Best Things to Do in Australia
The land down under is known for its sandy, white beaches, cute and cuddly wildlife and red, arid centre. With so much diversity it’s hard to know where to start when you are planning a trip to Australia. As an Australian born and bred I am here to help you out with my top picks of the best things to do in Australia.
1. Snorkel the Great Barrier Reef
The world’s largest coral reef in Far North Queensland is simply breathtaking, whether you are viewing it from a boat, under water or even from the moon! But in my opinion, the best way to explore the Great Barrier Reef is by going snorkelling. From the minute you submerge your head in the water, you can’t help but be in awe of the natural beauty of this natural wonder of the world. There are over 1500 species of tropical fish, not to mention giant sea turtles, hundreds of brightly coloured coral and birds flying above. I even caught sight of an octopus once when I was snorkelling in the Great Barrier Reef.
The reef stretches out over 3, 000 kilometres, from the town of Bundaberg to the northern tip of Cape York. Along the way, there are many towns, small and large that you can use as a launching point for your Great Barrier Reef adventure. Some of the most popular include Cairns, Townsville and the islands of the Whitsundays.
2. Walk around Uluru
Uluru, otherwise known as Ayers Rock, is located in the red centre of Australia and is considered by many to be the spiritual heart of the country. It is a geological wander that appears to change colour depending upon when and where you view it from. Despite its imposing size, it is actually not too difficult to walk around Uluru and is definitely worth taking the time. By walking around this magnificent landmark, you can see some beautiful Aboriginal rock art that tells the stories of this ancient culture.
After your walk, make sure you also visit one of the many viewing points for Uluru both at sunrise and sunset. It is at these times that you can witness the stunning landscape and the incredible transformation it makes as it glows from vibrant red to orange under the sunlight.
3. Hike Cradle Mountain
The small island of Tasmania is often forgotten by visitors to Australia in spite of being one of the most naturally beautiful regions of the country. The World Heritage Area of Cradle Mountain is popular amongst hiking enthusiasts due to its incredible views. With rugged mountains surrounded by glacial lakes and the smell of pine in the air, the great outdoors doesn’t really get much better than this. If you are lucky, you may even catch a glimpse of an Australian native animal like an echidna or platypus.
One of the most popular hikes is the Overland Track that is a 6 day journey from Cradle Mountain to Lake St Clair. But if you are looking for something a little less strenuous, there are many shorter day walks that you can take in the Cradle Mountain region.
An iconic part of the Sydney skyline, the Sydney Harbour Bridge is unforgettable when viewed from Circular Quay. But if you are a bit more adventurous, you can see it from a completely different angle when you climb it.
The Sydney Harbour Bridge Climb involves being latched onto a guide that then allows you to scale the curve of the bridge. It can be a little bit scary but you are quite secure and the view from the peak is truly breathtaking. I climbed the bridge on a rather wet and grey day and even the rain didn’t dampen my experience. If you are looking for a truly unique experience, you can even get married at the peak of the Sydney Harbour Bridge!
5. Visit Byron Bay Lighthouse
The small country town of Byron Bay in northern NSW is the eastern most point of Australia, making it the perfect place to watch the sunrise. The Byron Bay Lighthouse was built here to lookout for ships as they came into the rocky shores. Nowadays, it is the perfect vantage point for stunning ocean views, catching a glimpse of some dolphins at play or even humpback whales during their annual migration.
Wander around the headland and then slowly meander back into town. You can even take a break and go for a dip in the ocean at Watego’s Bay on the way.