7 Uniquely Australian Travel Experiences To Add To Your Bucket List
There’s nowhere else on earth quite like Australia. Scattered across this giant island continent there are dozens of unique travel experiences that you simply can’t do, find or see anywhere else. From exploring the Great Barrier Reef to swimming with crocodiles, here are seven of our favourite Australian experiences that should be added to your travel bucket list for 2022 and beyond.
1. Find Nemo in the world’s largest reef system
Picture yourself aboard a Great Barrier Reef cruise liner traversing the tropical waters of Far North Queensland. Gaze into the clear blue waters, trying to spot colourful coral beneath, before taking the plunge into the deep.
There’s no better way to explore the World Heritage-listed Great Barrier Reef than up close. Suit up, grab a snorkel and prepare to be utterly amazed at the vast underwater world that lies beneath. As you float around the corals of this 348,700 km² stretch of reef, keep an eye for Nemo the clownfish and his diverse marine friends including sea turtles, manta rays and dolphins.
Back at the Cairns Marina, make your way over to the Oak & Vine rooftop bar for sunset cocktails and panoramic views to see out another great day in Queensland.
2. Watch kangaroos feeding on the beach at dawn
Each morning as dawn breaks the resident ‘roos and wallabies of Mackay’s Cape Hillsborough Beach make their way down to the shore for a tasty breakfast. Stand there watching the marsupials enjoy a feast of seaweed and mangrove seed pods, which have washed up with the overnight tides.
Be sure to pack the camera to capture your new furry friends beneath a spectacular sky, a pink and orange sunrise hanging over the idyllic beach. Heaven? Found.
Fill your camera roll with travel snaps of this quintessentially Australian scene before heading back to the hotel for a warm breakfast of your own.
3. Climb the Sydney Harbour Bridge
Embrace the tourist trail in Sydney but tick off the sights in an unusual way. Every traveller wants to catch a glimpse of the ginormous Sydney Harbour with its famous bridge and architectural opera house, but you can do better than a dodgy selfie by the bay.
Suit up and strap on a safety harness – you’re doing the Sydney Harbour BridgeClimb! Being a tourist takes on an all-new bold and daring side when you’re hanging off the edge of an Australian icon. Stretch those legs and get ready to feel the burn as you climb the steps to the top. Find motivation in those amazing panoramic views you’ll enjoy from the top.
4. Taste pearl meat at a pearl farm near Broome
Australia is a place to expect the unexpected. In the north of Western Australia near Broome, the fourth generation Cygnet Bay Pearl Farm sustainably grows the most rare and pure South Sea pearls in the world.
Learn about how each sparkling, perfect pearl takes years to make, witness a live harvest and taste pearl meat for yourself. Connect with Indigenous culture with a workshop of traditional pearl shell carving or tour the bay with Terry Hunter, a fourth generation pearler and proud Bardi man.
5. Go gourmet gallivanting in the Adelaide Hills
Pass green pastures, quaint vineyards brimming with grapes ripe for harvest, and a diverse array of cellar doors on your journey to the rugged Adelaide Hills region.
Make an essential stop in the town of Hahndorf, Australia’s oldest surviving German settlement, built by Prussian settlers in 1839. The traditional German streetscape feels as though you have been transported to a small town in Germany. Wander tree-lined streets filled with bakeries, cheese makers, leather smiths and a chocolatier.
Back in the car, it’s wine time. Try Sidewood Estate where you can graze on a charcuterie board while relaxing in a cabana, or stay for a long lunch by the vines. The hardest choice will be the wine – a bold and full-bodied Shiraz, bright and crisp Tempranillo Rose, or perhaps the rich, smooth Pinot Gris. Why not all three?
6. Ride the world’s oldest continually operating roller coaster
Melbourne’s Luna Park has been open since 1912, and it was way back then that the Great Scenic Railway first launched. This wooden roller coaster takes people on a 967-metre long joy ride with thrilling dips and turns that circles the exterior of the park.
Soak in great views of Port Phillip Bay as you ride this heritage-listed beauty, which reaches speeds of up to 60km per hour. Afterwards, wander on down to St Kilda Beach for an ice-cream or slice of cake and people watching.
7. Get up close with crocs
Come face-to-face with a mega-sized saltwater crocodile in Darwin. Dive into the Cage of Death at Crocosaurus Cove, a space that allows you to swim alongside these giant dino-reptiles from behind the safety of a glass cage. You can also hold a baby croc!
If you prefer to stay dry, take a jumping crocodile cruise on the Adelaide River about an hour from the city. Watch as these ginormous salties leap from the water right beside your boat. Crikey!