage Source: flickr.com

Big cats, shy bats, dangerous reptiles, and exotic fish; you can see it all here at some of the best zoos of Australia. Some of our top picks are:

  1. Melbourne Zoo - The Royal Melbourne Zoological Gardens in Melbourne is a great place to take your kids. Over 320 species from around the world call this place a home. 
  2. Lone Pine Sanctuary – Home to over 130 koalas, this is the world's oldest and largest koala sanctuary. 
  3. Australia Zoo – This 100-acre zoo was founded by Steve Irwin and houses over 1,200 animals including those found in our African Savannah, South-East Asia and Bindi's Island. 
  4. Taronga Zoo - Taronga Zoo of Sydney is a wildlife conservation project supporting over 4000 animals from over 350 species.

13. Get adventurous at the many amusement parks of Australia 

Get adventurous at the many amusement parks of Australia - ImageImage Source: flickr.com

Australia does not lack in the amusement parks’ department either! For those who think it does, here are some of the best parks to check out! We have segregated these parks based on their geographical locations. 

  1. Sea World, Movie World, Wet 'n' Wild Water World, and Dreamworld in Queensland
  2. Wonderland Sydney and Old Sydney Town in New South Wales
  3. Luna Park in Victoria
  4. Adventure World in Western Australia

14. Dine with a view! 

Dine with a view! - ImageImage Source: pixabay.com

They say you eat with your eyes first! Here are some of the top restaurant in Australia that will let you do just that:

  1. Quay, Sydney – With the panoramic views of the Sydney Harbour, Quay has been on The World’s 50 Best Restaurants list quite a number of times. Its contemporary Australian cuisine is simply outstanding. 
  2. The Lane Vineyard, Adelaide Hills – This luxurious, state-of-the art winery, restaurant and cellar offers views of the textured landscape of the Adelaide Hills.
  3. Stokehouse Q, Brisbane – This breezy waterfront restaurant is located on the prime South Bank. Offering Modern Mediterranean dishes with the best of the city views, this is one of the top restaurants in Brisbane. 
  4. Il Lido Italian Canteen, Perth – Its wall-to-wall wine racks and a relaxed setting is perfect for a romantic date. Oh! And the captivating blue hues of the Indian Ocean’s is just an extra something! 

15. Experience the Aboriginal Culture 

Experience the Aboriginal Culture - ImageImage Source: wikimedia commons

Did you know that the island-country of Australia is home to the oldest living culture on Earth? The Aboriginals are indigenous to mainland Australia and the island of Tasmania and have been around for more than 50,000 years now. Here are some ways you can experience Australia’s Aboriginal culture:

  1. Take a cultural harbour cruise from Sydney. Apart from the traditional food & drinks, here you can also learn about the Aboriginal names for Sydney's landmarks
  2. Learn how to make a spear and catch a fish at Kooljaman in the Kimberley
  3. Walk through the Mossman Gorge with an Aboriginal guide and learn how to find bush food & medicines. 
  4. Join an art workshop at Ayers Rock Resort and learn how to decode the many Aboriginal symbols and the Tjukurpa.
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Ever since my first trip at the age of 4, I’ve been fascinated to explore places around the world. Lover of world cultures, food, souls and all things blue; I spend most part of my day writing about travel ...

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