After months in hibernation, travellers are now beginning to emerge and take a look at the new world around us. A lot has now changed, yet there’s even more that’s just how we left it: the natural wonders, the historic landmarks and the cities that beg to be explored.
Now is a great time to begin planning where you want to go next. To that end, we’ve been thinking about the iconic sights and destinations on offer right here in our own country.
From the beaches to the bush, here are 10 essential points for your Aussie bucket list.
1. Explore the Bay of Fires National Park – TAS
The Bay of Fires in north eastern Tasmania is often called one of the country’s most spectacular beaches. One glimpse is enough to show you why. Orange lichen-encrusted boulders dotted among white sand beaches, turquoise water you just want to strip off and dive right into… it’s impossible to take a bad photo here. The best way to explore the area? On a guided trek.
2. Journey through the outback aboard Indian Pacific – NSW, SA and WA
There’s more to the outback than dusty roads and mobs of kangaroos – and the Indian Pacific train is the best way to experience it for yourself. Travelling between Perth and Sydney, this iconic rail journey takes in vast expanses of fiery desert sands, towering rock formations, ancient gorges and vast cattle stations, with views that will take your breath away. It also comes with a hearty dose of luxury too, with gourmet dining, drinks and off-train excursions.
3. Dive or snorkel the Great Barrier Reef – QLD
It’s one of the true icons of Australia; a marine wonderland stretching for over 2,300 kilometres along Queensland’s coast. Larger than Tassie and Victoria combined, its sheltered waters are home to a rainbow of marine life, with vivid nudibranchs, green turtles, and clownfish just a few of its notable residents. Diving and snorkelling the reef is an experience you’ll never forget.
4. Climb the Sydney Harbour Bridge – NSW
Seen the city of Sydney a million times? Not from this perspective, you haven’t. Standing atop this heritage listed icon, breathing in views of skyscrapers, suburbs in the distance, and the ant-like traffic down below, is truly unforgettable. If you want to make the ultimate experience, choose the early morning or late afternoon climbs when lighting is at its most magical.
5. Big Things – Everywhere!
Australia’s love affair with big things goes back decades – and there an awful lot of them now scattered across the country! While it’d be pretty time consuming to tick off them all, there are some we think should be on everyone’s list. Our picks are the Big Banana in Coffs Harbour, the Big Pineapple in Woombye, the Big Prawn in Ballina, and the Big Lobster in Kingston.
6. Ride a camel on Broome’s Cable Beach – WA
On paper it sounds more than a little bizarre. But, when you’re actually trekking along the beach in a camel caravan with the sun setting across the Indian Ocean, it just feels… right. Camels and Cable Beach go together like salt and pepper. Though you can experience similar sunset camel rides at various locations around the country, none compares to the original thing in Broome.
7. Drive along the Great Ocean Road – VIC
There are scenic drives and then there’s the Great Ocean Road: the remarkable 12 Apostles, the surfing meccas of Torquay and Bells Beach, the emerald expanse of the Otway National Park, and inviting towns you could spend a day, a week or a lifetime getting to know. It’s SO good. Just saddle up the car, load in the family, and let the joy of the open road take hold.
8. Toast the sunrise in Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park – NT
Raise a glass to the golden orb in Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park – an area of deep spirituality and remarkable natural beauty. Witness the colour of the famous rock change before your eyes as the sun makes its slow ascent into the sky, casting the surrounding landscape ablaze with light. It’ll change the way you think of a sunrise forever.
9. Feed the wild dolphins at Tangalooma – QLD
“They call him Flipper, Flipper…” We dare you not to have that song playing over in your head at least once during your visit to Tangalooma Island Resort on Moreton Island. Wild dolphin feeding is one of the iconic experiences of the resort, with these gentle cetaceans stopping by for a feed each evening (weather permitting) and to delight resort guests with their cuteness.
10. See the red crab migration on Christmas Island – WA
Crabs. Millions of them absolutely everywhere. On the roads, in the forest, scuttling across specially-constructed overpasses on their way down on the beaches… the red crab migration on Christmas Island is one of nature’s most spectacular mating events. Even Sir David Attenborough has travelled to this remote island off Western Australia to witness it. Though Christmas Island may be a little off the regular tourist route, it really is worth the trip.
There are so many unforgettable experiences across the length and breadth of the country we could go on listing them for days, but there’s joy in uncovering your own experiences too.
Are you ready for a bucket list adventure? Start planning your next Aussie escape today.